View Full Version : Suffolk Records Office
04-09-2006, 1:48 AM
My cousin and I are planning a trip to Suffolk in October to explore our ancestral roots and get to grips with the parish records...
Is anyone familiar with the Suffolk Records Office? Are there any foibles that we should know about as first-time visitors?
04-09-2006, 6:21 PM
Been there a few times. Parking on-site. Gets very busy - call them first to reserve microfiche reader if you need one (you will for the parish records).
I had my first experience of a Records Office in the summer at the Lowestoft branch. I found them hugely helpful both when contacting them by email prior to going to make sure that they held the records I wanted to look at and when I was actually there. Had to ask a few times for help with the reader and the printer and was never made to feel like a nuisance. There are three Records Offices in Suffolk and I don't know whether they all hold the same records therefore it is a good idea to check with them first so that you make sure you go to the right one. As suggested before, it is a good idea to book a reader but you can easily do this by email. I hope your experience is as good as mine was.
04-09-2006, 9:06 PM
Thanks! We visited the Wiltshire Records Office earlier this year and certainly found the staff there to be very helpful. In Wiltshire we were wading through typed transcriptions of the parish records - but I think it will be a slower job in Suffolk!
We are hoping to go to the Ipswich Records Office as they apparently have what we are looking for and Ipswich will be the closest to where we are staying.
Can anyone tell us about the 'facilities' on offer? In Wiltshire they were limited (ie. a vending machine for hot drinks and another for chocolate and crisps). We took a packed lunch each day and hoped that we'd manage to get a couple of the four available chairs!!
29-09-2006, 11:41 AM
Ipswich: 01473 585451 It is six months since I've been, but as my memory serves me facilities are a little limited. I believe that there is a hot drink vending machine but nothing else. There is an area to eat you packed lunch etc.
Parking is free on site with unlimited time during opening hours. However, the entrance is not all that obvious.
There are shops in the area with fast food outlets and large supermarkets with cafes that you are likely to drive past the way to the records office.
Bury St.Edmunds. 01284 352352 Similar to Ipswich but I don't recall any vending machines. Beware some parking spaces are free some are pay and display.
Both have plenty of table space for paper records but I dont recall number of fiche readers.
30-09-2006, 12:55 AM
Our trip is fast approaching... and we can't wait!
24-10-2006, 9:37 PM
Well... we went, had a great time and have come back home to digest everything.
The staff in the Ipswich Records Office were very helpful. They cheerfully helped us find what we needed and were happy to help us make sense of some truly awful handwriting on fische from the 1600s!
There was plenty of parking and the centre is easy to find - although Ipswich traffic is pretty horrendous (I'm a Londoner and am used to sitting in jams, but hadn't expected to do so in Suffolk!)
Refreshment facilities are extremely limited - a water boiler and a selection of teabags, coffee sachets and milk tubs. Best to take your own!
We spent two full days there and came away cross-eyed having bearly scratched the surface. Trawling parish records on fische takes ages...!
Guess we have an excuse to go back again... Roll on retirement!
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