Genealogical and historical information and links for anyone researching their ancestors in England and the British Isles

 Home ==> County Links ==> Suffolk

 <== Staffordshire

Surrey ==> 

Themes Explorers and Adventurers Nobel Prize Winners
Actors/Actresses and Directors Famous People Places of Interest
Anglo-Saxons and Danes Historic Events Prime Ministers
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Inventors and Scientists Royal Consorts and Heirs
Artists and Architects Monarchs World Heritage Sites
Composers National Parks Writers and Poets


Suffolk lies in eastern England on the North Sea.

Towns include the county seat of Ipswich.

Actors/Actresses and Directors
The stage and film actor John Mills was born in Felixstowe in 1908. He won an Academy Award for his role in David Lean's 1970 film Ryan's Daughter.

John Mills

Anglo-Saxons and Danes
Formed part of East Anglia, the kingdom of the East Angles. The kingdom stretched as far south as the River Stour, across which lay the kingdom of the East Saxons (Essex). In the west lay the kingdom of Mercia. It also included Ely.

The county name derives from it being the "place of the South Folk" so as to differentiate the area from the northern part of East Anglia, Norfolk, which was the "place of the North Folk".

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths were designated an AONB in 1969, stretching from Lowestoft down the coast to the River Stour in the south. The AONB protects beaches, cliffs, estuaries and marshes but also the ancient heathland which dominates much of the nearby inland landscape.

Designated an AONB in 1970, Dedham Vale protects an unspoilt and therefore rare example of a lowland river valley and its associated landscape. It stretches along the banks of the River Stour on the border to Essex, an area made famous by the paintings of John Constable.

Artists and Architects
The portrait and landscape painter Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury in 1727.

Thomas Gainsborough
Birthplace museum, Sudbury

The landscape gardener Humphry Repton was born in 1752 in Bury St Edmunds.

Humphry Repton

In 1776 the landscape painter John Constable was born in East Bergholt and many of his paintings depicted scenes in and around the village.

John Constable

The sound of water escaping from mill-dams, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork... those scenes made me a painter and I am grateful.
(Letter, 1821)

Benjamin Britten was born as Edward Benjamin Britten in Lowestoft in 1913. He lived at Aldeburgh from 1947 until his death in 1976 and is buried in the village.

Benjamin Britten

Famous People

The politician and cardinal Thomas Wolsey was born in Ipswich around 1475. The son of a butcher became the most powerful man in England under Henry VIII before falling out of favour with the king.

Thomas Wolsey

Matthew Hopkins, who had been appointed the "Witch-Finder General" in 1644 was hanged in Bury St Edmunds in 1647. His method to find witches was to bind his victims and then see if they would float in water. With this method he supervised the execution of over 200 "witches" but failed the test himself and was found guilty of witchcraft.

Historic Events

Notable Achievements
In 1908 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became England's first woman mayor when she was elected to the office in her childhood home of Aldeburgh. She had also been the first woman in the country to qualify as a doctor.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

National Parks
The Norfolk Broads is a network of waterways and was designated a National Park in 1989.

Nobel Prize Winners

The physicist Lawrence Bragg died in Ipswich in 1971. The son of the English physicist William Bragg they had shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915 for their work on the atomic structure of crystals. At the age of 25 he had been the youngest ever recipient of a Nobel Prize and they were one of only 5 fathers and sons to have received the award.

Lawrence Bragg

Places of Interest

Historic Buildings
Thomas Gainsborough's birthplace, Sudbury

Notable Places
In 1939 excavations at Sutton Hoo uncovered one of Britain's most important archaeological finds, the burial site of the Anglo-Saxon kings of East Anglia.

Stately Homes and Palaces
Euston Hall

Prime Ministers
Prime Ministers
Augustus Fitzroy, the Duke of Grafton Prime Minister from 1768-70, died at Euston Hall near Thetford in 1811.

Duke of Grafton

Writers and Poets

The poet Edmund Blunden died in Long Melford in 1974 and was buried at the Holy Trinity church there. Born in London he had grown up in rural Kent and many of his poems dealt with life in the country. He also wrote some of the best war poetry about his experiences surviving the First World War.

Edmund Blunden
First World War
Poetry Archive

County Links Genealogy in England

Genealogy Links

Family History Societies
Suffolk Local History Council
Records Society