Sunderland Holy Trinity baptisms 1835-1837

1,944 baptisms at Sunderland Holy Trinity covering 1835-1837, from the Bishop’s Transcript with some checking against the parish register. Abodes shown are mostly street names in Sunderland, Bishopwearmouth, and Monkwearmouth, plus Maling’s Rigg, Minorca, and the Sunderland Barracks. As with preceding years, the mother’s maiden surnames and children’s birth dates continued to be shown, for which we are grateful, as this information was not required in baptisms in this period. Here are some samples:

  • 1 Jan 1835 Robert Coates, of Robinson’s Lane, born 4 Jun 1834, son of Richard Coates (shoemaker) & Jane Turnbull
  • 24 Dec 1837 Catherine Fox, of Warren Street, born 3 Dec 1837, daughter of George Lax Fox (grocer) & Hannah Thompson

Here’s one that reaches back further than usual:

  • 16 Jan 1835 James Bell, of Dublin, born 23 Jun 1796, son of Nicholas Bell (herdsman) & Catherine Tyrell

On 22 Feb 1837, the Sidney family got together and baptized 7 children on the same day: two children (born in the early 1820s) of Joseph Sidney & his wife Grace Carter, one child of Joseph & Grace’s son Samuel (b. 1804), and 4 children of Joseph & Grace’s son Paul Carter Sidney (b. 1808). What a celebration they must have had afterwards!


Forest & Frith burials 1852-1901

475 burials at Forest & Frith St. James the Less in Teesdale district, covering 1852-1901.

According to author Richard Bell, who wrote a booklet on this parish in 1995, Forest & Frith is the largest parish (in area) in the Diocese of Durham, and also the least populated. Abodes mentioned (most of them individual farms) include Ash Dub, Ashgill Head, Bale Hill, Beck Head, Binks, Birkdale, Birkrigg, Bowes Close, Cocklake, Cronkley, Dale Head, Egg Pot, English Hill, Ettersgill, Forcefoot, Forcegarth End, Forest, Frog Hall, Gillet, Grass Hill or Hills, Hagg Pot, Hanging Shaw, Harwood, Herdship and Higher Herdship, Hill End, Hill Top, Honey Pot, Hunt Hall, Intack, Kirkersfold or Kirkhouse Fold, Knot Hill, Laneside, Langdon Beck, Low End, Manor Ghyll or Gill, Marches Gill or Marsh Ghyll or Marshes Gill, Midge Holm, Moor Riggs, Mount Pleasant, New House, Old Fold or Ford, Peg Horn’s Lodge, Pleasant Hill, Raby Terrace, Redwing, Rough Rigg, Row, Rowen Tree Foot, Sayer Hill, Sevy Hill, Stoney Coomb, Stoney Hill, The Moss, Thompson House, Underhurst or Underhurth, Unthank, Valance Lodge, Walker Hill, Water Meetings, Watgarth, Whey Syke, Widdy Bank, Willy Hole, Woolpits, and Woolpithill.

Because these are church burials, there are generally no details other than age and abode, but our samples below show a couple of more interesting ones:

  • 1 Feb 1860 Ralph Rumney, of Manor Ghyll, age: 21, lost in the snow January 29th
  • 7 Jun 1887 Mary Hutchinson, of Beck Head, Ettersgill, age: 92
  • 23 Nov 1901 Duncan McDougall, of Glasgow, age: about 42, found dead on Crookburn Fell near Green Hurth

Keys to the Past has an interesting discussion of Forest & Frith’s history.


New features: Matches table can now be sorted by various columns

The My Matches table can now be sorted just like the Orders table. You can sort your table of matches (records you have looked at that other people have also looked at) by Date, District, Year, surname (of bride or groom for marriages), Birthplace, Abode, etc. This should make it a little easier to keep your research organized. Also fixed a bug in which marriages were not being displayed properly (the names were missing from the Matches table, leaving just a comma in the name field) and added the missing tab to make My Searches available from the My Matches page.

Marriage bonds 1810-1815 updated with full details; no more bond index!

