Online books for Essex and Suffolk research

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Thousands of out-of-print, out of copyright books from research libraries worldwide have been scanned and made available online for free. Find links below to books at archive.org, The Hathi Trust, Google Books, the Suffolk Records Society, and British History Online. While the focus is on books about Essex and Suffolk, books for nearby counties have been included too.

Visitations

Essex

Suffolk

Cambridgeshire

Hertfordshire

Kent

Lincolnshire

London

Norfolk

General

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Marriage licence allegations and bonds

Note that the Essex Record Office have indexed their marriage licences by name and year on Essex Archives Online.

Allegations for marriage licences in the archdeaconry of Sudbury, in the county of Suffolk (1918-1921)

Archdeaconry of Suffolk

Marriage Licences from the Official Notebooks of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, Deposited at the Ipswich Probate Court, 1613-1674 (Printed at the private press of Frederick Arthur Crisp, 1903, archive.org)

Bishop of London & Archbishop of Canterbury

People from Essex and Suffolk might appear in these:

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Memorials and church monuments

Essex

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Essex, 1916-1923

Suffolk

Engravings of Sepulchral Brasses in Norfolk and Suffolk, tending to illustrate the the Ecclesiastical, Military and Civil Costume, as well as to preserve memorials of ancient families in that county, by John Sell Cotman esq et al, 2nd edition, 1839

Norfolk

The Church Heraldry of Norfolk, a description of all coats of arms on brasses, monuments, slabs, hatchments, &c., now to be found in the county. Illustrated. With references to Blomefield’s History of Norfolk and Burke’s Armory. Together with notes from the inscriptions attached by Rev Edmund Farrer

Great Britain and Ireland

Ancient Funeral Monuments within the united monarchy of Great Britain, Ireland, and Islands Adjacent, by John Weever, 1631

Antient Funeral Monuments of Great Britain, Ireland, and Islands Adjacent, by John Weever, new edition 1767

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Manors

Essex

Feet of fines, 1182-1603: see The Essex Society for Archaeology and History

Both volumes of Morant’s Essex are available online via the Wellcome Collection.

Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense by Richard Newcourt, 1708

A history of the diocese of London, including the lords of the manor presenting to the livings of the parishes. A source used by Morant.

Suffolk

Feet of fines: see Mediaeval Genealogy

Suffolk Manorial Families, being the County Visitations and Other Pedigrees, by Joseph James Muskett [incs transcriptions of many wills, PCC, SRO, etc.]

  • Vol 1: Winthrops of Groton and allied families inc: Ponder, Sharpe, Mildmay, Alabaster, Vesey, Risbey, Still, Browne, Fones, Gostlin, Downing, Hilles, Munning, Forth, Crymble, Bode, Powell, Clopton, Tyndal, Rainsborough, Reade, Cullum, Boldero, Garneys, Elmy, Grigg, Goodwin, Taylor, Hammond, Gurdon, Sexton, Burrough, Appleton, Doggett, Drury, Langham, Arnold (see index for all names) 1894 (archive.org) [See Evidences of the Winthrops of Groton at archive.org as well]
  • Vol 2: Hovell, Smith alias Hovell, Folkes, Morden, Whiting, Bright, Barrett, Partridge, L’Estrange, Suckling, May, Fulmerston, Heyward, Bolton, Carey, Kempe, Barrow, Jermyn, Garneys, Keble, Pretyman, Beaumont, Stubbing, Collett, Muskett, (see index for all names) 1908 (archive.org)
  • Vol 3, parts 1 & 2 bound together: Reeve, Wentworth, Andrews, Fairclough, Mann (no name index) 1910 (archive.org)
  • Index for vol 3 (Suffolk Records Society)

The Manors of Suffolk by W A Copinger

Copinger also compiled the six-volume Suffolk Records and Manuscripts, between 1904-7, but I haven’t found these online yet. See a sample page, from a sale of four volumes from the collection. Unfortunately, it looks as if printers have claimed the copyright for it in order to sell prints, so online versions will have been taken down (even though the printers would be using the online digitisations for their prints). And even more unfortunately, these prints are sometimes terrible quality, rendering the content inaccessible!

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Norfolk

An essay towards a topographical history of the county of Norfolk : containing a description of the towns, villages, and hamlets, with the foundations of monasteries, churches, chapels, chantries, and other religious buildings

Families

These books will contain information on the family themselves as well as interconnecting families. Some will contain images eg of heraldry, houses, portraits etc etc.

The Genealogist’s Guide to Printed Pedigree

Buckenham, Bokenham and variations

Cole

  • The Genealogy of the Family of Cole, of the County of Devon, and of Those of Its Branches Which Settled in Suffolk, Hampshire, Surrey, Lincolnshire, and Ireland, by James Edwin-Cole, 1867 (archive.org)

Cutler

Drury

Frere

  • Pedigree of the family of Frere, of Roydon in Norfolk, and Finningham in Suffolk, by Horace Frere, 1874 [I cannot find a free online scanned version of this anywhere, other than the contents appearing on the Freer/Frere family research site]

Gawdy

Gosnold of Otley

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Parish registers

Essex

Suffolk

Norfolk

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Wills

See more printed books of wills – most aren’t available online, but hardcopies can be purchased

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Education

Hearth tax

Local histories

The East Anglian; Or, Notes and Queries on Subjects Connected With the Counties of Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex and Norfolk 1858-1910

Essex

Miscellaneous

The Essex Review: an illustrated quarterly record of everything of permanent interest in the county

Victoria County History: A History of the County of Essex

Suffolk

The History and Antiquities of Suffolk

Miscellaneous

See also the SRS’s digital series.

County of Suffolk: its history as disclosed by existing records and other documents, etc by Walter Arthur Copinger

Index of records used for Copinger’s “A History of Suffolk”, arranged alphabetically by surnames or places eg. “Ashfield, Great” is under A, and “Cardinall, family” is under C.

A History of Suffolk by Walter Arthur Copinger

I haven’t found the actual volumes online anywhere yet, unless it’s the first five volumes of Copinger’s Manors of Suffolk (see above).

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Elsewhere

  • Collections for a History of Staffordshire: the William Salt Archaeological Society. Volumes from 1880-1921.
  • All the Harleian Society Publications, with links to free, online scans where available. Includes many London parish registers as well as nearly all the county visitations. Also includes a list of later publications which are still in copyright and not available as free scans, but should be sourceable from research libraries (ask about inter-library loans at your local library).

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Created: 3 January 2021
Updated: 6 January 2021, to include parish registers and Suffolk Records Society content.
Updated: 26 January 2021, to include British History Online content
Updated: 16 April 2021, to include Visitations for counties outside Essex and Suffolk, and books on Norfolk manors
Updated: June 2023, several including Collections for a History of Staffordshire.