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


Beginners Palaeography Course

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 14th Dec 2018

Book With Local Suffolk Family / History Interest

Posted by K Pulford on Wed, 14th Nov 2018

Jonathan Porter has recently self-published his first book ‘Zero Hour Z Day,’ Operations between Maricourt – Mametz 1st July 1916, the opening day of The Battle of the Somme. 

 Zero Hour Z Day was a huge undertaking with 10 years of research (much in East Anglia) and 4years full time writing.  The work sets out to chronicle in greater detail than ever before the story of the successful assaults by 18th (Eastern) and 30th Divisions. The book seeks to determine why this success was attained, when so many other units along the front barely crossed No-Man's-Land.  I used previously unseen and new material and utilised untold accounts.  The book also includes over 650 bios and images of those who took part with many from Suffolk - Norfolk.  

As you will know 18th (Eastern) Division recruited mainly from East Anglia and as such contained many local regiments including the Suffolk and Norfolk Regiments. 

He self-published the book, which allowed him to regain control over the finished work.  Cutting out the middleman has allowed me to keep the price low for the huge size of book and number of colour illustrations.  The only disadvantage being I have to market and sell the book without the marketing power a publishing company would bring.

The work has been well received within the military history community and beyond and has achieved glowing reviews from several renowned military historians.  It has been described as the new benchmark for those studying the Somme battles. 

The book has achieved ‘book of the month’ in Britain at War magazine and has had number one position in The Western Front Association book reviews.

Due to the local connection this book will be of interest to some within socity's membership.  

The book is good quality, size A4, 512 pages, 150gsm silk, full colour throughout with ISBN number.

  • 512 pages (size A4) weighing 2.8kg.
  • 650 bios and images of the men who took part.
  • 79 colour maps.
  • 83 colour and b/w annotated aerial photographs.
  • 142 b/w photographs (many previously unpublished).
  • 41 colour photographs
  • 38 sketches.
  • Appendix of 125 gallantry awards.
  • A4 Hardback ISBN 978-0-9956911-0-0 £30.
  • A4 Soft-cover ISBN 978-0-9956911-1-7 £25.
  • Information, historical background & sample chapters available at www.zerohourzday.com

The book is exclusively available via his website www.zerohourzday.com on the buy a book page.  Alternatively email info@zerohourzday.com to pay by UK cheque.  All books are signed copies.  The website has pages covering historical information and has the capability to download several sample chapters.

 His efforts will make a positive contribution to the records of the Great War and particularly to the memory of the men from Suffolk and the wider East Anglia who served with 18th (Eastern) Division.

Latest Baptism Index CD

Posted by Webmaster on Sun, 11th Nov 2018

We are pleased to bring you another Baptism Index CD, this one covering Blackbourn Deanery baptisms between the years 1650 and 1753.

Blackbourn Deanery covers 33 parishes to the north of Bury St. Edmunds and bordering Norfolk and should be a great help to those with family roots there.

For details of each parish and the exact years covered, see Suffolk Parishes or purchase from our Shop where the CD is now available for £15.32 + p&p.

Our thanks to our dedicated team of helpers, mainly at the Suffolk Record Office Bury St Edmunds, for their dedicated work in bringing you this latest CD.

Suffolk Roots December issue

Posted by Geoffrey Dennish on Fri, 26th Oct 2018

If you were unable to attend the AGM and Fair, the December issue of "Roots" will contain a report and pictures of both events together with a commemoration of the centenery of the ending of World War One.

There will be many local and national tributes to those who fought and those who fell in the conflict, at the end of which returning personnel faced many more challenges. Personal relationships were frequently damaged by separation and experience of front-line trauma; families and businesses had to be rebuilt and the nation faced essential changes in order to go forward.

If you or your family or business have photographs, a story or memoir to relate about the challenges that were faced and overcome - or the difficulties that proved to be too great -  please send them in as soon as possible for inclusion in the December issue. Let us make this a fitting tribute to the tasks our ancestors were set and tackled and a contribution to the local history of change.

Suffolk Roots

Latest Marriage Index CD

Posted by Webmaster on Thu, 27th Sep 2018

Our latest CD, now available, covers Fordham Deanery marriages between the years 1650 and 1753 and so should be great help to those with early ancestors in this NW corner of the county.

Fordham Deanery covers a large area bordering Cambridgeshire & Norfolk and it’s parishes including Newmarket (2) in the south and Mildenhall and Brandon in the north. For details of each parish and the available years* covered see Suffolk Parishes or visit our Shop where the CD is now available, price £10.00 + p&p

Our thanks to Pamela and her team of helpers, whose dedicated work on these often difficult to read early registers is much appreciated.

A Talk from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 21st Sep 2018

Haverhill Aviation Society





Thursday 18th October 2018 at 7.30pm

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

"Its History and Work Today"

A talk by Anna Photi

CWGC Eastern Region

Visitors welcome

£3.00 including refreshments

Contact: 07913102356

Email: havavsoc@gmail.com

Free Parking

Please arrive before 7.15pm


Latest Baptism Index CD

Posted by Webmaster on Wed, 5th Sep 2018

Our latest CD, now available, covers Ipswich Deanery baptisms between the years 1650 and 1753 and as the first of this series in the East of the county it should be a great help to those with family roots there. .

Ipswich Deanery comprises 12 parishes with most having surviving registers for the period. 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 all our team of helpers, mainly at the Suffolk Record Office Ipswich, whose dedicated work on these often difficult to read early registers is much appreciated

Ringing Remembers

Posted by K Pulford on Mon, 16th Jul 2018

1,400 bell ringers died during the First World War. You can honour their memory 100 years after the end of the war by becoming one of 1.400 new bell ringers and joining others across the nation in ringing on the centenary of the Armistice in November 2018.

