Sussex, England Genealogy

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Location of Sussex in England

Sussex is a former maritime county located in South East England and corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex.

The county of Sussex is named for the South Saxons, in Old English, sūth + Seaxe. The expression Suth Seaxe is first recorded in the late 9th century. In the Domesday Book (1086) it is Sudsexe.[1]

The historic county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming into force of the Local Government Act 1972.

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East Sussex

West Sussex


Use an interactive map to find jurisdictions for each parish in Sussex.

Rapes and Divisions

Sussex was formerly divided into six rapes. In the 19th Century, the county was divided for electoral purposes into two divisions, the Eastern and Western, which, in 1888, became the basis of two administrative bodies, East Sussex and West Sussex.[2]

East Sussex West Sussex
Lewes Arundel
Hastings Bramber
Pevensey Chichester

Civil Districts

When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Sussex was divided into a number of registration districts, each containing several parishes.  The index to the civil records gives the name of the district where an event took place. Click here to see a list of the civil districts in Sussex and the parishes covered by each. Read more about England Civil Registration.


See the parishes of Sussex. Also see Parishes of East Sussex and Parishes of West Sussex

Burchall, Michael J.  Roman Catholics in Sussex giving name, residence and value of estate. Article covers year 1715. To be found in magazine Sussex Family Historian. vol. 1. #5, June 1974. pages 115-116. Family History Library Ref. 942.52 B2 su

Probate Jurisdictions

Before 1858, every town and parish in Sussex was under the probate jurisdiction of several ecclesiastical courts. To read more about probate records and see a list of Sussex towns and parishes and the probate courts that had jurisdiction over them, go to Sussex Probate Records.


These websites contain information of value for Sussex research:

To view a brief list of additional web sites and/or web pages for Sussex and many of its parishes, visit

Getting Help with your Genealogy

Professional Genealogists who specialize in Southeast England Research helps you compare the expertise, credentials, and rates of professional researchers who can help you access these records.


  1. "Sussex" in A. D. Mills, A Dictionary of British Place Names, (2011, Oxford University Press; ISBN-13: 9780199609086) published to Oxford Reference 2011-2012 eISBN: 9780191739446. Accessed 23 July 2013.
  2. "Rape, territorial division, England." in Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (6th ed., 2013); ISBN: 9780787650155. Accessed via MasterFILE Premier 25 Jul 2013.