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


The Plans for The Hold on Display

Posted by K Pulford on Wed, 16th Aug 2017

The plans of a new centre for the Suffolk Archives and Record Office will be displayed between the dates of 20th August and 20th September at the following sites.

  • University of Suffolk (Waterfront Building - where it will be accompanied by a 3D model also)
  • The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
  • Sudbury Library
  • Stowmarket Library

Online at http://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk

It has also been suggested that there may be displays at Lowestoft and Haverhill.

This will be followed by the formal planning application consultation from September 26th onwards.

This is your chance to see what is being proposed  for the new record office and how it may effect you.

Concept sketch of the foyer area of The Hold)
Concept sketch of the foyer area of The Hold

Suffolk Passes Review for The Hold Bid

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 11th Aug 2017

The Suffolk bid for Heritage Lottery funding for the Hold to rehouse the Record Office has been passed and we now await the final decision by the Lottery Fund in December. As part of the process of putting the bid together, the team has been piloting a number of outreach projects that are intended to trial projects to involve the whole county in activities associated with archives. Some of these are targeted at young people who will be the future historians and users of archives.

One of these is a play being put on by 'Bring Out Your Dead productions' which seeks to involve young students. The play is about the Murder in the Red Barn' in Polstead for which they used contemporary archive material to breathe life into their characters. Performances are to be given in Bury St Edmunds , Ipswich and Polstead. The team are also running three pilot projects on 'Mapping Suffolk Stories' which are using maps to localise events in their location. 

The plan, once the Lottery Fund approves the Hold Project is to use these projects as templates to roll out to other projects across the county using the Record Office Archives to support them.

Black American GIs in Suffolk

Posted by K Pulford on Mon, 5th Jun 2017

Lucy Bland, in her  recent Ipswich Branch talk about Black American Servicemen who came to Great Britain during World War Two  – looked not only at the relationships that happened between these American G.I’s and British Women.. the resulting offspring … and the lives of those women, and the often sad story of what happened to the children.

Also at the effect that the Black American Soldiers had in places like sleepy rural Suffolk.

For many locals seeing people with this skin colour would have been a new experience. This picture shows the impact of the arrival of a Group in Stowmarket, with their white skinned Officers…  You can almost see the puzzlement on the faces of the on-lookers.  Lucy is interested to learn how the locals responded – either individually or as Groups, and welcomes stories etc….

Help Forum Improved

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 12th May 2017

We have upgraded the members' help forum interface so that you can now see the comments for each related help request on the same page. Why don't you go over to the the help forum in the members area and have a look? You might find some useful information for your family and if not why not think about adding a request for those brick walls on your family tree?


Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Thu, 4th May 2017

Visit to Ipswich by Edward Prince of Wales c.1930


Many of us will have, in our albums of family photographs, picture of Suffolk historic events and of landmarks as they once were.

There are probably thousands of these privately held, valuable, pictures and they are at eventual risk of becoming lost for ever unless they are preserved now.

Suffolk Roots has become an even more effective medium for doing this now that back-numbers of our journal are permanently available and searchable in the Members  Area .

Pictures sent to the journal can be either the original photograph or a scanned copy - these should, as always, be JPG files of 300 dpi or greater and will (if necessary and practical) be enhanced to their best potential, removing stains and creases for example, while not compromising the original.

There is no requirement for an accompanying article - though clearly a note of the subject, place and, if possible, date taken would be helpful - and of course if a family story is relative to the picture we'd be pleased to hear it.

Suitable pictures will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal and will eventually become permanently available to future researchers as each year another volume of Suffolk Roots is added to the searchable database.

If enhancement has been necessary, contributors will receive a complementary print of the published picture.



Friends of Suffolk Record Office Need Help

Posted by K Pulford on Sun, 30th Apr 2017

The Hold, is an exciting new heritage venue to house the Suffolk Record Office which will allow many more users, particularly children and young people, to access the archives. The Hold will be a purpose-built storage and educational facility within Ipswich’s transformed Waterfront. We need funds to complete this transformation and keep Suffolk’s past safe and of service to the county.

