Earls Colne, Essex Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Essex Gotoarrow.png  Essex Parishes Gotoarrow.png  Earls Colne

St. Andrew Earls Colne, Essex .jpg

Parish History

'Earls Colne also known as Colne (Earls, or Great), is a village and a parish in Halstead district, Essex. The village stands on the river Colne, adjacent to the Colne Valley and Halstead railway, it is 3/4 of a miles SW of Colne railway station, and 3 1/4 miles SE of Halstead. There are chapels for Baptists and Quakers.'[1]


Parish Records

Online Earls Colne, Essex Genealogy Parish Register Images and Indexes
Images 1560-1932 EssexAncestors[2] 1559-1936 EssexAncestors[2] 1558-1942 EssexAncestors[2]
Indexes 1560-1854 Cambridge 1559-1853 Cambridge 1559-1854 Cambridge
1559-1942 FindMyPast[3]

Deposited registers are available both on fiche and in typed transcripts in the search room of the Record Office.

Typed transcripts (Two volumes) have been filmed on one reel:
Volume 1 contains transcript of marriages 1754-1837, baptsims 1813-1837, burials 1813-1837 and surname indexes.
Note at front by vicar, 1941, that transcript was made by Major A.H.T.Smith of EARLS COLNE.
Also baptisms 1838-1966, transcribed by Edward G. Scillitoe 1968, and index to surnames A-S

Volume 2 contains index to baptisms 1838-1966 surnames S onwards, marriages 1838-1966 and burials 1838-1966, transcribed by Edward G. Scillitoe 1968, with surname indexes
Baptisms, marriages and burials 1967-1971, transcribed by Edward G. Scillitoe 1972, with surname indexes.

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.

From 1837 until 1972 Earls Colne was part of the Halstead Civil Registration District for Births, Marriages and Deaths. From 1 November 1972 the Braintree Registration District has responsibility.

The Register Office, John Ray House, Bocking End, Braintree, CM7 9RW.
Tel: 01376 323463. Fax: 01376 342432.
E-mail: braintree.ro@essexcc.gov.uk


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

Halstead Poor Law Union, Essex

'From the mid 17th century leet business declined on both manors until it was almost entirely confined to the election of constables and aletasters for Earls Colne manor. Leets ceased to be held on the priory manor c. 1680, except for one leet in 1724. The usual pattern in the 18th century was for a court leet for Earls Colne manor to be followed immediately by a court baron for the priory manor; both dealt exclusively with transfers of copyholds. After 1780 only courts baron were held, until they ceased in 1885. In the 17th century courts were held at the Bell inn; in 1884 at the George.
The stocks and pillory on the earl's manor were out of repair in 1426, and the stocks and the cage in 1770. A cage stood near the church in 1728, another on Colne green c. 1800.
In 1728 the vicar was said to have attended vestry meetings so seldom that he had not nomi- nated a churchwarden for years. From the 1740s or earlier the Easter vestry was called the town meeting. Occasional extraordinary meet- ings of 'townsmen' were held at the Blue Boar in the 1740s, and at the Lion in 1764.
In 1579 a town house was used for the poor and for meetings, but in 1607 it was leased to a tenant. It may have been Oldhall on Colne green, held by trustees for the poor in 1678, which was converted into a workhouse in 1740. Inmates span wool from the 1740s until 1805. By 1785 and 1786 others were employed hop- picking and stone-picking. In the early 19th century the house held c. 21 people, presumably reflecting the accommodation available. In 1805 it comprised a great ward equipped for weaving, a parlour, the governor's chamber, four other rooms, and the old house, and it held 19 cribs or beds. In 1838 the house was sold to Mary Gee who demolished it.
Although in 1724 the parish agreed to arrange to send paupers to Halstead workhouse, between 1728 and 1731 19-23 people received 'standing collection', presumably outdoor relief. From 1729 to 1757 or later the overseers retained a surgeon to treat the poor. From the 1740s to the 1760s outrelief was only given occasionally, usually in times of sickness. By 1772 several pensions of c. 1s. a week were being paid to paupers outside the workhouse, some of them apparently from other parishes. The number of such pensions rose steadily to 53 in 1801, then fell to 29 in 1809 before reaching a peak of 65 in 1813. By 1824 there were c. 20 outpen- sioners. Occasional payments were made for clothes and shoes.
Expenditure on the poor more than doubled between 1776 and 1783-5, from c. £194 to an average of £423. By 1803 it had increased to c. £625, of which £393 was spent on the work- house and £232 on outrelief; the amount per head of population, c. 13s., was low for the hundred. Expenditure rose to £1,464 in 1813, then almost halved to £744 in 1815. It rose sharply to £1,477 in 1817, fell to £603 in 1823, and then rose slowly to £896 in 1834. Expenditure per head of population, ranging from a high point of £1 8s. in 1813 to a low of c. 10s. in 1823, remained among the lower rates in the hundred and was similar to those of the small towns of Dedham, Wivenhoe, and Coggeshall.'[4]

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.

External links

Earls Colne,  Essex The Records of an English Village 1375-1854 http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/ 27-year study that brings together virtually every document known to exist about the community and its inhabitants.


  1. John M. Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (London and Edinburgh, 1870). Digital version at http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Essex Ancestors: Unearth Your Roots, Seax - Essex Archives Online From the Essex Record Office, accessed 16 April 2012.
  3. 'Parish Records - National Burial Index Records 1538 - 2005 Coverage,' Find My Past, accessed 15 May 2012. For a breakdown of missing years, see 'National Burial Index - Coverage: Essex,' Federation of Family History Societies, accessed 15 May 2012.
  4. 'Earls Colne: Local government', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10: Lexden Hundred (Part) including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe (2001), pp. 98-99. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15181 Date accessed: 16 February 2011.