239 baptisms at Birtley St. Joseph Roman Catholic church in Chester-le-Street district, spanning 1841 to 1852 and extending our collection at this church from 1745 to 1852. As far as we know, Birtley St. Joseph baptisms do not appear anywhere else on the Internet – they are not even indexed by FamilySearch.org – so we hope some of you will make some new discoveries!
The first section, 1841-1847, is in English and does not show the child’s gender. Starting in 1848, the next register is mostly in Latin. No abodes or fathers’ occupations are shown, but most of the mothers’ maiden surnames are given, and nearly all the baptisms include the child’s birth date and 2 godparents or sponsors. Here are some samples:
- 17 Jan 1841 Thomas Walsh, born 18 Dec 1840, child of Thomas Walsh & Bridget McMahon (conjuges)
Godparents or Sponsors: John Downes; Ann McGurk
- 12 Mar 1848 Joannes Finneron, born 15 Feb 1848, son of Joannis Finneron & Marioe olim Hanlon
Godparents or Sponsors: Guleilmus Finneron; Maria Dodds
In case you’ve forgotten your Latin, “conjuges” or “conjugum” means the parents were married and “olim” means “formerly” (referring to the mother’s maiden surname). As is usual with Irish surnames, we found great variety in spellings – one family is recorded as McGhaghan, McGaffen, and McGhan, and Caffrey and McCaffrey were used interchangeably.