"Sussex, maritime County in SE. of England, bounded N. and NE. by Surrey and Kent, SE. and S. by the English Channel, and W. and NW. by Hants; greatest length, N. and S., 27 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 76 miles; area, 933,269 acres, population 490,505. From the Hants border, near Petersfield, to Beachy Head, the county is traversed by the South Downs; to the N. of this range of chalk hills is the valley of the Weald, rising into the Forest Ridge on the NE., and sinking on the SE., towards the sea, into wide marshes. The rivers are not important; they are the Arun, Adur, Ouse, and Rother, all flowing S. to the English Channel. . . more"


Archives & Libraries

  • The East Sussex Record Office is located at The Keep at Falmer, near Brighton. It holds material for the Archdeaconry of Lewes, present-day East Sussex, and therefore generally holds historical material only for East Sussex parishes.
    • An on-line catalogue for some of the collections held by the ESRO is available under the Access to Archives (A2A) project.
  • The West Sussex Record Office is located in Chichester. Because it hold the records of the Diocese of Chichester, which covers the whole of Sussex, it has church records relating to both parts of Sussex.
    • An on-line catalogue for some of the collections held by the WSRO is available under the Access to Archives (A2A) project
  • West Sussex Past - database of 2 million records from West Sussex heritage organizations.
  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies' Sussex Collection (PDF)






  • 200 years of the Census in Sussex is a summary by the ONS of some of the main trends in Sussex revealed by the censuses (PDF, downloadable only - doesn't display in browser window) .

Church History

  • List of the Bishops of Selsey and Chichester (from 681)
  • The Roughwood British Churches Album has several hundred pictures of Sussex churches, both exterior and interior, accompnaied by historical notes

Church Records

Sussex parishes fall almost entirely within the Diocese of Chichester

Original parish registers are held by the ESRO and WSRO, Bishops Transcipts by the WSRO:


Civil Registration


Court Records


Description & Travel

  • The WSRO has a Photographic Database with details of over 30,000 photos in its collection, 5,000 of which are available on-line.
  • Footsteps, a company selling reproductions of old photographs, has around 200 low-resolution images of Sussex on its site.
  • West Sussex Past Pictures - 5000+ images from Sussex museums and the County Library Service
Sussex books at the Internet Archive


List of Sussex Directories 1784-1975 by John H. Farrant, a comprehensive listing with details of which Sussex and national libraries hold copies.

Historical Directories of England and Wales (at the University of Leicester) has the following Sussex directories available:

  • Pigot's National Commercial Directory for 1832-34 (Sussex)
  • Pigot's Directory of Sussex, 1839
  • Post Office Directory of Sussex [1851]
  • The Post Office Directory of Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex, 1855
  • Melville and Co.'s Directory & Gazetteer of Sussex, 1858
  • Melville's Directory & Gazetteer of Sussex, 1858
  • Post Office Sussex Directory, 1859
  • French & Son's Handbook & Directory for Worthing, 1859
  • Post Office Directory of Sussex, 1866
  • Post Office Directory of Sussex, 1878
  • Deacon's Court Guide, Gazetteer & Blue Book of Sussex, 1881
  • Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1890
  • Kelly's Directory of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1891
  • Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1899
  • Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1905
  • Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1911
  • Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1915

Steve Pickthall has transcribed the Sussex places in Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867. See the parish pages for links to these transcriptions.

The Sussex OPC scheme is currently transcribing 22 Sussex directories



  • The SUSSEX-PLUS mailing list - includes Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight, though main focus is on Sussex now that the other counties have their own lists
  • Sussex Forum on RootsChat
  • Sussex Forum on British-Genealogy
  • The Sussex Online Parish Clerks scheme researches all the available historical data they can find on a parish, and transcribes records.


Victoria County History

Language & Languages




Military History


Names, Geographical


Names, Personal




Poor Houses, Poor Law



  • Surrey Institutional Records 1788-1939 (Findmypast). Includes:
    • Cobham, Reed’s School Annual Reports 1818-1901
    • Mayford Industrial School Admissions 1895-1907
    • Redhill, Royal Philanthropic School Admission Registers 1788-1906

Voting Registers