South Westoe St. Michael baptisms 1912-1920

3,684 baptisms at South Westoe St. Michael and All Angels in South Shields district, covering 1912-1920. Here are some examples, including one adult (there were a dozen baptisms of adults and teens in this set) :

  • 1 May 1912 John Christie, of 41 Mowbray Road, born 28 Jun 1877, child of William (builder) & Alice Christie
  • 29 Aug 1917 Hannah McGoldrick, of 68 Stainton Street, born 16 Aug 1917, child of Martin (father died at home Aug 17, 1917) & Jane McGoldrick
  • 7 Jul 1920 Annie Hood Golightly, of 102 Marine Approach, born 15 Jun 1920, child of Robert Morrison Golightly (bricklayer) & Rachel Shiel Golightly

During WWI, there were quite a few fathers whose occupation and current military service were both listed:

  • 5 Dec 1915 Queenie Mears, of 50 Wharton Street, born 14 Nov 1915, child of Alfred (policeman now in the 26th Royal Fusiliers Legion Frontiersman) & Elizabeth Mears
  • 23 Dec 1917 Audrey Carr, of 13 Burleigh Street, born 30 Nov 1917, child of Isaac Carr (miner now on Active Service D.L.I.) & Eliza Ann Carr

The abodes listed are mostly street addresses in Westoe and South Shields, but Harton and Tyne Dock were also mentioned. Also this family, who must have been home on a visit:

  • 12 Jul 1914 Elizabeth Alice Hockley, of Bruce Rock, Western Australia, born 30 Jun 1914, child of Ernest Walter Hockley (carting contractor) & Hannah Hockley, P.B. [private baptism]

1851 Gateshead census

Added another 10,697 people to the 1851 census of Gateshead. We are now about 50 folios away from finishing this project. This section covers parts of the parishes of St. John and St. Mary, including High Fell, Blue Quarries, Low Fell, Sheriff Hill, Wrekenton, Friars Goose, Quarry Field, New Gateshead, Salt Meadows, Sheerlegs, South Shipcote, Tyne Main, and Windmill Hills.

Here is an example with some useful in-laws:

Gateshead St.John 1851 Census – High Fell – Blue Quarries (HO107/2402, Folio 417, Page 11 & Folio 418, Page 12)
Patrick Gorman, head, married, 40, pedler, born Ireland
Mary Gorman, wife, married, 28, pedler, born Ireland
Sarah Gorman, daughter, 9, born Gateshead, County Durham
John Gorman, son, 2, born Gateshead, County Durham
Thomas Gorman, son, 2 months, born Gateshead, County Durham
Bridget Dunn, mother-in-law, widow, 60, born Ireland
Catherine Dunn, sister-in-law, 10, born Ireland
Sarah Brooks, sister-in-law, unmarried, 26, pedler, born Ireland

An example with a married daughter:

Gateshead St.John 1851 Census, Low Fell (HO107/2402, Folio 374, Page 16)
Matthew Richardson, head, married, 61, coal miner, born Lamesley, County Durham
Ann Richardson, wife, married, 62, born Middleton, County Durham
John Fairgrieve, son-in-law, married, 21, journeyman blacksmith, born Long Benton, Northumberland
Jane Fairgrieve, daughter, married, 18, born Lamesley, County Durham
Richard Errington, lodger, married, 69, waggonman, born Lamesley, County Durham

Here’s a family that shows movement across 3 counties:

Gateshead St.John 1851 Census – High Fell – Johnson’s House (HO107/2402, Folio 433, Page 42)
John Wilson, head, married, 43, quarryman, born Nether Danton, Cumberland
Martha Wilson, wife, married, 44, born Wetheril, Cumberland
Thomas Wilson, son, unmarried, 16, quarryman, born Wetheril, Cumberland
Elizabeth Wilson, daughter, 14, born Wetheril, Cumberland
Frances Wilson, daughter, 12, born Wetheril, Cumberland
Frank Wilson, son, 8, scholar, born Heworth, County Durham
Frank Tweddle, father-in-law, widower, 80, retired joiner, born Simonburn, Northumberland

This Irishman was the oldest person in this chunk of data:

Gateshead St.Mary 1851 Census – Oakwellgate Lane (HO107/2402, Folio 557, Page 26)
Gaven Caven, head, widower, 99, butcher, born Ireland
Mary Caven, [relationship & marital status blank], 57, born Ireland
Michael Fole, lodger, unmarried, 56, labourer, born Ireland
Mary Monagen, lodger, 6, born Ireland

Inmates of the Lunatic Asylums in Wrekenton and Sheriff Hill were listed only by their initials. Makes it difficult to find an ancestor there!

