More than 4.6 million Sutton names dating back to 1538 are being made available online for the first time thanks to a joint initiative by Sutton Archive service and Ancestry, the world’s largest family history online resource.
The register of girls from the Royal Female Orphanage in Beddington from 1890 to 1913 is now online.
Ancestry, at www.ancestry.co.uk, has digitised Sutton’s parish registers, which include baptisms, marriages and burials from 1538, rate books including poor rates, lighting rates, highway rates and sanitary rates between 1783 and 1914, and electoral registers from 1931 to 1970.
Records of hundreds of girls from the Royal Female Orphanage in Beddington, now Carew Manor School, from 1890 to 1913 are also being made available for the first time.
There is fascinating information about people who have lived in the borough including:
- Elizabeth Throckmorton (1565-c.1647), who married Sir Walter Ralegh (actual spelling), was born and baptised in Beddington and her family lived at Carew Manor.
- Singer and entertainer Des O’Connor lived at 221 Stafford Road, Wallington between 1963 and 1965.
- Formula One world champion James Hunt lived in Cheam and is recorded in the electoral registers in 1969 and 1970.
Sutton residents can now go online at all Sutton libraries and trace their family tree for free. However if they visit the Ancestry website from home they will have to pay to access it.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Lib Dem Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said: “We are delighted to help all Sutton residents looking to learn more about their family histories by making Ancestry access free to all those using the computers or wi-fi at any of our borough libraries.
“This fantastic resource will make tracing the branches of our residents’ family trees easier than ever before.”
Sutton resident and historical novelist Alison Weir, the top-selling female historian whose books cover the Tudor period – the same era the parish registers date from – is delighted with the new initiative.
She said: “Nearly everyone wants to know something about their ancestry, but trying to obtain genealogical information can often be a time-consuming and frustrating challenge. In Sutton, though, we are very lucky to have this wonderful new online resource that will make tracing the past a joy, and which is easily accessible to all.
“As a historian and, more importantly, a local resident, I feel privileged to be endorsing this stunning initiative on the part of the London Borough of Sutton and Ancestry.”
The database of some 4,619,369 names will allow residents to learn about people who were born, grew up or lived at one time in the borough.
Other people on the database include:
- Thomas Wall, of Wall’s ice cream and sausages fame, lived in Sutton for a number of years. He is in the rate books living in Worcester Road, Sutton in 1902.
- Writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp (real name Denis Pratt) was born in Carshalton and his family later moved to Sutton and Cheam. His father, Spencer Charles Pratt, is in the rate books.
- Legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck, grew up in Wallington and attended Sutton Manor School, now Sutton Grammar.
- The late singer, actor and television presenter Harry Secombe, lived on Cheam Road in Sutton.
- The world-famous percussionist James Blades, who died in 1999, lived at 191 Sandy Lane, Cheam and is in the electoral register. One of his pupils was percussionist Evelyn Glennie.
The following parish register collections are available online:
- Sutton, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 Records: 26,907
- Sutton, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 Records: 42,381
- Sutton, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940 Records: 49,687
- Sutton, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985 Primary Records: 28,258
- Sutton, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
- Sutton, England, Electoral Registers, 1931-1970 Records: 320,807
- Sutton, England, Tax Collection Rate Books, 1783-1914
- Beddington, Surrey, England, Royal Female Orphanage List of Children, 1890-1913 Records: 595
- Ancestry LLC is the world’s largest online resource for family history with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all family history sites.