Sunderland: Flag Lane Chapel Primitive Methodist baptisms 1823-1837

231 baptisms at the Flag Lane Chapel, a Primitive Methodist Circuit chapel in Sunderland, covering 1823 to May 1837.

This circuit covered the Sunderland area and stretched inland to cover the Houghton-le-Spring area. Abodes mentioned include Ayres Quay, Birtley (Chester-le-Street), Bishopwearmouth, Cox Green (Penshaw), Crossgate (Durham), Deptford, Downs (Houghton-le-Spring), Easington Lane, Flag Lane (Sunderland), Hartlepool, Hetton Houses, Hetton-le-Hole, High Downs, Houghton-le-Spring, Low Moorsley, Low Southwick, Lumley, Malings Rigg, Masham (Yorkshire), Monkwearmouth, Moorsley, New Thornley, Newbottle, Philadelphia, Quarry Head (Penshaw), Shiney Row, Southwick, Sunderland, West Herrington, and West Rainton.

The baptisms include birth dates of the children and most include the mother’s maiden names. The terms “alias” and “formerly” were used interchangeable to denote the mother’s maiden surname. Here are some samples:

  • 30 Nov 1823 Harriett West, of West Street, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland, 3rd daughter of Nathaniel West (minister of the Gospel in the Primitive Methodist Connexion) & Sarah alias Lindforth
  • 19 Sep 1836 Joseph Clark Battey, of Hopper Street, Bishopwearmouth, born 16-Aug 1836, son of Robert Battey (jobbing smith) & Jane formerly Laverick

An interesting article about the history of Primitive Methodism and the Flag Lane Chapel can be read here:




Sunderland Old Meeting House/Cornmarket Chapel baptisms 1802-1837

443 baptisms at the Old Meeting House on High Street, also called Cornmarket Chapel, a Congregational chapel in Sunderland, from May 1802, where our previous transcription left off, to 7 June 1837.

Abodes mentioned include Bishopwearmouth, Bishopwearmouth Pans, Monkwearmouth, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Shields, South Shields, and Sunderland.


  • 9 Nov 1802 William & John Tinmouth, of Sunderland, born 3-Nov 1802, twin sons of William & Isabella Tinmouth
  • 17 Sep 1815 Margaret Roseberry, of Bishopwearmouth, born 17-Sep 1815, daughter of James & Margaret Roseberry
  • 17 Jul 1829 William Sharp Stothard, of Monkwearmouth, born 7-Aug 1825, son of William & Harriet Stothard

Monkwearmouth Scotch Church (Presbyterian) baptisms 1778-1837

1,261 baptisms at the Scotch Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland district, covering 1778-1837.

Birthdates are included in most of these baptisms, and even better, mother’s maiden surnames and the birthplaces of both parents were included starting in August 1800 and continuing to the end of this record set (end of 1837). From July 1825 onward, the baptisms included the names of witnesses, and we noticed that often one of the witnesses shared the surname of the mother, leading us to think the witness was probably her father or brother.


  • 28 Mar 1778 Alexander McKinzey, of Monkwearmouth Shore, born 20 Mar 1778, son of Alexander & Christian McKinzey
  • 22 Sep 1800 John Lockart, born 30 Aug 1800, son of George Lockart (shoemaker, native of Penenock, mid Lothian) & Jane Vietch (native of Longham, N.B.)
  • 30 Jan 1814 James Roseberry, 4th son of Thomas Roseberry (mason, native of Authol Stoneford, N.B.) & Bridget Salmon (native of Sunderland, C. Durham)
  • 5 Aug 1825 Jane Balmer, of Monkwearmouth, born 24 Jul, 1st daughter of James Balmer (joiner, native of Rothberry, Northumberland) & Elizabeth Hay (his wife, native of Monkwearmouth)
    Witnesses: John Brown, elder of Park Chapel & Robert Hay
  • 22 Dec 1831 Peter Hunter, born 8 Dec, 2nd son of William Hunter (native of Lerwick, Scotland) & Isabella Turnbull (his wife, native of Monkwearmouth; she died soon after the child was born)
    Witnesses: James Rose, elder & John Turnbull

Many of these parents were born in Scotland. At this time, the southern part of Berwickshire was called Merse (March, or borderland) and, in this register, this area is often called Merceshire, Merseshire, or the shire of Merce.

