Hartlepool St. Hilda monument inscriptions

*Updated 23 Apr after several people pointed out inconsistencies in the Vollum record below – we did a little research and changed Eleanor’s age and added the note.

Approximately 467 monument inscriptions in the churchyard of Hartlepool St. Hilda, based on the state of the churchyard in 1952, with death dates running from 1746 to 1925.

Sample (each bullet point represents one monument, with all the names on that monument):

  • 18 May 1778 Sacred to the memory of Leonard Vollum, age: 52
    8 May 1807 also Eleanor Vollum, age: [73], his wife
    5 Jul 1800 Matthew Vollum, age: 34, their eldest son
    4 Aug 1793 Leonard Vollum, age: 26, their 2nd son
    Margaret Vollum, their daughter, died in her infancy
    28 May 1846 William Vollum, age: 75, their 3rd son
    15 Apr 1846 Mary Vollum, age: [illegible], wife of William John Vollum (son of William and Elizabeth VOLLUM)
    11 Jan 1849 William John Vollum, age: 33, Mayor of Hartlepool
    25 Nov 1865 Elizabeth Vollum, age: 80, wife of the above William Vollum
    [Note: Eleanor’s age is eroded away, but we know she married John Langley after Leonard’s death and was buried as Eleanor Langley on 11 May 1807, aged 73, which is pretty close to the age she declared in her marriage bond with Leonard in 1765.]
  • 11 Jan 1837 Erected in Memory of Thomas Lawson, Only son of David Lawson & Ann (of Rainton Bridge), his death was caused by an accident on the railway when on his way to visit his Parents when residing at Hartlepool. Lord I resign my soul to thee, accept the sacred trust, preserve the noblest part of me, and guard my sleeping dust.
  • 16 Dec 1853 Here Lieth William Purvis, age: 70, better known as Billy Purvis, Clown and Jester of the North, This stone was erected by John and George S [illegible] May 1860 to mark the last resting place of him who was always a friend to the fatherless, the widow or distressed. Take him for all in all we ne’er shall look upon his like again.
  • 15 Aug 1855 in memory of Ann Lowater, age: 40, beloved wife of Richard Lowater
    31 Jan 1835 also Jane Hodgson, age: 32, her sister, the beloved wife of Robert Hodgson, Shall we come to their graves / over them weep? / And Jesus assures us they are only asleep / Asleep in their Lord until he shall come / and bid them inherit their Heavenly Home.

This work was originally undertaken in 1952 because, due to the severe eroding effect of the atmosphere and the exposed position of the churchyard, many memorials were becoming decayed and illegible, and unless a record was made, within a short time, the names engraved upon them would be lost forever. Preliminary contributors were Mr. H. Nicholson and his wife Mrs. B. Nicholson, and Mr. William Boagey, who did the original indexing in 1964. The work was completed in 1978 by Cleveland Jack Watson, with the assistance of his grand-daughter Julie Anne Watson.

Due to the condition of the stones, many inscriptions are missing parts of dates or verses or names. Wherever possible, we have annotated these with information found in the associated burial record to help clarify names, dates, and relationships. For example:

  • 31 Jul 1820 [N. face] Sacred to the memory of Maria Swinburne, age: [30 yrs 10 mos], wife of T.R. Swinburne (of [illegible] Hall)
    4 Sep 1864 [E. face] In remembrance of Sarah Shadforth, age: 69, who was a faithful servant in the family for upwards of thirty years.
    5 Jan 1867 [S. face] in memory of Al… [Alice] Coats, age: [75], fourth daughter of the late Rev. Anthony Coats ([rec]tor of Goldsborough, Yorkshire), and sister of Maria Swinburne
    [Note: only the first digit of Maria’s age is readable, but the burial register says she was 30 yrs and 10 months. For Alice, only the “Al” and the “7” of her age are visible, but the GRO index confirms Alice Coates, age 75.]

St. John Lee marriages 1813-1837

297 marriages at St. John Lee in Hexham district, Northumberland, from the beginning of 1813 to the end of 1837

The parish church, dedicated to St. John of Beverley, is in the township of Acomb, between the communities of Acomb and Bridge End on the north bank of the River Tyne, about 20km east of the border with County Durham. Abodes mentioned in this set include Acomb, the parish of St. John Lee, and the parishes or chapelries of Allendale, Bywell St Andrew, Bingfield, Chollerton, Corbridge, Elsdon, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Kirkheaton, Meldon, Ovingham, Shotley, Simonburn, Stamfordham, Warden, and Woodhorn.


