LOWESTOFT - the British Isles' most easterly town, is situated in the north-east of the county and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the 18th & 19th Centuries it expanded and absorbed the adjacent hamlets of Kirkley, Normanston and Carlton Colville and has grown to a town with a population of 70,000.

Many of the major industries have disappeared but some tentative regeneration is occurring, mainly in the field of windfarm turbine building and maintenance. Two large marinas attract private yachts and cruisers from Europe. The town still manages to attract day visitors with its superb Blue Flag beaches and safe bathing


 The Maritime Museum in Sparrow's Nest Gardens houses a large collection dedicated to the now defunct fishing industry. During WW2, Sparrow's Nestiwas the home of was the The Royal Navy Patrol Service which occupied the Nest throughout the war and was named HMS Europa. The  Lowestoft War Museum, which contans a vast collection of  photographs and artefacts of Lowestoft in WW2, is alway pleased to welcome visitors.   A memorial to members of the RNPS is in the adjacent Belle Vue Park displaying the names of 2385 seamen who "have no known grave".

The Lowestoft Museum in Nicholas Everitts Park, Oulton Broad, has a fine collection of Lowestoft Porcelain.





Our Group

In 1975 Katherine Bardwell with a few like-minded individuals started a small group which was held at Lowestoft library - there was no record office there then. The launch was very successful and the Suffolk Genealogy Society was born, with Katherine as its chairman & magazine editor. Later a group at Ipswich was formed and the name changed to Suffolk Family History Society.

The group has been active over the years in promoting family history with stalls at various local events. Parish register transcriptions have been foremost and most parishes in the Waveney district have been transcribed wholly or partially. Likewise with Monumental inscriptions and most churchyards have been transcribed.

Meetings are held, usually, on the first Tuesday of each month (except Jan & Aug) at 

United Reformed Church, London Road North, Lowestoft, NR32 1HB.

Ample free parking is available and there is disabled access.
Click here for directions.

Doors open at 7pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm with entry for SFHS members £1.50 and non-members £2.00. Newcomers are especially welcome.

We have a varied programme of interesting talks & speakers and following this tea or coffee and biscuits are served. We usually have a book stall and CDs of transcripts and other documents are available if requested.

We always like a chance to discuss Family History interests so if you're just starting or stuck and need help or advice do please feel free to ask any of the Committee.

We also transcribe Parish & Workhouse registers for the Society's current projects at the Lowestoft Record Office and if you'd like to help or know more about this, again do please ask.


Now find us on Facebook - Suffolk Family History Society - Lowestoft Branch

Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial - The Memorial commemorates members who died during 1939-1946 and have no known grave other than the sea.

"Excelsior" LT472 - A Lowestoft smack built in 1921, this fishing vessel has been meticulously restored to her original sailing appearance.

Lowestoft Workshop and Heritage

Lowestoft Maritime Museum Sparrow's Nest

Lowestoft Museum, Nicholas Everitts Park - Lowestoft Museum collects, preserves and displays objects relating to the history of the area and its people, and promotes awareness and interest in our rich heritage.

Lowestoft Archaeological & Local History Society - meetings at South Lowestoft Methodist Church,London Road South at 7.30.


Secretary: to be announced

or by Email:

Last Modified on 16/04/2018 by Janis Kirby


Autumn Newsletter

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sat, 3rd Oct 2020

Hi Everyone

Our latest Newsletter is available for reading under Projects and Contact headings.  Please let us know what you think using our Lowestoft Group email address:

Lowestoft Group Newsletter

Posted by Janis Kirby on Mon, 24th Aug 2020

Due to the Covid 19 situation, the Lowestoft Committee has produced a lengthy Newsletter which can be emailed to any member who wishes to receive it.  Simply contact Janis Kirby, Lowestoft Group Chair for a copy.

All group meetings are cancelled until further notice in line with most other societies and groups. You can keep up with what is going on locally by looking at our two Facebook Pages; "Suffolk Family History Society - Lowestoft Branch" which is a private group where you can share your family history experiences and ask for help.  The second Facebook page "Face to Face - SFHS Extra" is a public group which is a forum for sharing and discussing family history and local history items with like-minded people.  Please take a look, even if you're not a "Facebook" person

Lowestoft Group 2020 AGM

Posted by K Pulford on Mon, 27th Apr 2020

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to learn that the Group's AGM due to be held on 5 May 2020, has been postponed as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.  It is hoped to hold this meeting later in the year, and members will be notified when a date has been arranged.

