Explore more than 507,000 burial records from historic Sussex in South East England. Reveal your ancestor’s burial date, where they are buried, and, in some records, additional notes, which may tell you about your ancestor’s marital status, occupation, and residence. The records include the name of a British governor of Massachusetts who was involved in the first battle of the American Revolution. Additionally, you will find the family who built Saint Hill Castle in East Grinstead. Today the building is the headquarters for Scientology.
Each record includes a transcript of the original burial records. Most will include a combination of the following:
Age at death
Notes – may include titles, residence, occupation, relatives’ names, marital status or if they came from a workhouse.
Sussex burials include more than 507,000 burials from 236 parishes in the county of Sussex. For a full table of the parishes recorded, view the Sussex burials – parish list available in Useful links and resources. The records date as far back as 1530, an excellent resource for those searching for relatives before civil registration.
These transcripts have been supplied by a number of family history societies including the Sussex Family History Group, Family Roots FHS, Eastbourne Family History Society, and Tunbridge Wells Family History Society.
Found in the records are the names of several men who died during the First and Second World Wars. During the First World War, Lance Corporal Alexander W. Creasey of the Royal Sussex Regiment died of wounds, aged 24, on 4 October 1916, and was buried at Bodle Street Green five days later. The transcript reveals that Creasey died at Glasgow. In 1943, 23-year-old Wallace Howard Gibbs died during the Second World War. He was buried on 4 November that year.
The Sussex Burials records includes 6,950 deaths from East Grinstead. Included in these records is the burial record of Robert Crawfurd, died in 1883 and noted as of Saint Hill. Robert Crawfurd was the great grandson of John Crawfurd. In 1733, John bought the grounds of Saint Hill and a manor house on the site. Then in 1792, his son Gibbs, rebuilt the house to create Saint Hill. The Crawfurd family were active in East Grinstead, they built a school and a chapel. In 1845, Robert Crawfurd was responsible for building the first railway to East Grinstead. Today Saint Hill is more famous for being the headquarters of Scientology. In 1959, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, purchased the site from Sawai Man Singh II, the Maharajah of Jaipur.
Discovered within the Sussex Burial records is the name of Thomas Gage. Gage was a British General. He fought in the French and Indian War, in 1755, at the Battle of Monongahela. He was then appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America. As tensions were rising between the colonists and the British government, Gage was appointed as the Royal governor of Massachusetts in 1775 and was ordered to take action against the rebels. Working on intelligence, Gage marched to Lexington, Massachusetts to retrieve a stockpile of weapons. En route the British Army was caught in a skirmish at Concord with the American militia, later they were involved in a standoff at Lexington. Afterwards this become known as the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolution.
The Northampton Mercury, 5 June 1775, printed an account of the battle given by Edward Thorton Gould of His Majesty’s Own Regiment of Foot, ‘under the Orders of General Gage, I embarked with Light-Infantry and Grenadiers of the Line commanded by Colonel Smith, and landed on the Marshes of Cambridge, from whence we proceeded to Lexington. On our arrival at that place, we saw a Body of Provincial Troops armed, to the number of about 60 to 70 men. On our approach they dispersed, and soon after firing began; but which party fired first I cannot exactly say, as our Troops rushed on shouting and huzzaing, previous to the firing, which was continued by our Troops for as long as any of the Provincials were to seen.’ You can find more newspaper accounts of the American Revolution or uncover stories about your ancestors in the British Newspapers.