  • 20 May 1813 John Swindle of this parish married Dorothy Robson of the parish of Stamfordham, by banns
    Witnesses: James Robson, Mary Armstrong
  • 8 Jul 1837 Thomas Hemsley (bachelor, farmer), age 40, of St John Lee, son of Thomas Hemsley (farmer) married Elizabeth Lumley (spinster), age 35, of St John Lee, daughter of Bartholomew Lumley (farmer), by banns
    Witnesses: Henry Call, Jane Hemsley

Great Stainton baptisms 1562-1761, burials 1561-1761

At Great Stainton All Saints in Stockton district:

  • 751 baptisms from the start of the first register in Jan 1562 to the end of 1761
  • 548 burials from the start of the first register in Sept 1561 to the end of 1761

This parish comprises the townships of Elstob and Great Stainton; bounded on the north by Sedgefield, on the west by Aycliffe, on the south by Haughton-le-Skerne, and onĀ the east by Bishopton and Stillington. It is now in the borough of Darlington. Abodes mentioned besides Great Stainton include Elstob, Grindon, and Stillington.

In these baptisms, fathers are not listed until 1583, then are listed only in some baptisms until 1603, when their appearance becomes consistent. Mothers are generally not listed (except single mothers of illegitimate children) until 1709. Samples:

  • 22 Jul 1566 Richard Sumpton
  • 20 Dec 1583 Jhon Richardby, son of Agnes Richardby [Rickardby]
  • 12 May 1650 Alicia Harding, daughter of John Harding
  • 7 Jun 1709 Thomas Allison, son of Thomas & Hellen Allison
  • 23 Feb 1761 Mary Moffet, daughter of Henry & Jane Moffet

Because this was a relatively small, sparsely-populated parish, there are a dozen years scattered across this period where there are no baptisms or burials recorded. There were usually only a few burials per year, and these multi-year sections show no burials: 1590-91, 1597-1600, 1603-1605, 1619-20, 1643-44, 1668-1669, and 1752-53. Most of this is probably due to the relatively low population in this parish, but some of it may be due to lack of record-keeping, especially during the English Civil War years.

Sample burials:

  • 24 Sep 1561 Henry Heslopp
  • 24 Feb 1592 Jhon Richardby, son of Henry Richardby
  • 8 Nov 1638 Mr. Thomas Ingmethorp, Rect. Of Stainton
  • 16 Jun 1699 Jane Todd, wife of Jeffery Todd
  • 16 Jul 1760 Ann Meggison, sister of Francis Meggison of Elstob in this parish

These new baptisms and burials join up to the baptisms (1762-1855) and burials (1762-1854) which we already had online.

Lamesley marriages 1603-1680

343 marriages at Lamesley St. Andrew in Chester-le-Street district,, spanning 1603-1680. There are significant gaps at the end of this marriage register. Following a continuous run of 3 to 12 marriages per year from 1603 onward, after Nov 1642, there are no marriages recorded except for one each in 1643, 1644, 1653, 1669, 1676, and 1680, with the last 4 all written on a single page at the end of the register (probably after-the-fact, from memory). The next marriage recorded was in 1689. We now have all the marriages recorded here from the first register in 1603 to mid-1837.

A few of these have abodes or occupations; most do not, as was typical of this period, and there were no witnesses. The registers are in Latin from 1621 to 1642. Samples:

  • 20 Feb 1604 Mr. John Hicks (parson of Whytebourne) married Miss Allice Blaxton
  • 1 May 1642 Jacobus Hebleswith married Isabella Ironsides

This one was unusual for this period, listing the groom’s occupation, the bride’s father, and both abodes:

  • 19 Nov 1669 James Hayrope (minister) of Jesmond married Elizabeth Huntley of ye City of Durham, daughter of Richard Huntley (farmer, deceased)

Durham St. Nicholas marriages 1787-1812

471 marriages at St. Nicholas in the city of Durham, covering 1787-1812.

