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


Lowestoft Group Now on Facebook

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 1st Dec 2017

The Lowestoft Group now have a Facebook presence thanks to the efforts of Sue Barnard. There are also Facebook sites for Havehill, Ipswich and West London Groups. We are also in the process of establishing a Society level page.

Double triump for our Haverhill Group

Posted by D A Howlett on Thu, 26th Oct 2017

Our Haverhill Group  are currently holding an Autumn exhibition which focuses on "Haverhill People"
The exhibition is on display until the 3 November at the Haverhill Arts Centre.
Over sixty invited guests attended the opening night of the exhibition which was officially opened by the Haverhill Town Council Mayor, Councillor David Roach.

Friends at the Haverhill and Local District History Group also entered into the sprit and have put on an excellent display of artefacts connected with local people. 
For further details of the opening hours please refer to the Haverhill Group webpage.

Haverhill Group receives recognition
John Burns and Tony Brown, Borough councillors, recently rewarded the 
Haverhill Group with a Community Award which is given to groups or people in acknowledgement of their work in the Community. In a short informal ceremony before the Town Council Meeting John Burns said that the award was for all the good work done by the Haverhill Group and their involvement within the community of Haverhill.
Our Haverhill Group have every reason to be proud of this recognition.


East Anglia One Archaeology Open Days

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 13th Oct 2017

Fiona Lister - Outreach Officer writes on behalf of Wardell Armstrong Archaeology who are hosting two Open Day events during the October Half Term week. The first is being held at Claydon Village Hall on Saturday 21st October 10-4pm. The event focuses on the archaeological excavations that surround the East Anglia One wind farm development. As well as archaeologically themed games and activities for the children, archaeologists who have excavated on sites that surround the village of Claydon will be at hand to talk about their findings and show you some of the artefacts that have emerged over the past few months of excavations.

Our second open event will be held at Tuddenham St Martin Village Hall on Wednesday 25th October 10-4pm

 Admission is free. Teas and Coffees shall also be available.

Please do not hesitate to contact her on the details provided if you require further information at Lister, Fiona <flister@wardell-armstrong.com>



Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Wed, 4th Oct 2017

Saturday 30th September saw members of the Society gather at the University of Suffolk’s Waterside Building in Ipswich for the Annual General Meeting, which was again this year held concurrently with our Annual Fair.

 At the 2016 AGM there had been no volunteers to take over the Chairmanship from Doug. Howlett - who retired after six years in office - or to fill the also vacant post of Vice-Chairman.

 The Trustees therefore continued to run the society with the Chair, for the time being, rotating between members of the board. It was also decided that complete responsibility for key areas of the society’s activities would be taken on by individual Trustees.

 Two Trustees, Judith Rye and Alan Bumpstead, also retired this year, by rotation, and both were willing to stand for re-election.

 Acting Chairman for 2016-7, Alan Bumpstead reported upon progress made during the year with the Trustees objectives and was pleased to announce that following the revision of the duties of the Chairman, Doug. Howlett had agreed to offer himself for re-election and that Kevin Pulford was willing to serve as his Vice-Chairman.

 The well-attended meeting unanimously elected Both Doug. and Kevin and also re-elected Judith and Alan to serve as Trustees.

 A more complete report of the AGM and of the Fair will appear in the December issue of Suffolk Roots

Suffolk Local History Council Conference

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 1st Sep 2017

The suffolk Family History Society is a member of the SLHC so if you are a member of the society you can attend for free.

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.