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ZoomCamberleyWalton on ThamesWoking

Woking Centre

Woking Methodist Church Hall, Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4LH

For map click here

Co-ordinator Chris Leech

Second Thursday in month
Doors Open at 7.45pm. Meeting starts at 8.00pm.


Date Time Title Speaker
Thu11 Nov7.50 pm for 8.20 pmResearch and records using CWGC Archives NOW ZOOM MEETINGPaul Iverson
Thu9 Dec7.50 pm for 8.20 pmChristmas Food and Drink through the Ages NOW ZOOM MEETINGSimon Fowler and Sylvia Levi


Date Time Title Speaker
Thu13 Jan7.45 pm for 8.15 pmGetting OrganisedLes Mitchinson
Thu10 Feb7.45 pm for 8.15 pmResearching the History of HousesPhilip and Sally Gorton
Thu10 Mar7.45 pm for 8.15 pmHit a brick wall? Where do you go next?Elizabeth Owen
Thu14 Apr7.45 pm for 8.15 pmMy recent researchInformal Meeting
Thu12 May7.45 pm for 8.15 pmLand of my Father's Father. Welsh ResearchJane Lewis
Thu9 Jun7.45 pm for 8.15 pmSarah Wells, the worst housekeeper.Bob France

Forthcoming Meetings

November 11 2021

Paul Iverson - Research and records using CWGC Archives NOW ZOOM MEETING
“An Archive of International Importance”
We will look at the origins of the CWGC and the archive material we have available. This is generally divided into the Casualty Archive and the Commission Archive. We will look at some of the historically interesting items and how you can access both archives.

December 9

Simon Fowler and Sylvia Levi - Christmas Food and Drink through the Ages NOW ZOOM MEETING
Join us as we explore what Surrey's residents rich and poor would have eaten and drunk over the Christmas period. Would they have eaten turkey and furmity? Or drunk Smoking Bishop. And would the paupers in local workhouses been allowed a pint of beer? All will be revealed. Then, if we are meeting in person, enjoy some eighteenth century mince pies.

January 13 2022

Les Mitchinson - Getting Organised
Les Mitchinson, who is a professional genealogist and Fellow of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies will be giving a presentation on how to organise your research and to ensure you can find things when you need them! It will not take long before your study, or dining-room table, is awash with material. Getting Organised organises your research, your documents and yourself. How many of us have started a search only to find ourselves distracted when something interesting crops up? I will offer advice on how to avoid such distractions so that you are in charge of your research, not your ancestors!

February 10

Philip and Sally Gorton - Researching the History of Houses
For most buildings there are archives that can be used to piece together a story. Even the smallest house has been bought, sold, leased and been subject to rates and taxes. Their inhabitants were baptised, married and buried at the local church or chapel. They may have left their wills and letters, diaries and portraits. It is possible that your locality was mapped in the eighteenth century or visited by an amateur photographer during the nineteenth.
Philip has many years of practical experience in dealing with a wide variety of documentary sources and has the palaeographic and interpretive skills that are essential in this kind of work.
Sally writes the histories and specialises in the genealogical aspects of the work. She is particularly skilled at teasing out the dry facts from a variety of sources and turning them into a readable and absorbing narrative.
Together they will talk about the sources and techniques for research the history of houses and the people who owned and occupied them..

March 10

Elizabeth Owen - Hit a brick wall? Where do you go next?
Hit a brick wall? Where do you go next? Takes a look at some thoughts, ideas and processes to consider and try when tackling those elusive brick walls in our family histories.
Elizabeth has been researching her ancestors since 2002. In her early days of family history, she researched the histories of family and friends, learning from each project she worked on. Her reputation and the demand for her skills and knowledge grew so that Elizabeth decided in 2009 that the time was right to turn her hobby into a professional service and founded Merlin Genealogy Solutions.
Her passion for genealogy and recognition of the strength that small, sometimes insignificant family details can have to providing a better insight to a a family's past makes all the projects she has and does work on personally and professionally unique and extremely rewarding.
Although a user of online resources, Elizabeth still ensures she has time to visit archive repositories to view and appreciate original records.

April 14

Informal Meeting - My recent research
The last couple of years have been strange ones. Did you have more time for your research? Come and share your discoveries with other members of the group.

May 12

Jane Lewis - Land of my Father's Father. Welsh Research
Jane is a professional genealogist (which in my book means that I’m only one page ahead of everyone else!) and I grew up and went to school in Wales. I’ve worked at Surrey History Centre for over 25 years, qualified as a genealogist a little over 10 years ago and have enjoyed working with many different members of the WSFHS during that time. Some non-Welsh family historians feel a bit apprehensive about researching in gorgeous glorious Wales but there really is no need for this! I hope that I can dispel any fears about language and geography and prove that perceived obstacles are nothing more than differences. She has lots of tips and techniques which she hopes will make research easier and more enjoyable and I’ll also be bringing handouts with useful addresses, books and websites – many of which are free. Jane hopes to inspire people to go on holiday to walk in their ancestors’ footsteps among the hills and valleys of Wales – although advising them to take a brolly!

June 9

Bob France - Sarah Wells, the worst housekeeper.
Sarah's celebrity son, HG Wells, considered her, “perhaps the worst housekeeper that ever was thought of.” Uppark’s Sarah Wells life was filled with hardships and disasters. Her diaries and son’s writings give a remarkable insight into her struggles: raising her family in poverty; a frequently absent and irresponsible husband; managing Uppark’s dysfunctional household. Why did she take on the role of housekeeper when almost 60? Was she really as bad as HG suggests or just an “exhausted little woman” coping with insurmountable difficulties? Hear her life story and decide for yourself!

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Copyright © 2021 West Surrey Family History Society   Last modified: 17 October 2021
Copyright © 2021 West Surrey Family History Society