Durham St Cuthbert, Durham Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Durham Parishes
Durham St Cuthbert

Guide to Durham St Cuthbert, Durham family history and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Durham St Cuthbert, Durham
Durham St Cuthbert Durham.jpg
Durham St Cuthbert Durham
Type Chapelry
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Durham City
County Durham
Poor Law Union Not Applicable
Registration District Durham
Records begin
Parish registers: 1863
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Not Applicable
Diocese Durham
Province York
Location of Archive
Durham Record Office

Parish History

DURHAM, a city, the capital of the county of Durham, and the head of a union, 67 miles (E. S. E.) from Carlisle, 87 (N. E.) from Lancaster, 67 (N. W. by W.) from York. The city is surmounted by the cathedral and the remains of the ancient castle, together with other ecclesiastical residences. The college was established at the same time as the university. The city comprises several parishes: St. Giles (1584), St. Mary Le Bow (1571), St. Mary-the-less (1560), St. Nicholas' (1540), St. Oswald's (1538), St. Margaret's (1557), as well as The (Durham) Cathedral (1609). The parish of Durham St Oswald's also includes the village and chapelry of Shincliffe (1826) and part of the chapelry of Croxdale (1696) [see also Merrington Parish]. The chapelries of Belmont and  St Cuthbert were built respectively in the years 1858 and 1863 both of which also stood within the boundary of Durham ancient parish.

There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics. [1]

The Cathedral, originally dedicated to St Cuthbert until the Reformation, was then changed to Christ and St Mary. In 1863, a chapelry was created with a chapel, built within the ancient and civil parish of Durham, dedicated to St Cuthbert and is still in existence and in use, today.

The earliest account of the place is in 995, when the bishop and monks of Lindisfarne, afterwards called Holy Island, who had removed to Chester-leStreet, and subsequently to Ripon, for sanctuary from the violence of Danish aggression, were returning to their church at Chester-le-Street, after an absence of four months, with the disinterred body of St. Cuthbert, which had been buried at Lindisfarne, in 687. According to the superstitious legend, on their arrival at the spot where Durham now stands, a miraculous interposition rendered the carriage which conveyed the body, and other relics, immoveable; and this incident they construed into a divine prohibition against the return of the saint's remains to their former resting-place. They likewise interpreted some other circumstances into an intimation that Dunholme was destined to receive the sacred relics; and on the west corner tower of the east transept of the cathedral are still some emblematic devices designed to commemorate the occurrence. They forthwith proceeded to construct a sort of ark, or tabernacle, of wicker-work, wherein they deposited the saint's body; subsequently a more appropriate edifice was erected, called the White Church. [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

For a full list of all Durham City chapels surrounding and comprising the whole ancient parish of Durham and its surrounding parishes and chapelries to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the Durham Cathedral, Durham PARISH page.

The Parish Registers for the period 1863-1987 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du/SC).

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/81 Date: 1863-1893  Parish Register transcripts are available to search free online at FamilySearch Historical Records. Future engineering work will identify the parish distinctly from the current "Durham" entry point to the images.

 Note that the Library contains a reference to the 1878 Baptismal register in the transcript DDR/EA/PBT/2/81/243-250 pages were too fragile to be bound and reference should be made to the parish register. The burials for this year 1878 are "strays" from the bound volume but are found at PBT/2/81/235-240

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)

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.

Poor Law Unions

Durham 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.



  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848), pp. 110-121. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 December 2013.
  2. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 December 2013.
Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren't mentioned above.