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Suffolk

"SUFFOLK, a maritime county on the E. coast of England, is bounded N. by Norfolk, E. by the German Ocean, S. by Essex, and W. by Cambridge. It lies between 51 56' and 52 37' N. lat., 0 23' and 1 46' E. long. Its greatest length from Southtown, a suburb of Great Yarmouth, on the N.E., to the south-western border, is 68 miles, and the extreme breadth 52 miles. The area is 1,481 square miles, or 947,681 acres, of which about 820,000 acres are arable land, meadow, and pasture. The population in 1801 was 214,404; in 1851, 337,215; and in 1861, 337,070. In the earliest times of which we have any record, it was inhabited by the Iceni, a British tribe, and subsequently formed part of the Roman province of Flavia Caesariensis. It was afterwards occupied by the Angles, and formed part of the kingdom of East Anglia. In 654, Penda, king of Mercia, attacked the East Anglians, and in a battle fought near Blytheburgh, slew their king. The Danes early commenced their ravages along this coast, and in 871 defeated and took prisoner Edmund, king of East Anglia, whom they put to death for refusing to renounce Christianity. His body was removed from Hoxne to Bury, which received in consequence the name of Bury St. Edmund's, and a monastery was erected to his honour. In the division of the kingdom under Alfred the county was included within the Danelagh, and at the time of the Norman conquest was held by Gurth, brother of Harold II. The surface of this county is generally flat, or gently undulating, there being no eminence in the whole county worthy of notice. The highest ground lies towards the W., through which, some miles to the W. of Bury, and thence to Thetford, runs a chalk dyke, which crosses this part of England in a north-easterly direction. This ridge separates the watershed of the N. from that of the S. of the county, the streams on the upper side flowing into the Little Ouse and Waveney, while those on the lower side fall into the Stour and Orwell, or directly into the German Ocean. The north western districts bordering on Cambridgeshire partake of its marshy, fenny nature, and in some places the land is secured from overflow of the rivers by large embankments along their course. The coast line, 52 miles in length, is for the most part regular, and convex to the sea. The bays are generally shallow, and the headlands have little prominence. The principal harbours are formed by the estuaries of the Orwell and Stour on the S.E., and of the other rivers which flow into the German Ocean. The shore is in most places low and sandy, and occasionally marshy; but low cliffs, composed of alternations of clay, sand, and gravel, are found on both sides of the estuary of the Deben, and at some other points. These are being slowly undermined by the sea, while at some places the reverse occurs, and accessions of land are being formed by the accumulation of marine deposits. Lowestoft, Southwold, and Felixstow are much resorted to as watering-places. " (There is more of this description).

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

What's New in Suffolk

See "What's New" in Suffolk.

Archives and Libraries

  • The Suffolk Record Office has branches at Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft. All branches of the Suffolk Record Office operate under the County Archive Research Network (CARN) and to look at documents you will need a CARN reader ticket. These can be issued on your first visit after providing suitable proof of identity. The CARN card can be used in any participating Record Office in the UK.

    See the interim website for the Suffolk Record Office. This site is a temporary replacement for the Suffolk Record Office part of the "Suffolk Heritage Direct" site, while they work on an exciting, new, interactive site, just for the Suffolk Record Office.

    Bury St.Edmunds
    Suffolk Record Office, 77 Raingate Street, Bury St.Edmunds IP33 2AR

    Ipswich
    Suffolk Record Office, Gatacre Road, Ipswich IP1 2LQ

    Lowestoft
    Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft Central Library, Clapham Road South, Lowestoft NR33 1DR
  • LDS Family History Centres in Suffolk.
    The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintain two family history centres in Suffolk.

    Note: The addresses below are not mailing addresses. Family History Centres are unable to respond to mail enquiries.
    Pre-booking is required for many of their facilities - please contact the centre before travelling any distance, and please book well in advance.

