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Parish Registers at the Essex Record Office
Digital images of Essex Parish Registers are now available on online at the Essex Record Office.
Unlike the census returns, the availability online of originals of Parish Registers is still rare which makes it very frustrating for anyone researching their family history, especially if they are often many miles from the relevant Record Office, or even in another country. (See also Parish Registers: a Background, further resources are detailed there).
The Essex Record Office, however, are making great efforts to have these documents accessible by placing images of them on their website through their online catalogue called SEAX.
There are now a substantial number of registers available online, thus saving a trip to the Record Office. They are accessible on a pay-to-browse subscription (full details on their website). If you can visit the Record Office in person, then it is free to use.
Remember these are not transcripts, but the originals and are not indexed. You will have to select the parish you are interested in and then trawl through them by date. But be warned, you may have some problems with the writing or poor quality of the image.
Often it is necessary to widen your search from just one parish. A useful resource for finding out contiguous parishes (those parishes that immediately surround a parish or location) is England Jurisdictions 1851 on familysearch.org.
While on the subject of images, there are many other gems to find in other digital images provided by the ERO - just search under 'Images'. For instance.
Manor County Primary School, Braintree, junior school Adminission Register which dates from 1894 to 1905 (E/MA 67/2) A wealth of information. Child's name, dob, date admitted, place of birth, parent's name, address, occupation, place last school attended.
The Register of Electors 1918 (C/E 2/1/1) for numerous parishes in Essex listing all those eligible to vote in that parish.
Photographs of the damage caused in the Essex earthquake of 1884 (I/LS/COL/00043 and I/LS/COL/00067)
I hope that this has helped and encouraged your use of this wonderful resource supplied by the Essex Record Office.
Useful links: About the Essex Record Office