This newsletter and previous issues are available on the website: 


The e-newsletter of the Sussex Family History Group

National Burial Index 3

Version three of the National Burial Index was launched by the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) at 'Who Do You Think You Are? Live' at the end of February. This is expected to be even more popular than the previous editions.

Over 18.4 million burial records ... 801,000 in Sussex parishes

Entries have increased by more than five million to over 18.4 million burial records. These are from Anglican parish, non-conformist, Quaker, Roman Catholic and cemetery burial registers throughout England and Wales. No monumental inscriptions or details of death registrations are included. For Sussex there are now over 801,000 entries in 364 places.

Full price, for first time buyers, is £30. For those replacing their second edition an upgrade is available for £15.

NBI3 is available from the FFHS,, family history societies and commercial outlets, and at family history fairs, etc. For further information, including details of coverage and an order form, see the NBI pages on the FFHS website.

Mills, early censuses ... and boozers

These three summarise the Sussex Family History Group's Annual Conference which was held, very successfully and enjoyably, last month.

The lecture programme was initiated by Derek Stidder with his presentation on 'Mills & millers of Sussex'. Lecture two, on 'Pre-1841 censuses & population listings', was given by Dr Colin Chapman. Following the lunch break, Dr Janet Pennington returned to the subject of her Doctorate for her talk: 'Inns, alehouses & taverns of Sussex'.

The day was clearly a great opportunity to meet old and new acquaintances amongst around 200 members and friends attending. During the breaks there was ample time to circulate and to browse the bookstalls. Many thanks are due to all involved, especially to Derek Terrell who organized the event.

The date for next year's Annual Conference and AGM is Saturday 26 March 2011. The FFHS have also been invited to hold their AGM on the same day. Make a note in your diary.

'The Keep' progress report

Plans for 'The Keep', the new historical resource centre for East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, were on display at the Conference. This will be the future home of the East Sussex Record Office. Elizabeth Hughes and Wendy Walker of ESRO gave an outline of the project thus far.

The location of 'The Keep' will be Woollards Field, between Coldean and Falmer. Public consultations will be taking place in April and May. Then, subject to planning permission, building work will start next year and it is hoped that it will open in 2013.

See the ESRO website for more information and how to take part in the consultations.

It is anticipated that the Sussex Family History Group's Library may be housed at 'The Keep' in our own dedicated area adjacent to the searchroom.

Your new committee

Following the Conference, the Annual General Meeting of the SFHG saw some changes to the officers and personnel of the executive committee.

Colin Excell, Mick Henry and Terry Mitchell were re-elected as Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer respectively. Unfortunately Val Orr was standing down as Secretary and she, along with Mike Morley who has also stood down from the committee, will be much missed. In Val's stead was elected Mick Richardson.

Elected to the committee were Elizabeth Edwards, Karen Hayward (who had both previously served as co-optees) plus John Kenton-Page. Re-elected were Trevor Hanson, Terry Kettell and Dave Wicks.

Think the unthinkable

We should resist damaging cuts in library and other vital local services and think of new solutions to alleviate the impact on people and communities the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) said as it launched a prospectus with ideas for the longer term, and advice to avoid ad hoc library, museum and archive reductions and closures.

Sir Andrew Motion said: "Cultural and artistic activities are at the heart of Britain's recovery from recession. Museums, libraries, archives and other places of art and creativity are nourishment for the spirit and encouragement for everyone in times of adversity; these are vital components for tourism, the economy and our sense of well-being. Cuts to museums, libraries and other cultural services are unpalatable: we must resist them in favour of imaginative alternative solutions. Our call, to government and councils, is to recognise that cultural services can help communities recover from the impact of the recession. They are not easy game."

The document 'Sharper investment for changing times' can be downloaded from the MLA website.

HMS Martin

Tom Meaden of Poole, Dorset, has been been researching the World War II destroyer, HMS Martin. The ship was torpedoed and sunk on 10 November 1942 with a loss of 159 of her crew of 222. One of those lost was Tom's 18-year-old uncle Ordinary Seaman Thomas CUSACK. After two years of research and contact with a few of the relatives of those men who were lost he decided to develop a website ( dedicated to all the men who served on HMS Martin.

Those from Sussex were: Ordinary Seaman George Alfred DUNSTALL (son of Mr & Mrs A Dunstall of Newhaven), Able Seaman Ian Arthur Dennis HEWSON (son of Arthur Thomas & Ivy Vera Hewson of Battle), Ordinary Seaman Wilfred Eric PARSONS (son of Henry James & Minnie Ursula Parsons of Elmer) and Able Seaman Herbert SHOEBRIDGE (son of Ernest George & Annie Mircer Shoebridge; husband of Alice Shoebridge of Hollington). Tom would be pleased to hear from any relatives.

Magazine goings and comings

The magazine Ancestors has been produced by The National Archives in partnership with Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd. That arrangement has come to an end so the current (April) issue is the final issue. There are plans, though, to launch a new magazine from TNA in the autumn.

However, Wharncliffe Publishing will themselves be publishing a new family history magazine: Your Family History. The editor in chief will be Dr Nick Barratt and the first issue goes on sale from 22 April.