Replaced the index to marriage bonds in the years 1810-1815 with full details, so those 2,984 records are now instantly available, including 11 new bonds we missed the first time around. This marks the completed fulfillment of this index – no more ordering bonds and having to wait a few days for the full details; they are all instantly available now!

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.

1813-1836 is a particularly difficult period for marriages in genealogy, because marriages in this period do not usually show the parents. It can be very useful to find a marriage license like these samples, with ages or family relationships shown:


  • 15 Jun 1813 William Winter (yeoman, widower), age 55, of Houghton-le-Spring obtained a licence to marry Margaret Bailey (spinster), age 51, of Houghton-le-Spring, directed to Houghton-le-Spring
    Surety: Joseph Winter, currier, of New Lambton
  • 8 Jul 1813 Thomas Best (gentleman, bachelor), age 21 & upwards, of Kelloe obtained a licence to marry Ann Scarth (spinster), age 20, of Castle Eden, directed to Castle Eden
    Surety: William Lane, gentleman, of Castle Eden, is also her grandfather & guardian and consents to the marriage
  • 11 May 1815 Isaac Woodhouse Spearman (master-mariner, widower), age 21 & upwards, of All Saints, Newcastle-upon-Tyne obtained a licence to marry Elizabeth Wilkinson (spinster), age 19, of Whitby, Yorkshire, daughter of James Wilkinson (of Whitby, consents to the marriage), directed to All Saints
    Surety: Isaac Taylor, sail maker, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    [Note: The consent signed by James Wilkinson of Whitby is included in the bundle. Isaac Taylor also swears he has been acquainted with Peter Maxwell, the witness to the consent by James Wilkinson, for more than 20 years and is well-acquainted with his handwriting. Hutchinson Maxwell of Whitby, Yorkshire, swears that she well knows James Wilkinson and that he wrote the consent.]
  • 17 Aug 1812 John Archbold (mariner, bachelor), age 21 & upwards, of North Shields, Tynemouth, Northumberland obtained a licence to marry Catherine Blackett (spinster), age 18, of North Shields, directed to Tynemouth
    Surety: George Elliott, innkeeper, of Tynemouth, is also her father in law and consents to the marriage
    [Note: married 17 Aug at Tynemouth.]

Note that “father in law” usually means “stepfather” at this time, so an interested researcher might be able to track down George’s marriage to Catherine’s mother, thus obtaining her mother’s name.

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.

New features: Saved searches, search recently-added records, save ‘Sort By’ preference, increased number of search results

Have you ever wished you could search only in the latest records that were added to Durham Records Online? Not the ones that have been there for years, which you’ve already looked through, but just the ones added in the last week or month, or since your last visit? We have that now!

Have you ever run a search, seen some interesting results, run some more searches, and then decided you’d really like to run that search with the interesting results again, but it’s gone because your later searches overwrote it, and you can’t remember what you input? We have a solution for that now!

Have you ever wished you could save your preferred Sort By order, so the default sort for your search results is, say, Event Year? We have that now!

Have you ever wished our site could find all your missing ancestors with one click? We have…oh, wait…no, I guess we don’t have that…but maybe with multiple clicks, viewing the right records, we can at least help you with that!

Saved Searches

Under My Account, you will find a new My Searches tab. Clicking on it will open a list of your past 100 searches. Since this is new, your list will currently be empty, but we’re sure it will fill quickly! The table is displayed with the latest searches at the top. Each search is displayed with the date it was created, and the basic search parameters: who, where, and any search filters. If you left a filter set to the default, it is not displayed, to reduce clutter, but all the search parameters are retained even when not displayed. Clicking the Run button at the right will run the search. Clicking the Edit button takes you to the search form with the fields filled in with those search parameters, so you can tweak it before running the search again. Here’s what it looks like:


When 100 searches have been saved, the oldest searches will disappear one by one as new searches are added at the top of the list. If you re-run a search, it will move to the top of the list.

