Discover your ancestors in this unique index from the Eastbourne Gazette, 1858 to 1931, and Eastbourne Chronicle, 1865 to 1874.
Each transcript includes a combination of the following information:
• Title and name
• Role – explains why this individual was included in the news report. For example, s/he may be listed as accused, deceased, spouse, magistrate, etc.
• Event date
• Event type
• Event place
• Event details
• Publication date
The papers were weekly tabloids; the Eastbourne Gazette was first published in 1859, and the Eastbourne Chronicle appeared in 1865.
The index includes names found within the newspaper pages related to birth, marriage and death notices. The collection also includes names found in the paper in relation to other events such as divorce, murders, shipwrecks, lynching and paternity cases.
The newspapers reported on stories in Sussex, but also nationally and even internationally, with stories from Ireland to Switzerland to the USA. Use the Keyword search to discover indexed reports from specific countries.
The collection was created by “Family Roots” the Eastbourne & District Family History Society between 2002 and 2020. Below we have included the editorial conventions used by the society and a list of abbreviations found within the records.
The records include details from a wide variety of events and stories featured in the Eastbourne Gazette. Some of the stories discovered are bizarre or strange and others are tragic. Here are some examples:
On 4 March 1863, General Tom Thumb was mentioned in an article detailing a number of married dwarves.
Mr Folan died in April 1879. While collecting seaweed Folan tried to kill a fish by biting off its head. However, the fish blocked his windpipe and the man died.
Then Emma Smith approached ‘Dummy’ and begged him to cure her of the illness. She asked him to come home with her and she would pay him three sovereigns for his help, but he refused. With the help of Samuel Stammers, together they threw ‘Dummy’ into the brook and pushed him into the water repeatedly. One explanation for their actions was that they believed the Frenchman to be a wizard. ‘It will be easily seen that the poor creature was “swum” for a wizard – this is to say, he was thrown into the water in pursuance of the tradition still unhappily surviving. The original idea pointed only to the detection of diabolical dealings by the floating or sinking of the alleged culprit; but in practice a witch was “ducked” either as a punishment for her doings or as a counter-charm against her sorceries and this appears to have been the nature of the atrocity in the case before us’ (Derby Mercury, 30 September 1863). Within weeks ‘Dummy’ died in the workhouse of pneumonia caused by the immersion. Smith and Stammers were charged at Castle Hedingham with having caused his death.
1 Where specific information has not been reported in the newspaper then the entry ‘Not reported’ has been used.
2 Where no initials or first name has been given for a married woman then she is recorded under her husband’s first name or initials. For example, if the husband were Mr Robert J Brown, the wife can be recorded as either Mrs Robert J Brown or Mrs R J Brown.
3 Where the 'Event Place' is not recorded but a hint is given in the text, then it is recorded with a question mark in parenthesis for example, Brighton (?).
Similarly, if the last name is not given, but may be inferred from the article, then it will also be followed by a question mark in parenthesis for example, Smith (?).
4 Where a person has an award or honour then this is shown after the last name. For example, Mr James Welfare, Member of Parliament would be shown as: Mr James Welfare MP For an explanation of some of these suffixes see the following Abbreviations section. 5 Double barrelled names are not always evident as such. To deal with this, the convention followed is that if the name does not have a hyphen, only the last name is shown as the last name. Any other names are shown as additional first names. For example, Miss Jane Lisbett Smith would be entered as Smith, Jane, Lisbett, Miss.
6 Where no date is recorded for an event then the date of that issue of the newspaper will be given. Where this occurs, the date entry will be followed by the asterisk symbol () for example, 14 Jan 1874.
7 Where only the year is given the mid-year date of 30 June will be recorded followed by a hash (#) sign for example, 30-June-1872#.
Similarly, when only the month and year are given then the mid-month date of the 15th will be recorded followed by a hash (#) sign for example, 15-Jan-1879#.
8 Where no name is reported for an individual then they will be named by the surname of the parents, or they will be recorded as either "John Doe or Jane Doe"
9 Page numbers are counted from Page 1 (Front page), please note that they are not recorded in the earlier newspapers.
10 Where relationships are identified then they refer to the situation before the event recorded. For example, where the death of a husband is recorded, the widow will be shown as the wife of the deceased.
11 Where companies are recorded then each partner (if known) will be recorded separately. The full name of the company will also be recorded in the first name.
12 If the County is not identified and could be one of several, then it is not recorded. For example, Event 559 refers to Bury which could be in Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester, Somerset or West Sussex.
13 If the address of "Maternity Home, Eastbourne" is given then this is the Maternity Home in Upperton Road.
14 The entry under ‘Event details’ will of necessity be a summary of the detail in the paper. Therefore readers may be able to gain more information by reading the actual entry.
15 Occasionally a second name is recorded in parenthesis in the paper. This second name will be shown separately and referenced to the first name recorded. For example, the record in the paper reads (Event 3889): Martin Brown (Reuben Harvey) - This is entered as Harvey, Reuben - see Brown, Martin.
It is strongly recommended that you always check the spelling of names of persons and/or places, against the original entries in the relevant newspapers.
Where space is limited abbreviations will be used. In addition, most honours, awards, etc. are also abbreviated. Not all abbreviations have been identified and explained. The following is a list, in alphabetical order, of some abbreviations used:
ACO:  Admiralty Compass Observatory  Association of Children’s Officers
ACS:  Admiral Commanding Submarines  American College of Surgery (?)
AJC: Australian Jockey Club
AKC: Associate of Kings College
ALS:  Associate of the Linnean Society or  Agricultural Land Service
AMICE: Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Engineers (?)
