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Essex Family History: A Genealogist's Guide to the Essex Record Office published by the Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford Essex CM1 1LX, England. 4th ed. 1995. 167 pp. Spiral-comb binding. £6.50. Payment by credit card or sterling check. Order by mail or fax to 011-441-1245-430085.

For those with Essex ancestors this is the book to learn what basic and advanced records are available for your research. This is especially important given that only about 10% of the Essex parishes are included in the IGI. There are three depositories in Essex with the main branch being in Chelmsford. This book lists which records are where.

The book begins with a good introduction to doing genealogical research in Essex, although the information is applicable anywhere in England. The largest section of the book on green paper lists the Anglican parish registers and transcripts. It provides details on each parish showing what years are available in the original registers on microfilm, fiche and whether indexes are available. A section on yellow paper shows similar information for the non-conformist registers.

There are also sections dealing with records of: probate, marriage licenses, poor law, electoral and taxation, quarter sessions, police, protestation returns, militia, tithe and manorial, monumental inscriptions, plus their index to personal names. For each of these records there is an brief but good explanation of what they are, followed by a list of the holdings of the archives.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.5, 1996