Search Latest Records Only

A new search filter has been added to the search form. You can now limit your search to the latest records added to the site. You can limit your search to records added (or modified) in the last week, the last month, the last 6 months,  the last year, or since the beginning (all records). Once you log in, an additional menu option appears: records added or modified since your last visit. Choosing one of these options will limit the search to records that have been added to the site or modified in any way since the date you choose. If you think other time frame choices would be helpful, please let me know.

The box previously labeled “Search In” has been renamed “Record Type“, since it controls which record types (baptisms, marriages, etc.) are searched. Here is the new menu, dropped down, when not logged in:


and, when you are logged in, with the additional menu choice “my last visit”, which displays the date of your last visit:


Save Your Default ‘Sort By’ Preference

How you want your search results to be sorted usually depends on what you’re searching for. For example, if I want to see all of the burials in the Agar family in South Shields, I will probably choose to sort the results by Event Year, so I can see the burials in chronological order. Sometimes, I may choose to sort by First Name so all the Janes will be grouped together, and sometimes I sort by Birth Year if I want to follow one person through the censuses, but Event Year is my default sorting preference, so every time I log in, I always change the sort order from First Name to Event Year. Now, that preference can be saved on your Preferences page. You can still change the sort order for each search, and each search will continue to use the sort order from the previous search if you don’t change the sort order, but now, when you log in or click New Search, the default sort order will be your saved preference, instead of First Name always being the default. Here is the section of the Preferences page, with the new feature highlighted:


Removed limit on number of per-set search results

Ever feel like you’re not seeing all the records that should be available for your ancestral surname? We have removed the “500 results” limit on the number of search results per record set, as this may have been limiting the results for common names, making it difficult for our customers to find all the people they want. Previously, if you bumped up against the 500-result limit when searching in Baptisms, for example, you had to add a filter such as District and repeat your search in each relevant district, and if a specific district produced too many results, you had to add the first letter of a first name, or a time frame or another filter, and repeat the process. It was tedious, and we’re not sure the customers actually knew that the result size was being artificially limited to 500, so it was probably a bad design choice. The good news is, if you re-run some of your old favorite searches (too bad we didn’t have a My Searches page earlier!), you may find some records you haven’t seen before. Removing the 500-result limit will make the search slower by a few seconds, so please let us know if a particular search seems extraordinarily slow, and tell us the details of the search.

We kept the limit of 5,000 results per search, so as not to slow down the system too much with large searches.  If you get a message saying your search will return more than 5,000 results, you will need to add some filters such as Record Type or District or Birth Year, and then repeat the search for each Record Type, District, etc.

We hope all of these changes make the site easier and more pleasant to use.

South Shields St. John Presbyterian baptisms 1742-1857

2,264 baptisms at St. John’s Presbyterian church (and previous meeting places of this congregation) in South Shields, from the start of the register in 1742 to the end of June 1857. These are the earliest known records for this congregation, which was the oldest Presbyterian congregation in South Shields, and one of the oldest in Northern England. The congregation was founded in 1662 and met in various houses before building the Low Meeting House at the head of Mile End Road and Long Bank in 1718. In 1772, a minority of the congregation seceded (over a dispute about who should be the minister) and built their own chapel in Heugh Street in 1779. This minority congregation became a Relief Church under the care of the Presbytery of Kelso (Scotland) in 1835, and eventually built and moved to the Mile End Road church in August 1857.

This record set follows the original congregation that continued meeting at the Low Meeting House. In 1790, the Low Meeting House was demolished and rebuilt. In 1833, part of the congregation again seceded and moved in 1834 to the newly-built St. John’s chapel in Saville St. The two congregations reunited at St. John’s in 1842, finally selling Low Meeting House. The congregation then outgrew the Saville Street building, and in 1877, a new church dedicated to St. John was built in Beach Road and still stands today. It is sometimes called the New Presbyterian church. [Source for the church’s history is The Borough of South Shields: From the Earliest Period to the Close of the Nineteenth Century, by George B. Hodgson, 1903]

This church followed the Anglican rule about supplying mother’s maiden surname and parents’ nativity, but only from mid-1800 to mid-1807. Most baptisms include the child’s birth date. This register is somewhat disordered and sometimes it is unclear whether a baptism occurred in a particular year or the following year, so we have done our best to make sense of it and added notes where we were uncertain of what was meant.


