A warm welcome and a helping hand to anyone researching their roots in Suffolk, land of the southern folk.


Latest Marriage Index CD

Posted by Webmaster on Thu, 24th Nov 2016

We’re pleased to announce the first of our much awaited new series of Suffolk Marriage Index CDs spanning over 100 of those difficult to research early years from 1650 to 1753

This one, for Thingoe Deanery, includes 19 parishes in and around Bury St Edmunds including Lackford in the west and Brockley in the south. For details of each parish and the available years covered see Suffolk Parishes or visit our Shop where the CD is now available, price £10 + p&p.

Our thanks to Marriages Coordinator Pamela Palgrave and if you’ve some experience of reading early handwriting and would like to help at one of the Suffolk Record Offices do please contact Pamela.


Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2017 -Ticket Offer

Posted by K Pulford on Thu, 10th Nov 2016

We are excited to announce we will be attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2017 next April!

Tickets have just been released with a fantastic Early Bird offer – 2 tickets for only £22 (which is almost a 40% saving!). This offer is valid until midnight on 22 November so book your tickets now and come and say hello to us at the show!

Introducing Mapping Suffolk’s Stories

Posted by K Pulford on Thu, 10th Nov 2016

As part of the Record Office Heritage Lottery Fund activities it is setting up this project to encourage more organisations in Suffolk to interact with archives. They have appointed Stephen Gilby as the Planning Officer for the project. He writes.

Suffolk Record Office has an exciting ;programme of activity in the pipeline to run alongside the development of The Hold. Called “Mapping Suffolk’s Stories”, it recognises the national and international relevance of the Record Office’s collections.  It will use the engaging nature of historic maps as a starting point for uncovering the unique stories about the people, places and events of our county, often hidden in the archives.

The programme will see the Record Office, aided by the University of Suffolk and a group of teachers, working alongside communities to explore and promote their local heritage to new regional, national and international audiences. Some groups will focus on the initial stimulus of historic maps; others (including schools) will use the maps and new research to learn more about where they live and create contemporary responses to it.

The project’s results will be available to national and international audiences through an exciting, interactive mapping feature that will appear on the Suffolk archives website. “Mapping Suffolk’s Stories” will act as the template for a new way of working for the Record Office – delivering outreach and education “out there” in communities, rather than just relying on activities delivered in branches. To wet your appetite here are a few map images of local maps which are part of the Suffolk Record Office archives.

If you are interested in your community taking part then please email: stephen.gilby@suffolk.gov.uk

2017 Family History Fairs

Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Mon, 7th Nov 2016

Suffolk Family History Society will be represented at the following Fairs where
we shall also have a stand featuring our publications. Come and meet us at the Fair.

April 6th - 8th                                                          
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE LIVE                                 9.30am - 5.30pm
Hall 2,
The NEC,
Birmingham, B40 1NT

Saturday June 26th
EAST ANGLIAN FAMILY HISTORY FAIR                             To be announced
See footnote *
Saturday September 24th                                                    
THE FAMILY HISTORY SHOW - London Event                  10am - 4.30pm
Sandown Park Racecourse,
Portsmouth Road,
Esher, KT10 9AJ

Saturday September 30th                         
SUFFOLK FAMILY HISTORY FAIR and AGM                      10.00am - 4.00pm
University of Suffolk  
Waterfront Building, Neptune Quay
Ipswich, IP4 1QJ

Saturday October 7th
OXFORDSHIRE F.H.S. FAIR                                                  10.00am - 4.00pm
The Marlborough School
Shipton Road
Woodstock, OX20 1LP

Saturday November 4th
WEST SURREY F.H.S. FAIR                                                   10.00am - 4.30pm
Woking Leisure Centre
Kingfield Road
Woking, GU22 9BA

* The East Anglian Family History Fair is under consideration by the local
Federation of Family History Societies.
The proposed location would be St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

The GRO Steps into the 21st Century

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 4th Nov 2016


The GRO has opened a new web site to support the ordering of certificates.  At the moment the index only covers births and deaths. However, the birth index includes the wife's maiden name and the death the age at death thus giving a boost to family history research.  These indexes at the moment only include birth records from 1837 to 1915 and death records from 1837 to 1957 but they are continuing to capture more data.