History of the Scotch/Scots Church in Monkwearmouth

Since the introduction of Presbyterianism in Sunderland in the mid-eighteenth century, the protestant dissenting congregation (non-conformists) had to attend either the chapel in Robinson Lane, built in 1739, or the Spring Garden Lane chapel, which was first used in 1766. Both were in Sunderland, and there was no bridge across the River Wear, so members from Monkwearmouth had to take a ferry across the river, which was inconvenient and sometimes dangerous. To solve this problem, in the spring of 1777*, a chapel was created in a converted stable near the top of Brewery Bank in Monkwearmouth. Land was then acquired opposite the brewery and a chapel was erected in 1778. Known locally as the Ropery Lane or Rope Walk chapel because of a nearby ropery, the name was changed to the Park Chapel early in the ministry of the Rev. Alexander McFarlane (1803-1813). The move from Brewery Bank to Bridge Road (now North Bridge Street) took place in 1827, after the lease of the Park Chapel had expired. Timbers from Park Chapel were recycled to make the pews in the new church at Bridge Road. This church was demolished in 1891 and replaced in 1892 by the church that stands there today.

Because of all the moves, the same families will appear to have attended different churches throughout this period, but in reality, it was the same congregation, sometimes moving location, sometimes changing the name of the meeting place. Records for this congregation are found under the following names: Brewery Bank, Ropery Lane or Rope Walk, Park Chapel, and Bridge Road which later became North Bridge Street. This record set includes all of those locations.

*Several scholarly articles cite a particular ferry accident, which drowned about 20 people, supposedly including some church members returning home from Sunday services, as the impetus for acquiring a chapel on the north side of the river. However, this particular accident didn’t occur until 1795, almost 20 years after the establishment of the meeting place on Brewery Bank, so I’m not sure why it gets cited as such.

Marriage bonds 1795-1799 updated with full details

Replaced the index to marriage bonds in the years 1795-1799 with full details, so those 2,858 records are now instantly available, including 2 new bonds we missed the first time around.

Marriage bonds often provide ages, occupations, and place of residence for the bride and groom (and sometimes a parent or guardian of a minor) during a period when marriage registers did not provide that information. Please read the Marriage Bonds section for a description of what information is found in bonds, allegations, and associated documents, and how we present that information. Note that ‘age 21′ usually means ’21 and upwards’ in these documents.


  • 28 Nov 1796 Richard Petch (mariner, widower), age 45, of St.Hild, South Shields obtained a licence to marry Isabella Martindale (widow), age 45, of St.Hild, directed to South Shields
    Surety: Robert Clark, brazier, of St.Hild
    [Note: married 30 Nov at South Shields.]
  • 16 Jul 1798 Aaron Allison (butcher), age 20, of St.Oswald, Durham City, son of Timothy Allison (of Shadforth, consents to the marriage), obtained a licence to marry Sarah Brown (widow), of St.Oswald, directed to St.Oswald
    Surety: John Inglish, baker, of Durham City
    [Note: married 17 Jul at St.Oswald.]

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 the Diocese of 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.

Barnard Castle baptisms & burials 1762-1797

3,581 baptisms and 3,375 burials at Barnard Castle St. Mary in Teesdale district, covering 1762-1797, from a combination of the Bishop’s Transcript and the parish register. We now have Barnard Castle baptisms and burials from 1762 through the end of 1846.

Abodes mentioned besides Barnard Castle include Broomielaw, Deepdale or Dipdale, East Shaws, High Shipley, Hullerbush, Langleydale, Mains Mill, Mainshouse, Marwood, Moorhead, Mount Eff, Park Wall or Parkwall, Rodgermoor, Robertknot, Shipley, Stainton, Streatlam, Streatlam Dikes, Treaputt or Threepots or Threepothill, West Shaws, Westwick, and Woolhouse.

Consistent inclusion of the mother’s name does not occur in baptisms until 1769. The clerk started recording details about the parents in both baptisms and burials in Nov 1797, a couple of months before the detail-rich period of 1798-1812 officially began.

Sample baptisms from every decade:

  • 21 May 1762 John Arrowsmith, of Parkwall, son of Michael Arrowsmith
  • 20 May 1777 Thomas [Benning/Blenkinsop], base son of William Benning & Ann Blenkinsop
  • 17 Jun 1787 Sarah Brownless, of Stainton, daughter of Henry & Margaret Brownless
  • 19 Nov 1797 Thomas Cowling Dixon, born 12 Aug, 4th son of Thomas Dixon (weaver, native of Barnard Castle) by his wife Mary Hudson (native of Nent Head, Cumberland)

Sample burials from every decade:

  • 28 Sep 1767 Elizabeth Postallwaite, of Barnard Castle, wife of Thomas Postallwaite (dyer)
  • 4 Mar 1777 John Richardson, junior, of Barnard Castle, son of Ann Relton late Ann Richardson
  • 14 Jun 1787 William Raine, of Barnard Castle, liquor merchant
  • 24 Nov 1797 Elizabeth Walker, of Threepothill, age: 17, died 22 Nov, daughter of William Walker (labourer) & Elizabeth late Elwin (his wife)

Penshaw baptisms & burials 1837-1840

415 baptisms and 263 burials at Penshaw All Saints in Houghton-le-Spring district, covering 1837-1840.

Abodes mentioned besides Penshaw include Biddick, Broomside, Burnmoor, Carr Houses, Chaters Haugh, Coxgreen, D Pit Row, Haswell, Lambton Cottage, Low Lambton, Middle Rainton, Mill Pit, Mill Row, New Lambton, New Penshaw, Newbottle, Offerton, Offerton Haugh, Old Penshaw, Penshaw Staiths, Philadelphia, Shiney Row, South Hetton, Wapping, and Whitefield Pit.

Luckily for us, the clerk at Penshaw continued recording the mother’s maiden surnames in baptisms, as well as the child’s birth date in nearly all of them.

Sample baptisms:

  • 15 Jan 1837 Ann Laverick, of Wood House, born 30-Jun 1834, daughter of John Laverick (husbandman) & Hannah Sisterson
  • 1 Aug 1838 Elizabeth Porter, of Coxgreen, born 1-Nov 1831, daughter of William Porter (stone cutter) & Margaret Wilson

Sample burials:

  • 7 Jul 1838 Henry Atkinson, of Penshaw, age: 89
  • 5 Dec 1840 Isabella Robson, of Wapping, age: 95

Bishopton baptisms, marriages, burials 1649-1851

A nice package of records from Bishopton in Stockton district:

  • 2,236 baptisms covering 1649-1851
  • 1,531 burials covering 1654-1851
  • 377 marriages covering 1653-1751, 1783-1812, and 1838-1851. We already had the 1813-1837 marriages online. Unfortunately the marriage register covering 1752-1783 did not survive.

Bishopton was not indexed in the IGI, so this package may provide lots of new data for researchers with ancestry in the Bishopton area.

Abodes mentioned besides Bishopton include Bishopton Mill, Brooks House, Cobby Castle, East Newbiggin, Gilly Flat, Great Carr Cottage, Hazel Field Cottage, Little Stainton, Long Pasture House, Mount Pleasant, Newbiggin, Pitfield, Saufhall, Stainton, Stillington, Stockton, Stony Flat, Tail upon End, West Newbiggin, Whinny Hill, Whitton Mill, Woogra or Woograve, Wynyard, and Yarm.

In baptisms, mothers were not listed (unless they were single) until 1752. The clerk started providing birth dates in 1783 and continued to the end of 1812, but he did not follow the directive to provide mother’s maiden name and parents’ nativity in baptisms in the 1798-1812 period, except for a small spurt in 1808, and the child’s birth order was provided only sporadically during this period and for a little while past it.

Sample baptisms:

  • 30 Jun 1649 Ralph Welford, son of Thomas Welford (the elder)
  • 14 Nov 1752 Matthew Lidstar, son of Christopher & Jane Lidstar (his wife)
  • 27 Apr 1798 George Priarman, born 12-Feb 1798, son of George & Mary Priarman (his wife)
  • 1 Jan 1808 Thomas Snaith, born 7-Jan 1807, 5th son of Ralph Snaith (labourer of Little Stainton) by his wife Elizabeth Oliver (native of Aycliffe)
  • 23 Oct 1836 Hannah Dove, of Little Stainton, daughter of John Dove (brickmaker) & Mary Ann Dove

Sample marriages:

  • 27 Dec 1653 Anthonie Atkinson, of Greatham married Mary Humphrey, of Little Stainton
  • 19 May 1751 George Appleby, of Sedgefield married Hannah Alderson, of this parish
  • 2 Nov 1850 John Talbot (bachelor, tailor), age: minor, of Billingham, son of Thomas Talbot (blacksmith), married Elizabeth Cowley (spinster), full age, of Bishopton, daughter of William Cowley (farmer), by banns
    Witnesses: George Rutter, Thomas Talbot, Lettice Cowley, Ann Peacock

Sample burials:

  • 29 Jun 1655 Margaret Woodehouse, wife of John Woodehouse
  • 27 May 1752 William Meaburn, son of Mary Meaburn (widow)
  • 28 Nov 1786 Mary Hutchinson, of this parish, age: 79, wife of Henry Hutchinson
  • 4 Nov 1807 Edward Batey, of this parish, age: 54, died Nov 2nd, butcher
  • 10 Oct 1846 Alice Sanderson, of Bishopton, age: 94

and this fascinating one:

  • 4 May 1798 Elizabeth Atkinson, of this parish, age: 76, widow, poisoned by her serving girl
    [Note: A note in the right margin (apparently inserted much later) says “Last Public Hanging in Britain, cp. Longstaffe’s 'History of Darlington' – John Etherington 1961." However, this is not correct; there were many more public hangings of both males and females. Even stranger, we can find no such reference to it being the last public hanging in William Hilton Dyer Longstaffe's "The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Darlington", published in 1854. This particular tale is also described in "The Poisoned Cake 1798" in "Durham Executions" by Maureen Anderson.]


Silksworth burials 1872-1904

2,490 burials at Silksworth St. Matthew’s in Sunderland district, from the beginning of the parish register in August 1872 to the end of 1904. Silksworth parish was carved out of Bishopwearmouth, Ryhope, and South Hylton parishes in 1868, but there were no burials there until August 1872.

Abodes mentioned are mostly street addresses in Silksworth, but also include Fulwell, Grindon, Hetton Waggonway, Hope Lodge, Monkwearmouth, New Herrington, New Silksworth, New Tunstall, Ryhope, Silksworth Colliery, Silksworth Moor, South Farrington, Sunderland, Tunstall, the Wheatsheaf Inn (Ryhope), and the Workhouse (Sunderland).

Between June 1893 and January 1903, most of the burials include the date of death.


  • 3 Feb 1876 Isabella Short, of Silksworth Colliery, age: 85
  • 20 Dec 1893 Ann Thomas, of 2 West Street, age: 100, died Dec 17th
  • 3 Apr 1901 Mary Foster, of 21 Tunstall Terrace, age: 90, died Apr 1st

New Silksworth was the colliery village for Silksworth Colliery, located between Tunstall and (Old) Silksworth. The colliery was sunk in 1869, and over the next 10 years, the population of the Silksworth-Tunstall area soared from 400 (mostly farming families) to over 4,700 (mostly colliers and their families). The colliery operated until 1971.

The Durham Mining Museum has a section on Silksworth Colliery and the Victoria County History site has a short chapter on New Silksworth history with some pictures. The Silksworth Heritage Group has some other interesting links on their pages.

Cockfield burials 1868-1913

468 burials at Cockfield St. Mary in Teesdale district, covering 1868 through Sept 1884, and 1,074 burials at the new Cockfield Cemetery from its opening in Feb 1883 to August 1913. The first 2 years of burials at the new cemetery are duplicated in the Cockfield parish register, but some details differ, so we have included both versions.

Abodes mentioned besides Cockfield include Barnard Castle, Burnt Houses, Butterknowle, Cockfield Fell and Fell Houses, Cockfield Hall, Copley, Cragwood, Crook, Esperley Lane, Esperley Lane Ends, Evenwood, Fletcher Hill, Gibbs Knees, Gordon House, Gordon Lane, High Lands, Lands, Lands Bank, Low Lands, Lynesack, Millfield Grange, Morley, Oaks (Evenwood), Peth Row, Raby Moor House (Staindrop), Railey Fell, Sedgefield Asylum, South Side, Staindrop, Station Cottages, the Tar Works, Walkerfield (Wackerfield), Wham, Whitecake Row, Wigglesworth, Wood Houses, Wood Row, and Woodlands.

The church register is typically terse, although there were quite a few notations about cause of death, presumably in epidemics. There seems to have been an epidemic of “fever” in early 1869, smallpox in mid-1872, more fever in early 1878, and scattered reports of scarlet fever and typhoid in the early 1880s.

Sample from the parish register:

  • 17 Feb 1869 Elizabeth Cant, of Cockfield, age: 56, died from fever
  • 14 Feb 1882 Hannah Bradley, of Cockfield Fell Houses, age: 3, died from scarlet fever

The cemetery register often provides a parent or husband or other relative, or an occupation:

  • 27 Jun 1887 Sarah Wood, of Cockfield, Walker’s Buildings, age: 13, daughter of Joseph Wood
  • 30 May 1889 Margaret A. Plews, of Lane Ends, age: 12, granddaughter of Joseph Elliott
  • 18 Mar 1898 Margaret Makepeace, of Millfield Grange, age: 82, wife of John Makepeace
  • 3 Apr 1902 Thomas Million, of Cockfield, age: 69, innkeeper


Marriage bonds 1790-1794 updated with full details

Replaced the index to marriage bonds in the years 1790-1794 with full details, so those 2,131 records are now instantly available.

Marriage bonds often provide ages, occupations, and place of residence for the bride and groom (and sometimes a parent or guardian of a minor) during a period when marriage registers did not provide that information. Please read the Marriage Bonds section for a description of what information is found in bonds, allegations, and associated documents, and how we present that information. Note that ‘age 21′ generally means ’21 and upwards’ in these documents.

Samples – note the large age discrepancy in the first one:

  • 26 Nov 1794 John Simpson (joiner, widower), age 82, of Ovingham, Northumberland obtained a licence to marry Jane Mason, age 48, of Ovingham, directed to Ovingham
    Surety: William Towns, weaver, of Bywell, Northumberland
    [Note: married 6 Dec at Ovingham.]
  • 8 Sep 1794 John Grice (iron monger), age 20, of Gateshead, son of James Grice (consents to the marriage), obtained a licence to marry Jane Hawks, age 20, of Gateshead, daughter of William Hawks (iron monger, of Gateshead consents to the marriage), directed to Gateshead
    Surety: James Grice, of Rotherhithe, Surrey

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 the Diocese of 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.