A newsletter for the Sussex Family History Group

What does SFHG do for you? What do you do for it?

We think we all know what the SFHG does for us, but perhaps we don’t know all of it. You receive your journal quarterly; you may use the website, order publications or go to meetings. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Below that are a host of people beavering away for the good of the membership.

You’ll learn a lot and get to know some of the many helpful people in the Group

There are officers, committees and people running projects but beyond that there are numbers of volunteers helping where they can. Most of our many publications and indexes have been produced by volunteers. These projects are ongoing and can always use new people.

If you are frustrated that indexes are not available for the areas you are interested in why not volunteer to transcribe some records for the benefit of all? Volunteering to help with a project means you can learn a lot which will help you in your own research. And you’ll get to know some of the many helpful people in the Group.

If you attend meetings maybe you could volunteer to help with those, putting out chairs, helping with refreshments or the bookstall, or arranging the programme. Again you will get to know people in the Group better.

So please – don’t just sit there – think what you can do to help your fellow SFHG members. If you feel you have time to spare and would like to help, please complete the questionnaire on the website. • Rosie Ansell

1911 on the way

During this year there will be a staggered release of the information in the 1911 census of England & Wales, starting with the major conurbations. This will include images and transcribed data, but with ‘sensitive’ data withheld until the full 100 years is up in 2012. Then the public will have full access to the entire 1911 census.

Researchers will be able to search the census by name, address or The National Archives catalogue reference, and download high-resolution digital images. For the first time ever, these will include scans of household schedules hand-written by our ancestors. Additionally, details recorded for married women are years married, and numbers of living or deceased children born to present marriage., in partnership with The National Archives, will be making the census available online through a dedicated website as well as through its own site.

Keep your eye on for the latest news.

Sussex: town, country and seaside

The SFHG Annual Conference will be held at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath on Saturday 28 March. This has traditionally been an excellent occasion.

Three guest speakers have been booked: Dr Annabelle Hughes ‘Sussex buildings and their inheritance’, Michael Gandy ‘Country poor, town poor’, and Ian Gledhill ‘Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside’.

You are advised to book early – preferably by 14 February. Details and booking form were included with December’s Sussex Family Historian and are available on the website.

The Annual General Meeting follows at 4pm. This is an opportunity to have your say in the running of the Sussex Family History Group.

The UK’s biggest history show

Are you who you think you are? Find out at the ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Live’ National History Show. This takes place for a third consecutive year at Olympia from Friday 27 February to Sunday 1 March.

Again incorporated is the Society of Genealogists’ Family History Show. A new feature will be the Regional Experts Workshop with lectures conducted by regional experts and family history societies.

Adult ticket price is £20. For a two-for-one offer – two tickets for £20 (plus £2 booking fee) – visit the WDYTYA website and quote FFHS241 when prompted for a code. Offer closes 20 February.

The FH Event

SFHG will not be exhibiting at ‘WDYTYA? Live’ this year but instead we will be at ‘The FH Event’ on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

This non-profit family history event will be held on Sunday 3 May at the Barbican Centre in central London.

More news in the next SFH and SussexLink. Or see for more information as it becomes available.

Sussex People Index news

East Sussex Record Office has kindly made available the names from the tithe apportionments that they have so far listed. These are being added to the Sussex People Index. The information that will be available from these is: surname, forenames, parish, and the date. For whether they are owner or occupier and which plots they are enquirers would need to to consult the actual record. These are available on CDs from ESRO.

Along with the tithe maps you can also often purchase a complete, searchable and re-sortable version of the apportionment data for the parish in the form of an MS Excel spreadsheet. Tithe Map CD is 13 plus p&p; Tithe Map CD with apportionment sent by email is 15 plus p&p; Tithe Map CD with apportionment on separate CD is 18 plus p&p. For more information see the ESRO website.

More contributions of information from birth, marriage or death certificates would be welcome for the Sussex People Index. • Judy Excell

Was your ancestor aboard the Beagle?

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth – and also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Family history societies and their members are invited to contribute to this year’s ‘Darwin 200 Plymouth’ event.

In particular, are there any descendants of HMS Beagle personnel who would be interested in contributing information on their ancestor?

Maureen Selley (Chairman of Devon FHS) has already been in touch with two Devon FHS members, one whose great-great-grandfather joined as a Boy and later became a Main Top Man; the other member’s great-great-greatuncle was a Gun Room Boy on the Beagle. Maureen has a transcription of a Beagle crew paylist, which she can send to anyone interested.

When the Beagle sailed from Plymouth at the end of 1831, the crew consisted of 75 people. There were 16 officers and trainee officers aboard, nine petty officers, eight marines, six boys, three supernumeraries including Charles Darwin, three Fuegians and 30 sailors. All the members of the crew were volunteers.

See:, or

Maureen Selley can be contacted via

[Source: FFHS-NEWS, 5/11/08]