To access the index you will have to register with the GRO but this relatively straight forward. There is also talk of extending the service to allow he download of certificates in PDF format.

Cataloguing the Societies Library

Posted by K Pulford on Thu, 13th Oct 2016

Over the years the society has amassed a significant library of books, periodicals, transcriptions and birth briefs. These are held on open access at the Record Office in Ipswich. In the last year or so Alan Bumpstead, Arthur Bird and Doug Howlett have cataloged the collection and there is now a link to these new catelogues on the library page under the Society menu.

Whilst the items can be consulted at the record office they cannot be borrowed. However, members have a limited search service via the society's Librarian, Jean Licence.


New Trustees Appointed

Posted by D A Howlett on Wed, 5th Oct 2016

At our recent Annual General Meeting, Gwyn Thomas was re-elected to serve for a further three year period, and in additon we are pleased to announce that four further Trustees were appointed.

Joan Horton;  Joan has been chairperson of our West of London Group for many years.  Joan has a vast knowledge of family history and written many articles for family history related journals and books. 

Amanda Straderick; Amanda is an active member of our Lowestoft Group and has been minute writer at Trustees' and Group Coordinating Meetings.

Howard King; Howard is chairman of our Ipswich Group and has been very largely responsible for increasing the regular attendance at their monthly meetings, In addition he is responsible for publicising our Society in journals and on Radio Suffolk.

Kevin Pulford;  In addition to being chairman of our Bury St Edmunds Group, Kevin is a very active volunteer working with the Suffolk Record Office. Kevin has also worked with David Talmage (Webmaster) with the development of our "new look website"


Family Tree at the Fair

Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Tue, 27th Sep 2016

Helen Tovey, Editor of Family Tree magazine, was amongst those attending the society's Annual Fair held at the University of Suffolk's Waterfront Building in Ipswich on 24th September.

Visitors to the fair had the opportunity to chat to Helen, a keen fellow family historian who also edits what is arguably the best and the longest established of the UK's current genealogy periodicals.

The magazine has recently been acquired from the company formed by its founding owners, Michael and Mary Armstrong, by the Warner Publishing Group, the production arm of which has for many years been the magazine's printer.

Helen spoke enthusiastically about the future of the publication under its new owner and it is clear that she and the company together have many exciting plans for the continued development of Family Tree.













Helen Tovey Editor of Family Tree                                               Dr. Maurice Gleeson MB

Also attending the fair were The Guild of One Name Studies and speaker Dr Maurice Gleeson MB. FamilyTreeDNA in conjunction with The GOONS were offering visitors to the fair opportunity to join their world-wide DNA database through a special-price DNA test option.

Dr Gleeson spoke fluently and entertainingly on the place of DNA analysis in current and future family history research and explained how the FamilyTreeDNA database is compiled and accessed, with careful regard to confidentiality.

Suffolk Family History Society wishes to thank all those who brought their society or company exhibits to the event and all those who visited the fair and contributed to its success.

Suffolk Records Office

Posted by Webmaster on Thu, 25th Aug 2016

Have you had a problem accessing the Suffolk Records Office? That could be because they have a new website!  This can be found on http://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/ .

The website has been available since May 2016, but has not been widely publicised. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the Suffolk Record Office, they collect and hold material that is relevant to the history of Suffolk. This includes the parish records, probate records, magistrates’ courts records, coroner’s and health authority’s records, manorial records, tithe records and church records (baptism, marriage etc). They also have available a large number of historic and modern Suffolk newspapers.

They have three records offices which are in Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft. Details can be found on the new website. There will eventually be a link through suffolk.gov.uk, but use suffolkarchives to be sure of access.

Our website Help Forum is now launched

Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Sun, 7th Aug 2016

As part of our aim to make this website more interactive with our members we are please to announce that we have launched our website "Help Form".  If you have a problem, which you have not been able to solve, one of our members might have that vital clue to help you progress wirh your research.  You can gain access to the Help Forum via the Members Area of the website.  Who knows, this might be the way to help you break down that "brickwall"