The team at the Museum can help you with your research whether it is family history, identifying photos of buildings, events or documents that are in our collection. We charge £10 for the initial search of our collection and that of the South West Heritage Centre. Your initial payment also has the benefit of giving you Friends status for the calendar year. After the initial research and if you want more in-depth research we charge £20 per hour.
When we have received your enquiry we will tell you how we can help. There are three ways to Contact Us and get started. These are:
Clicking on the Live Chat button on the website home page and sharing your query
Completing the Local History Enquiry Form and leaving it at the Museum - download here
Give us as much information as you can. We like a challenge!
Here are some examples of research our team has undertaken.
One family history inquiry revealed that a past Matron of Chard Hospital, Elizabeth Wilkins, had been arrested with Edith Cavill, during World War 1. Sister Wilkins, inexplicably, was released whereas Edith Cavill was executed. Elizabeth was awarded the O.B.E. in 1920 for her work in Belgium during the war.
Mr Hussey from Florida came to the Museum looking for information on his family roots. We tracked their tree back to 1725 in Thorncombe. This was just before some of the family emigrated to the United States and Canada. We even found the travel documents (with photo) of one of his ancestors when he visited England at the end of the 1800s.
An author requested some help for his novel set during the Civil War. We prepared a list of contemporary buildings, shops and inhabitants. We also identified sites where the soldiers would have been billeted and where their horses would have been kept. Books in the Local Studies library in Taunton turned up portraits of 17th century Chard citizens.