As with all transcription exercises, errors can occur because of the condition of the original registers, the images taken from the pages, the language used (in this case old English script that changed over the years when different Clergy made the entries) and because many names are not in common use today. The Society encourages all users to compare the Transcription entries against the on-line IMAGES of the Original registers. Paper copies of the transcriptions and register images are held in Saffron Walden Library.
During the transcription of the old English script, children with the same parents may appear with different “transcribed” spellings of their Surnames. This could be caused by difficulties reading the script or because the vicar/priest spelled the name how he heard it/thought it should be spelled. In this case and with the transcribed data sorted into Alphabetical order, those children would appear to be from different families. The situation is made worse when the first letter of the Surname was so difficult to transcribe that the name appeared out of alphabetical order. The transcribers have only used their skills to interpret the letters in the names. They have not altered the transcribed names to achieve a common or normal way of spelling of the name.
Accessing the Database
Here is the link to search the database. If you wish to see more transcribed information, such as Mother’s name, or day & month of baptism you need to be a member of Essex Society for Family History; to join go here
Finally, look at the IMAGES to verify the data for yourself (see above).
Because it has not been possible to incorporate Soundex, Phonetic or similar aids to finding names the user should manually widen their search criteria to suit. This applies particularly with the first letter of Surnames and to Christian names such as Nicholas, Nicolas, Nicholus etc.