Aycliffe baptisms & burials 1651-1761, marriages 1651-1799, banns 1754-1800

Filling our gaps at Aycliffe St. Andrew in Darlington district:

  • 2,947 baptisms and 2,049 burials covering 1651-1761
  • 995 marriages¬† covering 1651-1799 and 60 “banns called but not married here” for 1754-1800

We now have baptisms at this church for 1560-1877, burials for 1560-1962, and marriages for 1560-1841.

No marriages were recorded from Jan 1650 to Oct 1651 and Oct 1688 to Nov 1690. No burials were recorded from Apr 1650 to Apr 1651 and burials are missing from July 1678 to Nov 1689. (After July 1678, most of that page of the register appears to have been cut away and removed, losing most of that page and the entire back side. One wonders if someone was trying to hide a particular baptism or wedding! After July 1678, only baptisms and marriages were recorded for the next several pages and years, with burials not resuming until Nov 1689. Strange.)

Nearly all of these baptisms name the father. Some abodes are provided in 1652-1655, 1661-1665, 1687, and from March 1702 to March 1707; outside of those periods, abodes appear only occasionally, until 1738 after which they appear in nearly all baptisms. In the mother department, only single mothers are listed until 1738, after which nearly all baptisms list the mother until the end of 1755, when they disappear again. A very few of these baptisms provide the father’s occupation, probably to distinguish between 2 men of the same name in the village (example below). There are periods where the child’s gender is not specified – a baptism will say something like “John of George Heward” – so we have added “[child]” to make those read properly. Sample baptisms:

  • 20 Jan 1651 Raiphe Sidgewick, son of Thomas Sidgewick
  • 14 Jun 1670 Jane Graistons, daughter of Ann Graistons
  • 7 Jul 1702 John Bambrick, of Preston, son of Thomas Bambrick
  • 2 Feb 1721 Anne Smith, [child] of John Smith (skinner)
  • 3 Feb 1723 Mary Smith, [child] of John Smith (taylor)
  • 17 Sep 1732 Elizabeth Cambel, [child] of Grace Cambel (mendicant)
  • 17 Jun 1743 Joseph Hedley, of Woodham, son of Michael Hedley (a Roman Catholick)
  • 22 Feb 1752 Robert [Davison/Preston], of Ayckliff, son of William Davison & Mary Preston
  • 2 Nov 1755 Isaac Arras, of Woodham, son of Joseph & Margret Arras

Sample marriages – there is a smattering of abodes in 1702-1705, then abodes and witnesses appear regularly from 1754 onward, with an occasional mention of bachelor/spinster/widow/widower:

  • 31 Oct 1655 John Dickon married Mary Heighington
  • 30 Apr 1705 John Sawhell [Sawkell] married Ann Swainston (of Brafferton)
  • 20 Jul 1714 Mr. Trollop married Mrs. Price
  • 8 May 1731 Tho. Litster married Margery Brandling
  • 29 Apr 1754 William Parnaby (of the parish of Aycliffe) married Mary Oates (of the parish of Brancepeth), by banns
    Witnesses: Thomas Robinson; John Croft
  • 3 May 1775 Robert Wetherell (widower) married Rachael Scaife, both of this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: Ralph Moor; Mary James
  • 7 Jul 1798 James Clement (Jun’r) married Margaret Bentley (widow), both of this parish, by licence
    Witnesses: Thomas Robinson; Maria Henderson; Edward Henderson
  • Banns: 22 Dec 1799 Jacob Simpson (of this parish) & Anne Park (of the parish of Darlington)
    [Note: date of last banns publication; not married here.]

In the burials, abodes are provided occasionally in the 1650s and 1660s, in most burials from March 1702 to March 1707 and then again from 1738 onward, but generally not outside those periods. Relationships are stated in about half of the burials from 1651 to 1707. Between 1707 and 1738, there are almost no abodes or relationships stated. In some periods, the relationship is not specified but the two parties are named – for example, a burial will say something like “John of Joseph Shotton” or “Mary of James Smith”. For these, we have added “[son]” for a deceased male and “[daughter or wife]” for deceased females and indexed the named male as the father, figuring that will be right more often than not. Sample burials:

  • 29 Sep 1651 Beley [Isabella] Wycliff, wife of Mr. Francis Wycliff
    [Note: entered in Christenings but clearly says “buryed”.]
  • 31 Mar 1663 Elioner Moody, daughter of John Moody (deceased)
  • 13 Jun 1674 Margarett Crosyer, wife of Thomas Crosyer
  • 3 Jul 1692 Ann Bennett, [daughter or wife] of William Bennett
  • 31 May 1700 Mary Lisle, wife of Jo. [John] Lisle (Vic’r)
  • 10 Dec 1706 Thomas Friswell, of Woodham, a servant
  • 1 Feb 1721 Winnafrid Cowley
  • 6 Jul 1738 Wm. Fogg, of Ayckliff, son of Katherine Fogg (widdow)
  • 15 Jun 1759 Eliz. Peacock, of Brafferton, widow
  • 23 Oct 1761 John Scot, of Aycliffe, son of Patrick Scot

Here’s an unusual one:

  • 13 Dec 1652 Jane [blank], of Brough Close House, the concubine of Hugh Haswhittle

Sometimes the parish register was a place to record notable happenings, other than birth, marriage, and death. Along an inner margin of the baptism register in 1715, this note was written: “The Rebellion in Lanchashire & Scotland was this year.” , and in the burial register in 1729: “This year 1729, corn was so scarce that a famine would have ensued, but that it pleased God to send us Dantz-Rie to supply our need. Laus Deo.”¬† Across England and Ireland, the harvest of 1728 was a poor one, caused by colder-than-usual temperatures and increased rain and flooding at the wrong time. This caused famine in the following year, resulting in a higher death rate from various infections (whooping cough, chicken pox,smallpox, influenza, pneumonia) attacking the weakened people. Aycliffe was part of a nationwide mortality crisis – one of the biggest mortality crises known to have occurred since the 16th century, with death rates up to 100 per cent above normal for three consecutive years. Partial salvation was provided in the form of “Danzig Rye”, grain shipped from Gdansk on the Baltic Sea.