    The Ipswich Family History Centre
    42 Sidegate Lane West, Ipswich, Suffolk
    Phone: 01473 723182
    Hours: Tuesday 6.30-9pm; Thursday 10-1pm and 7-9pm.
    Open by appointment only. You can email the centre at UK_Ipswich@ldsmail.net

    The Lowestoft Family History Centre
    165 Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk
    Phone: 01502 573851
    Hours: Tuesday 2pm-4pm; Wednesday 9am-12pm; Tuesday to Thursday 7pm-9pm.
    Please call to confirm the centre is open to avoid disappointment.

Bibliography

  • "A Changed Village: Westleton 1950-2000", Frances Berry, Claire Daunton and Jean Edwards, Privately Published; First Edition edition (2000) Printed by Crowes Complete Print, Norwich, 2000
    To mark the Millennium, a photographic record comparing archive pictures to the present day scene.
  • "Aldeburgh Diary - a list of events from 1400 BC to 1999 AD", J P Bristow
  • "Aldeburgh War Memorial -The Story Behind the Names 1914-1918", Simon Last & Michael Good, 2014
  • "Britten's Suffolk Heritage Coast", Clive Strutt, ISBN 978 1 907938 52 8
    Benjamin Britten was born on the Suffolk coast, lived most of his life along it, and was inspired by it when writing his music. This collection of photographs truly celebrates everything best about the county.
  • "Darsham in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Framlingham War Memorial - The Men Behind the Names 1914-1918", Simon Last, Charnwood Genealogy, 2011
  • "Framlingham War Memorial - The Men Behind the Names 1939-1945", Simon Last, Charnwood Genealogy, 2012
  • "From Flint Knappers to Atom Splitters - A History of Leiston-cum-Sizewell", D Y & K May, Quickthorn Books
  • "Garretts - Their Influence and the Long Shop Museum"
  • "Guide to Genealogical Sources 4th Edition", SRO
  • "Hodskinson's Map of Suffolk in 1783", Hodskinson, Larks Press, ISBN 1 904006 09
    A complete map of the county of Suffolk in 1783, reproduced in A4 booklet form at the original scale of one mile to the inch, with an introduction by D. P. Dymond.
  • "Illustrated Memorial of the Great War in Relation to Leiston and District"
  • "Kelsale cum Carlton in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Knodishall in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Leiston cum Sizewell in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Marlesford in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Marriage Law for Genealogists", Rebecca Probert
  • "Mayflower Passengers 1620", Scott Bartley
  • "Middleton cum Fordley in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Peasenhall in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Records of the Borough of Aldeburgh", Transcribed by Arthur T. Winn
  • "Register of the Parish of Knodishall 1566-1705", Transcribed by Arthur T. Winn, 1909
  • "Saxmundham in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Seven Centuries on Middleton Moor, Suffolk", Janet Barnes
  • "Shotley's Forgotten Men - The Men Behind the Names", G Barker, L Goldie, P Hamilton, M Kenningale, E Sandford & K Toye
  • "Suffolk & the Great Rebellion 1640 - 1660", Edited by Alan Everitt
  • "Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.1: Dunwich (south)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    - covering  Aldringham, Carlton, Darsham, Dunwich, Fordley, Kelsale, Knodishall, Leiston, Middleton, Theberton, Thorpe, Westleton and Yoxford
  • "Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.2: Dunwich (north)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    - covering  Benacre, Blyford, Blythburgh, Brampton, Bulcamp, Covehithe, Easton Bavents, Frostenden, Henstead, Reydon, Sotherton, South Cove, Southwold, Stoven, Uggeshall, Walberswick, Wangford, Westhall and Wrentham
  • "Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.3: Dunwich (west)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    - covering  Bramfield, Chediston, Cookley, Cratfield, Halesworth, Heveningham, Holton St. Peter, Huntingfield, Linstead Magna, Linstead Parva, Peasenhall, Rumburgh, Sibton, Spexhall, Thorington, Ubbeston, Walpole, Wenhaston & Melles, and Wissett
  • "Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.4: Orford", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    - covering Aldeburgh, Benhall, Blaxhall, Bruisyard, Chillesford, Cransford, Farnham, Friston, Great Glemham, Little Glemham, Iken, Orford, Rendham, Snape, Sternfield, Stratford St. Andrew, Sudbourne, Swefling, Tunstall and Wantisden
  • "Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.5: Lothingland", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    - covering  Ashby, Barnby, Belton, Blundeston, Bradwell, Burgh Castle, Carlton Colville, Corton, Flixton, Fritton, Gisleham, Gorleston, Gunton, Herringfleet, Hopton, Kessingland, Kirkley, Lound, Lowestoft, Mutford, Oulton, Pakefield, Rushmere and Somerleyton
  • "Suffolk Villages", Alan Jobson
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 1 Aldeburgh", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 2 Kelsale, Saxmundham & Benhall", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 3 Yoxmere", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 4 Aldringham to Tunstall", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 5 Orford to Rendlesham", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 6 Wickham Market to Marlesford", Doug Ireland
  • "Suffolk War Memorials 1914-1918 series : Vol 7 Leiston", Doug Ireland
  • "The Graves and Headstones in the Churchyard of Middleton cum Fordley"
  • "The Rentals of Manor of Prior of St Mary Woodbridge 1560"
  • "The Suffolk Records Society - Celebrating Fifty Years and Fifty Volumes 1957 to 2007"
  • "Theberton in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Westleton in the 1840s (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Westleton Customs and Sayings recorded by the W.I. in 1922", Ruth Anderson, Published by Westleton Womens' Institute 2008, and printed by Leiston Press, Suffolk, ISBN 0978 0 9554725 9 6
  • "Worlingworth's Fallen 1914-1918", Geofrey Robinson
  • "Yoxford (Suffolk Snapshot Series)", Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books, Newbury
    One of a series of A4 booklets/CDs aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names.
  • "Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, Volume I: West Suffolk", D.P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press, ISBN 9780906554104
    Written with an eye for detail, this is the first volume of the authoritative guide to Suffolk churches. Includes an encyclopaedic glossary of historical and architectural terms. Published 1988.
  • "Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, Volume II: Central Suffolk", D. P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press
  • "Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, Volume III: East Suffolk ", D. P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press
  • "The Guide to Suffolk Churches", D. P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press, ISBN 9780718830762
    An authoritative and handsomely illustrated guide to the 'living' medieval churches of the county of Suffolk, now available as a single volume. Includes an encyclopaedic glossary of historical and architectural terms. Paperback, black and white photographs & illustrations. Published April 2009.
  • "Suffolk Churches and their Treasures", H. Munro Cautley, ISBN 978 0851151434
    Currently out of print.
  • "Tracing the History of a Parish Church", a guide to relevant printed and manuscript material held by the Suffolk Record Office.
    Link no longer available.