In the meantime, a Chair's Report will be prepared, which will be displayed on Lowestoft Group's page of SFHS webpage, and the Lowestoft Group's Facebook page

Chair's Report

Our current Secretary Beryl Capps will be retiring this year and if anyone would like to take on this role, please contact either Beryl or myself

Janis Kirby

Chair, Lowestoft Group


Posted by Janis Kirby on Mon, 16th Mar 2020

It has been decided to cancel the Family History Drop-Session at the Heritage Centre on Wednesday 18 March and the monthly meeting at the United Reform Church, London Road North, Lowestoft on 7 April due to the above.  

Lowestoft Group

Posted by Janis Kirby on Fri, 22nd Nov 2019

Members of Lowestoft Group of SFHS displaying the St Edmund flag at the Drop In session which is held on the third Wednesday afternoon of each month at the Heritage Centre, Wilde's Score off the High Street, Lowestoft. This session is open to all (including non-members) starting at 2pm until 4pm

New radio station comes to Lowestoft

Posted by Janis Kirby on Thu, 21st Nov 2019

There is a new radio station station operating from the Heritage Centre in Lowestoft and we had a visit from John Hammond yesterday afternoon at our monthly drop in session. You can only listen to via phone/laptop or Ipad. It covers Lowestoft, Beccles, Southwold, Halesworth, Saxmundham, Leiston, and Bungay in the north east corner of Suffolk. Happy St Edmund's Day from the Suffolk Family History Society's Lowestoft Branch

Group Visit to Beccles Museum

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sun, 18th Aug 2019

On a warm summers evening on Tuesday 13th August the Lowestoft group of SFHS and together with Lowestoft Archaeology & Local History Society visited Beccles Museum who opened especially for us.  We were welcomed by Chairman Barry Darch and then left to explore.  The museum is sited on Ballygate with wonderful views across the Waveney Valley from its garden. 

We were able to view the Rix Collection which covers the history of Beccles from the 15th century to 1895 and named after Samuel Wilton Rix who put the Collection together. This is currently on loan from the Lowestoft branch of Suffolk Record Office and is in the process of being digitised by Alan Wheeler who is the Curator of the museum.  This is proving to be a very lengthy process, but worthwhile as it will be available on the musuem's computer in due course.  The musuem has diverse collections, including a temporary exhibition on the Beccles Lido Group and is housed in the 16th century Leman School.  We would like to thank Beccles Museum and the volunteers for a lovely evening

Change to the Programme - 3rd September

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sun, 18th Aug 2019

Our guest speaker on Tuesday 3rd September will be Sue Tibbetts of Sudbury Ephemera Archive, which has retained many Sudbury artefacts in their town.  Sue is a member of Sudbury Archeological Society, and promises to be a very interesting speaker.

The talk on the 1939 Census will rescheduled for next year.

East Coast Heritage Event 15th June 2019 - Lowesto

Posted by Janis Kirby on Wed, 12th Jun 2019

If you're in the Lowestoft area on Saturday 15th June,

why not come along to the above event, between 10am and 4pm


Stalls include;

  • Suffolk Family History Society
  • local museums
  • local history groups
  • parks and other heritage groups
  • fishermen displaying their net repairing skills
  • a shanty choir
  • Lowestoft Bridge navigation simulator 
  • local speaker Ivan Bunn's fascinating talk on Sparrows Nest Park
  • and much more

For more information see ECHE Facebook page;


What did your ancestors do after the WW1
Member's Participation
20/01/2020No meeting
04/02/2020The Rev Francis Cunningham - The Smugglers Stooge
Trudie Jackson
03/03/2020Secret Listeners and Code Breakers
Ron Ashman
07/04/2020Anniversary of VE Day
Members Participation
05/05/2020AGM followed by TALK on North Lowestoft Parks
Ivan Bunn
02/06/2020Daniel Malden - Ipswich Highwayman
Pip Wright
07/07/2020Crime in Lowestoft Scores
Angela Bliss
01/09/2020The Trials of Mrs Everson
Janis Kirby
06/10/2020"Wish You Were Here"
The history of the seaside postcard
Richard Mundy
03/11/2020Lowestoft Drifters
WW1 Lowestoft Drifters in the Adriatic
Ivan Bunn
01/12/2020Research and Social Evening
Members Participation


For further details on the programme you should contact

Secretary: to be announced

or by Email:

Group Contact

Secretary: to be announced

or by Email:

Group Projects

We don't have projects to show you at the moment but please call back to see what we had achieved.


Newsletter Autumn 2020 (.docx) - Uploaded 02/10/2020