Family History Society

The Somerset and Dorset Family History Centre

Logo - SDFHS

Until November 2017 the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society was based in Sherborne and, although the Society’s Family History Centre has moved to Yeovil, (only five miles away!) we retain strong links with Sherborne and still hold events in the town, usually at the Raleigh Hall on Digby Road. For our Sherborne events see the listings on this website and also

Broadway House Family History Centre

Our new Family History Centre is located at Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, BA20 1PN. The main bus station and many car parks are within a few minutes’ walk of our Centre. Entrance to the Family History Centre and use of our facilities is free to members of the Society; non-members pay a day visitor’s fee of £3.

Research – If you are unable to visit the Centre in person you may like to contact the Research Team who will undertake research for you. The service is reasonably priced, and provided by volunteer members who will research on your behalf using the records held by the Society. A minimum fee of £5 (Members) or £10 an hour (Non-Members) is charged for research work. This is intended to cover administrative costs and up to an hour’s research. Any further research is charged at £5 an hour (SDFHS Members) or £10 an hour (Non-Members).

Research Room

Parish Files – There is a file for almost all of the parishes in Somerset and Dorset, and these contain transcriptions of most of the baptisms, marriages and burials in the parish church. Files may also contain similar details for other denominations, and the majority of the files also hold memorial inscriptions (transcriptions of gravestones) and similar material. In some files you will find ‘parish packs’ which provide additional background information.

The Library – The Society’s extensive Library has family, local, and military history items, and apart from the many books you will find CDs, microfiches and maps. All together, these cover a wide range of relevant topics including village histories, areas of specialist research, and the works of many local authors. Since it is a reference library, books cannot be borrowed but searches can be made on request to the Centre.

Ancestry/Findmypast/The Genealogist – We have a computer suite on which you can access these sites, and many others. If you have not tried searching online before, then one of the volunteers will help you find your way.

Computer Room

Bookshop – The Society book shop has a stock of more than 800 titles, including the Society’s own publications, an extensive selection of Somerset and Dorset local history books, indexes to Somerset and Dorset records, general genealogy and family history guides and historical maps

Opening times – Monday, Friday and Saturday, 10.00am – 1.00pm; Thursday 10.00am to 4.00pm; third Tuesday of every month from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. 

When is the Centre closed? – The Family History Centre is normally closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays; as well as over Easter and Christmas and on Bank Holiday Mondays. 

Want to Volunteer? – The Society always welcomes new Volunteers, who can either work at the Society’s Family History Centre, or remotely from home. Volunteers, who will need to be computer-literate, play a huge part in welcoming visitors to the Centre and in caring for and adding to the Society’s records and databases. Please contact us if you are interested.

Contact details – Somerset & Dorset FHS,Broadway House, Peter St., Yeovil, BA20 1PN. Telephone: 01935 429609. Email:

The Society has a website: and a WordPress blog:

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