Hadleigh and Thundersley Family History Research

Let’s Find Our Hadleigh and Thundersley Ancestors

The book -- not with a banana
R Nichols
Now available as both an E-book and complementary Schools Pack
January 2024 OUT OF PRINT, we sold all the beautiful softback and hardback copies.
Published 2018
Published November 2019
The Ancient Parish of Thundersley
Rev E A Maley / H&TCA

As always when starting to trace our ancestors, the best place to start is with the memories of older family members. They can fill in some of the missing  full names, home towns, birthdays, maiden names, etc. Without some basics details, finding ancestors can be very hard. So once you have the basic details, start researching on line, if necessary taking advantage of the free access to some websites offered through the local library.

Look out for any Family History events at the library where other people will be on hand to steer you through some of the pitfalls that we all have encountered and also tell you how to tap into the local history publications including those published by this Archive.


Free bmd https://www.freebmd.org.uk/ This free to search website has many of the registered local births, deaths and marriages, indicating which quarter of which year they were registered and is useful for honing in on the right ancestors and, in particular, tracing maiden names and parents of more recent entries.

ancestry.co.uk https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ searchable for free at Hadleigh Library or in the Essex Record Office Searchroom. Probably most useful are the Census returns from 1841 to 1911. It also has the Essex Kelly Directory for 1937.

find my past https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ – searchable for free at Hadleigh Library or in the Essex Record Office Searchroom (Chelmsford). This usefully contains The 1939 Register, Military Records and Parish Record Indexes.

OTHER LOCAL SOURCES: Indexes to local history books:

Books available through the Hadleigh & Thunderley Community Archive via the website https://www.hadleighhistory.org.uk/ , local shops and libraries. These books each have an index (some separately available at the bottom of this page, in which local names can be found):

On-line Surname Indexes to Books

Hadleigh Postcard Memories (Robert Nichols). (See link to index below). To obtain a copy of the book, see article.

Tales Out of School (Chris Worpole) (Kindle Edition available, with index, via Amazon) see article.

Thundersley & Daws Heath (Robert Hallmann) (See link to index below). Currently out of print. To see how it looked, see article.

The Choppens (Bob Delderfield). To obtain a copy of the book, see article.

Thundersley Postcard Memories (David Hurrell and Bob Delderfield) (See link to index below). To obtain a copy of the book, see article.

The Ancient Parish of Thundersley (Rev E A Maley) (See link to index below). To obtain a copy of the book, see article.





Other On Line Sources at Home or in the Library:

British Newspapers on line at https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ Searchable for free, but register to see detail of pages.

Essex Placenames Project The tithe records of about 1840 showing owners and occupiers of land and their approximate locations have been transcribed into a searchable database for the whole of Essex at https://www1.essex.ac.uk/history/esah/essexplacenames/index.asp

Essex Record Office Searchroom This contains local Parish records (available free on line in the searchroom), Hearth Tax Returns and many other older sources. The ERO is remotely searchable at https://www.essexarchivesonline.co.uk/

Other local history books:

Hadleigh Past (Ian Yearsley) (Indexed)

Hadleigh – An Essex Village (Marion Hancock and Sandra Harvey) (Indexed)

Hadleigh Salvation Army Farm (Gordon Parkhill and Graham Cook) (No index)

Thundersley – A Pictorial History (Terry Babbington) (No index)

From Small Beginnings (The Stibbards Story) (David Stibbard and Sarah Kelleway) (No index)


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