At St. Giles parish church in the city of Durham, from a combination of the original register and the Bishop’s Transcript for maximum detail:
- 517 baptisms covering 1798-1812
- 520 burials covering 1798-1812
- 191 marriages covering 1791-1812
As most of you know, 1798-1812 is the wonderful period where baptisms and burials contain genealogically significant details such as the birthplace of the parents and maiden surname of the mother, and usually the birth date of the child. In a few baptisms, which we have annotated, the Bishop’s Transcript contained a detail or two, such as father’s occupation or mother’s maiden surname, that had not been recorded in the original baptism register.
- 7 Apr 1799 Jane Nebison [Nevison], born 6 Mar, 2nd child of John Nebison [Nevison] (labourer, [native] of Bishop Auckland) & Ann his wife late Oliver ([native] of Sedgefield)
- 20 Jan 1804 Thomas Hope [Harburn], born 10 Jan, illegitimate child of Thomas Harburn (farmer, parish of Crossgate) & Isabella Hope ([native] of West Auckland)
- 11 Jul 1811 Ann Hannah Harriot Travis, born 4 Jan 1809, 2nd child of Mr. Henry Travis (Staff surgeon, native of Scarbro’) & Ann late Holmes ([native of] Kimbolton. Huntingdonshire)
We’re glad we usually compare the Bishop’s Transcript to the original register, because in this case we found 3 burials in the Bishop’s Transcript that are not in the original burial register. How could this happen? Well, sometimes the busy priest or clerk would jot down on scraps of paper the baptisms or burials he had just performed, and enter them in the register later. We have seen many other cases where the information on the scraps didn’t make it into the original register, but at the end of the year when the transcript was being created for the Bishop of Durham, perhaps the scraps were discovered in a pocket or tucked into the register for future recording, or perhaps some entries were recreated from the priest’s or clerk’s memory, and they were then entered into the Bishop’s Transcript.
Sample burials – the amount of detail in these varies; sometimes you get just mother’s maiden surname, sometimes her birthplace, sometimes both, sometimes neither, but you almost always get the occupation of a deceased adult male, one or both parents in the burial of a child, and often the husband of a deceased married woman is named:
- 18 Feb 1798 David Murray, of St.Giles, age: 3, died 17 Feb, son of David Murray (soldier of 39 Regiment of Foot) & Jane late Keith
- 17 Mar 1801 Elizabeth Crow, of St.Nicholas, age: 103, died 14 Mar, widow of John Crow (labourer late of St.Oswald)
[Note: This burial (along with 2 others on the same day) is not in the original burial register, but appears in the Bishop's Transcript, in chronological order where it belongs.]
- 26 Jan 1812 Anthony Watson, of St.Nicholas, age: 49, tinner & brazier, died 23 Jan
Marriages in this period are usually fairly terse, with no parents named, but in some of these St. Giles marriages, the birthplace of the groom or bride is given (which is very unusual; usually you just get the current residence), and many have the groom’s occupation. There are many marriages where the groom is a soldier from somewhere far away, currently stationed at Durham, probably residing at the barracks in Gilesgate. We also found 12 marriages that are not in the IGI, so some researchers may find exciting new discoveries. Here are some sample marriages:
- 18 Aug 1792 George Clennell, of the parish of Monkwearmouth married Alice Crawford, of this parish, by licence
Witnesses: Cuthbert Stawford, John Tilly
- 8 Mar 1800 Samuel William Pyall (in the West Middlesex Militia, native of Chesham, Buckinghamshire), of this parish married Hannah Grievson, of this parish, by banns
Witnesses: Peter Grievson, John Tilly
- 20 Jun 1805 Isaac Gregory (native of Newcastle on Tyne), of this parish married Mary Yeall (native of Hartlepool), of this parish, by banns
Witnesses: Richard Tilly, John Tilly
- 1 Jun 1812 John Troy (of the 2nd Dragoon Guards), of Prescot, parish of Baschurch, Co. Salop married Mary Robinson, of the parish of St Giles, Durham, by banns
Witnesses: Christopher Robinson, Ralph Robinson, Ann Robinson
Abodes are usually not mentioned in these baptisms – this is normal for 1798-1812. Abodes mentioned in burials and marriages include Framwellgate, Pittington, Sherburn, Shincliffe, St. Giles, St. Margaret’s, St. Mary le Bow, St. Nicholas, St. Oswald’s, Sunderland, many other parishes all around County Durham, and many other counties in the marriages of soldiers.