Abodes mentioned besides the parish of St. Nicholas include Elvet, Houghton-le-Spring, Kelloe, St. Giles, St. Margaret’s, St. Oswald’s, and Sunderland. Several grooms were soldiers, stating their regiment rather than their usual abode.


  • 15 Nov 1788 Francis Gray of this parish married Ann Furnace of the parish of Lanchester, by licence
    Witnesses: John Gray, Stephen Bone
  • 11 Aug 1799 John Pilkington (private in the 3rd Division of the Lancashire Militia) married Thomason Dodds of the parish of Brancepeth, by banns
    Witnesses: Moses Dodds, Stephen Bone
  • 17 Jul 1810 George Bacon (gentleman) of the parish of St. Oswald married Alice Darnell of this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: Isabella S. Green, Thomas Chipchase, junior, William Darnell

Ferryhill baptisms, marriages, burials: 1843-1864

At Ferryhill St. Luke in Stockton district:

  • 1,266 baptisms from the beginning of the first register in Sep 1843 to the end of 1864
  • 777 burials from Dec 1846, when the burial ground opened, to the end of 1864
  • 271 marriages from Feb 1844 to the end of 1864 – these are fully-detailed civil-registration-style marriages

Ferryhill parish was created out of Merrington St. John in Sep 1843, but while Merrington is in Auckland civil registration district, Ferryhill was placed in Stockton district. Abodes mentioned besides Ferryhill include Butcher Race, Byers Green Crossing, Chilton, Chilton Colliery, Cleeves or Cleves Cross, Cookson Green, Cornforth, Ferryhill Station, Great Chilton, Green Lane, Hill House, Houle or Howle, Kay’s Hill, Little Chilton, Low Spennymoor, New Chilton, Old Chilton, Roughlea or Roughlee, Rudd’s Hill, Rushyford, Thrislington, West Chilton, West Close, and West Howle.

Sample baptisms:

  • 10 Sep 1843 James Alderson of Ferryhill, child of William Whitelock Alderson (butcher) & Dinah Alderson
  • 2 Oct 1864 Esther Margaret Sheriff of Byers Green Crossing, child of James (inspector) & Jane Sheriff

Sample burials:

  • 10 Sep 1849 Mary Percival, of Little Chilton, age: 67
  • 18 Jan 1862 Lettice Lawson, of Ferryhill, age: 93

Sample marriages:

  • 4 Oct 1846 Michael Welton (bachelor, labourer), full age, of Ferryhill, son of Edward Welton (labourer) married Hannah Hinds (widow), full age, of Ferryhill, daughter of Martin Coultman (blacksmith)
    Witnesses: John Smith, Michael Lidster
  • 29 Feb 1864 Mailes Forrest (widower, earthenware dealer), age 55, of Ferryhill, son of Richard Forrest (earthenware dealer) married Ann McGregor (widow), age 44, of Ferryhill, daughter of Robert Miller (tinker)
    Witnesses: William Winter, John Lidster

Witton-le-Wear baptisms 1558-1756, marriages 1558-1797, burials 1558-1699

At Witton-le-Wear St. Philip & St. James, in Auckland district, from the start of the first register in 1558:

  • 2,701 baptisms to the end of 1756, meeting up with our previous collection and giving us a continuous run of baptisms here from 1558 to 1859
  • 737 marriages to the end of 1797, meeting up with our previous collection and giving us a continuous run of marriages here from 1558 to 1837
  • 1,478 burials to the end of 1699, meeting up with our previous collection and giving us a continuous run of burials here from 1558 to 1859

There are no baptisms recorded in 1566 or 1572. Parents are generally not listed until 1573, and then only fathers, or single mothers of illegitimate children. After 1701, most have abodes and some have birth dates. Here are some samples:

  • 8 Jul 1558 Thomas Wren
  • 24 Jan 1588 Raphe Hodgson, illegitimate son of Xpofer [Christopher] Hodgson
  • 9 May 1630 Thomas Basset, son of Mary Basset (vidua nuper relicta [recently widowed])
  • 4 Jan 1680 Ann Faudon, daughter of Michaell Faudon
  • 20 Oct 1709 Barbara Sissons, born 19 Oct 1709, daughter of Lancelot Sissons
  • 25 Jul 1727 John Reveler of Sandie Bank, son of Edward Reveler
  • 14 Nov 1756 Thomas Kilburn of Rumby Hill, son of Thomas Kilburn

