Chester le Street, Durham Genealogy

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Durham Parishes
Chester le Street

Guide to Chester le Street, Durham family history and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Chester le Street, Durham
Chester-le-Street St Mary & St Cuthbert Co Durham.jpg
Chester-le-Street St Mary & St Cuthbert Co Durham
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Chester; Easington
County Durham
Poor Law Union Chester le Street
Registration District Chester le Street; Durham
Records begin
Parish registers: 1582
Bishop's Transcripts: 1765
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Chester le Street
Diocese Durham
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Durham Record Office

Parish History

CHESTER-LE-STREET (St. Mary and St. Cuthbert), a parish, and the head of a union (though a portion of the parish is in the union of Lanchester), partly in the N. division of Easington ward, but chiefly in the Middle division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham; comprising thechapelries of Birtley, Lamesley, Pelton, and Tanfield, and the townships of Chester, Edmondsley, Harraton, Hedley, Kibblesworth, Lambton, Great and Little Lumley, Ouston, Plawsworth, Ravensworth, Urpeth, and Waldridge. There are churches at Lamesley, Tanfield, and Pelton; and places of worship in theparish for Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. The poor law union of which this place is the head, comprises 20 parishes or places. [1]

Additional information:

This place occupies the site of the Roman station Condercum, and was called by the Saxons Coneceaster, from which its present appellation is derived, as is its adjunct from its position on the line of the Roman military way to Newcastle: several Roman coins (especially a Gordian in gold, in the possession of the family of the late Mr. Surtees, of Mainsforth), and an altar much defaced, have been found; and specimens of antiquity are still frequently turned up. It was made the head of the ancient see of Lindisfarne by Eardulph, eighteenth prelate, who in 882 removed hither the relics of St. Cuthbert, and founded a church which continued under a succession of eight bishops to be the cathedral of the diocese, till the removal of the see, in 995, to the city of Durham. At this period the church became parochial, and in 1286, Bishop Anthony Beck founded in it a collegiate establishment, consisting of a dean, seven prebendaries, three deacons, and other members, who remained till the Dissolution, when the dean's portion of the revenue was estimated at £77. 11. 8.

From: 'Cheshunt - Chetwood'.[2]


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

The Parish Registers for the period 1582-1988 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections DDR/EA/PBT/2/52 1765-1837 Parish Register transcripts are available to search free online at FamilySearch Historical Records.

The dates of the post-1760 transcripts have been noted in detail and sometimes only cover years. For most parishes in the collection there are gaps in the sequence of transcripts. It is advisable to consult the original parish registers for these years and events. . 

FamilySearch Historical Records includes England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Non Conformist Churches
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Methodist New Connexion
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Roman Catholic
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Genealogy From Periodicals

Betts, Enid. A Sanderson Family and Its Branches. History of Stepen Sanderson born 1811, and his wife Elizabeth Aisbitt and descendants. According to the IGI the Sandersons were in Houghton le Spring, from the late 1500's. Other areas the descendants were in: Eighton Banks, Gateshead Pelaw, Bishop Wearmouth, with a branch going to USA and another branch to Australia. Surnames mention: Liddell, Fenwick, Wynn, Armstrong, Hunter, Best, Murray, Reay, Lockey, Wanless and Smith. Article dated 1560-1985, and is found in The Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal, vol.27, no.3,pages 92-95. Family History Library Reference 942.8 B2jo 2002)

Poor Law Unions

Chester le Street Poor Law Union, Durham

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Durham Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.


Chester le Street on GENUKI


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 13 December 2013.
  2. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 13 December 2013.