We are a group of family history enthusiasts based near the East Suffolk coast, midway between Felixstowe and Lowestoft. We've just celebrated our tenth anniversary.
You can follow the many links on this page to expand on what is only outlined here.
Since 2014, we have been meeting monthly, usually in Leiston, with a speaker on matters of interest to family historians. Subjects include, but are no means limited to, local and regional social, legal, ecclesiastical, military and industrial history — offering an illuminating background to our ancestors' lives. Usually the speakers are from outside, but we also have a rich source of experience that we tap from within the Group.
We meet on the third Monday of each month. From March to October (except in August), we meet for our talks in Leiston United Church, 45a High Street, Leiston, IP16 4EL, starting at 7:30 p.m. During the darker winter months (except in December), we meet instead during the afternoon in surrounding villages. The entry charge for meetings is just £3.00 for visiting non-members, but only £1.00 for members — tea, coffee and biscuits included. Experienced family history researchers are at most meetings to help with your research. Please see our Events pages for our upcoming dates, whilst recent events are reported in our News blog and members' Newsletter — and often more immediately on Facebook. Reports on some earlier events are archived via the Calendar/past events on the website.
We are always on the look-out for speakers for our Monday talks. If you are a historian and are interested in giving us a talk, please contact our Programme Secretary, who is listed on our Contact us page.
Our Events pages also occasionally publicise similar events staged by other local organisations that we believe our members may be interested in attending. Those events' normal public entry charges (if any) of course apply.
The Group promotes the collection of records related to family history in the Alde Valley (Suffolk) in particular, but also from a wider area for the use of members. The Committee purchases equipment and other resources as they see fit to enable members to access family history records and databases.
To this end, in Leiston we have a Research Centre, in which to store our equipment and research data. It holds a wide variety of records for Suffolk and for other counties — an Index is available. All these resources can be referenced by members (or visitors) on alternate Saturdays, or on a special request basis. Visitors are always welcome.
Members receive a free quarterly Newsletter bulging with reports on the Group's recent events; previews of future events, both of the Group and of other genealogy organisations (such as the Suffolk Record Office); information on newly-available archive material and limited-time discount offers at UK and international genealogy websites (such as Ancestry, Family Search and FindMyPast); requests of help, from elsewhere in the UK and abroad, in tracing their ancestors from this area of Suffolk; and other articles of interest. The Newsletter is typically 12 to 16 pages long — and is certainly more than worth the Group's annual membership fee alone! It is emailed (or exceptionally posted) to members; circulated to other local history-interest organisations, media and publicity; and sometimes given away when we feature at other local events.
Between Newsletters, urgent notifications of events, offers and information are also from time to time emailed to Members.
In addition to the various activities above, we also undertake some field work. Please see our Church Records page for more on what we have done so far.
For solo research, this website also has many links to sites of interest in genealogy, local and social history, and related subjects. Of course, we have no responsibility for the content of those websites.
New members are always welcome – please visit our Membership page.