Simon Knott's bibliography of Suffolk and its churches.

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Business and Commerce Records

  • Anderson, Elizabeth (1836-1917) (Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first Englishwoman to qualify as a physician and surgeon in Britain). Various personal, family and legal records of the physician and supporter of women's suffrage. Records are variously held in the Suffolk Record Office, the London Metropolitan Archives, and London University (London University: London School of Economics, The Women's Library). Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was also Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain.
  • Various Business Collections held by the Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch.

Chronology

Church History

Suffolk is renowned for the quantity and quality of its historic churches, many built with the profits of the wool trade.

  • Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches provides photographs and descriptions of most of Suffolk's many churches.
  • "Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, Volume I: West Suffolk" by D.P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press. ISBN: 9780906554104
    Written with an eye for detail, this is the first volume of the authoritative guide to Suffolk churches. Includes an encyclopaedic glossary of historical and architectural terms. Published 1988.
    • "Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches", Volume III: East Suffolk by D.P. Mortlock
    • "The Guide to Suffolk Churches" By D.P. Mortlock, Lutterworth Press. ISBN: 9780718830762
      An authoritative and handsomely illustrated guide to the 'living' medieval churches of the county of Suffolk, now available as a single volume. Includes an encyclopaedic glossary of historical and architectural terms. Paperback, black and white photographs & illustrations. Published April 2009.
    • "Suffolk Churches and their Treasures" by H. Munro Cautley. ISBN 978-0851151434 (currently out of print).
    • "Tracing the History of a Parish Church", a guide to relevant printed and manuscript material held by the Suffolk Record Office.
      Link no longer available.

