Wivenhoe, Essex Genealogy
Guide to Wivenhoe, Essex ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
St Mary the Virgin Wivenhow Essex
|Poor Law Union||Lexden and Winstree|
|Parish registers: 1560|
|Bishop's Transcripts: 1629|
|Diocese||Pre-1846 - London; Post-1845 - Rochester|
|Probate Court||Court of the Archdeaconry of Colchester|
|Location of Archive|
|Essex Record Office|
Wivenhoe (St. Mary), is a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Lexden district, Essex. The town is on the river Colne and on the Tendring Hundred railway, it is 4 miles SE of Colchester; the post-office is under Colchester, They have an Independent chapel, and a cemetery.
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.
Wivenhoe, Essex Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:
|ESSEX = EssexAncestors - (£)|
|FREG = FreeREG - free|
|FSPRs = England, Essex Parish Registers, 1503-1997 (FamilySearch) - free|
|Wivenhoe, Essex Genealogy Online Parish Records|
|FREG||1566-1689||1560-1623, 1648-1689, 1692-1754||1560-1586, 1589-1682|
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 Unions
In the 16th century bequests were often made for relieving the poor, and weekly collections are recorded for poor relief from 1577; regular cash payments and relief in kind were given. Occasional cash doles were made to poor per- sons, some of them sailors. Between 1576 and 1594 parish expenditure on poor relief was between c. £5 and £7 a year. In 1692 the justices ordered that the poor be badged and in 1701 that they be set to work.
In 1726 Nicholas Corsellis granted for the use of the poor a cottage lying between Wivenhoe heath and Wivenhoe Cross, which was con- verted to a parish workhouse. In 1750 parish officers intended to build a new parish work- house, but they apparently extended the existing small workhouse instead. The surviving build- ing is arranged as a terrace of late 18th-century houses.
There were 25 people in the workhouse in 1755, and 22 in 1756. In 1759 there were only c. 16 but also 10 households received outdoor relief. A spinning wheel was provided in 1757 and another in 1759, and in 1765 the workhouse master was a bayweaver from Colchester. The workhouse master and mistress were required to understand spinning. The wedding expenses of inmates were paid on four occasions between 1759 and 1765. The vestry agreed in 1766 that relief would be given in the workhouse only and that rents would be paid only in cases of sickness.
By 1798 between 21 and 25 persons or families received regular out relief each quarter and there was a maximum of 16 persons in the workhouse at any one time. There were above 30 house holds receiving out relief in the period 1801-3. Numbers in the workhouse were significantly higher in the period 1799-1803. From c. 1800 more cash doles were paid than relief in kind; occasionally money was paid for making clothes for paupers. In 1826 there were 44 people receiving regular outdoor relief. A payment was made for the care of a parishioner at Bethlehem hospital (Lond.) in 1756. In 1798 there was a parish surgeon; in 1799 he inoculated 51 paupers. A surgeon was still employed in 1827.
In 1807 the workhouse keeper was allowed 3s. 3d. per head a week. In 1823 and 1824 it was 3s. per head, though the amount could be varied slightly according to the number of inmates and the price of flour. Paupers were to be treated 'with kindness and humanity' and to receive three meat dinners a week 'such as is wholesome and good with pudding or dumpling'.
Some poor children were put out to service in the 17th century. Many were apprenticed in the 17th to 19th centuries, mostly in Wivenhoe and Colchester, but also in other towns in north Essex and in ports on the east coast of England from Kent to Northumberland. The boys were bound mainly to mariners, fishermen, and oyster dredgers, with a few to weavers outside the parish in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the girls usually learned housewifery.
In 1776 the cost of poor relief was £268 and in 1783-5 it averaged £289 a year. Expenditure rose to £845 in 1802, equivalent to c. 15s. 6d. per head of population, and then fluctuated between £507 and £631 in 1803-11 before rising again to range between £907 and £1,152 in 1817-21, equivalent to c. 16s. a head, in 1821. It fluctuated between £1,069 and £1,268 between 1822 and 1830, was £926 in 1831, equivalent to c. 10s. 10d. a head, and fell further to £694 in 1834. Poor law expenditure per head in Wivenhoe was always one of the lowest in Lexden hundred.
In the early 19th century surveyors supervised the spreading of gravel and stones on the roads. Wivenhoe became part of Lexden and Winstree Highway District in 1868. An iron parish cage on Anchor Hill, repaired in 1810, was in use until c. 1850. Wivenhoe vestry used its few remaining powers after 1834 actively: a nuisance removal committee was set up in 1855 and a sanitary inspector employed; vigorous attempts were made to provide public services, preparing the way for the vestry's transformation into an urban district. 
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
Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.
Essex Ancestors - offers images of genealogical records for the county of Essex
- John M. Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (187072). Adapted 15 May 2013.
- Essex Ancestors: Unearth Your Roots, Seax - Essex Archives Online From the Essex Record Office, accessed 3 March 2012.
- Essex Coverage in FreeReg, FreeREG, accessed 4 September 2014.
- 'England, Essex Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records),' FamilySearch, accessed 2 September 2014.
- From: 'Wivenhoe: Local government', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10: Lexden Hundred (Part) including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe (2001), pp. 288-290. British History Date accessed: 10 February 2011.