There are no marriages in the register in these periods: Oct 1560 to Nov 1562, Aug 1563 to Nov 1567, May 1568 to Nov 1573, Nov 1600 to Feb 1602, Sep 1632 to Jul 1634, Nov 1660 to Jun 1662, and Sep 1680 to Jul 1683. Abodes start appearing in 1701 and witnesses in 1754. Samples:

  • 9 Oct 1558 Edward Corneforth married Agnes Hobson
  • 21 Aug 1598 John Hearon married wedowe Ekin
  • 31 Jul 1642 Michaell Unthank married Elizabeth Garthfoot
  • 7 May 1702 Thomas Ovington of ye parish of Lenchester married Margaret Wall of North Bedbourn Township in this parish
  • 18 Nov 1755 John Binks of ye chappelry of Whorlton married Elizabeth Snaith of this parish
    Witnesses: John Snaith, John Taylor
  • 9 Jul 1794 William Taylor of North Shields married Mary Motley of the parish of Witton le Wear, by licence
    Witnesses: Robert Taylor, junior, Ann Morley, Ann Taylor, Robert Taylor, Jane Taylor

There are no burials listed from Feb 1565 to Apr 1567 and Jul 1568 to Feb 1572. Relationships are not shown until 1572. Samples:

  • 20 Dec 1558 Margarett Ramshawe
  • 11 Nov 1581 Robert & Elizabeth Thomson, sonn & daughter of Richard Thomson
  • 8 Mar 1604 Elizabeth Craw, wife of Christopher Craw
  • 10 Jan 1628 Thomas Rose, who fell into a pit and so dyed
  • 23 May 1653 Jane Fogg, wife of Edward Fogg
  • 2 Jun 1698 John Davis, son of John Davis (a vagabond beggar)


Hart & Seaton Carew churchyard monument inscriptions

Monumental inscriptions from the headstones (a.k.a. gravestones or tombstones) in the churchyards of Hart St. Mary Magdalene and Seaton Carew Holy Trinity, both in Hartlepool district:

  • 482 at Hart St. Mary Magdalene, with dates ranging from 1728 to 1978
  • 859 at Seaton Carew Holy Trinity, with dates ranging from 1830 to 1988 (the few dates before 1843 are memorials for people actually interred at Stranton All Saints)

These graveyard surveys were carried out in the 1980s, when many stones were already badly worn and some were illegible. It is likely that they are in worse condition now. There is no information about precise grave locations within the churchyard. We have supplemented some missing information by matching undated stones with entries in the church burial register or the civil death index.

Here are some samples – each bullet point is one record, containing all the names on one stone.

At Hart:

  • 19 May 1806 In memory of John Ovington, of this parish, in the 60th year of his age, who throughout his long life of disinterested benevolence and strictest virtue, merited and obtained the universal esteem and love of those who know him. He was ever engaged in rendering everyone as happy as he was able. He led and protected the poor, and after a long life, rendered happy by doing good to others, died totally lamented by relatives and neighbours. [6 lines eroded]
    21 Feb 1779 also Ann Ovington, in the 29th year of her age, the beloved wife of the above
  • 18 Apr 1807 In loving memory of Robert Mowbray, of Elwick, age: 55
    1 Mar 1809 also Robinson Mowbray, age: 19, his son
    20 Sep 1809 also Ann Mowbray, age: 17, his daughter
    12 Sep 1852 also Mary Mowbray, age: 82, wife of the above Robert Mowbray

At Seaton Carew:

  • 30 Jul 1869 Jemima Elenora Lear, age: 53, widow of Thomas Lear (at Arundel, Sussex)
    and Henry James Skinner Lear, child of the above interred in New York America
    and Thomas Adams Lear, child of the above interred in New York America
    and William Hodgson Lear, child of the above interred in New York America
    and John Thomas and Hannah Adams, parents of the above Jemima Elenora LEAR, who are interred at Liverpool.
    also John Thomas, Ambrose Henry and Olivere Eliza [Adams/Lear], children of the above
    and William Hodgson, son-in-law of the above Thomas and Hannah who were lost at sea.
    [[illegible] Hannah Hodgson, [stone too worn to read]
    [Note: it is not clear whether John Thomas, Ambrose Henry, and Olivere (Olivia? Olive?) Eliza are children of John & Hannah Adams or of Thomas & Jemima Lear.]
  • 12 Sep 1880 John Burnicle, age: 76, late Lighthouse Keeper of Seaton Carew, Former Harbour Master at Middlesbrough on Tees
    25 Mar 1878 Henry Burnicle, age: 7 months, grandson of above
    19 Oct 1882 and grandson Arthur Burnicle, age: 7 months
    5 Apr 1883 and Henry Burnicle, age: 37, son of above John Burnicle
    6 Apr 1883 also Mary Jane Burnicle, age: 4, daughter of Henry Burnicle & Jane E. Burnicle

