This page has been established to facilitate sharing of information concerning the ALCE/ALSE surname in East Sussex. Variants of the surname include ALS, ALSE, ALSEY, ALICE and rarely (in East Sussex at least), ELSEY. The variant ELSEY is much more common in West Sussex.

My Alces are from East Blatchington in Sussex, England and I am a descendant of Thomas ALCE and Susanna BURROUGHS who married there in 1678.

Nearly all the ALCE family lines in East Sussex go back to the adjacent parishes of Beddingham and West Firle. Putting together the family trees in this early period (1538-1700) is made difficult by gaps in the parish records, particularly at Beddingham where records are missing in the 1641-1673 period. Also, many of the parish registers that survive only start in the early 1600s. Consequently, a project was started to transcribe all the ALCE/ALSE wills for East Sussex to help fill the gaps. Anyone researching this name in Sussex should get a (free) copy of my book "The Alce/Alse Wills of East Sussex 1552-1858" which can be downloaded from this site (see Publications menu tab on the left). The family trees below have been numbered to be consistent with the trees given in the book. Those who left wills/admons are highlighted in yellow.

Family Trees

Tree 1 contains four generations of fascinating ALCE wills but unfortunately the tree does not extend past the mid-1600s. Whether the ALCE surname died out or continued depends on what happended to Richard ALSE (1627- ) and John ALSE (1635- ). Gaps in the parish records during the Civil War period (1642-61) prevented the tree being developed beyond that period.

Tree 2 is the ALCE tree that started a dynasty of ALCEs at Glynde and extends into modern times.

Tree 3 actually starts with William ALCE (c1575- ) but the centrepiece is clearly Thomas ALCE (c1650-1719), the yeoman farmer of East Blatchington who had a large family which extends into modern times. This is the author, Geoff Barber's line.

Tree 4 is an island waiting to be connected to a larger tree (if that ever becomes possible!).

Tree 5 is also an island waiting to be connected to a larger tree, but appears to have had no male issue to continue the ALCE surname.

Tree 6 is a large tree commencing with William ALCE (c1510-1559) of Tarring Neville and extending into modern times.  An important family in this tree is that of Robert ALCE and Elizabeth BEAN who married in 1640 and lived at East Blatchington. It is their descendants who spread to Winchelsea, Eastbourne and East Dean. 

Tree 7 is an island that appears to have had no male issue beyond the early 1600s. However, the will of John Alce of Alciston is an imporatnt one and there are likely descendants along the female lines in surnames such as Chambers, Colvill and Alchorne, all important names in the area at the time.

Tree 8 is an island waiting to be connected to a larger tree (if that ever becomes possible!).