The Essex 1861 Census, now also comes as smaller sets covering just a few piece numbers on each CD, so why buy the full county set, if you don't need it. This set contains the places covered by RG9/1079-1084, and it contains images of the census books digitised from the microfilm.
The publishers are very proud of the superb quality of the scanned images. They've have worked from really excellent films copied from the first generation films at the PRO, and have then used the very best possible film scanner currently available to digitise the images at a high resolution.
Link to indexes to browse the areas and streets where your ancestors possibly lived, and it covers the places as they appeared on the 1861 Census fiche (see the list below for the places that are covered by this set).
This is real primary data. Note that the CDs contain images of the actual pages of the census enumerators' books. Real original primary research data, (not transcriptions in text format). What you see is the original hand written documents. That does involve you reading the pages rather than typing in a name and expecting the computer to find it. However, you will very quickly become used to the handwriting styles of the different enumerators, and it is easy to click through the pages at even low magnification to spot the people you are looking for.
Features of the CD set are: the ability to magnify an area to see further detail, print the current page, alphabetic street index for larger towns, and searchable area indexes.
Places on CD 4 (RG9/1079-1084):
Ashingdon, Boreham, Broomfield, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Chignall Smealy, Chignall St James, Danbury, Eastwood, Good Easter, Great Baddow, Great Leighs, Great Leighs (Chatley), Great Waltham, Hadleigh, Hockley, Leigh, Little Baddow, Little Leighs, Little Waltham, Mashbury, Pleshey, Prittlewell, Rawreth, Rayleigh, Roxwell, Sandon, South Benfleet, South Farrbridge, Southchurch, Springfield, Thundersley, Widford, Writtle.