Sunderland Holy Trinity baptisms: 1842

Have we mentioned how much we love the parish clerk of Sunderland Holy Trinity in the 1840s? Yes, probably several times, because we just finished transcribing 542 baptisms from 1842, and the clerk was still recording the mother’s maiden surname and the child’s birth date. Perhaps he didn’t get the memo that this was no longer required after the end of 1798, or perhaps he was a genealogist himself who knew that this information would be important to us some day. Of course by mid-1837, civil registration had commenced, so we should be able to get that information from the child’s civil birth certificate. However,  registration was not compulsory until 1875. Do you know how many births went unregistered between 1837 and 1875? Estimates range from 3% to 15%. (Here’s an interesting article about the history of civil registration.) However, most people did baptize their children, so even after civil registration came into play, for some people a baptism at this church might be the only record of a child’s birth date and mother’s maiden surname.

Sample baptisms (in the first one, Minorca is an area of Sunderland, not the Mediterranean vacation spot):

  • 1 Jan 1842 William Robinson Forster, of Minorca, born 13 Dec 1841, son of William Forster (millwright) & Eleanor late Best
  • 14 Sep 1842 Elizabeth Scott, of Baines Lane, born 18 Oct 1824, daughter of Thomas Scott (grocer) & Elizabeth late Stephenson

Abodes listed are mostly streets in Sunderland, plus Bishopwearmouth, the Barracks, Maling’s Rig, and Minorca.

Alnwick St. Paul baptisms 1846-1851, marriages 1846-1852

The new parish of St. Paul was carved out of the parish of Alnwick St. Michael, and the new church of St. Paul was consecrated on 16 Oct 1846, with Charles F. Charleton as the first incumbent. Here’s a little package to start this church’s record collection:

  • 244 baptisms covering 1846-1851
  • 52 marriages covering 1846-1852

These marriages are all civil-registration style, with full details, except most of the ages are listed as “full” rather than a number. Here is a sample marriage:

  • 27 Sep 1850 William Shell (bachelor, painter, full age, of Alnwick, son of William Shell, painter) married Georgiana Ann Dixon (spinster, full age, of Alnwick, daughter of Richard Dixon, mason)
    Witnesses: Richard Dixon; Isabella Beal Slight

and the baptism of that couple’s first child:

  • 28 Sep 1851 William Shell, of Bondgate, son of William Shell (painter) & Georgiana Anne Shell

Abodes are mostly streets in Alnwick but also include Alndyke, Cawledge Park, Ducket Croft, Rugley, and Shield dykes.

Durham St. Oswald marriages 1701-1750

695 marriages at St. Oswald’s in the city of Durham, covering 1701-1750. This fills a gap we had in our collection, so we now have marriages at this church from the beginning of the first register in 1539 to the middle of 1837.

There are 2 overlapping registers for this period (1653-1781 and 1695-1706), and while most marriages are in both registers, 14 were only in the register labelled 1695-1706, so we have annotated those in case somebody goes looking for them and can’t find them in the other register.

Only one marriage mentioned ages, apparently because it was considered shocking:

  • 4 Feb 1714 Richard Feetham (weaver, a youth abt 20) married Mary Meeborn (a widow abt 59), with license

Another “shocking” sample (there were several of these “clandestine marriages”):

  • 24 Oct 1702 Henry Arrowsmith married Anne Jordon, both of this parish (after they had been several years clandestinely married & had two children), were publickly married.

About a quarter of these marriages mentioned the groom’s occupation:

  • 27 Nov 1711 Mr. John Blundevil (singingman in the Cathedral) married Margaret Belly (widow), by licence
  • 13 Apr 1719 Richard Sedgemore (weaver, formerly a soldier) married An Byers
  • 19 Jul 1724 John Sikes (whitesmith) married Mary Reed (servant in ye parish)
  • 12 Sep 1749 Thomas Stout (butcher) married Mary Halliman

and a little over a quarter featured a groom or bride from outside the parish:

  • 29 Dec 1716 Mr Thomas Charleton (of ye parish of Biwel St Peter’s) married Barbara Stokeld (of this parish), with licence
  • 17 Jul 1707 Mr. Richard Newhouse (Curate of Sherebourn Hospital) married Hannah Heslop (of Richmond in Yorkshire)

Abodes mentioned outside this parish include the parishes of Bishopwearmouth, Brancepeth, Chester (le Street), Egglescliffe, Houghton-le-Spring, Newcastle, Shincliffe, St. Nicholas, St. Margaret’s, and Sunderland.

Newcastle St. Andrew marriages 1813-1828 & burials 1832-1839

At St. Andrew’s in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Northumberland):

  • 997 marriages covering 1813-1828
  • 1,934 burials covering 1832-1839


Our transcriber chose to do a little extra typing on the marriages, including whether the groom and bride signed their names (and were therefore presumably literate) or were (presumably) illiterate and made a mark next to their name written by the clerk. If there is no comment about this, it means both signed their names.

