Download Suffolk wills

Suffolk Record Office have been busy digitising their original will collections. 

Search at www.suffolkarchives.co.uk (@keytothepast on twitter) for your people and places of interest. Where you see an entry with an image, you can download for £6. You'll need to register for an account first. You can narrow your search by ticking the box saying 'Images Only' on the left hand side of the catalogue search.

It's a work in progress with more to come but a very positive development for Suffolk research.

Note: prior to the switch away from ecclesiastical courts in January 1858, probate was dealt with in several different church courts that worked in a hierarchy. In Suffolk, the records for the Courts of the Archdeaconries of Suffolk and Sudbury are held by Suffolk Record Office branches (there are also various peculiars). There is a useful wiki here. Wills proved higher up the system may be held by Norfolk Record Office as the home of records for the Consistory (Bishop's) Court of Norwich (search at www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk with those 1800-1857 digitised and freely available at www.norfolksources.norfolk.gov.uk). Even higher up, records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (the Archbishop's Court) are held at The National Archives and downloadable from Discovery or viewable at www.ancestry.co.uk.

Edit: Suffolk Record Office have confirmed today (25 April) that the indexing of all their wills is a work in progress, along with the digitisation - so keep checking back on the site!

Norfolk Archdeacons' and Bishop's Transcripts (Browse) on FindMyPast

Now available on FindMyPast are browsable collections of Norfolk Archdeacons' and Bishop's Transcripts. These are also available on other sites.

As with all collections (and these are a great addition) keep in mind that not every parish sent records to the relevant archdeacon and/or bishop every time they should have done!

Use transcripts particularly to check up on illegible entries in the original parish registers (these are contemporary transcripts) or to find entries from now destroyed records, for example.

The searchrooms at Norfolk Record Office: The Archive Centre and Norfolk Heritage Centre have detailed lists of which transcripts exist for each Norfolk parish as well as microform access to them (in addition to digital access to various subscription sites). FindMyPast's press release suggests that 32 parishes (of a possible 700+) are in their Archdeacons' collection, amounting to more than 70,000 entries. There are more than 210,000 entires in their Bishop's collection, which tend to be of a later date.

Note: The Bishop covered the diocese of Norwich which included most of Norfolk and Suffolk, but there were two Archdeacons in the county - one for the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, and the other for the Archdeaconry of Norwich.

Yarmouth Independent added to British Newspaper Archive

Another useful addition to the British Newspaper Archive for East Anglian researchers: The Yarmouth Independent.

Full details can be found here. It's a few days now since the collection went live, and new pages have already been added. In summary, there are currently 2109 issues on the site, amounting to more than 22,000 pages. These date  from between 1862 and 1937 (with several gaps).

Newsplan says that the paper began as the Yarmouth Free Press in 1855 and eventually became incorporated with the Yarmouth Mercury. Originals and microfilm can be found at Great Yarmouth Library locally (contact the library for specific dates and coverage). 

East Anglian Daily Times added to British Newspaper Archive

Among a large selection of new titles added to the British Newspaper Archive in the last few days - the East Anglian Daily Timesone of the 'most wanted' newspapers for local research in this area. 

The newspaper was first printed on 13 October 1874 and continues to the present day. Digitised copies amount to 2179 issues from the years 1876, 1878-81, 1884 and 1887 as of today, Saturday 11 March. Keep checking back to the link above to see progress with digitisation.  

Check newsplan for details of where the newspaper is deposited outside the British Library, and for gaps in known collections.