Perhaps Essex wasn’t so bad after all

20 Jan

I knew I needed to get a copy of the marriage certificate for Robert Cecil Allison and Kate Driver to make sure that this was my 2x great-aunt. All the evidence looked promising so far except that her age on the 1911 census was a few years out.

As it was Christmas and I was impatient to get on with my research I thought it would be worth trying to find out if any records were online before I sent of my order to the GRO for a copy of the certificate. So many parish records have been put online now that it is difficult to keep up to date on what is available.

None of the big three for parish registers (Ancestry, Findmypast or FamilySearch) had what I was after, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Essex Record Office itself had begun digitizing some of its collections. I still didn’t know much about research in Essex but I was beginning to warm to their forward thinking record office.

For just £5.00 (just over half the price of a marriage certificate from the GRO) I was able to spend 24 hours rummaging through the images in their Essex Ancestors database. Unfortunately the only record that they had which I wanted was the page from marriage register for Beaumont (or Beaumont-cum-Moze) which showed the marriage I was after.

There was no index, but the GRO index gave me the year and the quarter I was after, so it didn’t take long to find. I took a chance that they had married in Beaumont, but I wasn’t sure, it seemed likely and was in the right registration district.

Their system was simple to use but visually it seemed a little dated, but it served it’s purpose and soon I had the image I wanted saved on my hard drive and another piece was added to the puzzle. I seemed to be accumulating information at a surprisingly rapid rate.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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