    Church Records

    Civil Registration

    • There are six main Registration Offices in Suffolk for civil registration. They operate an appointment system for personal visits but you can telephone them or email your enquiries.

      - Bury St Edmunds Registration Office
      - Lowestoft Registration Office
      - Suffolk Register Office, Ipswich
      - Stowmarket Registration Office
      - Sudbury Registration Office
      - Woodbridge Registration Office (Melton)

      There are also 5 other service points,which operate between one and two days a week.
      These are based at Felixstowe, Halesworth, Newmarket, Saxmundham and Haverhill.
      Appointments can be booked for these outstation locations, see the Suffolk Register Office for current contact details.

      If you are seeking family history information the Suffolk Record Offices at Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds or Lowestoft hold the appropriate records.

    Description and Travel

    • Britten's Suffolk Heritage Coast by Clive Strutt : ISBN 978-1-907938-52-8. Benjamin Britten was born on the Suffolk coast, lived most of his life along it, and was inspired by it when writing his music. This collection of photographs truly celebrates everything best about the county.

    Directories

    Emigration and Immigration

    Gazetteers

    • Transcription of Stephen Whatley's "Gazetteer of England" (1750) by Mel Lockie © 2011.

      A complete index for England is included, by county and then in alphabetical order of placename. This index page contains a list of the most common abbreviations used in the gazetteer, most notably the nowadays somewhat ambiguous "cm." = "computed miles" and "mm." = "measured miles".

      The transcriptions for a number of places in Suffolk are included on the relevant town and parish pages.

    Genealogy

    • If you are seeking family history information for Suffolk the Suffolk Record Offices at Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds or Lowestoft hold the appropriate records.
    • RootsChat The Suffolk Forum at RootsChat. Free lookup service, supported by advertising. Registration is required.

    History

    • Suffolk Heritage Direct is provided and managed by Suffolk County Council on behalf of a growing partnership of heritage organisations, societies and local interest groups from across Suffolk.
    • Bartholomew Gosnold was born in Suffolk and his family seat was at Otley Hall, Otley, Suffolk. In 1607 he was instrumental in establishing the first English settlement in America at Jamestown, Virginia.