  • 12 Feb 1813 Thomas Sarchwell (of this parish) married Margaret Barras (of the parish of All Saints, Newcastle upon Tyne), by licence [groom signed, bride made a mark]
    Witnesses: Thomas Scott; Anne Blaylock
  • 14 Aug 1828 John Scott (of this parish) married Elizabeth Usher (of the parish of Chester-le-Street), by licence
    Witnesses: Thomas Scott; Anne Lee

Spelling was highly variable in this set, with the clerk often spelling the same name 2 different ways in a single record, like this:

  • 22 Feb 1824 Peter Richardson (of this parish) married Elizabeth Willowby [Willoughby] (of this parish), by banns [bride and groom both made their marks]
    Witnesses: Thomas Scott; Anne Lee
    [Note: bride’s surname entered as Willowby, but the clerk wrote Willoughby for her mark.]

This one wins the prize for having the most witnesses – we don’t have enough Witness fields in the marriage table to index them all, so we had to just list the remainder in a note:

  • 27 Jun 1826 William Smith (of the parish of All Saints in this town) married Margaret Werge (of this parish), by licence
    Witnesses: Thomas Smith, junior; Sarah Bates, junior; Margaret Ellison; Darnell Bulman; Peregrine George Ellison; Elizabeth Werge
    [Note: additional witnesses were Jane Werge, John Werge, Frances Innes, and Jane Smith.]


Because Gateshead is right across the river, there are quite a few burials of residents of that part of County Durham:

  • 29 Sep 1836 Jane Tindal, of Gateshead, age: 66
  • 14 Dec 1838 Peter Ryan, of Whickham parish, age: 49
  • 26 May 1833 Mary Lyons, of P. Gateshead, age: 45

“P. Gateshead” is this clerk’s shorthand for “the parish of Gateshead”.

Because Newcastle was a major port, we find sailors far from home:

  • 24 Jul 1836 Meadows Stone, of Quay Side, All Saints, age: 27, of Yarmouth

and soldiers, possibly also far from home:

  • 7 Jan 1836 William Reville, of 6th Carabineers Barracks, age: 35

The oldest burial in this set:

  • 14 Jun 1833 Margaret Wilson, of this parish, age: 104

Abodes listed( besides many streets in the parish) include Ballast Hills, the Barracks, Barras Bridge, Dunston, Gateshead, Jesmond Vale, Spital Tongues, Whickham, and the Newcastle parishes of All Saints, St. John, and St. Nicholas.


Usworth baptisms & burials 1835-1851, marriages 1837-1851

At Usworth Holy Trinity in Chester-le-Street district:

  • 548 baptisms from 5 April 1835 (when this parish’s registers began) to the end of 1851
  • 296 burials covering the same period (1835-1851)
  • 65 marriages from 1 July 1837 to the end of 1851 (we already had 1835 to mid-1837, and we added the missing witnesses to those)

The parish of Usworth was created in 1835 from the parish of Washington. Locations mentioned besides Usworth include Blue House, Light Pipe Row, Little Usworth, Mount House, the Mount, Red Row, Springwell Colliery, Springwell House, Usworth Colliery, Waggon Row, Waterloo, and Wrekenton.

Sample baptisms:

  • 5 Apr 1835 Margaret Makepeace, of East House, Usworth, child of John (countryman) & Margaret Makepeace
  • 14 May 1837 John Thomas Grant Cooper, of Waggon Row, son of George (banksman) & Margaret Cooper
  • 9 Nov 1851 James Snowball, of Springwell, son of Henry (engineer) & Anne Snowball

Sample burials:

  • 27 May 1837 Margery Wakefield, of The Mount, age: 20
  • 27 Jul 1842 Katherine Hunter, of Usworth, age: 95
  • 17 Jun 1851 William Brewis, of Usworth, age: 83

The burials here in this period include these 2 Colliery Disasters:

  • June 5th 1850 at Wellington Pit, Usworth – explosion & outburst of gas, ignition caused by a naked light – 13 lives lost – 10 burials at Usworth from June 7th to 11th
  • 19th August 1851 at Washington Pit – explosion, firedamp, ignition caused by a lighted candle – 34 lives lost – 12 burials at Usworth on August 21st

Sample marriages – note the large age discrepancy in the second one:

  • 21 May 1838 James Drummond (bachelor, quarryman, age 18, of The Mount, son of William Drummond, quarryman) married Alice Redhead (spinster, age 22, of Wrekenton, daughter of John Redhead, collier)
    Witnesses: William Stothard; Michael Hunter
  • 10 Mar 1849 William Brewis (widower, age 81, of Usworth, son of William Brewis, husbandman) married Mary Wandlass (spinster, servant, age 41, of Usworth, daughter of Thomas Wandlass, pitman)
    Witnesses: John Gill; John Harrison

Newcastle St. Andrew burials 1813-1831

3,206 burials at St. Andrew’s church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, covering 1813 through 1831. Abodes listed include the Newcastle parishes of All Saints, St. John, and St. Nicholas, and nearby places: the Barracks, Gateshead, Gosforth, Longbenton, and Tynemouth.

