History News

News on useful information to help you research your Essex ancestors

Clacton’s Band Pavilion

Claction promenade people walking

Travel back in time with historian Norman Jacobs as he unveils the layers of history of Clacton’s Band Pavilion.

This illustrated talk charts the Pavilion’s journey from an open space and bandstand to 3000-seat theatre hosting the world’s top big bands and global showstoppers, to amusement arcade and on to today’s children’s fun park, bowling alley and restaurant.

The story of the Pavilion mirrors Clacton’s own rise, fall, and rise again; once a key attraction in one of Britain’s premier seaside resorts which fell into decline, we now celebrate its revival as part of the town’s regeneration.

Kindly hosted by Armstrongs @ the Pavilion restaurant, Marine Parade East, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1PS.

Free and open to all, free tea and coffee will be served as part of the event.

Doors open at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start.

Places limited so booking essential.

Booking on Eventbrite: https://changing-times-clacton.eventbrite.co.uk
Facebook event: http://bit.ly/changing-times-clacton
Art Exchange: http://www.artexchange.org.uk/event

Posted in Essex History | Leave a comment


oldmapsonline.org website

As a fan of old maps and knowing how useful they are in family history research I thought I would recommend Oldmapsonline.org.

The website offers an easy to use gateway to the map collections of many libraries and archives across the world. It provides a search engine based either on a Place Name Search or by Map Navigation. Quite often it is faster and easier than the search engine of the organisation holding the maps. At the moment 383804 maps are catalogued and accessible through this gateway. The best coverage is for Britain, Europe and North America.

In the UK two of the most useful old maps websites, the National Library of Scotland and British Library, can be searched through this gateway.

For more information on maps and your family tree see our article on Maps

Posted in Essex History, Essex Resources | Leave a comment

Find My Past – 5 Days of free British and Irish Records

Find My Past are offering free access to British and Irish Records over the long weekend of 22nd – 26th June (ending 9am).

If you are not already registered, after registration access will be free to the following datasets:

  • Birth, Marriage, Death and Census Records from Britain and Ireland
  • Irish Family History Records
  • UK Parish Records
  • British and Irish Military Service and Pension Records
  • UK and Ireland Crime, Prison and Punishment Records
  • Travel and Migration Collections, School Records and Occupation Lists

NOT included in the free offer is the 1939 Register, British and Irish newspapers, recent electoral registers, and rest of the world records.

Posted in Census, Essex Resources, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

25 inch Ordnance Survey Maps for Essex

map of bobbingworth

The excellent Map section of the National Library of Scotland’s website is now even better! They have made available the 25 inch Ordnance Survey Maps for Essex – all free.

These are the most detailed historical maps produced by the Ordnance Survey on a scale of 25 inches to the mile. They can be used for local history research, house history research, or discovering where your ancestors lived if used in combination with the census returns.

Three editions are viewable:
Essex (1st Ed/Revised 1862-96) Revised: 1895 Published: 1897
Essex (New Series 1913) Revised: 1919 Published: 1921
Essex (New Series 1913) Revised: 1940 Published: 1947

The maps can be viewed as individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales; or as a seamless zoomable overlay layer (1890s-1920s) on modern satellite images and OS maps; or as a seamless zoomable layer (1890s-1920s) side-by-side with modern satellite images and OS maps.

The interface takes a little while to get used to, but once that is achieved then you will be amazed at the detail contain in the maps.

Posted in Essex History, Essex Resources | Leave a comment

Essex Electoral Registers

The Essex Record Office have recently announced that they are releasing digital images of Electoral Registers for Essex as part of their subscription package, or they can be viewed for free at their search room.

The Record Office hold registers from 1833 to 1974 and these will be released in phases. The first phase are Electoral Registers from 1833 to 1868. It is hoped that the project will be completed by January 2018.

Altogether, the collection consists of 850 volumes containing thousands of names of those eligible to vote in Essex. The archive is not searchable by name, but the registers are compiled on a parish by parish basis and then the names are alphabetical so it is fairly easy to find your ancestor if you known the name of the parish they lived in.

It is also a good resource for those researching the history of their house.

For more information, read the announcement on the Essex Record Office blog.

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New index at General Register Office

birth certificate

A welcome new improvement has just been implemented at the General Register Office. It is a new free Birth and Death Index with additional data fields. For instance, the most welcome of all: the mother’s maiden name on the birth index.

The index is separate from the existing index which can be found on Free BMD or commercial websites like Ancestry. The new index cover the dates from 1837 to 1915 for births and 1837 to 1957 for deaths.

The search result gives the information required to enable ordering of the certificate: year, quarter, registration district, volume, page number.

To find out more information visit their Questions page.

An additional small change to their website is that registration is required before you are able to search the index.

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