Bury St Edmunds Group


Bury St Edmunds has grown from a small Anglo- Saxon settlement known as Beodricksworth to a modern bustling town, but somehow has managed to retain its much of its Georgian character.

Within the centre of the town is our magnificent Cathedral. The streets adjacent to the Cathedral are laid out in a grid system that was designed by Baldwin (Abbot 1065 -97). It can be claimed that Baldwin was one of the country's very first town planners.



Nathaniel Hodson established the present Abbey Gardens in 1831 and was modelled on the Royal Botanic Gardens in Brussels.

The Gardens are much loved by the residents and the thousands of visitors who regularly visit the town.



Our Group

The Bury St Edmunds Group of the meet on the third Wednesday of each month (except August & December) at 7.30 pm in the

Hyndman Centre
Hospital Road
Bury St Edmunds IP33 3JT .

Get Directions

Members and non-members are welcome to attend our meetings. Entry fee for all is just £2.00. We have a varied programme of interesting talks throughout the year, followed by tea or coffee and biscuits. After the meetings everyone has the opportunity to swap family history stories, or seek help in solving their some of their "brickwalls". Whatever your interests, you will be assured of a friendly welcome at all of our meetings.

Family History Help Desk

If you or a friend have reached a brick wall or need some advice on developing your family tree come along to the Bury Library on the second Wednesday of the month between 10.00am and 12 noon. Jan and a couple of committee members hold a help session, having access to computers and the Society's baptism, marriages and Burials indexes to help with your research.


Suffolk Regiment Museum - housed in the Keep of Gibraltar Barracks, opened in 1878 contains a wealth of uniforms, medals, badges, silver, equipment, silver, works of art and photographs illustrating the life of the Suffolk Soldier over nearly 300 years

Bury Past & Present Society - view the amazing collection of photographs of Bury St Edmunds taken from the birth of photography to the mid 20th century by Messrs Spanton and Jarman

West Stow Anglo Saxon Village - explore the way our ancestors lived

Moyse's Hall Museum - a beautiful medieval building housing rich and eclectic collections and changing exhibitions

Suffolk Record Office - Bury St Edmunds - The holdings of this branch cover West Suffolk, including records for the boroughs of Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. Significant collections include the Suffolk Regiment Archive, the records of the Grafton family of Euston Hall and the collection of the Hervey family, Marquesses of Bristol. The branch looks after a typical 19th century 'gentleman's library' which used to belong to the Cullum family, and consists of 4000 volumes on a wide variety of topics.


Kevin Pulford by email: burystedmunds@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Last Modified on 16/03/2017 by K Pulford


Why not join us at our February Meeting

Posted by D A Howlett on Tue, 7th Feb 2017

The popular speaker Tom Doig, will be giving an entertaining and extremely interesting talk entitled "Victorian Death" on  15 February at the Hyndman Centre IP33 2DH. What ever class of Victorian Society our ancestors were, the one belief they all shared was the importance of giving the departed a fitting "send off".  Tom will explain how a whole industry developed during the Victorian era, ensuring that the cultural demands of the time were met.  Although a serious subject, no doubt Tom will include the odd humourous quip along the way.  Don't forget everybody is welcome, come along and join us on the 15th Hyndman Centre, the meeting starts at 7.30pm, admission £2.00p  

What to Do If Your Search Fails

Posted by D A Howlett on Mon, 17th Oct 2016

When we embark on researching our family history we soon learn that we will encounter those  brick walls which will leave us with something to ponder, sometimes for many years. There are a number of ways to deal with them, some of us will try going around them, others perhaps might try to go over them, others might give up. 

However, Kevin Pulford will show us how we might succeed in breaking these walls down, by adopting a logical approach using Family History websites, such as Ancestry and FindMyPast.  If your initial search fails, Kevin will show how these search engines work and how to exploit the various options provided by them. 

In many respects the talk will promote a two way discussion whereby  those attending  on Wednesday evening will be encouraged to share their experiences and give us their tips.

This is bound to be a very informative evening. As always we will be meeting 7.30pm at the Hyndman Centre, Hospital Road IP33  3JT this Wednesday 19th October, Admission £2.00p EVERYBODY IS WELCOME.

Group Chairman Elected Society Trustee

Posted by D A Howlett on Thu, 13th Oct 2016

Kevin Pulford our Group Chairman, was elected to serve as a Trustee at our recent AGM on 24 September.  Kevin took over as Chairman of our Group in May after the Jan Harger, retired and for the past two years he has been working with our webmaster David Talmage, developing our new look website. Kevin has undertaken a number of projects for  the Suffolk Record Office and is an active member of FOSRO (Friends of Suffolk Record Office).  His IT skills and knowledge of family history research, will bring added strength to our Trustees.

Bury Man Gets Society Appreciation Award

Posted by D A Howlett on Wed, 12th Oct 2016

Jan Harger presents the Societies appreciation award to Bury St Edmunds member Les Button for many years of dedicated and thorough work transcribing parish records for our Projects Group.  Les has been an active member of the Bury Group for many years and earlier in the year gave a very informative talk about his ancestors at our "Family Shared" evening in June.