Samples – only a handful list an occupation or identifying detail other than name, date, age, and abode:

  • 5 Apr 1813 James Stafford, of Gateshead, Co. Durham, age: 25
  • 20 Feb 1817 Bernard Metcalfe, of this parish, age: 80, formerly of Richmond, Yorkshire
  • 3 Mar 1820 George Weatherley Atkinson, of [the] parish of All Saints in this town, age: 26
  • 7 Sep 1823 Jane Hedley, of this parish, age: 104
  • 20 Aug 1826 Jane Angus, of St John’s parish in this town, age: 95
  • 25 May 1829 William Kirtley, of this parish, age: 60, attorney at law
  • 25 Jan 1831 Daniel Palmer, of [the] Barracks, age: 51, serjeant, 15th Foot

Sunderland baptisms 1839-1841

1,902 baptisms at Sunderland Holy Trinity, covering 1839-1841. The clerk continued recording the mother’s maiden surname and the child’s birth date, for which we are very grateful as that information was no longer required by then.

We suspect these two children were born to sisters, baptizing their children together on the same day – or their surnames are a really big coincidence!

  • 2 Jan 1839 Thomas Harrowsmith Laverick, of South Street, born 24 Dec 1838, son of Thomas Laverick (blacksmith) & Mary late Harrowsmith
  • 2 Jan 1839 William Harrowsmith Duncan, of Spring Garden Lane, born 10 Jan 1829, son of Robert Duncan (mariner) & Sarah late Harrowsmith

In both of the above cases, the women married as Arrowsmith. This is why we recommend always leaving “Include Variants” checked when you search, so that a search for Arrowsmith will turn up the Harrowsmith records, and a search for Harrowsmith would turn up the Arrowsmith records.

More samples:

  • 25 Oct 1840 Matilda Hopper, of Wear Street, born 5 May 1840, daughter of Margaret Hopper (single woman)
  • 24 Dec 1841 William McGregor, of Church Street, born 1 Dec 1841, son of Frederick McGregor (brass founder) & Barbara late Highett

Alnwick St. Michael baptisms 1854-1868

1,307 baptisms at Alnwick St. Michael on the east coast of Northumberland, from the beginning of 1854 to the end of 1868.


  • 1 Jan 1854 Margaret Fairbridge Ions, of Canongate, daughter of James (post messenger) & Ann Ions
  • 30 Dec 1860 Eleanor Grosvenor Gibson, of Percy Street, child of James (wood carver) & Janet Gibson
  • 25 Oct 1868 Robert Boyd, of West Brizlee, child of John Boyd (game watcher) & Mary Alice Boyd

Abodes are mostly listed as streets in Alnwick but also include Alnwick Moor, Brizlee Tower, Broom House, Cowslip Hill, Denwick, Golden Moor, Heckley Fence, Heckley Grange, Holywell, Painters Hill, Pasture House, White House, and the Union Workhouse and Correction House in Alnwick.

Sunderland marriages 1837-1841

995 marriages at Sunderland Holy Trinity, from 1 July 1837 to the end of 1841. These are fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages.


  • 4 Jul 1837 Joseph Hindson (widower, weaver, full age, of Baines Lane, son of Joseph Hindson, shoemaker) married Mary Coultman (spinster, full age, of Baines Lane, daughter of Thomas Coultman, trimmer)
    Witnesses: Richard Earle; Diana Davison; George Lord
  • 25 Aug 1839 Joshua Whitehead (widower, labourer, full age, of Low Street, son of Henry Whitehead, shoemaker) married Ann Todd (widow, full age, of Low Street, daughter of Robert Hutchinson, shipwright)
    Witnesses: George Lord; Page Smith
  • 25 Dec 1841 Andrew Copeland (bachelor, mariner, full age, of Grey Street, son of Robert Copeland, mariner) married Marian Elliott (spinster, age: minor, of Grey Street, daughter of George Elliott, agent)
    Witnesses: George Elliott; Ann Graham; William Thomas Pace

All ages in this set were given as just “full” or “minor”.

While we were in the register, we also added the witnesses for the first half of 1837, so all the 1837 marriages at Sunderland now have witnesses.

Alnwick marriages 1841-1853

228 fully-detailed civil-registration-era marriages at Alnwick St. Michael, covering 1841-1853. Abodes mentioned besides Alnwick include Amble, Bamburgh, Denwick, Morpeth, Newcastle, and Warkworth.

Sample marriage:

  • 4 Apr 1842 Thomas Mattison (bachelor, labourer, age a minor, of Alnwick, son of Laurence Mattison, labourer) married Hannah Cay (spinster, age a minor, of Alnwick, daughter of Thomas Cay, mason), by banns
    Witnesses: Edward Common; Isabella Mattison