  •  28 Mar 1761 Elizabeth Paper, born 18 Mar 1761, daughter of John & Ann Paper
  • 27 Jun 1781 Alexander Ross, born 21 June 1781, son of William & Cathron Ross
  • 18 Mar 1800 David Tullock, born 6 Mar 1800, son of William Tullock (native of Lady Parish, Orkney) & Barbara Pringle (native of Writing [Ryton] Parish)
  • 10 Mar 1807 Elizabeth Olipher [Oliver], born 5 Feb 1807, daughter of Edward Olipher [Oliver] (native of Sunderland) by his wife Ann Weatherhead (native of Newcastle)
  • 29 Oct 1820 James Cleet, born 19 Oct 1820, son of Thomas & Ann Cleet
  • 29 Dec 1844 George Bartholomew Lumley, born 4 Dec 1844, son of Michael & Esther Lumley, born at South Shields
  • 22 Nov 1856 George William Arthur, born 1 Nov 1856, son of James & Ursella Arthur

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.

Stella burials 1852-1956

1,562 burials at Stella St. Cuthbert in Gateshead district from the beginning of 1852 to early 1956. The number of burials here dropped sharply after the opening of Blaydon Cemetery in 1873; there were only 130 burials at Stella from 1874 to 1900, and only 6 more between 1900 and 1956. Abodes mentioned besides Stella include Axwell, Bate or Bates’ Houses, Blaydon, Blaydon Haugh, Blaydon Main, Blaydon Staith, Bleach Green, Burnside, Close Head, Derwenthaugh, Elswick, Horse Crofts, Loop of the Lane, Newcastle, Old Pit, Path Head or Pathhead, Scotswood, Shibdon, Silver Hill, Stella Staith, Swalwell, and Winlaton.


  • 6 Jul 1855 Ann Allison, of Blaydon, age: 103
  • 7 May 1865 John Clavering, of Axwell Gate, parish of Winlaton, age: 48, Coroner’s Order – accident at Shibdon Pit
  • 21 Feb 1900 Isabella Anthony Ogle, of Stella, age: 80

Hartlepool St. Paul marriages 1906-1935

2,189 marriages at West Hartlepool St. Paul from March 1906 to the end of April 1935. These are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages and include the witnesses. This gives us a continuous run of almost 50 years of marriages at this church since the parish of St. Paul was spun off from Stranton All Saints in Nov 1885.


  • 4 Jun 1906 Thomas Lupton (blacksmith, bachelor), age 43, of 16 Suggett St., son of William Lupton (blacksmith, deceased), married Annie Elizabeth Hayward (widow), age 44, of 16 Suggett St., daughter of William Barnett (sailmaker)
    Witnesses: John William Barnett, Ethel Moore
  • 30 Oct 1918 Daniel Fidgeon (bachelor, soldier), age 24, of 34 Alfred St., son of James Fidgeon (labourer), married Alice Clark (widow), age 23, of 2 Mildred St., daughter of John Waite (crane driver), by licence
    Witnesses: Thomas Walls, Nora Morrigan
  • 21 Jan 1935 Benjamin Howard Colclough (engineer, bachelor), age 47, of 14 Dalton St., son of William Austin Colclough (coach builder, deceased), married Minnie Dunning (spinster), age 46, of 55 Blakelock Terrace, daughter of William Thomas Dunning (rolly driver, deceased), by banns
    Witnesses: Arthur Osmand, Thomas William Dunning

Hartlepool St. Luke marriages 1934-1937

99 marriages at West Hartlepool St. Luke from Sep 1934 to the end of 1937. These are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages and include the witnesses.


  • 23 Sep 1937 George Irvine Miles (retired, widower), age 63, of 19 Welldeck Rd., son of George Miles (master mariner, deceased), married Mary Ann Whiteley (widow), age 56, of 90 Sheriff St., daughter of William Morris (farmer, deceased)
    Witnesses: Ernest W. Miles, Hettie C. Witty