MOST OF the information for a parish history is gleaned from various official sources-parish records, census returns, tax and rating assessments, electoral lists and the like-and such documents are necessarily of a formal nature.
Occasionally, however, more personal private records have survived, such as the family notebook of the Goulds of Woodbury Hill who were carpenters and builders for several successive generations.
The book is now housed in the County Record Office, and the following note is attached to it:
Old John Gould, who lived on Woodbury Hill, gave this book to me about 1880, when I was elected Member of Parliament for Wareham, the last who had sat for that Borough-1880 & 1885.
Gould was quite blind, the book had been in his family for years, as his writings testify.
The book contains some curious information about Bere & the neighbourhood.
If it is ever found after my death, I should like it deposited in the Dorset County Museum at Dorchester.