Families Shared

Posted by K Pulford on Tue, 21st Jun 2016

At the last meeting of the Bury St Edmunds group on 15th June, we had a session where we shared our family histories and research experiences.

Kevin Prior told us about his search for his great Grandfather Joseph Prior. He was looking in London and had a number of possible candidates of the same name. All seemed to have moved around a lot and changed occupations. He told us how by meticulous searches of the parish records he managed to eliminate the other possibilities and ended up identifying the right man.

Les Button told us about his ancestor William Palmer who was a Methodist preacher and moved every year to a new location. He had traced that amongst many places he went to included Cornwall, Pembroke and the Channel Islands. He also mentioned that William Palmer's wife may well have acted as host to John Wesley when he visited Norfolk.

Joan Horton joined us from the West London group and talked about how she solved a brick wall in her research of John Fosdyke. She managed to breach down another brick wall n the other side of her family tracing them back to Derbyshire and a Bartholomew Griffin and a connection to William Shakespeare and to the nobility and Welsh princes!

Dave Horton told us how a visit to a Kent Baptist Chapel revealed a line of tombstones which revealed information about several generations of his family.

The meeting sparked much lively interest but to me it confirmed that we have members that not only have an interesting family history as well as being articulate in explaining those histories.

At the Overseers Door

Posted by D A Howlett on Sun, 15th May 2016

Our meeting this month will be held on 18 May and as usual at this time of the year it will be combined with the group's AGM.  We anticipate that the meeting will be brief event and will be jointly chaired by Jan Harger and the visiting Society Vice Chairman David Daldry.  The meeting gives the committee the opportunity to report to you how the group is progressing and as importantly it is your opportunity to let us know what changes you would like to see during the forthcoming year.

After the formalities Ray Whitehand will be giving a talk entitled "At the Overseers Door".  So many of our ancestors found themselves landed in the workhouse and Ray will describe just what the Overseers did and how they affected the lives of the poor of the county.    

The April Meeting to be given by Eric Probert

Posted by D A Howlett on Thu, 14th Apr 2016

The well known Family Historian  and Lecturer, Eric Probert makes a welcome return to Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 20 April when he will be giving at lecture entitled "Business Records for the Family Historian".  Eric has been researching family history for over 25 years and has been awarded a University of London Certificate with Merit in "Genealogy and the History of the Family". Eric has been Computing Editor for Family Tree Magazine, attends Family History Fairs  and gives talks around the UK on a variety of family history topics.

March 16 Group Meeting

Posted by D A Howlett on Tue, 15th Mar 2016

This month's lecture at the Hyndman Centre in Hospital Road on 16 April, will given by a new speaker to our group Sue Adams.  Sue is a successful Genealogical Researcher and her talk is entitled "How maps were made and why  it matters to family historians".  Our meeting starts at 7.30pm. Remember everybody is welcome admission is just £2.00

Our Family Shared - Special Meeting on 15 June

Posted by D A Howlett on Mon, 22nd Feb 2016

I recently mentioned to Kevin Pulford that I have always been facinated when talking to our members by the stories they have told me of their researches and the facts they have uncovered about their ancestors.  From this chance discussion Kevin developed the idea of holding a special meeting where we could share in the delights and frustrations we have all experienced when researching our family history.  In an informal and relaxed atmosphere we can exchange our experience of the challenges of our research and share the intriguing stories of our ancestors.

We are not expecting formal presentations or lenghty talks, just you talking to a circle of friends and like minded members.  If you have any documents which would illustrate your talk, these can be scanned and projected during your talk.

If you would like to participate and share your experiences with us, please email burystedmunds@suffolkfhs.org.uk  or telephone Kevin on 01284  701252.  Remember we are not looking for formal presentations, just your experience and anedotes.    


Family History Help Desk

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 16th Oct 2015

If you or a friend have reached a brick wall or need some advice on developing your family tree come along to the Bury Library on the second Wednesday of the month between 10.00am and 12 noon. Jan and a couple of committee members hold a help session, having access to computers and the Society's baptism, marriages and Burials indexes to help with your research.


17/05/2017AGM followed by "The A-Z of Bury St Edmunds"
After our AGM the popular speaker Martyn Taylor will be giving a talk entitled "The A-Z of Bury St Edmunds"
Martyn Taylor
21/06/2017The Cobbold Family in Suffolk
Anthony Cobbold
19/07/2017A Visit to Woolpit Museum
Our Summer visit this year is to Woolpit Museum and the evening will be hosted by Rita Burr. A chance to enjoy an evening visit this small but fascinating museum.
Rita Burr
16/08/2017No Meeting
20/09/2017Georgian Angel Hill
Pat Murrell
18/10/2017Voices from the Workhouse
Dr Megan Dennis
15/11/2017Quiz Night plus entertainment
20/12/2017No Meeting


For further details on the programme you should contact

Kevin Pulford by email: burystedmunds@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Group Contact

Kevin Pulford by email: burystedmunds@suffolkfhs.org.uk