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Suffolk Records Office

Discussion in 'More Suffolk Resources' started by AnneC, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    Suffolk Record Office

    I have always found SRO a seemingly never-ending resource, from photographs, maps, directories to newspapers and original parish records. The staff are always very helpful, and willing to help with suggesting alternative records, and making guesses where the handwriting is dubious. Well worth booking up a fiche reader before you go, as you can also request a desk near to a power point for laptops. Highlight of my visits has been discovering a hand drawn pedigree of my mother's Scrivener ancestors, in two long (15 feet perhaps) scrolls, complete with coats of arms.
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  2. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    Not just Suffolk, but all of East Anglia is covered in these film archives
  3. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    SRO are having an Open Day

    Ipswich Record Office Open Day

    Saturday 11 May 9.30am Ipswich

    Back by popular demand, this open day focuses on connecting you with your local family history and local history organisations and sharing the work of Ipswich Record Office through strongroom tours and archive displays. Take this opportunity to talk to the Ipswich Record Office archivist and representatives of Ipswich Building Society, Suffolk Family History Society, Suffolk Records Society, Suffolk Local History Council and the Friends of Suffolk Record Office.
  4. KimL

    KimL LostCousins Member

    Does anyone know if the SRO is ever going to put and scans etc online or will it always be just transcripts on Ancestry? Everything is guess work from overseas when there are no occupations on baptisms or father name on marriages.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2022
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Pre-pandemic they were looking at setting up their own site, as Essex did c.2008. A Freedom of Information request might reveal the current state of play.

    Ancestry is certainly not the place to look - Findmypast has an enormous collection of Suffolk transcripts, mostly sourced from Suffolk FHS. But they don't include the most recently transcribed records, which are only available from Suffolk FHS (as CD ROMs or downloadable files).
  6. KimL

    KimL LostCousins Member

    That would be terrific if they were like Essex, although sometime tedious it does work well. I find the results on FMP so clunky and unfriendly that I tend to use a combination of both sites but often look at it second and will probably continue to unless there is a way to change the number of result shown or preview of a transcript rather than clicking into each record.
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Essex probably have the best images of any county, but it's very expensive to subscribe (£95 a year), and you need an Ancestry subscription on top.
    I've never had a problem searching Suffolk transcripts at Findmypast - and I have more ancestors from Suffolk than any other county. I rarely use Ancestry since they have far fewer entries (they don't have a tie-in with Suffolk FHS). For example, if you search at Ancestry for baptisms at Fornham St Martin you get no results in their Suffolk collection, and only 293 in total, all of which seem to have been provided by FamilySearch, and many of which are duplicates. At Findmypast there 969 results.

    When you search Suffolk baptisms at Findmypast the results show the names of both parents, the year of birth, year of baptism, and place - all without clicking through. What's the problem?

    In any case the CD ROMs/downloads from Suffolk FHS are by far the best source at the moment as they have the greatest coverage and the most detailed transcriptions.
  8. KimL

    KimL LostCousins Member

    Please don't get defensive I did not intend any insult to either. There is plenty of info on the transcribed baptisms with father occupation but I am not ever going to consider a marriage being appropriate for my research without checking the father name and occupation and ideally finding a supporting link in the witnesses. Transcriptions don't always cut the mustard and when researching branches but I still want to ensure accuracy. I tend to search by name and /or variation rather than church as my family moved around a bit and maybe my surnames are a little more common. Regardless of what is currently available, is there any inkling SRO are looking to move into the digital age - subscription or not?
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Fathers' names and occupations aren't shown until the start of civil registration in 1837, so if it's that important to research your branches you can always order the marriage certificate. It's likely in any case that some of those marriages will have taken place in the register office, so won't be in the parish records anyway. There are no witnesses before 1753, and even after that date they won't necessarily be family members. If you look through the marriage registers for country parishes the same names often show up as witnesses - family members tended not to act as witnesses if they couldn't sign their own name (although it wasn't a requirement of the role).

    My advice was primarily intended for those researching pre-1837, since after that date researchers have always got the option of ordering certificates, either locally or from the GRO. Waiting until the Suffolk registers go online isn't necessarily going to be cheaper - I could order a lot of marriage certificates for the price of my subscription to Essex Ancestors!

    Another solution is to view the digital microfilm at your local FamilySearch centre or affiliated library - that eliminates the waiting and most of the cost.

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