Welcome to the history of Essex

Colchester Castle

From the haunting scenery of the salt marshes to its fields and picturesque villages, and from the River Thames to Britian's first capital and oldest recorded town, Essex has a fascinating past. Dip into the history of its towns, villages, parishes, and its people with History House.

Image: Colchester Castle

There are now 5,044 pages on the website - and more to come.

Essex A to Z

Alphabetical List of Essex towns and villages

Detailed information on each town and village in Essex is available through the A to Z directory.

Each location's page includes extracts from the 1848, 1863 and 1874 county directories which detail the history of the location and a list of the main inhabitants. A useful resource for tracking movements of your ancestors between the ten-yearly census.

Other useful information may include voters in elections, education and schooling, criminal cases, paupers and workhouses, and suggestions on other websites which may help you.

Articles on Essex and British history and tips on researching your ancestors

parish register

Parish Registers at the Essex Record Office.

Digital images of Parish Registers are now available online at the Essex Record Office. >>more

essex map

Essex on the map.

Using maps to discover the history of Essex and its people. >>more


newspaper title

Newspaper archives.

A look at newspaper archives and how they can help you research your ancestors. >>more

>> See a full list of our articles on tips to help you research your Family History, History of Essex and British History.

Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers


Find your ancestors in the newspapers. Try our example search to discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.

Books on Essex

Looking for books on Essex? Amazon.co.uk have a wide selection of books on Essex History, British History, Genealogy and researching the history of your house.

Alternatively, if you are seeking used, rare and out of print books then try Abebooks. They bring together 13,500 independent, professional booksellers from all around the world.


Kelvedon Hatch, 1840 - 1920: A Guided Tour

Book cover: Kelvedon Hatch, 1840 - 1920

Go on a guided tour of Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. With the help of photographs, newspapers, parish records and census returns, the story of each house is revealed, as are the lives of some of their occupants. Available as a paperback or ebook

Law and Order

police officer

Essex Court Cases

New ongoing project to create a list of Essex court cases with the names of those involved. Information extracted from 19th century newspaper reports and gaol calendars. Also a guide on how to find information on your criminal ancestors in Essex. >> more.

Essex Police Records

Index to the names of Essex police officers from 1840 - 1910, and a guide on how to find more information on your police ancestors in Essex. >> more.

Pictures of Essex

street scene

If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then eBay is a good source for old images of Essex towns and villages. Throughout this site you will find many examples of postcards you can find on Ebay, some orginals, others digitally restored and enhanced.

Another source is the Media Store House on Amazon

History News

Read the latest history news for Essex and UK, covering all aspects of history and resources to aid research.

History News lastest articles >>>


My Essex Ancestors

Tell the story of your Essex Ancestors

my ancestors logo

Are your ancestors from Essex? Why not tell us their story. Who were they? When were they here? What they did they do? Where did they go? Have you an interesting story to tell about them?

Go to our A to Z directory, click on the location where they lived, and follow the My Ancestors link halfway down the page.


When researching for this website we often find a little snippet of information on a location or subject which may be of interest. Some are quirky, some show that there is nothing new in this world, and some about the attitudes and morals of the time. Here are some examples, or look at our index to snippets:

Documents on Essex Ancestors

part of old deed

All types of objects relating to family history are sold on eBay. Photographs, copies of Wills, house conveyancing, bills of sale, and much, much more. See our article Essex Ancestors on eBay

Essex in 1722

Daniel Defoe's Essex Tour

Daniel Defoe

In 1722, the now famous author, Daniel Defoe, set off of a tour of the eastern counties of England. His account of his journey provides not only a description and history of a some of the largest towns of Essex, but also provides lively insights into the economic and social activities of its inhabitants: oyster fishing, game shooting on the marshes; and the marrying habits of those living in the marsh areas. He also provides a compelling account of the siege of Colchester during the English Civil War. >> Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, 1722.

About History House

History House seeks to provide free information on the history of Essex to help you research your family history. The directories of Essex for 1848, 1863 and 1874 have been transcribed. It is hoped that other directories will follow. Other resources include 1826 and 1847 voters' polls, gaol calendars, police records and newspaper articles. History House is researched and written by Phil George B.A. (Hons.).

Contact History House to include your web site on our A to Z list of Essex locations if it contains historical information.

Copyright 2016