    Maps

    • Hodskinson's Map of Suffolk in 1783, Larks Press, 2003 - ISBN 1 904006 09
      A complete map of the county of Suffolk in 1783, reproduced in A4 booklet form at the original scale of one mile to the inch, with an introduction by D. P. Dymond.
    • Suffolk Snapshots, by Suzanna G. Burnay, Sigma Books
      A series of A4 booklets aimed at local historians and genealogists, providing a snapshot of some Suffolk villages in the 1840's. Contains information from tithe maps, the 1841 census and parish records, with detailed maps and indexes for people and field names. The series currently covers Darsham, Kelsale cum Carlton, Knodishall, Leiston cum Sizewell, Marlesford, Middleton cum Fordley, Peasenhall, Saxmundham, Theberton, Westleton, and Yoxford.
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Indexes
      A series being developed by Suzanna G. Burnay and published by Sigma Books containing an index to people listed as owners or occupiers of land in the early 1840s.
      The current series covers the whole of the Dunwich, Orford and Lothingland Deaneries in east Suffolk.
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.1: Dunwich (south) - covering  Aldringham, Carlton, Darsham, Dunwich, Fordley, Kelsale, Knodishall, Leiston, Middleton, Theberton, Thorpe, Westleton and Yoxford
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.2: Dunwich (north) - covering  Benacre, Blyford, Blythburgh, Brampton, Bulcamp, Covehithe, Easton Bavents, Frostenden, Henstead, Reydon, Sotherton, South Cove, Southwold, Stoven, Uggeshall, Walberswick, Wangford, Westhall and Wrentham
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.3: Dunwich (west) - covering  Bramfield, Chediston, Cookley, Cratfield, Halesworth, Heveningham, Holton St. Peter, Huntingfield, Linstead Magna, Linstead Parva, Peasenhall, Rumburgh, Sibton, Spexhall, Thorington, Ubbeston, Walpole, Wenhaston & Melles, and Wissett
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.4: Orford  - covering Aldeburgh, Benhall, Blaxhall, Bruisyard, Chillesford, Cransford, Farnham, Friston, Great Glemham, Little Glemham, Iken, Orford, Rendham, Snape, Sternfield, Stratford St. Andrew, Sudbourne, Swefling, Tunstall and Wantisden
    • Suffolk Tithe Name Index Vol.5: Lothingland - covering  Ashby, Barnby, Belton, Blundeston, Bradwell, Burgh Castle, Carlton Colville, Corton, Flixton, Fritton, Gisleham, Gorleston, Gunton, Herringfleet, Hopton, Kessingland, Kirkley, Lound, Lowestoft, Mutford, Oulton, Pakefield, Rushmere and Somerleyton
    • Ordnance Survey maps of Suffolk in the mid 19th century are available via old-maps.co.uk.
    • England Jurisdictions 1851 provided by Family Search is a live clickable map providing information on Suffolk parishes. Click on the map to explore.

    Military History

    • Bawdsey Radar Museum - Bawdsey Quay, IP12 3AZ. The museum is based in wartime concrete bunkers including the old Transmitter Block - the first radar station in the world. See website for opening times and admission charges.
    • Suffolk Aviation Heritage Group exists to promote a wider understanding within the general public of Suffolk's vast aviation related history and to encourage, where practicable, continued preservation of its associated heritage.

    Military Records

    • Rolls of Honour and War Memorials (monuments) are one good resource for family historians, but need to be addressed with some caution - it should not be assumed that they are either complete or accurate. Memorials (and Rolls of Honour) were created at the local parish level after asking the local inhabitants whose names should appear. Thus:

      - Some names may have been omitted, for a variety of reasons.
      - Some names may appear on more than one memorial.
      - Some names may be misspelled, or given names transposed.
      - Some people may be listed as killed in action, but were not.
      - Some people may be listed who were not in the service at all.
      - Some people may have been confused with others of a similar name.

      - A Roll of Honour may sometimes list the names of all who served, not just those who died.
      - Some of the original records may have been incorrect, for a variety of reasons.
      - Some (more recent) research may be incorrect.

    Newspapers

    Occupations

    • Index of Suffolk Public Houses, Inns and Taverns A listing of historical Public Houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in Suffolk, compiled by Kevan Wilding. The Suffolk listing uses information from census, Trade Directories and History to add licensees, bar staff, lodgers and visitors. In addition to an index of Suffolk Pubs & Taverns by town name, there are listings by public house name for the years of 1839, 1869 and 1891.
    • The CAMRA Suffolk Pubs website uses various historic trade directories and census pages to populate the site with owners and landlords from early 19th century to the present day. It also contains various items of local history and photographs to help illustrate the pubs, towns and villages.

    Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

    • The Workhouse provides general information about the development of the Poor Laws.

    Probate Records

    When a person dies, probate is the act of proving a will, or if none has been made, deciding who will adminster the deceased's estate.

    • All three branches of Suffolk Record Office have comprehensive indexes to the wills proved in Suffolk. In addition, they also hold printed indexes to wills proved in the Consistory Court at Norwich from 1370 to 1857, and the Prerogative Court of Canterbury from 1701 to 1800, see Suffolk Probate Records.

    Societies

    • There are many societies addressing various activities within Suffolk. Due to their diverse nature and quality it would therefore be invidious to single out or implicitly recommend any particular society.