Sudbury is a pleasant market town situated on the River Stour in South Suffolk on the borders with Essex. There is easy access to London from its train station.

It is famous for being the birthplace, in 1727, of Thomas Gainsborough the artist with a museum and statue dedicated to him. Many years ago silk was the main industry and is still produced here today.

In 1381 Simon Theobald, Lord Chancellor of England was beheaded during the Peasants' Revolt and his head placed upon a spike in London. His mummified head was returned to his home town and now rests in the vestry of St Gregory Church. Next to the church there is a statue of Bishop Aelfhun, Bishop of Dunwich who, according to the Saxon Chronicle, died whilst visiting the town in AD 798.




 The water meadow, with cows grazing in the summer months, is another feature of Sudbury. The surrounding area encompasses some of the most pretty and famous villages in Suffolk.

Long Melford, Lavenham and Kersey are all within 10 miles whilst the famous Constable Country lies some 15 miles to the east.




Our Group

The Sudbury & District Group, founded in 1995, meets at :
          Long Melford Village Hall
          Hall Street (opposite the Bull Hotel)
          CO10 9JQ

Plenty of parking is available and there is disabled access.

The meeting starts at 2.30 pm usually on the last Tuesday of each month.
Entry is £2.50 for SFHS members and £3.00 for non-members.  

You will be warmly welcomed by a member of our committee and, following an interesting talk, tea and coffee are served.

We are a lively group who enjoy a good laugh as well as a chance to discuss Family History interests. If you need help please feel free to ask. We usually have a newsletter but due to Covid will currently not have one available at the meeting.

We have a very active Monumental Inscription project group who meet to record the local headstones once a fortnight, when weather permits. If you would like to help with this project please contact us.



Sheila by Email:

Last Modified on 12/08/2021 by H C Richardson


Barry Wakefield

Posted by H C Richardson on Mon, 23rd Aug 2021

We are sad to report the death on 18th August of Barry Wakefield at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth both were very active committee members of Sudbury Group, helping at Research Days and part of our MI team.

Barry was Acting Administrator for the SFHS from 2002 – 2005.

A kind, gentle man who will be greatly mourned by his loving family.

Sad Loss of Committee Member

Posted by H C Richardson on Wed, 18th Nov 2020

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Karl Knights, one of our long-standing committee members. When, as a Group, we started to record MI's Karl volunteered to draw up the maps of each churchyard.

What sounds like a simple task was both complicated and time consuming, each map is to scale and very detailed. Without those maps each churchyard would have taken much longer to transcribe and would not have been as accurate.

Karl continued even when he must have been feeling unwell due to the chemotherapy.

We will miss his cheerfulness and ready smile and willingness to help others especially with Family History queries.

Sheila Piper

Meetings Cancelled due to Covid 19

Posted by H C Richardson on Sat, 15th Aug 2020

Sudbury Group committee have decided in the interests of safety that we will cancel all meetings for the rest of this year.

We hope that our members and regular visitors will understand and we look forward to holding our talks again next year when, hopefully, things will be back to normal.

If you are working on your family tree and need help we will be happy to continue to offer advice.

Stay safe

2020 AGM

Posted by K Pulford on Sat, 23rd May 2020

Due to the virus we are unable, of course, to hold our AGM in May this year but Sheila, our Chair has submitted her report. Click here to download a copy.

The sad loss of David Daldry

Posted by H C Richardson on Sat, 25th Apr 2020

I am sure you will all be saddened to hear about the death from cancer of David Daldry on 22nd April.

25 years ago the inaugural meeting was held to form the Sudbury branch of the SFHS. Dave and Penny attended that meeting, joined the committee and the rest, as they say, is history.

Dave continued to serve on the committee until a few years ago. He was always one of the first to volunteer for any jobs that needed doing and could always be relied on for his support. He was generous with his family history expertise, running a help group at Sudbury Library for some time.

We will miss his wonderful sense of humour, you always knew when Dave was in the room by the laughter that could be heard. He was larger than life and we will miss him greatly.

Sheila Piper

Technology in the Cemetery

Posted by Sheila Piper on Sat, 24th Oct 2015

I happened to be walking past Clare cemetery one evening recently heading to a local nature reserve with the Clare Horticultural Society. Chatting about my efforts with the Monumental Inscriptions group I was fascinated to be told by the gentleman leading the walk that it is fairly common now for people to request micro-chips to be inserted in new headstones so that with a compatible smart phone you can “zap” on and then retrieve the information placed there which usually provides an obituary, family heritage information, life story, photographs etc. I have googled this and it’s true. Well I never……

Barbara Stewart

Do You Need Help?

Posted by H C Richardson on Sat, 24th Oct 2015

If you need help with your Family History research please talk to any of the committee members.

We don’t always have access to our research material (some parish records on fiche & many books) which we store here but if you would like to look at anything in particular let us know and we will try and get it out or have it ready for the next meeting.


31/08/2021August no meeting
30/11/2021Where are the Grown Ups?
Ruth Badley
28/12/2021December no meeting
25/01/2022When Buffalo Bill came to East Anglia
Geoffrey Robinson
22/02/2022More discoveries from Roman Colchester
Patrick Denney
29/03/2022Maria Martyn and the Red Barn
Brian Thurlow


For further details on the programme you should contact

Sheila by Email:

Group Contact

Sheila by Email:

Group Projects


Update Mar 2020 (.doc) - Uploaded 12/08/2021
Update Feb 2020 (.doc) - Uploaded 27/02/2020
Update Jan 2020 (.doc) - Uploaded 29/01/2020