AMS:  Agricultural Marketing Service,  American Mathematical Society,  American Meteorological Society,  American Microscopical Society,  American Musicological Society,  Ancient Monuments Society or  Australian Medical Society
ARA: Associate of the Royal Academy
ASC: Administrative Staff College (Henley)
BA: Bachelor of Arts
BCh: Bachelor of Chemistry (?)
BCL:  Bachelor of Canon Law or  Bachelor of Civil Law
BD: Bachelor of Divinity
BSc: Bachelor of Science
Cantab: Cantabrigeiensis (Latin) - of Cambridge University.
CB: Companion of the Order of the Bath
CC:  City Council,  County Council or  Cricket Club
CE:  Church of England or  Civil Engineer
CH: Companion of Honour
CMG: Companion of St Michael and St George (abbreviation)
CSI: Companion of the Order of the Star of India
DCL: Doctor of Civil Law
DD: Doctor of Divinity
DL:  Deputy Lieutenant (of the County) or  Doctor of Law
DO:  Doctor of Optometry or  Doctor of Osteopathy
DPW: Department of Public Works (Ceylon)
D Sc: Doctor of Science
DSO: Distinguished Service Order
EIC: East India Company
Eng:  England or  Engineer.
Ex: Outside of; out of; former.
FAS:  Fellow of the Anthropological Society or  Fellow of the Antiquarian Society
FGS: Fellow of the Geographical Society
FICS:  Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers or  Fellow of the International College of Surgeons
FRAS:  Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society or  Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
FRCP: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
FRCS:  Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons,  Fellow of the Royal College of Science or  Fellow of the Royal Corps of Signals
FRGS: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
FRIA: Fellow of the Royal Irish Academy
FRIBA: Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
FRS: Fellow of the Royal Society.
FRZS: Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society
FSA: Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.
FSS: Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society
GB: Great Britain
GC: George Cross
GCB: Knight of the Grand Cross of Bath
GCMB: Dame/Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
GM:  George medal or  Grand Master
GSL: Geographical Society of London
HEICS: Honourable East India Company Service
HM: His/Her Majesty’s
HRH: His or Her Royal Highness
IA: Indian Army
IMS:  Indian Medical Service or  International Musicologist Society
JP Justice of the Peace
KCB: Knight Commander of the Bath
KCIE: Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
KCH: Knight Commander of the Hanoverian Order
KCMG: Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
KCSI: Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India
KH:  King's Hussars or  Knight of the Hanoverian Order
KG: Knight of the Order of the Garter
KNT: (Knt) Knight
KS:  Kings School,  Kings Scholar,  Kipling Society or  Kitchener Scholar
KSI: Knight of the Order of the Star of India
KT:  Knight of the Order of the Thistle or  Knight Templar
L&B: London and Brighton (Railway)
LB & SC: London, Brighton & South Coast (Railway)
LLB: Batchelor of Laws
LLD: Doctor of Laws
LRCP: Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians
LRCS: Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
LSA: Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries
Ltd: Limited (company)
MA: Master of Arts
MB: Bachelor of Medicine
MCP: Member of the College of Preceptors
MD: Doctor of Medicine
MFH: Master of Foxhounds
MICE: Member of the Institute of Chartered Engineers (?)
MM: Military Medal
MP: Member of Parliament
Mr: Mister or Monsieur
MRCP: Member of the Royal College of Physicians
MRCS: Member of the  Royal College of Surgeons,  Royal College of Science or  Royal Corp of Signals
MRCVS: Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
MRGS: Member of the Royal Geographical Society
MRIA: Member of the Royal Irish Academy
MRIBA: Member of the Royal Institute for British Architecture
Mus. Bac: Bachelor of Music (abbreviation)
Mus. Doc: Doctor of Music (abbreviation)
N/R: Not recorded
Oxon: of Oxford - ref Degree
P&D: Probate and Divorce
PC:  Parish Councillor,  Police Constable or Privy Councillor
PGM: Past Grand Master (Freemasons)
PhD: Doctor of Philosophy
PM: Prime Minister
QC: Queen’s counsel
RA:  Rear Admiral,  Royal Academy,  Royal Academician or  Royal Artillery
RC: Roman Catholic
RCSI: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
RD: Rutherford (Physics)
RE: Royal Engineers
RHA: Royal Horse Artillery
RM: Royal Marines
RMA: Royal Military Academy
RMLI: Royal Marine Light Infantry
RN: Royal Navy
RNR: Royal Navy Reserve (?)
RSA:  Royal Scottish Academy,  Royal Scottish Academician or  Royal Society of Arts
Rt: Right (e.g. Right Reverend)
S.A: South Africa
(sic): ‘copied as written’
SNC: Steam Navigation Company
Sx or Ssx: Sussex
USA: United States of America
VC: Victoria Cross
VD:  Victorian decoration or  Volunteer decoration
WO:  War Office or  Warrant Officer
WSS: Women’s Suffrage Society
(?): Indicates an uncertain entry
This project started in May 2001 and was carried out by volunteers from “Family Roots” FHS. Management of the project was by Bob Spilsted and John Crane.
G Bonnick, J Crane, M Davies, F Gardener, B Gomersall, T Gomersall, R Hankins, E Hutchins, D Ireland, L Irving, L Mostran, B Penfold, M Perez-Lopez, C Spence, R Spilsted and P Stemp.
P Brown, J Crane, E Down, T Hancock, C Harrison, J Haughan, M MacKean, A Martin,
D Martin, I Martin, T Morgan, S Slaughter, S Smith, C Spence and R Spilsted.