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Remote searches

11 January 2012

If you are unable to visit the Essex Record Office (ERO) in person, the ERO staff can search records for you. For a fee, payable in advance, we can search parish registers, census returns and any other documents or printed resources held by the ERO. 

Conducting a remote search 

Prior to requesting a remote search, you should check the SEAX database to be certain that the ERO holds the records you require.
If you are confident that the document(s) you seek are held by the ERO then you should make a request for a search by contacting and asking for the official search form. The form should be submitted accompanied by the minimum search fee shown. The results of a search will only be forwarded once full payment has been received.
You can instruct the record searcher to look for particular information, such as a name or family. The record searcher can provide a full transcription, or an abstract of a document written in English. An abstract contains all essential information from a document, and is therefore as useful as a full transcript, but is quicker to produce. This service is not available for documents written in Latin, but we can supply a list of independent researchers which includes people who search Latin documents. For more information contact the Search Service.
There is no guarantee that a search will find any information useful to your research, so sometimes the results can be negative. As some documents are exceptionally difficult to read, we will attempt to give you the best reading, whilst indicating any uncertainty. 

Remote search services

As well as searching in parish registers and other records in the ERO, we can carry out the following specific searches: 

Census returns

Copies of census returns, where the full reference is not known, may be supplied for a fee which includes a 20-minute search and copies of up to three extracts. 

Electoral and vehicle licence registers

Searches can be conducted for a single entry in an electoral register or a vehicle licence register at the cost of half an hour’s search. 

Remote search waiting time 

Remote searches are carried out in the order in which they are received. We carry out a number of requests for searches and aim to complete the process within four to six weeks. In times of exceptional demand, this can take longer. If we are aware of further delays, we will notify you. 

Alternative searches

A list of independent record searchers known to work in Essex can be provided if you do not wish to use the ERO search service. Contact the Essex Record Office for more details.