Parish registers online
Most Essex parish registers are available online at the Essex Ancestors site run by Essex Record Office. Although the site was originally free, it's now necessary to buy a subscription - a one-day subscription costs £5, a one-year subscription costs £75, and there are other options in between.
Note: the registers at Essex Ancestors have not been transcribed and indexed, so it's like browsing microfiche at the Record Office. However the images are far better quality than you would find on microfiche, and you can save a copy on your own computer by right-clicking and selecting Copy image. If you visit the ERO you can view the digitised images free of charge.
Some Essex baptisms and marriages are included in the IGI at FamilySearch but many parishes are missing (you can see the coverage here). There also over 500,000 records in a separate Essex Parish Registers collection.
There are relatively few baptism entries at findmypast mainly relating to West Ham, Barking, Dagenham, and Tilbury between 1813-1851; there are many more marriages and burials, and these cover both a wider area and a longer timescale (most come from Boyd's Marriage Index 1538-1840 or the National Burial Index).
Births, marriages and deaths
There are currently NO local indexes of births, marriages and deaths for Essex.
- Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey
- Thurrock Local History Society
- Abbey Genealogy Enthusiasts
- Essex Regiment Museum
- Essex Police Museum
- Barking and Dagenham local history
- Redbridge Information and Heritage Service
- Newham Archives and Local Studies Library
- Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library
- Grays Library
- Havering Local Studies and Family History Centre
- Ardleigh's Past
Key Essex resources
Essex Record Office is based in Chelmsford (see the website for opening hours and other information for visitors); please note in particular that you will need a County Archives Record Network card, so make sure that you take appropriate proof of identity and residence if you don't already have a valid CARN card.
Many of the eastern boroughs of Greater London were originally part of Essex - not just Redbridge and Havering, which still have Essex postal addresses, but also areas that have London postal addresses. Areas that were once part of Essex include Walthamstow, Leyton, Stratford, West Ham, and Plaistow.
The Essex Society for Family History has branches in Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow, Saffron Walden, and Southend. The East of London Family History Society covers the part of Essex that is now in Greater London, and has branches in four locations across the area.