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INTRODUCTION Ipswich Docks - The Old + New with the Customs House in centre

Ipswich, which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in England, is located on the estuary of the River Orwell, which has always been important in the story of the town. A small harbour, behind what is now the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, was used by the Romans for trade and the Vikings raided the docks area, around 1010.

The Cornhill - The Ancient House King John gave the town its Charter in 1200. The town flourished in the Tudor & Elizabethan era, with the Wool Trade, when Christchurch Mansion and other fine buildings were erected creating much of the street pattern around The Butter Market which survives to this day, along with some 650 listed buildings.

Ipswich Museum, Art School with Gallery behind The Victorian era brought more prosperity and the building of new wet docks, then the largest in Europe, and the first public museum in the country which opened in 1847 (rebuilt in 1881).
The industrial revolution saw the rise of farm machinery manufacturers, such as Ransomes and Garretts, which hastened the exodus of many former agricultural workers to the town. The population increased six- fold in the 19th century, rising to 66,000 and doubled in the 20th century.


Ipswich has much to offer those researching their 'family trees' and also gives the excuse of having a pleasurable day out.

Our meetings are held at The Pioneer Hall, The Co-Op Education Centre, 11, Fore Street, Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1JW. Pedestrian access is through the front door at 11 Fore Street. There is a large car park at the rear of the building - Entry is from Waterworks Street (Enter IP4 1JG in your sat. nav.) Meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday in the month.

We arrange a varied programme of interesting talks and guided visits which are open to members and visitors alike, especially newcomers, who'll receive a warm welcome.

We also offer tea or coffee and biscuits after the talk and this is included in the 2 entrance. Those with problems with their research find it useful to chat to others at the meeting, about their "brickwalls". Informal help often results from this.

Group visit to Coddenham Church We can provide, for meetings, a laptop computer, with some of the Society's CD's and other resources, as outlined on the Publications page. This facility can be requested at a meeting, for viewing at the following meeting.

Alternatively, feel free to contact us beforehand if you'd like to request a resource or need advice so we're best placed to help you when you come to the meeting.

News and reports of group activities can be found here.
(Last Update March 2014)


Mrs J A Wenham (Secretary)
23 La Salle Close, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8NA
Tel: 01473 601437
Howard King (Chairman)
01473 274300
or by Email


2015 Title Speaker
September 24 In the Footsteps of our Fathers Beverley Cooper
October 22 Up my Family Tree Fred Feather
November 19 You may wish you had never started this Ian Waller


Ipswich Record Office - The 'must do' place to visit/contact for all your family & local history needs; holding an amazing range of information about the history of Suffolk and its people.

Tourist Information Office - who also arrange guided walks with Blue Badge Guides [May-Sept].

Ipswich Museum - has a timeline on events in the Town, plus many treasures.