The Alabaster Society

The Family History Society
of the Alabaster Family

 

Introduction

by Laraine Hake, Hon. Secretary

Picture by Rupert Fox from a design by Michael William Alabaster


Laraine Hake of the Alabaster Society
If you have an interest in the family name of Alabaster, this is the site for you. We have information on more than 3,000 Alabasters, from the present day back to the 15th century, which we are willing to share. We have more than 150 members (households) from England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, Thailand, Argentina, and Hong Kong.
The Alabaster Society was formed in 1993, following Gatherings held in 1990 and 1992 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, of more than 100 of the descendants of Thomas Alabaster (c1522-1592): he was a leading member of the community in Hadleigh. Indeed, our family is unusual in that all Alabasters in the UK are descended from Thomas, his son John, grandson Thomas, and great-grandson also called John. There is more about them below.

Note for Editors: if you wish to quote from these pages you are welcome to do so, but please include our web address www.alabaster.org.uk for the further information of your readers.


The Guildhall, Hadleigh, which Thomas Alabaster and three friends bought in 1573,
after it had been seized by King Henry VIII at the Reformation.
Some of the money was raised by the town, but the rest they paid themselves.
The Guildhall was then put to profitable community use as a workhouse for the poor.
 

Thomas Alabaster`s Brass in Hadleigh Parish ChurchA brass (pictured right), dedicated to Thomas Alabaster, can be seen in St. Mary`s Church, Hadleigh, where there is also a brass of his son John, pictured below. A closer view of the inscriptions can be seen on the Hadleigh page.

Every three years a Gathering of members is held, usually during April, either in the Guildhall or the Old School House in Hadleigh. The Old School was built in 1853 on the site of the former Alabaster School, which was, according to the local historian, the late W.A.B. Jones, the first effective elementary or non-grammar school. It was established under the will of John Alabaster, 1637. There are eight major branches of the Alabaster family, and so far all have been represented at each Gathering. Details of the last Gathering are here on this site. The next one (probably in 2014) will be announced at a later date.

Each time we have been able to welcome members from far flung parts of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA, who have been able to join in for the first time.

The Society`s journal, The Alabaster Chronicle, is sent to members approximately twice a year. Nearly all of the back numbers, except the most recent, can be accessed through the Chronicles link.

The Society is a member of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), whose website is at http://www.ffhs.org.uk/  Should your enquiries ever take you away from the Alabaster family, we can heartily recommend this site as a useful port of call.

The Society is also a member of the Guild of One Name Studies http://www.one-name.org/  

 

John Alabaster`s Brass in Hadleigh Parish ChurchAnyone can join

Anyone can join The Alabaster Society. The subscription year starts on 1st September, and the current rate can be found on the Contact us page.

For details of whom to ask if you have a question or comment, how to join the Society, or how to make a donation, please click the Contact us link which can also be found in the main navigation panel (top left and at the bottom of each page).

This site frequently has new information added and brought up-to-date.

Most information about Alabasters past and present is to be found through the Chronicles link, or via the Search link. Most users find searching for the names of their grandparents is a good place to start.

So where else to start? We suggest reading The Alabasters in Hadleigh in Chronicle No 10 from a talk given to the Society by the late distinguished historian, W. A. B. Jones, in which he explains the activities of the Alabasters in this town from the 16th century, and how they secured the Guildhall (pictured above) for the town.

While you are navigating the site, always remember the very effective, and recently improved Search facility. The search link also appears at the top and bottom left on every page, as the last item in the main navigation menu.



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FFHS One-Name Societietis Winner 2011