Searching for information from within the
Diss Family History Group’s webpages.

Within the DFHG webpages are sections on places local to Diss. Many of these have options to view available datasets. This is sometimes useful but some of the datasets are large and do not make friendly reading. To be able to search for more specific records, for example by name, date or parish, would be more useful. People often moved house but remained in nearby villages so being able to ‘see’ local connections is vital. There are currently 2 searches, a simple one and an advanced one. These can be accessed using this link:

A search is usually undertaken to answer a question, such as ‘when was someone born’ or ‘where were they living on a particular date’. Below are a few examples of questions, methods and answers using the 2 searches.

Please note that the datafile is frequently changing with, hopefully, many records being added. Sometimes these additional records could change the results and make the answers given below out of date. The examples were compiled on 27 Dec 2022 and the answers were correct at that time. (The answers will be updated periodically and a new current date given.)

At the end of each search example there is 'Show Video'. Click on this to reveal a video of how to perform the search, clicking on the video to start the show. Click on 'Hide Video' will remove the video.

Using the Simple Search …..

Q: How many records are there for people with a surname of Bradstreet?

Into the fields add:
  • NAME Surname – enter Bradstreet
Click Search …..
A: 16.
Show Video

Q: When was Mary Ann Whitebread born and where? (Note: births are not the easiest life dates to find but in many cases the date of birth was included in the parish baptism record …..)

Into the fields add:
  • NAME Surname – enter Whitebread
  • EVENTS – check Baptism
Click Search …..

A: 20 Jun 1820 and born most likely in Roydon where she was baptised soon after.
Show Video

Q: How many records are there for Becketts in Diss?

Into the fields add:
  • NAME Surname – enter Beckett
  • PARISHES – check Diss
Click Search …..

A: 1, Caroline H Beckett (in the 1939 Register)
Show Video

Q: How many absent voters were registered for Shelfanger in 1918?

Into the fields add:
  • PARISHES – check Shelfanger
  • EVENTS – check Absent Voters
  • EVENT YEAR from – enter 1918 (leave +/- blank or enter 0)
Click Search …..

A: 36.
Show Video

Using the Advanced Search …..

Q: What is known about Florence Rose Smith?

Into the fields add:
  • NAME surname – enter Smith
  • NAME forename – enter Florence Ros (limited to 12 characters)
Click Search …..

A: 1 record found - 14 Oct 1880, baptism in Diss (click on the blue ID number to see what else is known – will find her date of birth and father’s name).

Q: What happened in 1899 to any female whose surname was Websdale?

Into the fields add:
  • NAME Surname – enter Websdale
  • GENDER – select female
  • EVENT YEAR – enter 1899 (leave +/- blank or enter 0
Click Search …..

A: 1 Oct 1899, baptism of Dorothy Bell WEBSDALE in Thrandeston.
Show Video

Q: How many people living in Fersfield at the time of the 1921 Census were born in Bressingham?

Into the fields add:
  • PARISHES – check Fersfield
  • EVENT – check Census
  • EVENT YEAR – enter 1921 (leave +/- blank or enter 0)
  • HOME PARISH (or place of birth) – enter Bressingham (or part of name, eg: Bress)
Click Search …..

A: 21 found.
Show Video

Q: Which man, forename James, was buried in Wortham in January 1837 and what was his cause of death?

Into the fields add:
  • NAME forename – enter James
  • GENDER – select Male
  • PARISHES – check Wortham
  • EVENT – check Burial
  • EVENT YEAR – enter 1837 (leave +/- blank or enter 0)
Click Search …..

A: James Adams, buried 24.01.1837 died of consumption and influenza.
Show Video

Using the above methods and ideas will allow you to quickly find the people or events you are researching. Gradually over time, as there are more datasets added, the resource will become more and more useful. One the Home page, click on News to see what new items have been added to the database.


  1. On each of the search pages there are notes which relate to the use of wildcards and search field descriptions - read these as they may well be helpful.
  2. If you want to find out ‘how many’, perform the search and see the top or second line of what is found which will show the number of records found from the total number in the datafile.
  3. Clicking on any of the blue highlighted IDs will show the full information for that record. Not all fields will have entries in but what is seen will reflect the type of event and what information is available.
  4. If you have a query about a record or a possible correction please contact us making sure you note the record number (ID) and the full name of the person.

Tharston Past website

On this site is another search facility which will search for records in places around Tharston and also those close to Diss. You will find this at:

You can use the ideas from above to perform similar searches. The benefit of this is that you will be searching a wider area and you might be surprised by what you find.

Have fun searching!

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Page last updated: 27 Dec 2022
© Nigel Peacock 2022