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History of Chelmsford
Welcome to the home page for the History of Chelmsford and its inhabitants.
Below you find links to a range of sources transcribed by History House. Further below under 'more local history sources' you will find to links to other places on the web where you can continue your research.
For other locations in Essex see our alphabetical list of Essex towns and villages.
Poll of Voters 1826
Chelmsford inhabitants who voted in the 1826 general election held in the Borough of Maldon.
White's Directory of Essex 1848
CHELMSFORD, the county town, is pleasantly situated near the centre of Essex, at the confluence of the rivers >>more (covers several pages and includes Springfield and Moulsham).
White's Directory of Essex 1848 - list of inhabitants (covers several pages and includes Springfield and Moulsham).
Essex Almanac 1866
Essex Almanac of 1866 - a description of Chelmsford.
Chelmsford Criminal Cases
Court cases involving Chelmsford residents - ongoing project >>more.
When researching for this website we often find a little snippet of information on a location or subject which may be of interest. Here are some for Chelmsford.
Education in Chelmsford
Reports and returns on schools and education in Chelmsford.
Images and Maps
Images and maps of Chelmsford by Francis Frith.
Under the Poor Law of 1834, Chelmsford became part of the Chelmsford Union. See our article on researching your workhouse and pauper ancestors.
The story of the building of the Shire Hall with its courts and grand assembly room, plus a tragedy >> more
My Chelmsford Ancestors
Are your ancestors from Chelmsford? Why not tell us their story: My Ancestors.
More local history sources
Discover how to explore newspaper archives. With millions of pages now online, there is always the possibility of finding articles featuring your ancestors.
Ebay is now a great source for old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Link already formatted for Essex. Browse through or type the name of the location in the Ebay search box. >>
Also on Ebay are legal documents on vellum. This link is formatted for Essex. (Sometimes I think these should be in an archive.) >>
Books featuring Chelmsford from Abebooks. Just click the logo. The search terms are already formatted for Chelmsford.
Search for Chelmsford census returns at ancestry.co.uk.
The Essex Record Office 'ERO' is an excellent starting point for research. The ERO has an online catalogue by the name of SEAX and many of the parish registers are now available online. Access to both via the ERO's homepage.
If you are unable to travel to the ERO, we provide a professional archival research service.
Chelmsford marriage register for 1539-1770 transcribed in Phillimore's marriages for Essex volume 4 on Family History Archive.
Chelmsford marriage register for 1771-1837 transcribed in Phillimore's marriages for Essex volume 4 on Family History Archive.
Brief archeological history of Chelmsford on the Essex County Council's Unlocking Essex.
Web site of Chelmsford Museum and Essex Regiment Museums.
Web site with the history of Chelmsford Cathedral.
Web site of the Essex Police Musuem at Chelmsford.
Web site with the history of Chelmsford Workhouse.
Ordnance Survey Maps for the 19th century
The best quality images by far are from the excellent National Library of Scotland's website. They provide the Ordnance Survey's six-inch series for England and Wales between 1842-1952. Either as individual sheets, or a zoomable overlay layer (1888-1913) on modern Google and OS maps, or as a zoomable layer (1888-1913) side-by-side with modern Google and OS maps.
Or try the 1881 Ordnance Survey Map from the British History Online web site (Essex: Ordnance Survey 1:10,560: Epoch 1.0).
Heritage Gateway. Database of national and local records of England's historic sites and buildings. Includes records and photographs of all listed buildings, and historical and archaeological information on locations throughout England.
Chelmsford from Springfield Hill
print published 1834