Mere Knolls Cemetery, Western Extension, 1905-1920

10,168 burials in the Western Extension of Mere Knolls Cemetery in Fulwell, Sunderland, County Durham, spanning 1905-1920. This period includes deaths due to World War I and the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919.

Mere Knolls (near Seaburn) was the successor burial ground to the ancient Monkwearmouth Saint Peter’s graveyard, which closed in 1891. Because Mere Knolls is a municipal cemetery, the burial records provide more information than a church burial record would in this period, and typically will contain a parent, spouse, or occupation, and a few death causes. Here are some samples:

  • 28 Sep 1905 Margaret Purvis, of Brewery Cottage, North Quay, age: 94, wife of Isaac Purvis
  • 19 Jan 1907 George Allan, of Braeside, Roker Park Road, age: 75, Congregational minister
  • 25 Apr 1914 Jane Booth, of 25 St Andrew’s Terrace, age: 96, widow of John Booth
  • 12 May 1917 John Thomas Bailes, age: 29, 2nd Lieutenant Durham Light Infantry, died at the Endlsleigh Place Military Hospital, London
  • 27 Jun 1917 Caroline Armstrong, age: 20, daughter of John Armstrong, died at the Monkwearmouth & Southwick Hospital
  • 26 Feb 1918 George William Doyle, of 92 Gladstone Street, age: 20, son of Dominic Doyle
  • 29 Sep 1909 Harold Thompson, age: 18, apprentice engineer, found drowned at North Hylton

The annual burial totals show the sharp rise in burials here in 1918, primarily due to the flu epidemic:

Year Number of Burials
1917 527
1918 870 (up 65% from previous year)
1919 582
1920 539

Durham St. Margaret burials 1672-1700 annotated from Jacob Bee’s Chronicle

Burials 1672-1700 at Durham St. Margaret have been annotated with entries from “Jacob Bee’s Chronicle”, a record of selected births, marriages, and deaths in the city of Durham, published in “North Country Diaries (second series)” by the Surtees Society in 1915, now available at Archive.org.

Jacob Bee was baptized at St. Margaret’s in 1636 and buried there in 1712. His diary of deaths in the city of Durham runs from 1672 to his wife’s death in 1710. His records often supply family relationships, occupations, and other information not found in the church burial records. We went through our burials at St. Margaret’s, and if there was a corresponding entry in Bee’s Chronicle, we added it as a note and added the information to our index. We felt this information was too valuable to not include it. For example, here is a burial record from the church register:

  • 3 Jan 1694 [blank] Stout

and here is the same entry with the information from Bee’s Chronicle added:

  • 3 Jan 1694 [blank] [John] Stout
    [Note: given name is blank, but Jacob Bee’s Chronicle lists this death as: 1 Jan – John Stoot, son of Cuthbert Stoot, sadler.]

and even though the father is not listed in the official burial record, a search at our site for children of Cuthbert Stout will find this record because we have invisibly indexed the father as Cuthbert.

Here are more samples:

  • 2 Jan 1692 Margery Rutledge
    [Note: Jacob Bee’s Chronicle lists this death as: 1 Jan – Margery Rutlass, wif to Ralph Rutlass.]
  • 12 Oct 1695 Ursela Best
    [Note: Jacob Bee’s Chronicle lists this death as: 11 Oct – Ursula Best was smothered in a sand-hole.]

There are some interesting name discrepancies, such as a woman buried as Ann but listed in the Chronicle as Elizabeth.

If a burial in our database (in this period & parish) does not have a note from Bee’s Chronicle, it means either that the death was not mentioned (Bee did not record all deaths) or the death is mentioned in the Chronicle but the entry provides no further information.