Welcome to the Essex Society for Family History

Office address - ESFH c/o Essex Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6YT

Our aims are to promote and encourage the public study of British Family history, genealogy, heraldry, and local history with particular reference to Essex and to promote the preservation, and accessibility of archival material. Donations which help with the work of the Society are always welcome and can be made by clicking below the red box at the top of any page on this site. All our staff are volunteers, we do not have any paid employees.

ESFH News 

(follow the link from the top of this page)

Our 2016 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 17th September 2016 at the Galleywood Heritage Centre, Chelmsford

A copy of the Accounts 2016 for the Year ended 31st March 2016 is now available. 

Are you having problems with brick walls
in your family history?  One to One assistance  is now available

The current total records on our database now exceeds one and a half million

We are adding more records all the time and we have also now released the advanced search facility which has been under construction for several months.  Is your ancestor's record one of these?  

Keep a check on these regular updates. 

 Just log in to the members only area
from the red box at the top of this page.

Our membership numbers continue to grow. We currently have over 1730 members mostly in the UK but our membership spreads worldwide as shown by the graph below which updates for new overseas members as they join. We invite you to join us by clicking on the red button below. You can become a member and instantly use all our membership facilities if you pay your membership fees on line by credit/debit card or by online Paypal account.  

Keep up with all the latest news from the Society by going to our ESFH News page from the black bar at the top of the page,

We have our own On-line Shop (select Shop on the black bar at the top of any page on the site) where you will find credit/debit card facilities for the purchase of all CDs published by the Society and also for the purchase of searches of Essex Records and other services provided by the Society. Our full Terms and Conditions may be viewed by following the link from the bottom of each page on this site.

Our website includes a Members Only Area which provides access to our collection of Parish Registers and Monumental Inscription transcriptions, an Essex Gazetteer which enables members to find that elusive place in Essex, and an on-line archive of back issues of the Essex Family Historian magazine from the first issue in November 1974.

Full details of our coverage of Parish records indexes are available by clicking on the Services button at the head of each page on the site and choosing Church Records List. You can also order searches of the National Wills index for England and Wales for wills which were proved from 1853 to 1943.

The Picture Gallery on the right hand side of this page shows the changing face of Essex each time you log on to the site. If you cannot wait to see the next selection of pictures just update your screen using your F5 key. New pictures are added regularly. Members who are unsure of the location of any view should log in to the Essex Gazetteer in the Members Only area.

Our Members Surname Interests are available to search on line. Go to the Membership tab on the black bar at the top of any page and select Surname Interests. Members are able to update their own interests on line through the Members Only Area. All visitors to this site can check the most recently added new or amended interests by scrolling to the bottom of the Picture Gallery on the right hand side of this page. 

We offer members the choice of an electronic version of the latest issue of the Essex Family Historian that is available at a reduced membership subscription rate and is fully searchable on line  (You can view a sample copy of our special Issue number 100 dated May 2001).  A paper copy of each  issue of the magazine is sent to all members paying the full subscription rates.

We have local Branches in Colchester, Harlow, Saffron Walden and Southend on Sea as well as at our Headquarters in Chelmsford where we have a Research Centre which provides free access for our members to the "Find My Past" web site. Non members are required to pay a small fee for this service.  For local news click on the Local Branches tab at the top of any page on the site and select the Branch in which you are interested.

We offer advice on researching your family history. Our local branches in Essex offer opportunities to meet others with similar interests and share knowledge and experience in a friendly atmosphere.

MEMBERS LATEST SURNAME INTERESTS                           

A list of surname interests recently added to our database by members of the Society, is shown below our Picture Gallery on the right hand side of this page.

The data shown is the Surname of interest, the County and the parish. By hovering over the Name with your cursor you will reveal period of interest.

The county is shown using the Chapman Codes. Hovering your cursor over the code will show the full name of the County eg MER will be revealed as Merionethshire.

If you decide that you would like to contact our member just click on the Name and it will take you to our Search Results page. Go to the relevant item and click on the e-mail icon. Complete your message in the drop down box and then send your message. 

See also Members Surname Interests above for full details of our Surname Interests facilities. 

We hope that you make a successful link with others researching the same surname.  


We attend many Family History Fairs in London and around the Country. Please drop by to our stand. We are always glad to meet other Family Historians who share our love of Family History.

For more details of all the above services please follow the individual links by clicking on the black tiles below. You are also invited to take a few minutes to view the ESFH in Action on our video.

For details of the constitution which governs the Society click here


The village duck pond in the pretty village of Writtle near Chelmsford

Restored Tudor House in the Village of Writtle near Chelmsford

Steeple Bumpstead Moot Hall known as the "Old Schole" was built in 1592 by the inhabitants on land rented from the Crown

Colchester Castle is a largely complete Norman castle. It is a Grade I listed building.

Layer Marney Tower is a Tudor palace, dating from 1520.

Church Street, Saffron Walden ~ a fine example of the Essex art of Pargeting

Thaxted Guildhall built by the guild of Cutlers in 1390

Stony Lane, Thaxted

Latest Surname Interests

Name County Parish
Carter ESS Great Oakley/Beaumont
Nichols ESS South haningfield / Sando
Oliver ESS Great Baddow
Neville NFK Shipdham
Andrews NAT
Turner NAT
Field ESS
young ESS felsted
Wager ESS Maldon, Tolleshunt, Panfi
Reed ESS Terling
Doe ESS Terling
Guiver ESS Terling
Wager ESS Terling
Clarke ESS Sandon
crush ESS
Pennyman ESS
Tinworth ESS Elmdon
Payne ESS Harlow
Green ESS Great Horkesley
Goldstone ESS Terling
Hickman ESS Great Leighs
Horton ESS Felsted
Bentall ESS Halstead
Lake ESS Rayne
Bowyer HRT Bishops Stortford

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