Modified our earlier transcription of 2,258 baptisms at Robinson’s Lane Presbyterian Chapel in Sunderland covering 1727-1797.
Why? Our initial transcription of the register of the Presbyterian chapel in Robinson’s Lane, Sunderland, was taken from Herbert Maxwell Wood’s transcription of this register, which was done many years ago. In a few other parishes, we have found Wood’s transcripts to accurately reflect the register and be a reliable source, at least to start with. However, in this case, something went terribly wrong. Either Wood transcribed from another version of this register, or he decided, for unknown reasons, to include birth dates but not baptism dates for many entries, whereas the actual register we looked at generally includes both. Later, George Bell did a transcription of this register, which we used as a checking aid during our transcription of Wood’s register; oddly, Bell included baptism dates but not birth dates! We finally got tired of trying to untangle this mess and went back to the original register and looked at every entry and modified our transcript accordingly – and heavily. We did 1798-1825 last year, and have now finished 1727-1797. Most records acquired either a baptism date or a birth date, many gained an abode, some gained middle names, and many, many errors were corrected. We also found 17 additional records – eight of these were on a page in 1762 which had been lightly crossed out, but since the details were still visible, we decided to transcribe these baptisms, as they don’t appear to be recorded anywhere else and this may be the only record of these children’s births. We don’t know why they were crossed out – perhaps the baptisms didn’t happen, or they happened at another church. Anyway, it’s been a long, hard task, but at least now we have a more accurate transcription of this register, which is always our top goal.
If you purchased a record from Robinson’s Lane Presbyterian Chapel and the record has been modified, you will receive an amended record by email. If you were searching for families at this chapel, you might want to re-run a search for any missing folk, as the missing may turn up among the modified or new records in this set.
Most of the members of the Presbyterian congregation were of Scottish extraction, arriving in Sunderland as seamen, soldiers, shipwrights, etc. Some samples:
- 25 Dec 1749 William Marshall, of Hilton ferryboat Bishopwearmouth, born 15 Dec 1749, 1st son of George (farmer) & Margaret Marshall (widow of John Robison)
- 17 Mar 1797 William Osburn [Asburn], born 02 Mar 1797, son of David (Lowland Fencibles) & Ann Osburn [Asburn]
- 16 Nov 1783 Henry Whitehead, born 09 Nov 1783, son of William Whitehead (mariner, native of Dirleton in Scotland) & Alice Adamson (of Alnwick(?))
[Note: entered on a blank page between 1784 and 1785 in a much later hand with the following comment: "The above Register taken from the Testimony of Hannah Macartney and Margaret Whitehead sister of the above Henry Whitehead".]