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Guide to Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.



An ancient borough, the capital of the Western Division of Suffolk, and of the Franchise or Liberty of St. Edmund, and one of the most pleasing and interesting market towns in England, is seated in the centre of a richly cultivated country, upon a bold acclivity, skirted on the north and east by the river Lark and one of its tributary streams, which unite in the grounds of the once splendid Abbey, of which here are still extensive and beautiful remains. The streets are broad, well paved, and contain many handsome houses and public-buildings, and intersect each other at right angles. The town is so pleasantly situated, commands such extensive prospects, and the air is so salubrious, that it has been called the Montpellier of England. On all sides of it, within the distance of a few miles, are the beautiful parks and mansions of some of the most wealthy nobility and gentry of the county. The Lark is navigable for small craft to Fornham, about a mile below the town, which is approached by excellent turnpike roads, and is distant 14 miles E. of Newmarket; 12 miles S. of Thetford; 26 miles N.W. by W. of Ipswich; 16 miles N. of Sudbury; 13 W.N.W. of Stowmarket; 29 miles E.N.E. of Cambridge; 43 miles S.W. by S. of Norwich ; 42 miles S. by E. of Lynn; and 71 miles N.E. of London... William White, 1844 Gazetteer of Suffolk, page 602 to 662
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Bury St Edmunds

Church of England Parishes


Civil Registration

Bury St Edmunds is in Bury St Edmunds district.  To search an index of Bury St Edmunds district records go to FreeBMD. The Suffolk Civil Registration article tells more about these records.

Church records

Parish Registers began in the 1500's. They can be viewed at the Suffolk Record Office. There are Bishop Transcripts and Parish Registers that have been filmed for most parishes in the County. See the Suffolk Church Records article for further details.

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 474645.


The Bury and Norwich Post is available online from 1801 to 1900. The British Newspaper Archive provides images and transcripts of the Newspaper.  Also available is the Ipswich Journal from from 1748 to 1900.  Also another run of the Ipswich Journal from 1720 to 1800

Probate records

Prior to 1858 the primary court that had jurisdiction over Bury St Edmunds was the Archdeaconry of Sudbury; however, a person’s will or administration may have been probated in nearby courts or even in London. After 1858 it was in Ipswich District.  Refer to the Suffolk Probate Records article for further details.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

  • England Jurisdictions 1851
  • Vision of Britain
  • BURY ST. EDMUND'S, a borough and market-town, having exclusive jurisdiction, locally in the hundred of Thingoe, West division of Suffolk, 26½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Ipswich, and 72 (N. E. by E.) from London. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, the Society of Friends, Methodists, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics. [1]



  1. Lewis,Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 452-460. Date accessed: 23 September 2013.


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  • This page was last modified on 22 May 2015, at 17:29.
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