Chigwell, Essex Genealogy

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Guide to Chigwell, Essex ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Chigwell, Essex
St. Mary's Church, Chigwell Essex.jpg
St. Mary's Church, Chigwell Essex.
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Ongar
County Essex
Poor Law Union Epping
Registration District Epping
Records begin
Parish registers: 1555
Bishop's Transcripts: 1639; 1715; 1800
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Lambourne
Diocese Pre-1846 - London; Post-1845 - Rochester
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex
Location of Archive
Essex Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

CHIGWELL (St. Mary), is a parish, in the union of Epping, the hundred of Ongar, and S division of Essex; it is 6 miles S from Epping and 12 miles NE from London. This place was originally within the bounds of the great forest of Waltham. At Chigwell Row there is a place of worship for Independents.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Chigwell parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

BOYD = Boyd's Marriage Index (findmypast) - (£)[2]
ESSEX = EssexAncestors - (£)[3]
FSPRs = England, Essex Parish Registers, 1503-1997 (FamilySearch) - free[4]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[5][6]
Chigwell Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images


FSPRs Undefined
IGI 1555-1850

Non-Conformist Churches[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Poor Law Union[edit | edit source]

'There is little information concerning poor relief before the 18th century. The Guild of the Holy Trinity (see above, Church) took a regular part in relieving the poor. The poor men's chest in the parish church is mentioned in 1550, and the collectors of the poor in 1564.

'Vestry minute books have survived for 1712-49, 1789-1804, and 1847-94. There are overseers' accounts for 1821-36 and an almost complete series of bills for 1784-1836.

'For a large and fairly populous parish attendance at the vestry was normally not numerous; there were rarely more than twelve ratepayers present. Meetings were usually held in the vestry room, but in 1870 and 1872 exceptionally large attendances necessitated an adjournment to the 'King's Head'. At the 1872 meeting more than 200 attended to discuss an advance to the Chigwell School Board. In the later 19th century the ratepayers of Buckhurst Hill, who outnumbered those in the rest of the parish, disliked travelling to Chigwell for vestry meetings, especially because there was still no direct road between those two parts of the parish.

'There seems to have been no particular system of rotation in appointing parish officers. Until 1770 churchwardens were appointed for two successive years but afterwards they often served for longer terms. From 1730, or earlier, one churchwarden was appointed by the vicar and the other by the parish. Overseers of the poor usually served only for one year, two being appointed each Easter. There is a vague suggestion that during the 18th century one was appointed for the lordship of Chigwell Hall and the other for that of Woolston. Three surveyors of highways were appointed each year, one each for the lordships of Chigwell Hall, Woolston, and Barringtons. This office was often taken by the gentry, and in the middle of the 18th century William Harvey, lord of Barringtons, served his own lordship for many years. There is no evidence that the vestry nominated constables before 1790. A resolution of 1721 prohibited the appointment of a deputy by any parish officer without the vestry's approval. A paid assistant overseer was appointed in 1827 and served continuously until 1839, when he became the relieving officer for Epping District under the Epping Board of Guardians. An assistant overseer was again appointed in 1840, and in 1852 he was also made collector of the poor rate and paid a commission of 3 per cent. of the rates collected.

'In 1727 there were 2 men, 5 women, and 5 children receiving regular poor relief. A year later a house in Chigwell was converted into a workhouse and in 1733 the vestry resolved to send all out-pensioners there. In 1730 a workhouse master had undertaken to maintain the poor for a 10d. rate, but this arrangement seems to have lasted only a few years. In 1745 all pensioners were ordered to wear the parish badge. The workhouse remained adequate for the needs of the parish until 1790, when a larger house in Gravel Lane was taken on lease. This was used as the parish workhouse until 1836 when it was taken over by the Epping Union, which used it until the new Union house was opened in 1838. In 1796 the poor were farmed out to a workhouse master at 15 guineas a year; he also received 2 guineas for acting as parish beadle.

'Of the 94 surviving settlement certificates dated between 1699 and 1791 received by the parish officers 60 were issued by parishes in south-west Essex, 12 elsewhere in the county (mostly in the north-west), 6 in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, 12 in London, Middlesex, Surrey and Kent. One was for a blacksmith from Taunton and one for a barber and wig-maker from Berwick-on-Tweed. The others were from Wellingborough (Northants.) and Steeple Aston (Oxon.).

'The 106 surviving apprenticeship indentures drawn up between 1671 and 1809 show that most pauper children were apprenticed to masters within the parish.  For many years the ratepayers took these children as apprentices on a rota system. In 1727 a woman paid a fine of £10 to avoid taking a child allotted to her. In 1730 it was resolved not to pay relief to travellers through the parish even though they carried passes; it was considered that as the main road through Chigwell led only to Ongar such passengers had no need of assistance.

'In 1792 one of the overseers was Joshua Jenour, a well-known author and pamphleteer and a man of advanced views. In that year he planned to build a pest-house out of the poor rates. As he had not consulted either his fellow officers or the vestry, the churchwardens ordered him to desist. He moved a resolution at a subsequent vestry meeting that the house should be built, but this was defeated. Among his supporters were three local doctors, while the opposition came mainly from the farmers and larger ratepayers. In 1794 the vestry supported a plan proposed by John Conyers for the relief of the poor of the hundreds of Ongar, Harlow, and Waltham, but later withdrew support. In 1795 the high price of flour was met by subsidizing from the rates the bread bought by the poor from local bakers, and by the agreement of the wealthier inhabitants to use flour from which 7 lb. bran a bushel had been extracted. In 1800 it was decided to provide the poor with substitutes for flour, mainly rice and potatoes, and the ratepayers were urged to use similar substitutes themselves.

'The overseers' expenditure in the year ending at Easter 1724 was £151, and in 1745 £180. In 1783 the total poor rate was £485. Expenditure rose to £716 in 1791 and in 1801 the poor rate was £1,086. Between 1801 and 1821 the rate fluctuated considerably; it was highest in 1820 (£2,519) and lowest in 1811 (£630), but was usually between £1,000 and £2,000. Overseers' expenditure was £1,339 in 1823 and £1,614 in 1836.'[7]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Essex Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Essex Ancestors - offers images of genealogical records for the county of Essex ($)

Chigwell on GENUKI

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) Adapted: Date Accessed 14 May 2013
  2. 'Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,', accessed 12 June 2011.
  3. Essex Ancestors: Unearth Your Roots, Seax - Essex Archives Online From the Essex Record Office, accessed 3 March 2012.
  4. 'England, Essex Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records),' FamilySearch, accessed 2 September 2014.
  5. Batches C041861-C041862, see: Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Essex, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 20 April 2012.
  6. Batch M041861, see: Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Essex, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 20 April 2012.
  7. 'Chigwell: Parish Government and Poor Relief', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4: Ongar Hundred (1956), pp. 37-38. URL: Date accessed: 27 January 2011.