MILLIONS of historical personal records from the county have made available on a genealogy website for the first time.

The Sussex Parish Registers span from 1538 to 1995, and are now available to browse on Ancestry.

It displays 6.5 million records of baptisms, deaths, marriages and burials in the county.

The register includes detail of the first documented marriage between a trans man and a woman in the UK; Victor Barker, born Lillias Irma Valerie Barker, met wife Elfirda Haward, and married at St Peter’s church, Brighton, in 1923.

Wendy Walker, country archivist at West Sussex Record Office, said: “Archives are full of stories waiting to be told, and the parish archives are where so many of these stories begin.

The Argus: Aerial view over Brighton with St Peter's on the left, 1929Aerial view over Brighton with St Peter's on the left, 1929

“Within their pages lie the hidden lives of people in the county dating back over four hundred and fifty years.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Ancestry and our colleagues in East Sussex to make this major resource for Sussex history available to people all over the world.”

Among the records are many notable people to have lived in Sussex, including William Juxon, who was baptised in Chichester in 1582 and went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Martha Gunn, baptised in Brighton in 1731, also features. She became the most famous “dipper” in the area – as sea swimming grew in popularity, so too did the need for swimmers to be dipped in and out of the water, requiring a dipper’s assistance.

Kristian Lafferty, content acquisition manager at Ancestry, said: “The East and West Sussex Record Offices set themselves a goal to extend their presence online through the digitisation of the registers, and we are very proud to have worked with them to make this happen.

The Argus: The records have been made available onlineThe records have been made available online

“By bringing in our team of experts to scan, index and public these historical documents, we have been able to make the records searchable all around the world for the first time ever.

Spanning four centuries, the collection offer insights into the life in the county that inspired some of Britain’s most creative minds.”