Within the Hold it is intend to set up the John Blatchly Local Studies Library. Dr John Blatchly (1932-2015 )  was for over 40 years, a powerful champion  of  Suffolk history and  the  Suffolk Record Office He was President of the Suffolk Institute  of Archaeology and History for 26 years. A founder member of the Friends of the Suffolk Record Office, he helped the Friends acquire many archives for the Record Office which might otherwise have been lost to Suffolk. Over the years he supported and encouraged Record Office staff and Friends in many ways, always giving generously of his time, immense knowledge and intellect.  Befitting his keen interest in Cardinal Wolsey and his College in Ipswich, John was elected honorary Wolsey Professor at the University of Suffolk in 2014.

The Library will have, at its heart, space for the special collections he left to Suffolk on his death, including his stunning collections on book plates and monumental brasses. Your support is needed for this major asset for all who live in, love and support the county. It is also seen as a tribute to Suffolk’s long gallery of historians and in particular to one who contributed so much to our understanding of the county’s past: the late Dr John Blatchly.

PDF file of a leaflet giving more details of the proposed library and how you can contribute can be downloaded here. If you need to save the file to your computer, right click the link and select save link as..


Posted by K Pulford on Sat, 29th Apr 2017

Membership Renewal

If you have not done so it is time to renew your membership of the society. We have again not increased subscription rates.

Unless you are already signed-up to Direct Debit or Standing Order renewal, it will be necessary to remit your subscription to the Membership Secretary along with a few identification details. On the reverse of the address label in the last edition of the journal was a renewal form which you can use to accompany your payment. If you didn't keep the label, then the following are the essential details which the society will need in order to renew your membership. Your Name and Address; your Post-code, Telephone Number and Email address if you have one. Alternatively you will find one on the web site here.

Please send these together with your subscription to:
Membership Secretary,
Suffolk Family History Society,
10 Rochester Way,
Sudbury, CO10 1LP

or for Candian members to:
Peter Wyatt, 1684 North Fenwick Crescent, Regina Saskatchewan, Canada, S4X4N4

Current Membership Annual rates are:-

UK Full Member £12 UK Student/Senior Citizen £10
Overseas (printed journal) £15 Overseas (electronic journal) £10

Payment can also be made via the Society Shop here
by standing order, by PayPal to treasurer@suffolkfhs.org.uk 
or by cheque made out to Suffolk Family History Society.

Any queries may be addressed to : membership@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Back Copies of Suffolk Roots now available online

Posted by K Pulford on Tue, 18th Apr 2017


The Family History Society has published the Suffolk Roots journal through the whole of its long history - all 40 years plus!. We have now made these available online via the Members' Area and the Roots Search menu item. The articles cover a wide range of topics from scholarly articles to family anecdotes to snippets from parish registers to detailed family histories. We have made use of the indexing project that members have done in the past so you can search for personal names, place names or ship names or even browse though the contents list of all the volumes for likely articles. To supplement this we have a general search facility which allows you to search for articles containing specific words. Why not try it today to see what you can find!

A New Look to the Society's Group Pages

Posted by K Pulford on Thu, 16th Mar 2017

We have reformatted the groups pages so that it is quicker to get to the News section. This is in response to some member's comments. The information is on four tabs with the Intorduction, News, Events and Contacts on separate tabs. When you go to the group page, the news is the first tab to open. So you can immediately start reading the latest news for your group!


Latest Baptism Index CD

Posted by Webmaster on Wed, 15th Mar 2017

 We’re pleased to announce the long awaited CD of Dunwich Deanery baptisms which fills an important gap in our 1813*-1900* records and with over 50,000 entries it’s one of our largest to date.

Dunwich Deanery comprises 48 Anglican parishes centred in an arc around the ancient port of Dunwich from Benacre in the north to Cratfield in the west and Aldringham 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 £15.32 + p&p.

Our thanks to our dedicated legion of helpers over the years, many working from homes around the country and some overseas, who’ve made this possible.