- 997 baptisms at Stella Sts. Mary & Thomas Aquinas, a Roman Catholic church in the district of Gateshead that served Catholic families on both sides of the River Tyne, just west of Gateshead and Newcastle. This set runs from 1781 to Feb 1830 without any gaps, then jumps to 1832 where it lists baptisms in Jan and Feb only, and finishes with 1 baptism in 1837 and 2 in 1838.
Residences mentioned include Barlow, Bell’s Close, Bews Hills, Bladon or Blaydon, Blaydon Staiths, Bywell, Chopwell, Coalburns, Copperas House, Crawcrook, Denton, Dog Lope, Gateshead Fell, Greenside, Heddon on the Wall, Horse Croggs, Horse-gate, Kyo, Lemington, Liddel’s or Liddle’s Fell, Long Row, Long-rigg, Mickley, New Winning, Newburn, Ovington, Peth Head, Peth Head Mill, Quarry Burn, Ryton, Scotch Wood or Scotswood, Slaty Ford, Stella, Stephens Hall, Struthers, Swalwell, The Fold or Fade, The Folly, Throckley, Wallbottle, Whickham, White Cake Row, Winlaton, Woodside, and Wylam.
Most of these baptisms provide the mother’s maiden name, the child’s birth date, one or two godparents, and whether or not the parents were married. This register is in Latin, but along the outer margin of each page is a sort of index, with the Anglicized version of the child’s name appearing there. In this transcription, we have Anglicized most of the Latin names for ease of searching. In 1793, the priest started adding “M” for “mortuus” in the margin if the child had died in the following few months. Usually the burial can be found at the Anglican church of Ryton Holy Cross.
Sample baptisms – note that the middle two contain extra information about relationships and previous marriages:
- 22 Apr 1781 George Strong, of Wall-bottle, born 21 Apr 1781, son of Anthony Strong & Ann olim Hunt (his wife)
Godparents or Sponsors: Joseph Strong; Elizabeth Strong
- 9 Feb 1794 Michael Wheatley, of Ryton Lane Head, born 19 Jan 1794, son of Thomas Wheatley & Mary olim Cook (his wife)
Godparents or Sponsors: Michael & Mary Wheatley, avus & amita infantis [child’s grandfather and aunt]
- 23 Dec 1810 John Heslip, of Bladon, born 11 Dec 1810, son of John Heslip & Catharine olim Pearson olim Watson (his wife)
Godparents or Sponsors: John Watson; Ann Watson
- 20 Feb 1832 Jane Farebridge, of Stella, born 28 Jan 1832, daughter of William Farebridge & Sarah olim Grey (his wife)
Godparents or Sponsors: John Grey; Isabella Grey
In one puzzling case, a man named George Todd of Coalburns had 3 children between 1797 and 1802 inclusive, the first with a Jane Brown and the next two with a Jane whose surname is not listed but is quite likely Brown. Then, a George Todd of Coalburns had 4 children between 1801 and 1808 inclusive, with a woman named Frances whose surname is never listed. None of these baptisms say “conjugum”, meaning the parents were not married. Are these 2 different George Todds or one very prolific George Todd who didn’t feel like getting married?