Newcastle St. Nicholas burials 1798-1812

From St. Nicholas in Newcastle-upon-Tyne:

  • 1,204 burials spanning the wonderfully detailed years of 1798-1812

We now have a continuous run of burials here for 1762-1853.

These are from a combination of the parish register and the Bishop’s Transcript, for maximum detail. There are some discrepancies between the two documents, but not many. Nearly all the burials give the death date and the cause of death. In the burial of a child, the information given in the register usually includes the father and his occupation, and the mother, with her maiden surname, until early October 1805, but the Bishop’s Transcript stops showing the mothers from 25 March 1805 onward. Oct 1805 is also where the maiden surname of a deceased woman stops showing up. A few burials are missing from the BT. Conversely, from Nov 1807 to March 1808, there are some burials where the father’s occupation or an abode or a little extra detail is listed only in the Bishop’s Transcript.


  • 1 Feb 1798 Jane Davenport, of the Side, age: 78, wife of John Davenport, flax merchant, daughter of John Holmes, died 30 Jan of gradual decay
  • 14 Oct 1800 Margaret Tueart, of the Close, age: 17, daughter of the late Stephen Tueart (mariner) & Mary his wife, formerly Young, died 12 Oct of inflammation of the bowels
  • 19 Sep 1805 Frances Oyston late Levitt, of the Side, age: 38, wife of Ambrose Oyston (flaxdresser), died 16 Sep of consumption
  • 23 Jan 1807 Revd. John Ellison, of Westgate Street, age: 76, 50 years Curate of this parish, died 19 Jan of bilious & gravel complaint
  • 13 Nov 1809 Bryan Turnbull, of Bigg Market, age: 17, currier’s apprentice, died 10 Nov of compression of the brain
  • 28 Dec 1812 Mary Blair, of Groat Market, age: 44, wife of William Blair (coach man), died 26 Dec of consumption

Baptisms for this period are under construction.

Early Durham Surnames project

Durham Records Online is pleased to announce the Early Durham Surnames statistical database, which is being compiled as part of an ongoing research and study project. (It has actually been present for almost a year, but we had not announced it while we were continuing to tweak some problems with it.) The purpose of this project is to track the incidence of Durham surnames, to understand where and when in the county they first appeared, and to note the many spelling variations encountered during the Tudor period (1485-1603).

Entering a surname on the search form produces a response that shows the generally accepted primary spelling (and any variants found), along with the ward and parish in which the name was found and a count of how many times that name was found and in what type of event. In addition to drawing from records in parish registers, it also includes speculative birth years calculated from resource material on a “best estimate” basis. You can filter the response by specifying a ward, parish, and range of years.

At present, this unique database contains the surnames of over 50,000 individuals known to have lived during the Tudor period in what is historically County Durham. Names were extracted from manorial records, wills, surveys and parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, between 1485 and 1603, thus making an important link between the records which precede parish registers and those post-1538 when registers commenced.

A static map of Durham is available to help researchers (one-name study groups in particular) visualize where the surnames occurred. Boundaries have been highlighted to show the four wards: Chester, Darlington, Easington and Stockton, plus Durham which, although not a ward, figures prominently as it contains the earliest records.

As an example, if you enter the surname “Fenwick”, the database responds:

The result of the search for “Fenwick” tells us in the Tudor era, this surname was most prevalent in the parish of Whitburn, with a lesser presence in other areas, and it shows the variant spellings that were found during that period. A search for a more common name, such as Wilkinson, show many more name variants and produces numbers in the twenties in the various columns, showing definite areas of concentration around Ryton, Bishopwearmouth, Hart, Houghton-le-Spring, and Lanchester.

The Early Durham Surnames Project can be found on the the Local History tab, or you can go directly to it. If you have questions or comments about the project, please contact the author, Ken Coleman, at the address listed on the project’s main page or About page.

Denton 1576-1673

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.

Sedgefield baptisms 1700-1753 & burials 1700-1749

Working our way backwards at Sedgefield St. Edmund the Bishop in Stockton district:

  • 2,404 baptisms spanning 1700-1753
  • 1,882 burials spanning 1700-1749

This register is in Latin. We have provided (in square brackets) translations for some of the less obvious given names.

