Many of the old parish registers hold a fascination whether your interest is in parish history, family history or of names and places.
The registers of Chadwell St Mary begin at about 1539 many of the old or complete registers are held at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford where they may be inspected if you obtain a readers licence.
Many of the names are similar to the names of today, although some of the spellings differ but there are also some unfamiliar names. Being the closest church at the time to Tilbury Docks some of the dead seamen would have been buried in the churchyard at Chadwell although there are no markings to identify where they are buried. The names being unfamiliar to the person writing the details some of the spellings must indicate a lack of awareness of foreign names and their spelling, i.e. Shiek Amon Abdoll, Mustapha Alley, and Lallao Said Allee.
The Census returns also provide a wealth of information showing the way in which the population has increased over the last two hundred years. The census return for 1821 shows a population for Chadwell as 202, in 1831 the population was 180 and in 1841 the population was 236, increasing to 457 in 1861. With the development of Tilbury Docks the population has increased considerably to what it is today.
The Vestry minute book and the and the minute book of the meetings of the Parochial Church Council show interesting information including the appointment of the Rectors Warden for the church and also the election of the peoples warden also the guardian for the poor of the parish which in the past has been either a man or a woman.