New Zealand’s BDM’s now online

New Zealand’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched of a new Web site that offers online access to New Zealand’s historical birth, death and marriage records. The historic data available for you to search is limited so that information relating to people who might still be alive, can be protected.

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A POW’s Story

It’s 67 years since the Japanese captured Singapore – and one of their captives was former Daily Echo print room worker Jack Cresswell.  His journal recalls life in Japanese PoW camp after the fall of Singapore.

Read extracts in the Daily Echo

Somerset Voices: Adrian Durston & Mark Nicholls

Adrian and Mark were employed by Richard Wright, thatcher and farmer of Compton Dundon. Richard Wright came from a family of thatchers, his father Harold and uncle ran the business before him. The Wright family were living in Compton Dundon village by 1851, and are recorded on the 1851 census.

Listen to Mark & Adrian and read the transcript.

Danger on the shore

The Dorset coast has been claiming ships and the lives of their crews since man first took to the water. The Dorset Echo has taken a look back at some of these maritime disasters.

Read the full article

Battle of Weymouth

On Saturday 7th February 2009 a spectacular re-enactment took place in commemoration of the Battle of Weymouth and the Crabchurch Conspiracy of 1645.

Somerset Voices: Leonard Stanley Dunkerton

This recording was made in 1973. Leonard Stanley Dunkerton was born in 1888 and farmed in Baltonsborough near Glastonbury. Apart from a short time away from the village to learn how to make cheese, Leonard spent all his life in Baltonsborough; milking the cows by hand in all weathers, making Cheddar cheese, and producing cider.

Listen to Stanley and read the transcript.

Royal Air Force service records

Last year saw the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Air Force. The records of thousands of men (and women) who served in the RAF and its predecessors during the First World War are held by The National Archives. This talk will demonstrate how you can use these records to find out more about your ancestors’ lives in this pioneering branch of the armed services.

The Benefits of Genealogy

Have you ever thought about tracing your family tree? Maybe you are already one of the many millions who already claim this as a hobby. Great, then you probably are already considering some of the benefits to preserving your family heritage such as a connection with the past or an advanced medical history. But have you ever though about all of the secondary benefits that come from family tree research? Deanna Anderson has.

Read her article.

Somerset Voices: Mary Duckett

A cheese school operated from Mary Duckett’s parents home in Mark during the 1920s. A tutor from Cannington Agricultural College visited for a week to show students how to make Cheddar and Caerphilly. Mary Duckett’s father was a Caerphilly cheese dealer at Highbridge Market. Orders would be sent from Wales and elsewhere, via train, to Highbidge Station, Mr Duckett would then buy cheeses at market, pack them in wooden crates and send them off by train.

Listen to Mary and read the transcript.

The Registers of Long Burton, Dorset (1580-1819)

The Parish registers of Long Burton (or Longburton) for this period consisted of six volumes which were transcribed by the Reverend Charles Herbert Mayo, M.A., Rural Dean and Vicar of Longburton with Holnest and published in 1894. The publication was digitized in 2007 by Google and may be accessed on-line or downloaded here.

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