Most of these baptisms list the abode, and a few list the father’s occupation. Mothers (other than unmarried mothers) are generally not listed. Here are some examples of baptisms:

  • 11 Feb 1700 Maria Foster, of Butterwycke, daughter of Jacobi Foster
  • 2 Feb 1707 Marcus [Dunmar/Pearson], of Bradbury, spurius [illegitimate] son of Marci [Mark] Dunmar & Hanah Pearson, private baptism 25 Jan
  • 17 May 1722 Margaretta Howgill, of Sedgfield, daughter of Wilmi Howgill (ludi magistri [school teacher])
  • 7 Apr 1734 Johes [John] Ghent, of Horse Shoe House, son of Radulphi [Ralph] Ghent
  • 16 Oct 1743 Thos. [Dickinson/Elder], supposed son of Thomoe Dickinson & Marioe Elder
  • 8 May 1753 Isabella Smurthwait, of Hardwick, daughter of Johis [John] Smurthwait

Burials generally provide the father (or single or widowed mother) of a deceased child, the husband of a married woman, and sometimes the occupation of a deceased man. Examples:

  • 10 Feb 1700 Jana Trotter, of Fishburn, wife of Gilberti Trotter
  • 4 Sep 1714 Ana [Huntley/Lamb], supposed child of Johis [John] Lamb & Dorothea Huntley
  • 17 Apr 1730 Anna Sudwick, of Sedgfield, widow, proseuch
  • 17 May 1732 Jana Burthwick, of Sedgfield, daughter of widow Burthwick
  • 10 Jul 1744 Sampson Finn, of Sedgfield, gen. [gentleman]
  • 19 May 1749 Jocosa Leslie, child of the Rev’d Mr. Jacobi Leslie (Rector of this Parish)

Note the word “proseuch” in the 1730 burial. We came across variations of this word (proseuche, proseucha) in a number of burials, and we have seen it before in 1 or 2 other registers. We are puzzled about its meaning in this context. The Latin translation texts and dictionaries we consulted say it means”prayer” or  “place of prayer” – some translate it as “synagogue”, some say it means “to pray” or “to offer prayers”. Some translate it as “conventicle” which is an illegal religious gathering, perhaps such as a dissenter congregation. We wonder if it means that prayers were offered for the deceased (and perhaps a fee was paid for this service, which is why it is noted in the register), or the deceased was a devout person who prayed a lot, or was a dissenter. If anyone can shed any light on this, we’d be grateful and will share your input in the next newsletter.

Abodes mentioned besides Sedgefield include Beacon, Brack Leeses, Bradbury, Brocks or Brocks House, Butterwick and Butterwick Bridge, Cowburn, Cowley Houses, East Murton, Elmdon or Embledon, Field House, Fishburn, Foxton, Gallilaw, Glor ‘ore ’em, Green Knowles, Hardwick and Hardwick Mill, Harop House, Healey House, Hog House, Horse Shoe House, the Isle, Layton, Lizzards, Mill House, Morden or Mordon or Mourton or Murden, Nieceless (Neesless), Not Close House, Old Acres, Sands and Sands House, Shotton, Swainston, Weeterton, and West Murton.

Barnard Castle baptisms 1609-1687

At Barnard Castle St. Mary in Teesdale district:

  • 3,987 baptisms spanning 1609-1687

We now have all the baptisms at this church from 1609 to 1846 inclusive. This register is the earliest one available from this church, but on the first page, it declares itself to be the 2nd register of this church. The original first register, covering the period before 1609, must have been lost or destroyed.

Most of these baptisms show only the date, child’s name, and the father’s name. If the child is illegitimate, sometimes both parents are shown, or more often, just the mother. Just over 9% show an abode. Occasionally a birth date or the father’s occupation or a descriptor such as “the elder” is present. The register is extremely disordered from 1661 through mid-1664, with entries from those 4 years all mixed together in a seemingly random order and the year not stated, so some of the dates in that section could be off by a year.

Here are some examples:

  • 27 Dec 1609 Jane Myers, daughter of Simon Myers
  • 16 Jul 1615 Talbot Thursbye, son of Mr. Cuthbert Thursbye (Gent)
  • 4 Dec 1625 Isabell [Arrowsmith/Coatsworth], base daughter of Thomas Arrowsmith & Elizabeth Coatsworth
  • 7 Apr 1647 George Daile, son of Mr. George Daile
  • 22 Jun 1654 Anne Warckops, daughter of John Warckops (Junior)
  • 13 Feb 1668 Henry Smailes, of Westwick, son of Christopher Smailes
  • 21 Dec 1687 John Tinkler, born 17 Dec, son of Guy Tinkler

The few abodes mentioned in this set besides Barnard Castle include Hungerknowle, Marwood, Shipley, Stainton or Stenton, Startforth, Streatlam, Westwick, and Woolhouse.

