6 million Sussex parish records now online at Ancestry


01 June 2022
Ancestry has announced the launch of its Sussex Parish Registers collection, featuring over six million historic records that span 457 years, from 1538 to 1995.

Working with the East and West Sussex Record Offices, the records on Ancestry hold detailed information about the ancestors of many East and West Sussex families and are searchable by parish on the Ancestry website, with baptism, marriage and burial records available. 

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Sussex stories

Featured in the records are several prominent Sussex residents including:

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  • Victor Barker (1895- 1960) – Barker’s marriage record is the first documented instance of a marriage between a trans man and a woman in the UK. Victor Barker was born Lillias Irma Valerie Barker and met wife Elfrida Haward in Brighton. The couple married at St Peter’s Church, Brighton, on 14 November 1923. 
  • Emily Sheila Kaye-Smith (1887-1956) – Author and novelist, Sheila grew up in East Sussex and her baptism record outlines she was baptised in St Leonards on 3rd April 1887. Kaye-Smith’s marriage record from 16 October 1924 outlined she married the Rev Theodore Penrose Fry. He was a curate at the Anglo-Catholic St Leonards Christ Church which Emily visited secretly because the church was disapproved of by her staunchly Anglican parents. 
  • John Bullaker (1574–1627) - Physician and lexicographer, John was born in St Andrew's parish, Chichester, Sussex, and his baptism record shows he was baptised there on 13th November 1574. 

Wendy Walker, County Archivist at West Sussex Record Office, said: "Archives are full of stories waiting to be told and the parish registers are where so many of these stories begin. Within their pages lie the hidden lives of people in the county dating back over four hundred and fifty years. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Ancestry and our colleagues in East Sussex to make this major resource for Sussex history available to people all over the world."

Explore the collection at Ancestry.