Birch, Essex Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Essex Gotoarrow.png  Essex Parishes Gotoarrow.png  Birch

St. Peter Birch Essex.jpg

Parish History

'Birch (St Peter), is a parish in Lexden district, Essex; 3 1/2 miles SE of Marks-Tey railway station, and 5 miles SW of Colchester.It comprises two ancient parishes, Great Birch and Little Birch.'[1]


Civil Registration

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

Online Birch Parish Register Images and Indexes
Images 1560-1990 EssexAncestors[2] 1560-1938 EssexAncestors[2] 1560-1940 EssexAncestors[2]
Indexes 1560-1753 FindMyPast[3] 1560-1938 FindMyPast[4]

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Census records

Poor Law Unions

Lexden and Winstree Poor Law Union, Essex

'Great and Little Birch were combined for parish government from the 18th century or earlier. In 1757 teams of farmers and labourers from both parishes were set up for highway maintenance. In 1783 there were 31 ratepayers and 20 outdwellers. In 1836 at a vestry seven of the principal inhabitants elected 2 church- wardens, 7 overseers, 2 assessors, 2 surveyors, and 2 constables. In 1726 a woman was paid £4 4s. for cures and physic for the poor. Bread was bought for the poor in 1779 with the proceeds of a fine levied on an unlicensed beerseller. In 1835 the overseers' purchases included loaves and flour; illness and unemployment were fre- quently recorded. In 1758 a workhouse was built on land near Great Birch church leased from William Round. In 1838 C. G. Round sold the workhouse to Lexden and Winstree poor law union. The building survived in 1999, called Church Cottages.

'Birch's rate of poor relief expenditure per head of population was about average for Lexden hundred. In 1608 the 'towne house called Stocke house' belonging to Great Birch parish was leased, presumably to raise money for poor relief. In 1776 costs were £239, and in the period 1783-5 averaged £224 a year. In 1801 they were £946, equivalent to 33s. 9d. a head. Between 1802 and 1815 they fluctuated between £419 and £822, except for 1812 when they reached £1,103 (41s. 2d. a head). In the period 1816-22 they ranged between £1,000 and £1,207 and in the period 1823-35 between £615 and £971. In 1836 they were £819 (21s. 11d. a head).'[5]

Probate records

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.

Web sites


  1. John M. Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (London and Edinburgh, 1870). Digital version at Vision of Britain.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Essex Ancestors: Unearth Your Roots, Seax - Essex Archives Online From the Essex Record Office, accessed 3 March 2012.
  3. "Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,", accessed 12 June 2011; Percival Boyd, A List of Parishes in Boyd's Marriage Index (London: Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd., 1994). FHL Book 942 K22L 1994
  4. 'Parish Records - National Burial Index Records 1538 - 2005 Coverage,' Find My Past, accessed 11 April 2012. For a breakdown of missing years, see 'National Burial Index - Coverage: Essex,' Federation of Family History Societies, accessed 23 April 2012.
  5. 'Birch: Local government', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10: Lexden Hundred (Part) including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe (2001), pp. 50. URL: Date accessed: 11 February 2011.