Greenstead-juxta-Colchester, Essex Genealogy

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Guide to Greenstead-juxta-Colchester, Essex ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish register transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Greenstead St Andrew

Parish History[edit | edit source]

Greenstead St Andrew [Greenstead-juxta-Colchester] is an Ancient Parish in Essex. It should not be confused with Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex  which has the same dedicatory name and is in the same diocese and county.

The diocese of Chelmsford was created in 1914, prior to this Essex parishes were in the jurisdiction of the Bishops of London until 1845 when they transferred to the diocese of Rochester. The diocese of Chelmsford has 474 parishes and 600 churches and is the second largest region in the church of England outside London.

The church of ST. ANDREW, Forest Road, Greenstead, comprises a chancel and nave, structurally undivided, a south aisle running the length of the nave and chancel, a west tower, and a north porch. The walls are of mixed rubble, the old work mostly being rendered, the tower is of red brick, and the roofs are of tiles and slates. The simple plan may be of 12th-century origin and the exposed north-west angle incorporates some re-used Roman brick. Until the mid 19th-century restoration two 12th-century windows survived in the chancel, which had other medieval features including a 13th-century lancet and a mid 14th-century east window with reticulated tracery. Two recesses in the east wall are probably early 14th-century and a plain tomb recess in the north wall retains some medieval painting in formal imitation of stonework. The late 16th-century tower is decorated with a simple pattern in dark headers in the red brickwork.
In 1633 the church was in a poor condition, the buttress on the south side of the chancel having fallen down, and it was presumably damaged during the siege in 1648 when a parliamentary gun battery was erected in the churchyard. About 1705 a buttress, presum ably the clasping buttress at the south-east angle in existence in 1824, was built to support the south wall of the chancel. The chancel and east part of the nave were refaced in the late 18th century. By 1824 the south side of the chancel had been heavily buttressed and two dormer windows had been inserted in the nave.
The church was thoroughly restored in 1856- 7, largely at the expense of Thomas Philip de Grey, Earl de Grey, and J. G. Rebow, M.P. A south aisle, designed in 13th-century style by G. Sargent, was added and the interior was repewed. (fn. 60) After the earthquake of 1884 the nave ceiling was replaced and the tower repaired and stripped of its rendering. Extensive repairs in 1971 included reroofing the tower and rebuilding its parapet.
Victorian oak wall tablets on either side of the chancel east window contain the Lord's prayer, commandments, and creed. The Hanoverian royal arms hang above the north door. There is one bell, of 1723 by Thomas Gardiner; an earlier bell was recorded in 1607. The church plate includes a 17th-century silver cup made by R. Hutchinson of Colchester.
In 1896 Francis Thomas de Grey, Lord Cowper, gave c.½ a. to extend the churchyard, which was still used for burials in 1985.
The dual purpose church hall of ST. EDMUND, designed in 1966 by J. Thompson, in brick lined with wood, has a glass south wall surmounted by a cross. The red brick church of ST. MATTHEW was converted from a parish room which had previously been a school.

From: 'Outlying parts of the Liberty: Greenstead', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9: The Borough of Colchester (1994), pp. 382-390. URL: Date accessed: 07 February 2011.

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]

Online images are available Seax - Essex Archives Online From the Essex Record Office St Andrew Essex record Office reference D/P 399

Census records[edit | edit source]

Poor Law Unions
[edit | edit source]

Colchester Poor Law Union,Essex

The abbot of St. John's held a manor court in Greenstead in the early 13th century. In 1274 and 1285 he claimed gallows, tumbrel, the assize of bread and of ale, and free warren by charter of Henry III. The gallows presumably stood on or near Gallow green, the triangle of land on the edge of Parson's heath. Manor courts with view of frankpledge were held about three or four times a year from the 14th to the 16th century, usually including one at Whitsun and one near Christmas. An ale-taster, two constables, and one or two rent collectors were elected each year at Whitsun. Between 1572 and 1602 the manor court with view of frankpledge met annually and appointed two constables and two wardens of the commons; thereafter until 1669 it met less regularly. Courts baron were held until 1931.
John at Shaw unsuccessfully claimed heriot from a tenant of Shaw's manor in 1311. St. Botolph's priory and its successors as lords held courts for the manor of Shaws until 1841; from 1558 they apparently held view of frankpledge, but no leet business was recorded, the courts being concerned solely with the transfer of copyhold land; pleas leading to recoveries were occasionally heard. In 1764 an Ardleigh man was presented for digging brickearth between Harwich Road and Soane wood, and from 1769 encroachments on the waste were presented and licences to inclose small pieces of waste were granted.
Parish stocks were recorded in 1581. Vestry records do not survive, but churchwardens and overseers were mentioned in 1685. A parish workhouse was sold in 1815. Annual expenditure on poor relief amounted to £152 in 1776 and c. £145 in 1783-5. By 1812 it reached £322, equivalent to c. 15s. a head, and by 1820 to £487, but fell to £384 in 1821, still c. 15s. a head, just below the average for Colchester. In 1835 Greenstead became part of the Colchester poor-law union.

From: 'Outlying parts of the Liberty: Greenstead', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9: The Borough of Colchester (1994), pp. 382-390. URL: Date accessed: 07 February 2011.

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]