From the earliest register of Denton St. Mary in Darlington district:
- 412 baptisms spanning 1586-1673 plus 4 from 1689-98
- 108 marriages spanning 1580-1644
- 224 burials spanning 1576-1647
This is the entire first register of Denton, which is a chapelry in the parish of Gainford. Much of this register is really, really hard to read. Most of it is in Latin and is written in an old style of handwriting that contains many unusual letterforms no longer in use today. The page edges are both faded and darkened, entries are squeezed in between others and some are rubbed out, and there are large blots and apparent water damage on many pages. There are also some disordered sections. We have added many question marks in the earliest entries!
There are no baptisms recorded for 1597, Feb 1600-1602, 1604, and 1645. There are no marriages recorded for 1591, 1594-95, 1598, 1600-1604, 1608, 1614-1615, 1618, 1623-1625, and 1641. There no burials recorded for 1577-1579, 1585, 1594, 1597, 1600-1605, 1607, 1618, 1628, and 1644-1645.
These baptisms don’t list a parent until 1595, and they don’t list the mother unless she’s unmarried. Quite a few have godparents. Some examples:
- 25 Jul 1587 Isabell Francklande
- 2 Feb 1600 John Burdenn, the illegitimate sonne of Thomas Burdenn (of Houghton) begotten by Jane Madesonn (beinge then his servant)
Godparents or Sponsors: his godfathers beinge John Welnis(?) of Houghton and William Darnton being [illegible]; George Garthe of Houghton in the same paryshe
- 30 Jan 1611 Johannes Sigswick, son of Richardi Sigswick
Godparents or Sponsors: Jo. Bigott; Jo. Todde; Anna Richardsonne
- 23 Aug 1629 Gulielmus Tonge, son of Georgij Tonge (militis [soldier])
Godparents or Sponsors: Christop. Byarley; Johannes Lumley; Domina Laiton
- 27 Mar 1653 Henery Aude, of Houghton, sonne of George Aude
- 8 Mar 1672 Georgius Case, child of Jacobj Case (Presb.), natus & bap. octavo die Martij, et eodem die expiravit [born, baptized, and died the same day]
In burials, it’s just a name and date until 1606, when they start including a father or husband. After Feb 1647, there are only 4 burials, dated from 1650 to 1667, which appear to have been added much later, so there are essentially no burials recorded from Feb 1647 to March 1673, when the next register starts. Some burial examples:
- 21 Mar 1581 Alexander Tuer
- 28 Feb 1606 Grace Hudsmaughe, of Killerbi of the parishe of Heighington, wife of Hennry Hudsmaughe, buried at Denton, she departed on childbirth and not delyvered
- 22 Sep 1623 Barbara Hall, relicta [widow] of Thomae Hall
- 9 May 1638 Cuthbertus Tonge, son of Georgij Tonge (armigeri)
- 22 Oct 1641 Merilla Aude, wife of Georgij Aude
There are several marriages between 1633 and 1637 whose dates, including the year, are unreadable. After Aug 1644, there are only 3 marriages, dated 1647, 1657, and (possibly) 1679. All 3 are from the Simpson family, which seems to have made a habit of inserting records later. That means that there are essentially no marriages recorded from Aug 1644 to Nov 1673, when the next register starts.
The marriages are very terse, and the bride isn’t even listed until 1605 and not consistently until 1611. What were they thinking??? Some examples:
- 3 Feb 1590 Antonye Runthet [Runthwaite]
- 26 Nov 1611 Tobias Tonstall married Priscilla Hopwoode
- 6 Oct 1639 Richardus Piburne married Maria Denham
Abodes mentioned besides Denton include Houghton (presumably Houghton-le-Side), Killerby (in Heighington parish), and Summerhouse.