Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group Programme 2017

The Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group will no longer be meeting at the Leiston Community Centre. Except in the winter, our monthly talks will now be held at the LEISTON UNITED CHURCH (URC/Methodist) , High Street, Leiston, IP16 4EL at 7.30pm on the third Monday of the month. Entrance is not at the front of the church, but on the left hand side as you face the building. Parking is available in the Co-op/Solar car park which adjoins it, but vehicular access to the car park is via Urban Road (at the back of Solar).

FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH CENTRE

In order to increase its availability to members and visitors alike, the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group’s Research Centre will now be open free of charge on Saturday mornings as well as on Wednesdays, for a trial period.

This is an opportunity for those who cannot normally get to our Wednesday research mornings to discover what gems we have in our archives: these include local information such as graveyard catalogues for Benhall, Saxmundham, Leiston, Eastbridge, Aldringham and Sutton, censuses, directories, information on local war memorials, books, and historic maps. We have recently acquired a large number of CDs and microfiches of local interest. The research centre has computers with Internet, printer, and a scanner. There is also WiFi Internet access if you wish to bring your own laptop or tablet. Experienced family history researchers will be present to give assistance if required.

The Research Centre is upstairs in the old Council Offices in Main Street, Leiston, IP16 4ER, in the same building as and to the right of the Library, opposite the Long Shop Museum. Please note that access is by a steep staircase. You can park outside free of charge for one hour, or there’s an “unlimited” free car park in Valley Road – go straight on past Barclay’s Bank and it’s on the right.

The Research Centre will be open from 10am to 12 noon on the 1st Saturday and 3rd Wednesday of the month:

15 May:Pip Wright: “Surprises from the Parish Chest” – an alternative history of Suffolk.

We will hear of wife-sellers, crooked bankers, rogue rectors, sportsman-naturalists, witches and wizards, spendthrifts and misers, respectable thieves and smugglers and, of course, a good few fornicators – most of whose existence can be verified by contemporary accounts; but occasionally they appear alongside more hazy stories where the truth is much harder to determine. All have played a part in Suffolk's colourful past. Pip Wright’s illustrated talk tells their stories.

Pip is a retired primary school teacher living in Stowmarket, who writes local history books and gives talks to groups of all kinds and all ages across East Anglia. Together with his late wife Joy, who died in July 2005, he has spent a number of years gathering information on Suffolk’s social history.

The meeting will be held on Monday 15 May at Leiston United Church (URC/Methodist), High Street, Leiston, IP16 4EL. Entrance is not at the front of the church, but on the left hand side as you face the building. Parking is available in the Co-op/Solar car park which adjoins it, but you must sign your vehicle in at the tills in the supermarket or face a charge of £100. Visitors welcome. Admission: members £1, visitors £3, incl tea/coffee.

The Group will continue evening meetings in Leiston until the winter.

Mon 19 June Tracing Criminals in the Family - Gill Blanchard 

DO YOU HAVE A BLACK SHEEP IN YOUR FAMILY?

Come along to hear Gill Blanchard tell us h ow to find and use records of our criminal ancestors, locally, nationally and online, in her talk "Prison and Criminal Court Records"

Criminal records are family history’s guilty pleasure. They are a rich source of detail for family historians and many others: they provide an insight not only into crime and punishment in the 1800s, but also into the daily lives of working people. They reveal your ancestors’ uncomfortable secrets and grisly tales, and provide you with a unique opportunity to discover any “black sheep” in your family.

Gill Blanchard is a professional house historian, genealogist, tutor and author of several books. Her talks in Leiston last October, and in Kelsale in April, were entertaining and informative, and we look forward to more of the same.

The meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Monday 19 th June at Leiston United Church (URC/Methodist) , High Street, Leiston, IP16 4EL. Entrance is not at the front of the church, but on the left hand side as you face the building. Parking is available in the Co-op/Solar car park which adjoins it, but you must sign your vehicle in at the tills in the supermarket or face a charge of £100. Visitors welcome. Admission: members £1, visitors £3, incl tea/coffee.

Mon 17 July: The Diary of a Norfolk Parson – James Woodforde, 1740-1803 - Sheila Harrison