The SFHG Library at The Keep

The following information supplements that on the Meeting Centres page.

SFHG Library update
The Keep opened on Tuesday 19th November 2013.

The SFHG room at The Keep is normally open each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 10am to 4pm. We may be able to open at other times, when we have enough helpers available. Please check our Facebook page. or contact Steve Selby at or call 01892 654993.
If we are not open, the other collections will still be available; please see

What is the Library?

The Library consists of material collected by the Sussex Family History Group for members to use when researching their FAMILY HISTORY. If you are not a member of the Group and would like to join, see the main menu for details.

Where is the SFHG Library?

The Library is at the Keep in Falmer, Brighton. The address is Woollards Way, Brighton, BN1 9BP. Details of our opening hours will be posted on the website; the Keep itself is open Tuesday to Friday 9.30 to 5pm and Saturdays 9.30 to 4pm.

Directions to The Keep

Directions to The Keep can be found by clicking this link.

Where can I park?

Parking is available at The Keep at a cost of 2.50 per visit (since 1st December 2017).

Is it open every Saturday?

The SFHG Library is not normally open on Saturdays, although on some occasions we do try to do so. It is best to keep an eye on our Facebook page. for latest opening days.

The Keep itself is open every Saturday.

Do I need to book?

No. We have 8 desks in our library (including 2 with disabled access) and a multi function machine for microfiche and film - so there should be space for everyone however if you are travelling far it would be worth emailing in advance and we can reserve a table for you.

What do I need to bring?

Your membership number, pencil, notebook and some details about the people you are searching for - names, dates and places of birth etc. Any other information about ancestors which will help with your research.

The Keep has lockers for coats, bags and any material which cannot be brought into the library.

What is in the Library?

The library catalogue is being updated, part of the move involves a complete stock take of our material. Once up to date the catalogue will be available online.

Some of the sources you can use at The Family History Centre.

Parish Registers and other transcripts
the majority of christenings, marriages and burials are available on the Sussex Data Archive. If you are not familiar with using the online database our helpers can show you how to use it.
Marriage Licences
Details from these can often give you more information than the entry in a transcript or on the IGI.
The I.G.I. (International Genealogical Index)
A computer index collated by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) from filmed copies of Parish Registers. The Index is on fiche, Christenings and Marriages are listed alphabetically by county, this makes it possible to see all the names of one spelling together. The index does not include all parishes, it should be used as a guide, entries should be checked against original register or fiche or film copy. The Library fiche covers all counties in the British Isles. There are also some fiche for overseas.
We provide access to all censuses via Ancestry and Findmypast.
Wills - Archdeaconry of Lewes and South Malling Wills on micro film
A search through the Lewes Wills Register 1680-1858 may find the ancestor or relative whose Will provides useful information.
Directories and Lists
Kelly's and other directories can be very useful for establishing where people lived, particularly if they were shopkeepers, innkeepers or farmers etc. Sussex Kelly's in the Library are for various years from 1862 to 1938. There are also some professional directories.
Other lists
There are many names in lists such Land Tax, Hearth Tax, Poll Books, Poor Law, and Settlement. Many of our ancestors fell on hard times, there are many names and parishes included in Catalogues of Settlement Orders & Cases 1661-1770.
There are lists of Sussex Apprentices and Masters.
Family Histories and Pedigrees
You may well discover that another member has already researched one of your family surnames and has deposited notes in the Library.
Members' Interests
You can consult these and get in touch with another member sharing your interest.
Monumental Inscriptions.
Transcriptions of many Sussex churchyards and burial places, this is the work of the Group MI Project. The inscription on a gravestone may include useful information about an ancestor. (Some transcriptions may have been removed for checking)
This section of the Library contains information on service in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. There are lists of casualties, names on War Memorials and Muster Rolls.
Reference books and helpful booklets
The Library has a large collection of these, some to help you with your Family History research and some to guide you when using different types of records. Putting flesh on the bones (a phrase much used by Family Historians, does not involve visiting graveyards!!) The Library has additional information on many Sussex places - church guides - Directories - Local History publications, Sussex Record Society publications. These sources can be used to find out more about your ancestors, where they lived - how they earned their living, to make your Family History more than just a list of names and dates.
What if I have no known Sussex Ancestors?
The vast majority of our material is Sussex based although via online databases it is possible to search worldwide. We have a limited collection of books covering the counties around Sussex as well as books on basic and more advanced genealogical research.

Please Note: