Whitley Chapel (Hexham) baptisms & burials 1843-1874

637 baptisms and 541 burials covering 1843-1874 at Whitley Chapel (St. Helen) near Hexham in Hexham district, Northumberland, from the Bishop’s Transcript. Whitley Chapel was originally a chapelry in the ancient parish of Hexham, but it became a separate parish in 1763, with its church dedicated to St. Helen.

Contrary to the custom of the time, the clerk (and later, vicar), William Sisson, recorded the maiden surnames of the mothers in baptisms – hurray! He also recorded the child’s birth order until the end of 1846 and sporadically after that.

Sample baptisms:

  • 14 May 1843 Thomas Dodd, of Dotland, 4th son of John Dodd (woodman) & Margaret late Milburn
  • 27 Feb 1850 Frances Atchison, of Wagtail, daughter of Margaret Atchison (single woman)
  • 5 Jul 1863 Robert Maughan, of Dalton, son of Mark Maughan (licensed victualler) & Mary late Grierson
  • 7 Apr 1874 Philip Milburn, of Dalton, son of John Milburn (cordwainer) & Margaret late Thirlwall

Sample burials:

  • 29 Jan 1844 Isabella Errington, of Low Ardley, age: 77, died at Stella, Parish of Ryton
  • 11 Oct 1853 Andrew Thorburn, of Shotley Bridge, age: 93
  • 5 Oct 1866 Elizabeth Harrison, of Holly Bush Close, age: 88
  • 7 Dec 1874 Sarah Farbridge, of The Lee, age: 86

This was a small farming community, and the abodes recorded are mostly individual farmsteads, including Ardley, Aydon Shields, Black Hall, Blackhall Mill, Broadwell House, Burnt Ridge, Channel Well, Chapel House, Dalton, Dipton Mill, Dotland, Dotland Fell House, Dotland Park, Dukesfield Hall and Dukesfield Mill, Dyehouse, Earthly Mires, Edes Bush, Embley, Fine Chambers, Foggett, Gairshield, Gingleshaugh, Greenways, Grouse House, Hackford, Harwood Shield, Heathery Burn, Heathery Haugh, Hesley Well, Hexham, High Eshells, High Juniper, High Lillswood, High Park House, High Staples, Hill House, Holly Bush Close, Hope, Houtley, Intack, Juniper, Lawning or Loaning House, Lea Grange or Lee Grange, Lee Moore House, Lightside, Lillswood, Litherage/Litterish/Litterage/Litharge, Loadman, Long Lee, Low Ardley, Low Eshells, Low Holmes, Low Stosfold, Middle Dukesfield, Mire House, Mire Meadows, Mollersteads, Moss House, Newbiggin, Newbiggin Hope, Nunsbrough, Old Bridge End, Ordley, Oxen Roads, Park House, Peth Foot, Peth Head, Raw Green, Riddleham Hope, Rowley Head, Salmon Field, Smelting Syke, Spittal Shield, Steel or The Steel, Steel Hall, Stobby Lee, Stotsfold, Tenter House, The Heigh, The Holmes, The Lee, The Staples, Turf House, Viewley, Wagtail, Walley, Walley Thorn, Westburnhope, White Hall, Whitley Chapel School, Whitley Mill, Winter House, Woodside, Wooley, and some locations in County Durham such as Lanchester, Satley, and Winlaton. The most unusual place mentioned was Truckee in the state of California (USA).

South Shields St. Hilda baptisms 1851-1867

6,992 baptisms at South Shields St. Hilda, from a combination of the Bishop’s Transcript and the parish register.

Most of these families lived in South Shields, but a fairly large number were from across the river at Tynemouth, Northumberland. Since this was a busy port and shipbuilding area, a large percentage of these fathers are mariners, shipwrights, block & mast makers, blacksmiths, ironmongers, joiners, sailmakers, and associated trades. There was also a thriving glass industry, with glass blowers, glass cutters, glass flatteners, glass makers, and glass dealers. In 1859, we found Thomas Henderson, who appeared at first to be a “bacon taster”, which we thought sounded like a pretty good job (unless you’re vegetarian), but on closer examination of the chicken-scratch handwriting, he proved to be a “bacon factor” (dealer).

As with the previous data set from this church, we found a higher-than-usual  level of errors in the register, which we have annotated as we have spotted them.


  • 24 Jan 1851 Adam Burn Matthews [Matthewson], of South Shields, born 30 Dec 1850, son of Adam (commercial traveller) & Margaret Matthews [Matthewson]
    [Note: this surname is Mathewson in the GRO birth index and Matthewson in other baptisms to these parents.]
  • 12 Oct 1855 Charles Henry Wrenford, of South Shields, born 15 Sep, son of Edwin otherwise Edwin Charles Wrenford (Curate of St. Hilda) & Sarah
  • 15 Dec 1861 George William Harven [Irvin], of South Shields, born 25 Nov, son of James (mariner) & Margaret Harven [Irvin], note: the surname here appears to have been “Irvin”, as stated by the mother – T.H. Chester, Vicar
  • 25 Sep 1864 Elizabeth Collandy [Conalty], of South Shields, born 11 Sep, child of Richard (mariner) & Mary Collandy [Conalty]
    [Note: Conalty in the GRO birth index (4th qtr 1864) and in other baptisms to these parents.]
  • 30 Jun 1867 Ann Isabella Lovely [Lobley], of South Shields, born 16 May, child of Robert (master mariner) & Isabella Lovely [Lobley]

South Shields St. Hilda baptisms 1842-1850

4,078 baptisms at South Shields St. Hilda from 1 July 1842 (where our last release left off) to the end of 1850, from a combination of the Bishop’s Transcript and the parish register. Work continues on this giant parish!

Nearly all of these families resided in South Shields, but also mentioned were East Boldon, Harton, Howdon, Howdon Pans, Jarrow, London, Newcastle, North Shields, Percy Main, Temple Town, and Westoe.

Nearly all of these baptisms give the child’s birth date. Here are some samples:

  • 1 Jul 1842 James Russell Stratford, of South Shields, born 7 Jun, son of John Stratford (master mariner) & Mary Branston Stratford
  • 9 Feb 1845 Isabella Rennison Guest, of South Shields, born 10 Jan, daughter of Peveral (grocer) & Eleanor Guest
  • 1 Dec 1850 Jane Ann Peacock, of South Shields, born 4 Nov, daughter of Jonathan (shoemaker) & Margaret Peacock

Bishopton marriages 1754-1783

103 marriages at Bishopton St. Peter in Stockton district, covering May 1754 to July 1783.

This marriage register was previously thought to be lost. The Durham County Record Office catalogue showed a gap in the Bishopton marriage registers for those years. However, as we recently finished up transcribing the first register of early Great Stainton marriages at the Record Office, we came across a filmed register that was catalogued as Great Stainton, but the years greatly overlapped the register we’d just finished transcribing, and the names of the vicars and clerks in this 2nd register were completely different. The name of the parish did not appear on any of the pages. The vicars in the 2nd register were Samuel Huson to 1764 and then Richard Tinkler to 1783. Further research turned up the fact that Samuel Huson was Vicar at Bishopton until his death in 1764 and was succeeded by Richard Tinkler. So the 2nd register, catalogued as Great Stainton (EP/GS 4), is actually the missing Bishopton marriage register that covers 1754 to 1783, and we are excited to present it!

Abodes mentioned include Bishopton, Darlington, Escomb, Haughton (-le-Skerne), Longnewton, Sedgefield, and Trimdon. There are no marriages recorded for 1752, 1753, or 1760. Our collection of Bishopton marriages now runs from 1653 to 1851.


  • 12 May 1754 Benjamin Smith, of this parish married Anne Athelston, of this parish, by banns
    Witnesses: Michael Athelston, Jacob Taylerson
  • 2 Jun 1772 William Galloway, of this parish married Jane Sowerby, of this parish, by banns
    Witnesses: Joseph Bell, John Douthwaite
  • 14 May 1782 John Harper, of the parish of Elwick Hall married Elizabeth Briggs, of this parish, by banns
    Witnesses: Thomas Briggs, George Scotson

Bishopton is not indexed at all by FamilySearch.org, so we hope this new collection provides some missing marriages for our ancestor-hunting customers.

Great Stainton marriages 1561-1803

250 marriages at Great Stainton All Saints in Stockton district, from the start of the register in 1561 to the end of 1803. No marriages were recorded in 1804 or 1805, and we already had 1806-1837 marriages available on our site.

Abodes mentioned besides Great Stainton include Auckland St. Andrew’s, Aycliffe, Bishopton, Darlington, Elstob, Greatham, Sedgefield, and “Staynton in Strata” or Stainton in the Street. Witnesses start appearing in 1754.


  • 29 Oct 1577 Mathewe Morley married Margaret Ayre
  • 29 Aug 1609 Cuthbert Welles married Alice Inginethorp
  • 9 Jan 1673 Francisius Gamal (clericus), of Elwicke married Jana Pearson, daughter of Thomas Pearson (rector of Stainton in le Street), with license
  • 4 Jun 1702 Mr. Christopher Haygarth married Jane Baxter
  • 21 May 1764 Thomas Carlisle, of the parish of Redmarshall married Barbara Hubbock, of this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: Anthony Hubbock, George Hubbock
  • 30 Nov 1802 Joseph Oxley, of this parish married Elizabeth Tindale, of the parish of Billingham, by banns
    Witnesses: Hannah Dobing, Robert Willis, Thomas Robinson

Heighington marriages 1570-1764

987 marriages at Heighington St. Michael in Darlington district, from the start of the register in 1570 to the end of 1764. (We already have the marriages for 1765 to 1900 online.)

A register page was torn away before the register was filmed, so marriages from Oct 1576 to July 1589 are missing. Many names are in their Latin form until about 1620.  Abodes start showing up in 1723. Witnesses and a few occupations appear in 1754, and a few fathers of brides are named in the final 10 years of this set. Here are some samples:

  • 27 Apr 1571 Radul [Ralph] Bell married Elizabeth Burdon
  • 4 Aug 1628 Xofer [Christopher] Stampe married Jane Frissell
  • 14 May 1723 Jenkin Breaks, of Stockton married Margaret Elsinger, of Heighington
  • 16 Jun 1756 George Flower (papermaker), of the parish of Houghton-le-Spring married Mary Hanson (spinster), of this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: John Apedale, Joseph Horseman
  • 8 May 1758 James Rain, of this parish married Margaret Cowling, of this parish, daughter of William Cowling, by licence
    Witnesses: William Cowling, parent, Ralph Close

and my personal favorite from this set:

  • 8 Jun 1696 William Richmond married his servant

Newcastle St. Ann baptisms 1812-1844, burials 1828-1844

At St. Ann’s, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland:

  • 186 baptisms covering 1812-1844, with gaps, explained below
  • 553 burials covering 1828-1844

St. Ann’s Church in City Road, Newcastle, was consecrated in 1768, but the earliest surviving baptism register starts in 1812. There has been a church on this site since medieval times. The present church was largely built with stone from the City Walls. See some nice pictures of St. Ann’s. Until 1843, St. Ann’s was a Chapel of Ease in the parish of All Saints.

In 1815, the curate of All Saints wrote to the Bishop of Durham to complain that the minister at St. Ann’s was conducting baptisms, which was outside his remit, and was taking the fees associated with the baptisms, reducing what the All Saints curate should be earning. The Bishop wrote to the minister at St. Ann’s, the baptisms stopped, and the fees were refunded to the curate of All Saints. The baptism register was surrendered to All Saints, and is blank after the last baptism in early March of 1815.

By 1840, the curate of All Saints and the Bishop had changed, but the minister of St. Ann’s hadn’t changed and had apparently performed a few baptisms in the interim. Once again, the curate of All Saints wrote to the Bishop, the Bishop responded, and the minister of St. Ann’s complained that he was only doing his job – if people turn up with a baby,  it was his duty under Canon Law to baptise it. However, the baptisms stopped again, and the register was handed over again, containing 9 baptisms at St. Ann’s between 1833 and 1840. All of these letters are transcribed into the front of the registers in great detail.

In 1843, St. Ann’s became a separate parish and gained its own baptism register, commencing on 2 Apr 1843 and ending at the end of 1844.

Baptism samples:

  • 6 Dec 1812 Barbara Sutton, daughter of Robinson (shipwright) & Barbara Sutton
  • 25 Dec 1814 Joseph Dobson, of Ouseburn, son of Leonard (butcher) & Isabella Dobson
  • 30 Sep 1838 Lydia Wallwork, of Tyne Street, daughter of Charles (sawyer) & Jane Wallwork
  • 22 Sep 1844 Edward Coppock, of St Lawrence, son of Thomas (glassmaker) & Emma Coppock

The churchyard at St. Ann’s was among the last within the city to be closed for burials and is the resting place of many who died in the last great cholera epidemic (1832). The death rate looked like this:

  • in 1828-1830, on average, St. Ann’s hosted a dozen burials per year
  • the first wave of cholera struck in Dec 1831 and ran strongly through early March 1832, then burnt out, then restarted in July 1832 and ran very strongly into Sept
  • nearly as many people (58) were buried at St. Ann’s in the first 3 months of 1832 as had been buried in the previous 4 years (60)
  • there were 237 burials in 1832; nearly half of these were in August, during the height of the epidemic, when there were 4-7 burials every day for almost the entire month
  • after the epidemic was over, the burial rate dropped back down to 17 for 1833

Here are some sample burials:

  • 19 Apr 1829 John Rate, of Low Heaton, age: 20
  • 10 Aug 1832 Thomas Lockwood, of Castleford, York, age: 33, master mariner
  •  26 Dec 1833 Elizabeth Wall, of Byker Buildings, age: 103
  • 2 Dec 1843 William Magnay, of Chatham Place, age: 52

Abodes mentioned include Ballast Hills, Byker, Byker Bar, Byker Hill, Carpenters Tower, Dents Hole, Forth Banks, Gibson Street, Heaton, High Bridge, Howard St., Lime St., Mushroom, New Road, North Shore, Ouseburn, Pandon Dean, Pottery Bank, Quay Side, Richmond Street, Sandgate, Silver Street, St. Ann’s Street, St. Lawrence, St. Peter’s, St. Peter’s Quay, Stepney Bank, Stepney Field, The Close, The Cut, Tyne Street, Walker, Wall Knoll, and Westgate.

South Shields baptisms 1836-1842

3,642 baptisms at South Shields St. Hilda from 1 Jan 1836 to the end of June 1842, from a combination of the Bishop’s Transcript and the parish register. More will follow next week. This is a huge parish!

Abodes mentioned, besides South Shields and streets in South Shields, were on both sides of the River Tyne and included Bent House, Brinkburn, Brockley Whins, East Boldon, Harton, Hebburn, Horsley Hill, Howden and Howden Pans, Jarrow, London, Newcastle, North Shields, Percy Main, Preston, Sunderland, Templetown, Tynemouth, Walker, Westoe, and Willington.

Starting with 1838, most baptisms give the child’s birth date. Here are some samples:

  • 3 Jan 1836 Thomas Trobe Oram, of South Shields, son of Thomas (butcher) & Eleanor Oram
  • 3 Nov 1837 Hannah Chandler, of South Shields, daughter of George (glass maker) & Sarah Chandler
  • 13 Nov 1839 William Nune [Newham], of South Shields, born 24-May, son of Adam (mariner) & Isabella Nune [Newham]

This parish seemed to have a higher-than-average incidence of clerical errors in names. We found Ellerby listed as Alaby, Saxon as Seexon, Wootton as Wratton, Erickson as Elexon, Fairlamb as Fairley, Haldon as Harland, Iley as Hiley, and many more.

Here are two that seem to have especially strange errors:

  • 20 Nov 1840 Jane Ann Dennis [Aubne], of South Shields, born 24-Oct, daughter of Aubne [Dennis] (sail maker) & Sarah Dennis [Aubne]
    [Note: In this baptism, the surname and the father’s name seem to be swapped. There is an earlier baptism to Dennis & Sarah Aubne, and the 1841 census shows them with Jane, 7 months. The GRO birth index shows Jane Aubne in Q4 1840 in South Shields, but no Jane Dennis.]
  • 20 Jun 1841 Richard [Richard Shaw] Shawbell [Bell], of South Shields, born 19-Oct 1840, son of Richard (mariner) & Ursula Shawbell [Bell]
    [Note: the GRO birth index shows Richard Shaw Bell in 4Q 1840 Tynemouth, and there are other baptisms here to Richard & Ursula Bell, so “Shawbell” is probably a clerical error.]

Now wouldn’t that be confusing it you were searching for Jane Ann Aubne and she was filed as Jane Ann Dennis? And who would ever think to look for Richard Shaw Bell as Richard Shawbell? When we spot something odd like this, we simply can’t rest until we figure out what might have happened and annotate it in square brackets.

Auckland St. Andrew burials 1559-1653

4,152 burials at Auckland St. Andrew, also known as South Church, from the beginning of the register in 1559 to the end of 1653. This register is one of the oldest in the county.

Abodes mentioned besides Auckland and St. Andrew Auckland include Bishop Auckland, Binchester, Byers Green, Coundon & Coundon Grange, Deansy, East Thickley, Eldon, Etherley, Helmdon or Helmington, Hunwick, Middridge, Middlestone, Newfield, Newton Cap, North Auckland, Shildon, South Church, the West Syde, West Auckland, Westerton, Windlestone, and Woodhouses.

The Plague Years

In 1597, the number of burials in the parish of Auckland St. Andrew nearly tripled from the previous year (191 vs. 65). This extraordinary increase in the number of deaths was due to a poor harvest, and, in the North East especially, a particularly virulent outbreak of Bubonic Plague. In County Durham, plague spread quickly down the Great North Road from Newcastle to Durham City and then to Darlington. By September, it had reached the parish of Auckland St Andrew, where its first victim was George Bellerby of Coundon, who was buried on the fourth of that month. Coundon, a small village lying to the east of Auckland, was particularly badly hit with at least 11 families suffering plague deaths, and as much as 30% of it’s population dying, many of them parents and heads of households. In all, around 70 people in this parish died of plague before it was gone in December. The year 1597 would later be described as a “2-star mortality crisis year”. There was then a period of respite before the plague returned with a vengeance in the early months of 1610, when it carried off 136 people in 9 months, accounting for 77% of the burials in the parish and quadrupling the number of burials from the previous year, from 43 to 177.

Sample burials:
  • 8 Feb 1559 Raph Huttonn, son of Mr. Anthony Huttonn
  • 3 Feb 1581 [blank] Silvertop, wyf of George Silvertop
  • 14 Dec 1597 [blank] Wheatlie, of Auckland, wyf & child of Anthony Wheatlie, of the plague
  • 30 Mar 1600 Richard Watt, of Auckland, a child of Cuthbert Watt
  • 26 Dec 1623 Christopher Vincent, Minister of St Andrew Auckland
  • 21 Aug 1643 Anne Lax, of Westerton, wife of John Lax
  • 29 Dec 1653 Andrew Elsonbey, of Midridge, being a Scots man
Check out the age in this burial (ages are shown in only 6 burials in the entire register):
  • 18 May 1636 Richard Watson, of Eldon, age: 108

Durham St. Mary the Less (South Bailey) marriages 1560-1797

477 marriages at St. Mary the Less, also known as St. Mary in the South Bailey, in the city of Durham, from the start of the register in 1560 to the end of 1797. We now have marriages here from 1560 to mid-1837.

People seem to have come from all over to get married here! Abodes mentioned (besides this parish) include All Saints Newcastle, Boldon, Brancepeth, Chester-le-Street, Claypath, the College of Durham, Crossgate, Croxdale, Easington, Hart, Houghton-le-Spring, Lanchester, Merrington, Monk Hesleden, Monkwearmouth, St. Andrew Auckland, St. Giles, St. Margaret’s, St. Mary le Bow, St. Nicholas, St. Oswald, Staindrop, Stanhope, Sunderland, Whickham, and Witton Gilbert, and it seems like nearly every parish in County Durham is mentioned at least once.

Many names are in their Latin form until 1674. There are no marriages recorded between Jan 1644 and Dec 1655, Feb 1667-June 1674, Apr 1675-Jan 1681, Mar 1683-May 1691, and there are numerous 1-to-4 year gaps with no marriages recorded. A few fathers and occupations are mentioned, and some women are listed as widows. Witnesses start appearing in Sept 1755.


  •  31 Jan 1568 Gilbertus Nixson married Anna Peresonn (vidua [widow])
  • 25 Apr 1611 Tobias Eubanke married Elizabetha Stobert (vidua [widow] of Richardi Stobert)
  • 20 Nov 1666 Thomas Wall, of the parish of Stanhope in Weardale, son of Ralph Wall, married Ann Emerson, of the parish of Stanhope in Weardale, by vertue of a licence under seale
  • 9 Apr 1703 Mr. Francis Clement (clerk of this parish, and sometimes minister of ye same) married Mrs. Ann Hunter, of this parish, by licence
  • 12 Apr 1762 Robert Pattison, of Monkwearmouth married Mary Mills, of this parish, by banns
    Witnesses: George Mills, John Robinson
  • 21 Nov 1797 George Hope, of the parish of Merrington married Charlotte Eggleston, of this parish, by banns
    Witnesses: William Ramshaw, Maria Eggleston