At the Nursteed Centre, Devizes


Please note: the Society's Resource Centre (ie for its office, libary, research etc) is on the Bath Road, at the other side of Devizes from the Nursteed Centre.

The Devizes Branch regular meetings are on the third Tuesday of each month (except December) at 7.30pm.  Some meetings may be on Zoom.   See below for contact details, details of topics, venues and any changes.  Everyone is welcome, and there is no charge.  Tea/coffee available and time to chat or ask questions.  Please keep an eye on this page for any changes.  

Tuesday 21 May - "Searching for Surnames:  challenges, pitfalls and the downright ridiculous " - Kirsty Gray. With increased indexing and transcription of records, Kirsty will uncover some of the investigative methods needed as well as the more challenging transcriptions the genealogist has to work with, whilst still being enormously grateful that they are available online!

Tuesday 18 June - "I Give and Bequeath" - Julia Hunt.  Many of Julia's ancestors lived in Aldbourne, and she has transcribed almost all the wills left by villagers which has given her - and will give us - an interesting picture of life in the village.

Tuesday 16 July - "West Country Myths and Legends"  : Tony Painter will present a collection of odd stories, mysterious happenings, dastardly deeds and historic legends culled from his researches into West Country history for the Alan Godfrey series of old Ordnance Survey maps.


Recent meeting - April - "Writing Your Family History" - Jackie Depelle.  This was another successful hybrid meeting, with us in our usual meeting place and Jackie on-screen leading us through a wide range of options for creating enjoyable and understandable records for family and friends to enjoy. She gave us many useful clues for our improving our own record keeping and adding historical context from diverse places – never forgetting to record the original source and not just a web site.

Recent meeting - March -Members’ Evening.  Two members entertained and taught us some olden days geography as well.  One had inherited many cards, photos and stamps.  They revealed relatives’ travels through Europe to live in the Far East, while a ship’s passenger list revealed - possibly romantically – how and where ancestors first met.  Our next speaker's ancestor led an exotic life, playing key roles at a remarkably young age with the Royal Niger Company, liaising between West Africa and officialdom back in London.  Sadly he died at sea.  Another ancestor left a mysterious set of clues, with conflicting personal details before marrying, having a child and then simply disappearing (from our eyes, at least).   

Recent meeting - February  -  "The Mourning Brooch" - author Jean Renwick revealed the research behind two novels inspired by an inherited mourning brooch. Her talk was full of information and inspiration for family historians, revealing productive sources of all sorts and telling fascinating stories of  real and fictional characters and events in Yorkshire, the USA and Europe.  This was our first use of Zoom to bring our speaker into an otherwise normal meeting: with Jean's engaging style, it worked really well.

Recent meeting - January  -  "The First Christmas Presents" - Andrew Campbell.  This was a historical, not religious, exploration of the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought as gifts by the Magi at the birth of Christ.  With great knowledge, excellent images, and plenty of humour, Andrew took us on a tour exploring where the gifts came from in the ancient Middle East, who might have brought them, why they were valuable and what they were used for.

The Nursteed Centre - our usual meeting place for the Devizes Branch of WFHS


Meetings: Nursteed Centre, Nursteed Road, Devizes SN10 3AH, (Click for map)  third Tuesday of each month, 7.30pm

Access: 800 yards along A342 towards Andover: signed on the right by the pedestrian crossing.
Contact: Branch Chairman David Weaver on 01380 723191 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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