This newsletter and previous issues are available on the website: www.sfhg.org.uk/sussexlink.html
The e-newsletter of the Sussex Family History Group
A family day out!
Filling the void left by the absence of the usual springtime family history fair in Worthing this year, the Sussex Family History Group are organizing a Family & Local History Open Day. This is being held on Sunday 17 April (10am-4.30pm) at Field Place, Durrington, Worthing, BN13 1NP. (Very near to Durrington railway station.)
As well as the SFHG bookstall and helpdesks, other family history and local history societies will be attending. Various trade exhibitors will also be there.
There will be a programme of family/local history talks by guest speakers. Both East Sussex and West Sussex record offices will be present.
And the miniature railway in the grounds of Field Place will be steaming up especially for us!
Free entry and parking. Refreshments available. We'll hope to see you there - and your friends and family.
Conference a great success
The Sussex Family History Group's Annual Conference was held, again most successfully and enjoyably, last month.
Our three speakers were Ian Gledhill, Jackie Marsh-Hobbs and John Titford. They informed, educated and entertained us on "Transport of the masses", "Palmeira Mansions: the history of the house and family - the Nouveau Riche" and "Barking up the wrong tree".
The day was clearly a great opportunity to meet old and new acquaintances amongst around 150 members and friends attending. A lot of 'conferring' went on! 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 is now stepping down as our conference organizer.
Next year's Annual Conference will be held on Saturday 14 April 2012, again at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath.
Taking care of what's important to us
The care and preservation of documents - his day-job at West Sussex Record Office - is the subject for Simon Hopkin's talk at the Chichester Meeting Centre's session on Wednesday 27 April.
They meet at St George's Parish Centre, Cleveland Road, Chichester on the last Wednesday of each month. 7pm for 7.30pm. Tea/coffee available; family history books and CDs generally on sale.
See the SFHG website for programmes for the whole year for all the meeting centres.
Who dares wins?
The Sussex Archaeological Society's library houses a lot of data which is useful for family history research, and not available elsewhere.
There is a lot more there than just the volumes of the Sussex Archaeological Collections. For example:
They would be delighted if more SFHG members used the SAS's facilities. Non-members are asked to make a small donation.
The SAS are based at Barbican House, High Street, Lewes. Check their website (sussexpast.co.uk) for opening times, etc.
Census and Society: Why Everyone Counts
Last week saw the 21st census held in Britain since they began in 1801. Since the beginning, each census has generated intense interest and controversy for a wide variety of reasons. This exhibition being held by the British Library shows why we collect population statistics, looks at what the results tell us, and illustrates the issues behind the questions over the past 210 years.
The exhibition (bl.uk/census) is in the Folio Society Gallery of the British Library and runs until Sunday 29 May. Admission free.
Manifesto for open genealogy
The Open Rights Group has co-founded the Open Genealogy Alliance (OGA) in order to start looking at an alternative future for the sector based on open data, open standards and innovation through collaboration across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The OGA's manifesto 'The Right to Culture in the Digital Age' can be found at opengenalliance.org, along with other information.
The Open Genealogy Alliance will work with other organisations in the sector to harness the benefits of this transition to an open data framework. They believe that:
New genealogy search engine
A new free search engine - Mocavo.com - is geared toward genealogists and family historians and provides access to free genealogy content on the web including billions of names, dates and places worldwide.
Mocavo searches sources such as genealogy message boards, family trees, local and family history societies, the Library of Congress, The National Archives, Ellis Island, Find-A-Grave, the Internet Archive, and many tens of thousands of genealogy websites built by individuals.
Do you have 'Ag Labs' in your family?
The SFHG bookstall and helpdesk will be attending "a family history event with a difference" on Sunday 22 May.
The 'Ag Lab' Family History Fair will concentrate on agricultural labourers, those undervalued ancestors found in many family trees, and aims to show how they were the very lifeblood of the country.
The event takes place at the Rural Life Centre at Tilford, Surrey, GU10 2DL from 11am to 5pm. See the museum's website at rural-life.org.uk.
The informal daytime discussion meetings at Roffey are continuing to be successful, and are now being held each month. However, as part of the ongoing experimentation, meetings will alternately be held in the morning and the afternoon.
So in 'even' months - April, June, etc - the meetings are held on the second Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm. And in 'odd' months - May, July, etc - the meetings are on the second Thursday from 10am to noon.
These meetings are at St Andrews Methodist Church Hall, Crawley Road, Roffey, Horsham, RH12 4DX. Parking at the church is very limited but there is parking behind the shops opposite in Fitzalan Road. Tea or coffee available. Family history books and CDs generally available for sale.
Comings and goings
Having led the Crawley Meeting Centre for over a decade and a half Christine Payne is now moving on to pastures new - i.e. the Roffey meetings! Karen Hayward is welcomed as the new leader.
At the SFHG's AGM Judy Excell was unanimously elected as Vice President. Judy has served the SFHG since its inception, and continues so to do.
As our Conference and AGM was taking place at Clair Hall, in the adjacent hall the Federation of Family History Societies was holding its AGM. At this meeting Lady Teviot retired after ten years as their President. Mary is succeeded by Dr Nick Barratt.
Many of you will have read of cuts and closures affecting some record offices and archives in the UK. The Action4Archives group, originally set up to co-ordinate a response to the budget cuts at The National Archives, is now going to co-ordinate the campaigns for local archives, and their website will be updated with the latest news.
The General Register Office has produced a booklet 'Discover Your Family History' which explains how to obtain birth, marriage and death certificates and what information is to be found on the certificates. A PDF copy can be downloaded from the GRO website.
The next Sussex Family Historian, the quarterly journal of the Sussex Family History Group, is the June issue for which the latest date for submissions is 1 May.
The next SussexLink newsletter is due in July. News items and your feedback are welcomed.