Ovingham baptisms 1841-1868

2,237 baptisms covering 1841-1868 at Ovingham St. Mary the Virgin in the Hexham district of Northumberland, filling a gap we had in this parish’s collection. Starting in Feb 1847, many baptisms are noted as having occurred at Mickley Chapel.

Abodes mentioned besides Ovingham include Blue Bell, Broom House, Cherryburn, Crook Hill, Dean Head, Edgewell House, Eltringham, the Hagg, Hallyards, Harlow Hill, Hedley, Holeyn Hall, Horsley, Hyon’s or Ion’s Wood, Laker Hall, Master’s Close, Mickley, Mickley Square, Mount Huly, Mount Pleasant, Nafferton, New Wylam, Newcastle, Orchard House, Ovington, Oxclose, Prudhoe, Prudhoe Boat Houses, Prudhoe Colliery, Prudhoe Main, Rudchester, Stankwell, Wall Houses, Welton, Whittle, Wylam, Wylam Hills, Wylam Oakwood, Wylam Rift, and Wylam Scar.

Here are some examples:

  • 3 Jan 1841 Edward Wilkinson, of Ovington, child of William (butcher) & Isabella Wilkinson
  • 6 Apr 1851 George Rutherford, of Eltringham, child of Major (hind) & Margaret Rutherford, at Mickley chapel
  • 14 Dec 1856 Henry Callendar, of Mickley Square, child of George (pitman) & Mary Callendar
  • 2 Jul 1868 Mabel Etheldreda Bigge, of Ovingham Rectory, daughter of George Richard Bigge (clerk in Holy Orders) & Annette Henrietta Bigge

Barnard Castle burials 1617-1687

At Barnard Castle St. Mary in Teesdale district:

  • 3,123 burials spanning 1617-1687

We now have all the burials at this church from 1617 to 1904 inclusive. This register is the earliest one available from this church, but on the first page, it declares itself to be the 2nd register. The original first register must have been lost or destroyed. Also, although the earliest baptisms in this register are dated 1609, there are no burials recorded until 1617, so this set comprises the earliest burials available.

There are very few abodes mentioned: Barfoote, Eastshawes, Hungerknowle, Lartington, Marwood, Shipley, Stainton or Stenton, Startforth, Streatlam, Westshawes, Westwick, and Whorleton.

These burials often list the father of a deceased child or the husband of a deceased woman. From 1656 onward, the clerk employed the curious custom of calling unnamed children (presumably newborns) “Anonymus” for males and “Anonyma” for females. Here are some example burials:

  • 12 Apr 1617 Hellaine Johnson, of Whorleton, daughter of Raph Johnson
  • 26 May 1627 Tymothy Westwicke, son of the late Leonard Westwicke
  • 13 Oct 1635 [blank] [Harryson/Grainger], a base child of Christopher Grainger & Phillis Harryson
  • 20 Nov 1642 Jayne Naiteby, wife of Cuthbert Naiteby, died of the plague
    [Note: buried with her daughter Margaret.]
  • 28 May 1667 John Dent, son of John Dent (letter carrier)
  • 11 Apr 1687 Phyllis Cooper, wife of Ambrosse Cooper
  • 12 Dec 1687 Anonymus Hall, of Streatlam, son of Thomas Hall

Post-mid-1837 marriages at Whorlton, Redmarshall, Middleton St. George

We’ve been working on extending our marriage collection at each Anglican church from mid-1837 (where civil registration began and many of our transcripts currently stop) to the end of 1841 or later, depending on parish size and time available. These marriages are the same as a civil marriage record, with ages (or at least “of full age” or “minor”), fathers, occupations, marital statuses, and witnesses.

In this set, we have 110 marriages at these churches:

  • 47 marriages at Middleton St. George in Darlington district from mid-1837 to the end of 1861
  • 28 marriages at Redmarshall St. Cuthbert in Stockton district from mid-1837 to the end of 1851
  • 35 marriages at Whorlton St. Mary in Teesdale district from mid-1837 to the end of 1861

An example marriage from Middleton St. George:

  • 2 May 1859 John Peacock (widower, grocer, age 42, of Kirkleatham, son of Robert Peacock, gentleman) married Ann Whitton (spinster, age 33, of Middleton St.George, daughter of George Whitton, farmer)
    Witnesses: Robert Spence; Robert Teasdale