History News

News on useful information to help you research your Essex ancestors

Essex Herald now online

british newspaper archive website

The British Newspaper Archive has now added another Essex newspaper to its archive: the Essex Herald, covering the years 1834, 1863, 1873 – 1874, 1879, 1881 – 1884, 1897, 1899. A total of 1,492 issues.

This now means that the following Essex newspaper titles are in the archive

· Essex Standard: 1831 to 1900 4,169 issues
· Essex Newsman: 1870 to 1950 4,554 issues
· Essex Herald: 1834 to 1899 1,492 issues (many gaps)
· Chelmsford Chronicle: 1783 to 1950 6,378 issues

For more help see our article on searching the British Newspaper Archive where an example search is shown.

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Shakespeare’s World project

extract state letters
State letters from 1533 to ca. 1630 copied ca. 1650.

If you are skilful at transcribing handwriting from the 16th and 17th centuries then why not contribute to Shakespeare’s World, a project to transcribe thousands of manuscripts and documents created in and around Shakespeare’s lifetime, 1564–1616.

Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., with the aid of Zooniverse.org at Oxford University, and the Oxford English Dictionary of Oxford University Press, are running this project to transcribe the manuscripts in their collection. These manuscripts were created by thousands of men and women covering all types of topics: from state papers to personal letters, and from legal to literary documents, and even food recipes.

Your transcriptions may well throw up new words or spelling variations of known words which have yet to be recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary. Your discoveries will eventually be added to the dictionary.

More information on Shakespeare’s World.

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Essex Archives Online – new website

essex archives online website

The Essex Record Office have today relaunched their online catalogue. Formerly called SEAX it is now called Essex Archives Online and still includes the former Essex Ancestors part of the website. The website works much the same as the old one, but images that were previously free to view still remain free but now require registration first before veiwing. The parish registers and wills still require subscription payment.

It seems to me that the main reason for the relaunch is to make it mobile friendly. This all well and good, but for those with desktops it now means far more scrolling. Before you could view 20 entries at once it is ow only 7 or so.

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Police Gazette – crime and criminals

Punch cartoon: a Peeler
An early policeman, sometimes called a Peeler or Bobby (Punch cartoon 1845 PD)

Ancestry.co.uk has just released the United Kingdom’s Police Gazettes for the period 1812-1902, 1921-1927.

The Police Gazette was published by the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Service and contains information on crime and criminals, especially wanted criminals, missing persons and army deserters. It also circulated details of stolen property and often includes the victims’ names.

For wanted persons it includes names and aliases, physical descriptions, where they were from, occupation, known associates and much more. Occasionally it features photographs or sketches of wanted persons.

The collection can be searched by:

  • Name
  • Birth year
  • Publication year
  • Event year
  • Event location
  • Event Type
  • Role in Crime
  • Conviction Place

Well worth a look if you have criminal ancestors.

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Tithe Maps and your family history

The Genealogist has released a database of tithe maps and their schedules for England and Wales covering 40 counties and containing over 14 million names.

These maps were drawn up in England and Wales following the passing of the Tithe Commutation Act, 1836. Tithe maps and their accompanying tithe apportionment schedules can help you research your family tree in several ways. They can show where your ancestors lived, the land they owned and what the land was used for. For local historians it can show the land ownership of a whole village or parish and how the land was used. They are often one of the earliest detailed maps of a parish available to the researcher.

Copies of the tithe maps can be found in The National Archives or your County Record Office. But before the end of 2015 there was no central database for the names of landowners appearing in the various tithe maps held in the National Archives and Country Record Offices. Now the Genealogist database goes some way towards providing a central database.

The counties covered are: Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Brecknockshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarfonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, County Durham, Cumberland, Denbighshire , Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Glamorganshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, York City and Ainsty and Yorkshire.

More information on The Genealogist website.

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Civil registration certificates at the ERO

You can now order Birth Marriage and Death certificates from the Essex Record Office providing the event was registered in the following registration office areas:

Castle Point & Rochford
Epping / Loughton

It will cost £10 and will be posted within five working days.There is an express service available at £25 and £18 (not including p&p).

For more information and to order, go to the ERO’s website.

Note that these do not include the birth, marriage and death registers for the former parts Essex now administered by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Council and the London Boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Newham and Redbridge.

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