The original .pdf was larger than usual so this is a rough conversion to html.

Unfortunately the Chairman's skilled presentation has been affected. Webmaster

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April 2004

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A Newsletter for the Sussex Family History Group

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Vol 2 No 2

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Here At Last!

150 marriage records for a penny!

Yes the waiting is over and the Sussex Marriage Index on CD has arrived!  It was formally launched at the Annual Conference on Saturday 20th March 2004, and is now available from our Bookstalls and from Publications.  It costs just 20 for over 300,000 Sussex related marriage records, or 150 records for a penny!
Of course many people have helped to make this event possible, and it is right that we should recognise and thank them for their work on our behalf.  First and foremost Frank Leeson, who started the Index before Sussex Family History Group was formed.  More recently much of the work of converting the original slip index into a database and checking the data has been shared with Don Burgess.  Together Don and Frank have done a great job over many years, and their names will always be linked with the Sussex Marriage Index.  Don and Frank would be the first to recognise, however, that we would not have a marriage index without the large army of volunteers who helped with both the original slipping and the inputting into the database
Our thanks also go to Steve Archer, who has written the software that interrogates and presents the data, to Alan Stoner, who has worked with Steve over the past few months helping to iron out the problems, and to Joan Goddard, who has been quietly but determinedly moving the project along over the last few years.  A big thank you to you all.

So Buy it!  Use it!  And enjoy it!      (Order from www.sfhg.org.uk/smi/smiorder.html)


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SFHG Executive Committee 2004/2005
I am delighted that it was possible at the AGM to elect two new committee members, Clem Frank and Terry Kettel.  This will bring the number of elected members of the Executive up to full strength.
To date it has not been possible to find anyone willing to take over from David Steel as Treasurer. Fortunately David has agreed to continue whilst we continue to search.
There was no nomination for Vice Chairman, however, and an early task for the Executive will be to decide how best the responsibilities of the Vice Chairman can be covered.

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Your Executive for the coming year

Chairman           Brian Cutler
Vice Chairman   Vacant
Secretary         Margaret Bysh
Treasurer         David Steel
Members           Wyn Burgess
                        Clem Frank
                        Joan Goddard
                        Trevor Hanson
                        Mick Henry
                        Terry Kettel

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The Sussex Family History Group is a Registered Charity No. 273726

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Annual Conference 2004
About 150 people attended our Annual Conference in Haywards Heath this year.  The new venue was generally welcomed giving a lot more space both in the conference hall and for additional stalls, and the new format provided an opportunity for lunch time workshops.
Dr. Sue Berry opened the conference with an entertaining but learned account of the development and management of a Georgian country house and estate.  Her talk about Stanmer House during the time that it was in the ownership of the Pelham family, between 1720 and 1820, clearly demonstrated how estate records can be used in family history research.  Geoff Riggs, the Vice Chairman of the Federation of Family History Societies, followed with much witty advice as to how to avoid the pitfalls in research, particularly in using the Internet.
Over the lunch interval two separate groups enjoyed the workshops provided by Caroline Adams and Susan Millard from the West Sussex Record Office on the use of tithe maps in family and local history.  And finally in the afternoon Dr. Simon Pawley gave an exhaustive review of the workings of the English Poor Law and its relevance to family historians.
It is hoped that it will be possible to stage the 2005 Annual Conference at Clair Hall on Saturday March 19th, although this date has still to be confirmed.  Any volunteers to help organise next year's event and publicise it would be most welcome.

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National News
Civil Registration Review
The latest news from the UK government is that the review of civil registration is proceeding as planned with respect to birth and death registration, but that changes to marriage registration are likely to be deferred.  The detail is available at www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/cvlreg0304.pdf.   There do not appear to have been any concessions yet as far as the "closure period" issue is concerned.
Listening to the Past, Speaking to the Future
The report of the Archives Task Force has now been published, setting out the direction in which our record offices should develop over the coming years.  The Executive Summary can be seen at www.mla.gov.uk/documents/atf_execsum.pdf.   It is envisaged that archives will continue to increase in accessibility and increasingly use digital and electronic technology to make the past more accessible to the present and future generations.   

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Sussex News
Monumental Inscriptions on CD
We are preparing a series of 7 CDs that will enable people to search for MIs in particular churchyards.  The first four are already available and the others will follow later in the year.  See SFHG Publications for details ( www.sfhg.org.uk/pubs_sfhg.html).
New to Family History?
West Meads Meeting Centre are organising a six week course for beginners, starting Wednesday 8th September 2004.  The course tutors will be John and Rosemary Lea.  Contact westmeads at sfhg.org.uk for further information.
Subscriptions 2005
Our turnover is now such that we will soon have to register for VAT.  Like all organisations we also face increasing costs, and we would like to reserve funds for future improvements to our services.  The Executive has therefore decided that, after a five year freeze, all subscription rates will have to be increased by 2.00 from the next renewal in January 2005, and this decision was confirmed by the AGM.

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June SussexLink
Please let me have any contributions for the June Edition of SussexLink by Wednesday 26th May.

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© Sussex Family History Group 2004.  Edited by Brian Cutler (chairman at sfhg.org.uk)