Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit baptisms 1841-1856, 1860-1870

1,939 baptisms on the Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit, covering 1841-1856 and 1860-1870. This is the first addition we have made to this collection since Oct 2008. These filled all of the gaps we had, so we now have continuous coverage of this circuit from 1815 to 1957. Unfortunately, the baptism register between Apr 1837 and August 1841 did not survive, or if it did, its location is unknown and it has not been filmed by the Durham Record Office.

Methodist circuit preachers traveled around their circuits, baptising infants, children, and adults at Methodist chapels and private homes, keeping track of the baptisms in notebooks or on scraps of paper in their pockets. When they got around to it, they turned over their records to be recorded in a central register for the entire circuit. That means the register is not strictly chronological; it is common for several months or even several years of baptisms to be intermingled.

Methodist baptisms generally do not show the father’s occupation. In this set, starting in 1846, they usually include the child’s birth date; before that, the child’s age is often stated.


  • 17 Nov 1842 Thomas Cook, of Whitwell Colliery, son of Michael & Mary Cook, aged 11 months
  • 8 Jan 1850 David Dyson, of Story’s Buildings, Chester-le-Street, born 23-Jul 1849, son of Thomas & Charlotte Dyson
  • 10 Feb 1861 Frances Ann Beadnell, of Cassop Colliery, born 24-Oct 1860, daughter of Robert & Dorothy Beadnell
  • 1 Jun 1870 George Taylor Cleasby, of Houghall, born 22-May 1870, son of Robert & Ruth Cleasby

The Durham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit ranged over a wide area, and residences mentioned include Belmont, Brandon, Brasside, Brecon Hill, Broomside, Burnhope, Carrville, Cassop, Cassop Colliery, Cassop Moor, Chester-le-Street, Chester Moor, Coxhoe, Dragon Villa, Durham City, Easington parish, Edmondsley, Fishburn, Framwellgate Moor, Frankland, Gilesgate and Gilesgate Moor, Grange, Haswell, Houghall, Kelloe, Lanchester, Littletown, Ludworth, Lumley and Lumley Thicks, Neville’s Cross, New Durham, New Kelloe, Newcastle, Old Sherburn, Pelton, Pelton Fell, Pittington, Quarrington Hill, Sacriston, Shadforth, Sherburn, Sherburn Hill, Shincliffe and Shincliffe Colliery, Shotton and Shotton Colliery, Thornley, Thrislington, Trimdon Colliery and Trimdon Grange, Tursdale Colliery, West Rainton, Whitwell, Wingate, and Witton Gilbert.

Since we were in this section of the register, we also went through our existing 347 baptisms from 1855-1860 and corrected a few minor errors, and found 1 baptism we missed the first time.