Tracing Your Essex Ancestors

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Since the early 17th century, there have been strong connections between the county of Essex in England and the New World. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including several American presidents, can trace their ancestry to Essex. But how do you trace these connections? What records exist? And how can you access these resources?

Join Neil Wiffen and Allyson Lewis from the Essex Record Office to learn how to explore your English roots. This full-day workshop will include lectures, a demonstration of the website Essex Ancestors, and a special display of original records, including the parish register of Saffron Walden showing the baptisms and marriages of several Great Migration immigrants. Note: The NEHGS library and archives will not be open for research during this event.

9:30 am  Registration and light refreshments
9:45 am  Introductions
10:00 am  Essex-American Connections
11:00 am  Introduction to the Essex Record Office and Its Collections
12:00 pm  Break for Lunch
1:00 pm  Using English Parish Records
2:00 pm  Using English Probate Records
3:00 pm  Break
3:15 pm  Question & Answer
4:00 pm  Display of Original Records

About the Speakers:

Neil Wiffen, Public Service Team Manager of the Essex Record Office, was born in and educated in Chelmsford before undertaking his first degree at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. At the University of Essex he completed an MA in Local and Regional History. He started working at the ERO in 2000 and has a strong interest in the history of the county of Essex.

Allyson Lewis is an archivist with 30 years’ experience. She is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford where she studied Modern History. She then undertook a Masters in Archive Administration at University College London. She has worked at the Essex Record Office for 12 years and is responsible for providing Access Points around the county to bring the Record Office closer to the public.