Just after the war ended, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) wrote to all ringing associations across the country to compile the Rolls of Honour. At the time 1,077 men were reported as lost. During the First World War Centenary the CCCBR has been reviewing this list and has discovered a further 323 bell ringers who died in service. In total 1,400 bell ringers lost their lives.

Bell ringing is a British tradition and the British Isles are home to a distinctive style of bell ringing called ‘change ringing’ which produces a peal of bells, part of our national ‘soundscape’. Most people don’t realise that outside the British Isles change ringing towers are few and far between. While the British Isles has some 5,500 change ringing towers, the rest of the world put together has less than 150.

Bell ringing is woven into the fabric of our society, marking rites of passage in our lives including christenings, weddings and funerals. It often marks and forms part of important local occasions and national celebrations - recently this has included the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and Paralympics and the Lumiere light festival in Durham. Bell ringers have regular competitions, and often come together to ring just for the joy of it. Although bell towers are commonly in churches, you don’t have to go to church to be a bell ringer. Bell ringers are a friendly, inclusive community with people of all faiths and none. With 5,500 bell towers in Britain, there’s at least one near you!


By joining the project you will- Be part of a unique nationwide project to honour the 1,400 bell ringers lost during the First World War- Learn a new skill that is both a sport and an art, social, a mental exercise and good for focus and fitness- Be part of a local community and connect with an ancient British tradition- Have the opportunity to ring with others across the country on I I November, marking the centenary of the Armistice


It’s simple to get involved in Ringing Remembers:
Step 1: Email bells@big-ideas.org.
Step 2: You will be connected to your local bell ringing teacher by the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Skilled teachers through the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) network are available across the UK are ready to teach Ringing Remembers recruits how to ring.
Step 3: Learn to ring! Training usually takes place once a week for one to two hours but some fast track courses are also available. It takes an average of three months to learn to ring, although some people pick it up faster than others.
Step 4: At the end of the project (11 November) all new recruits will receive a badge for participation.


By joining Ringing Remembers you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to ring a bell on the Armistice Centenary.

When the bells rang out on 11 November 1918 they announced the end of the most catastrophic war the world had yet seen. At that time, bells were at the heart of the community, marking events of great significance and as a means of communication long before modern technology connected us. At the end of the war, many people heard about the Armistice through bell ringing.

Mark the centenary of the end of the war by ringing with your community and others across the nation in November 2018.

Become a bell ringer today by emailing: bells@big-ideas.org

East Coast Heritage Event Day 16 June - East Coast

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sun, 17th Jun 2018

There was a great turn out for the Heritage Fair, organised by the Lowestoft Branch of Suffolk Family History Society - Society Chairman Doug Howlett welcomed Elizabeth Talbot from television's "Flog It" who opened the event, and she gave an excellent speech, which focused on keeping our local history, local. 

We were entertained by the Rogues Shanty Chorus and shown how to repair fishing nets by a group of ex fisherman.  Sarah Doig gave a great talk on Daniel Defoe and our very own Ivan Bunn spoke about John Louth Clemence, architect to Sir Morton Peto.

Lots of people took the opportunity of testing their seamanship skills by using the College Maritime Dept's bridge simulator and trying to steer a ship through Lowestoft pier heads,  and Lowestoft bridge channel (some more successfully than others!).  The  Transport Museum brought along an old London Bus, and two local branches of the WIs showed some of their work and explained they didn't just make jam. 

MP Peter Aldous MP also came along and spent a long time talking to the Lowestoft ex-fisherman and visited most of the displays/stalls.  Lowestoft's deputy Mayor Paul Knight spent a long time viewing the stalls and also tried his hand on the bridge simulator (we don't know how well he did and we won't ask

The computer research room was busy all day and many people took advantage of using SFHS experts help trace their ancestors and we are grateful to those SFHS volunteers who travelled to Lowestoft to help out too

We were quite overwhelmed by the number of people who visited on the day, we estimate around 350 people attended.  There were 33 stalls and societies/organisations represented and as we were competing with Gt Yarmouth Airshow, we were delighted with the turnout from both Societies and visitors. 

We had a great bunch of volunteers and a tremendous amount of support from East Coast College.  Thanks to everyone who made it happen

Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride

Posted by K Pulford on Fri, 1st Jun 2018

Photo Opportunity

A Vintage car and members of the Suffolk Family History Society are helping to launch this year’s Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride at a Southwold Church. (previously known as the Suffolk Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride)

At 10.45am on Wednesday 27th June Suffolk Family History Society is taking part in a photo shoot along with Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. This is to launch the SHCT annual fund raising event called Ride and Stride. Which is taking place on the 9th September. The photo call is to take place at St, Edmunds Church, Southwold. If any would like to come along and show your support please just turn up on the day. No riding or striding will be required on the day, just yourselves! There will be press and vintage cars there to. So hopefully a good morning will be had by all.

“We are happy to be taking part in this event, as churches play such an important part in family history”, explained Amanda Straderick from Suffolk Family History Society. ” Many of life's events take place in them: baptisms, marriages and burials. Families often attended Sunday school and other special events. To be able to visit these churches and look round where such events took place is like walking in your ancestor’s footsteps. And long may it continue.”

Cyclists and walkers (and photographers) can get more details from their SHCT Bike Ride Local Organisers by phoning 01787 883884 or https://shct.org.uk/ride-and-stride/