Birch is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Essex, created in 1813 from Great Birch Ancient Parish and Little Birch Ancient Parish.

Alternative names: Little Birch, Great Birch, Great and Little Birch

Parish church: St Peter

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1560
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BIRCH, a parish in Lexden district, Essex; 3½ miles SE of Marks-Tey r. station, and 5 SW of Colchester. It comprises two ancient parishes, Great Birch and Little Birch; and has a post office under Colchester. Acres, 3,069. Real property, £4,318. Pop., 940. Houses, 189. The property is divided among a few. Birch Hall is the seat ofG. Round, Esq. There are remains of a small castle. The living is a double rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £469. Patron, alternately the Bishop of Rochester andG. Round, Esq. The church of Great Birch is good; and that of Little Birch is in ruins.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

BIRCH, GREAT AND LITTLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Lexden and Winstree, Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 5¼ miles (S. W.) from Colchester, containing 794 inhabitants. The parish is supposed to have derived its name from the Saxon signifying a bridge, in reference to a bridge over a brook, now called Hickford bridge. It comprises 3028 acres, by measurement; the soil is various, consisting of dry loam resting on clay marl of a whitish colour, and of heavier mould resting on brown clay. Birch Castle was fortified against Henry III. by Sir Ralph Gernon, then lord of the manor: there are still some remains. The living is a rectory, with that of Little Birch (formerly a parish valued in the king’s books at £5. 6. 8.) united, valued in the king’s books at £11, and in the gift of the Bishop of London, and C. Round, Esq.: the tithes of Great Birch have been commuted for £574, with a glebe of 57½ acres, and those of Little Birch for £210, with a glebe of 14½ acres. The church is a small edifice, with a spire of shingles. When the church of Little Birch became a ruin, several of the monuments in it were removed to Earl’s Colne.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog

The following records are available free online.

Census

Census returns for Birch, 1841-1891

Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts for Birch, 1629-1630 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex)

Bishop’s transcripts for Birch, 1800-1879 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex)

Churchwardens and overseers records, 1713-1900 Author: Birch (Essex); Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex)

Parish registers for Birch, 1560-1965 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex); Essex Record Office

Poorhouses & Poor Law

Churchwardens and overseers records, 1713-1900 Author: Birch (Essex); Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex)

Taxation

Churchwardens and overseers records, 1713-1900 Author: Birch (Essex); Church of England. Parish Church of Birch (Essex)

FreeReg

Place Churches Registers Search
Birch St Peter Parish Register Search FreeReg

Directories

Poll Books

Maps

Vision of Britain historical maps

Administration

  • County: Essex
  • Civil Registration District: Lexden
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Colchester
  • Diocese: Pre-1846 – London, Post-1845 – Rochester
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 – Lexden, Post-1846 – Coggeshall
  • Poor Law Union: Lexden and Winstree
  • Hundred: Lexden
  • Province: Canterbury

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