379 marriage bonds filed in 1823 in the Diocese of Durham. These are brand new, not previously in our bond index. Early 1823 bonds include baptism details!
In this period, marriage bonds often provide ages, occupations, place of residence, and sometimes a father or mother for the bride and groom during a period when marriage registers did not provide that information. Please read the Marriage Bonds sectionof the Transcription Samples page for a description of what information is found in bonds, allegations, and associated documents, and how we present that information.
For the first 3 months of 1823, most bonds also provide the bride and groom’s birthdates, places and dates of baptism, one or both parents’ names (often including the mother’s maiden surname), and sometimes the child’s order within the family (1st son, 2nd daughter, etc.). Sometimes there is the name of a brother or other relative who is swearing to the accuracy or existence of the baptism, or to the bride’s age if no baptism documentation could be found.
Here are two examples that are loaded with valuable information, including (in the 2nd example) a rather sweet memory of the godmother carrying the baby to church for her baptism:
- 15 Jan 1823 Joseph Hodgson (surgeon, bachelor, born 15 Jan 1798, 1st child, baptized 17 Mar 1798 at Tanfield), age 21 and upwards, of Sunderland, County Durham, son of Joseph Hodgson (fish hoop maker, native of Hartlepool) & Sarah Carrick (native of Lanchester Parish), obtained a licence to marry Charlotte Allison (spinster, minor, born 16 Jun 1804, 7th child, baptized 19 Aug 1804 at Houghton-le-Spring, with consent of her natural & lawful widowed mother), age under 21, of Sunderland, daughter of Ralph Allison (shopkeeper, native of Sherburn) & Elizabeth Coulthorp (native of Burnopfield), directed to Sunderland
Surety: Robert Coates, butcher of Sunderland, Elizabeth Allison, widow
- 22 Feb 1823 Donald Angus (ship carpenter, bachelor), age 21 and upwards, of Bishopwearmouth, County Durham obtained a licence to marry Dorothy Fawcus [Falcus] (spinster), age 21 and upwards, of Bishopwearmouth, daughter of Robert Fawcus [Falcus] (yeoman of South Shields), directed to Bishopwearmouth. Thomas Jackson, gardener of Warkworth, certified that he stood godfather to the said Dorothy Falcus when she was baptized at Warkworth about 25 years ago, and her father adds that it was the 10th January 1798. The wife of Thomas Jackson was one of the godmothers and carried her to the church – but she is ill and cannot come to add to her husband’s testimony. Robert Fawcus of South Shields made oath that he is well-acquainted with Donald Angus who intends to marry his daughter Dorothy, and that Donald was baptized in Cross parish in Scotland.
[Note: There is a letter dated 16 Feb 1823 from the Vestry at Warkworth claiming that the baptism entry for Dorothy Fawcus could not be found, and that there must have been some sort of clerical error made, at the time, because her siblings had been regularly entered.]
Note that “age 21” means “21 and upwards” in these documents. This is about as helpful as “of full age” on a civil registration marriage – it serves only to separate the minors from everybody age 21 to 100. However, marriage bonds sometimes provide additional information. Here is an example of a couple whose official age is given only as “21 and upwards”, but additional information shows the groom to be over 60:
- 20 Jan 1823 Thomas Bell (gentleman, widower), age 21 and upwards, of Bishop Auckland in the parish of Auckland St. Andrew, County Durham obtained a licence to marry Mary Jopling (spinster, born 26 Sep 1792, baptized at the Baptist Chapel, Hamsterley), age 21 and upwards, of Bishop Auckland, daughter of James (of Butterknowle in the parish of Hamsterley) & Ann Jopling, directed to St. Andrew. Silas Jopling made oath that the baptism of Thomas Bell cannot be found, but he knows him to be upwards of 60 years of age.
Surety: Silas Jopling, farmer of St.Andrew’s Auckland
Marriage bonds cover the entire Diocese of Durham i.e. Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire. There are a few licences in our collection that were issued by York. Because bonds cover the whole diocese, there is no way to limit your search of bonds to a single district. If you select a district from the District menu, your selection will be ignored when the marriage bonds database is searched.