Essex Society for Family History

Family History Federation Member

Registered Charity No 290552

Essex Society for Family History

Family History Federation Member

Registered Charity No 290552



9th September 2021

Annual General Meeting

The 35th & final Annual General meeting of the Branch was held on Thursday 9th September 2021. As this was an important meeting, those members submitting apologies appointed proxies to vote on all matters. In the Chairman’s Annual Report. Janice Sharpe confirmed that there were no activities during the past year to report on but she continues in her role as representative at Chelmsford (usually via Zoom). The treasurer’s report, together with the accounts were submitted by Alan Stalley and having been duly proposed & seconded for approval were accepted.

Prior to the meeting the Secretary, under the Constitution & Rules had proposed that although the Branch has existed for 35 years, now was the time to consider its dissolution. Since the Society is well provided with “Zoom” talks, both from Galleywood as well as the other Branches (usually every week) there is no point in North West Essex Branch doing the same. Also with the small number of members there is no justification in having speakers. Furthermore, we have not met physically for over 18 months and there are no viable projects in the foreseeable future. Mike Furlong also confirmed that he will be standing down as Secretary. The Chairman said that she had raised the issue at the recent Executive Committee meeting and they proposed the Branch be Suspended at this stage rather than Dissolved. This would enable it to be resurrected in the future if the need arises. All assets as well as the library content will have to be returned to Chelmsford once the formalities are complete. She then went on to expand on the fact that we are all members of a wider Society so can, if we so wish, attend any meetings as well as joining the “Zoom” presentations. Before the accounts are closed the Secretary was asked to contact the lettings manager to elicit an invoice for hall hire. Once paid, our bank account will be closed and funds returned to Chelmsford for inclusion in their resources.

The Chairman confirmed her willingness to continue in her role as a member of the Executive Committee. Since the post of Branch Chairman will disappear she explained that she needs to be voted on by two fully paid members. It was agreed that Mrs Lesley Furlong would submit such a proposal & this would be seconded by Mrs Margaret Graves - these to be sent via the Society secretary, Meryl Rawlings in time for the main AGM on 16th October 2021. Janice Sharpe then made a formal proposal that she confirms our willingness for the Branch to be suspended by the Executive. This motion was seconded by Alan Stalley and a vote taken. All voted in favour (including proxies) and the motion was carried. There were no dissenters. The Chairman confirmed that she would inform the Executive at Chelmsford of the decision and seek guidance on what we need to do next. In closing Lesley Furlong thanked Janice Sharpe for fulfilling the role as Chairman and particularly in representing the Branch on the Executive Committee for so long.

The official part of the AGM closed at 8.30 pm. During light refreshments, members were able to share their stories of recent progress made in their research, especially during the latest lock down.

Report by Mike Furlong.

10th September 2020

Annual General Meeting

The Branch very successfully held a "virtual" Annual General Meeting by email & post. Notice of the AGM was posted on this page in January 2020 before Covid 19 lockdown. The papers for the meeting were then published on the Society website during August with a link to the AGM papers. Members were sent an email reminder inviting comments or questions prior to the meeting. All officers had indicated their willingness to continue in their various roles, they were subsequently proposed and seconded in accordance with usual practice. A copy of the Elections, Chairman's report, (wherein the deaths of Colin Francis & John Read are noted), Treasurer's report (approved by all respondents) & other issues are held with the minutes. Although a Member's Christmas meeting was considered, it was felt that nothing definite should be planned at this stage. There was no other business.

Report by Mike Furlong

12th March 2020

Parish Register Transcription Project

Fortunately, our March meeting took place just before the Government's advisory restrictions came into force. A small group of members continued work on the Baptism records for St. Mary's Church, Saffron Walden. To date over 12,900 records have been processed.

This time we worked on the Victorian transcripts of the first Baptism Register held in the Church Records, which commenced in 1558. Although a very useful framework, the original transcribers' use of abbreviations meant that many transcripts had to be cross-checked with the primary register. However, we managed to deal with some 2,300 entries on the night.

Because we cannot foresee when we will meet again, one member has undertaken to continue the verification process at home.

Report by Martin Foreman

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