Haltwhistle, Northumberland Genealogy

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Northumberland Parishes

Guide to Haltwhistle, Northumberland ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Haltwhistle, Northumberland
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Tindale
County Northumberland
Poor Law Union Haltwhistle
Registration District Haltwhistle
Records begin
Parish registers: 1656
Bishop's Transcripts: 1758
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Hexham
Diocese Durham
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Northumberland Record Office

Parish History

HALTWHISTLE (Holy Cross), a town and parish, and the head of a union, in the W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of Bellister, Blenkinsopp, East Coanwood, Featherstone, Haltwhistle, Hartley-Burn, Henshaw, Melkridge, Plainmellor, Ridley, Thirlwall, Thorngrafton, and Wall-Town. At Beltingham is an ancient endowed chapel, a handsome edifice; and at Greenhead another chapel, erected in 1828. There are places of worship in the parish for Independents, Presbyterians, Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans, and the Society of Friends.[1]

Additional information:

Haltwhistle Holy Cross is an ancient parish. It is only in 1178 that any solid reference to a church at Haltwhistle is made. Before this time it is believed that Aidan and Paulinus had links to Haltwhistle.

After the Battle of Heavenfield in 635 in which Oswald the Christian king of Northumbria defeated the heathen armies of Penda and Cadwallon, Aidan was sent from Iona to convert Northumbria. It is suggested that Aidan’s ministry in Haltwhistle is preserved in the place name of ‘Edens Lawn’, which lies to the west of the church, probably taken from the Celtic ‘Llan Aidan’.

The Grave covers to be found in the Sanctuary bear coats of arms of two local families, the Blenkinsopps and the Thirlwells. The Blenkinsopp grave covers contain three corn sheaves and the Thirlwell’s three boars heads.


Church Records

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/120 Date: July 1758-June 1761, May 1768-1858  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.

Haltwhistle, Holy Cross: Records of baptisms 1695-1982, marriages 1705-1994 and burials 1656-1993 are available at Northumberland Collections Service.  The International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) includes baptisms 1695-1875 and marriages 1656-1882 for this parish, but it is not included in Boyd's Marriage Index. Transcripts of baptisms 1691-1851, marriages 1691-1851 and burials 1656-1851 for Haltwhistle are available at Newcastle Central Library, Local Studies Dept.

 A transcript of monumental inscriptions at Haltwhistle and Beltingham (microfiche TN73) is published by Northumberland and Durham Family History Society and these records are also available in book form at Newcastle Central Library, Local Studies Department.

Nonconformist Records

Northumberland Collections Service has the following records for nonconformist churches located in this parish:

  •  Haltwhistle, St Wilfred (Roman Catholic) - Baptisms 1860-1900
  • Haltwhistle (Presbyterian) - Births/baptisms 1752-1874.
  •  Greenhead, Blenkinsopp (Methodist) - Marriages 1900-1965
  •  Haltwhistle P.M. Circuit (Methodist) - Baptisms 1851-1941
  •  Haltwhistle Wesleyan Circuit (Methodist) - Baptisms 1844-1954
  •  Haltwhistle, Westgate Circuit (Methodist) - Baptisms 1941-1968
  •  Haltwhistle, Front Street (Methodist) - Marriages 1899-1972
  •  Henshaw (Methodist) - Marriages 1899-1937
  •  Bishops' Transcripts for the following Societies of Friends burials are available online at FamilySearch Historical Records.

Allendale, Alston, Edmondbyers And Haltwhistle Society of Friends:Allendale, Alston, Edmundbyers and Haltwhistle Friends (Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham) Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/2 Date: 1871-1892
Contents: In the ecclesiastical parishes of Allendale St Cuthbert (Northumberland), Alston (Cumberland), Edmundbyers (Durham) and Haltwhistle (Northumberland) Related material at DULASC: DDR/EA/PBT/2/9  1871-1892

  •  Haltwhistle Society of Friends: 1865-1885Allendale, Alston, Edmundbyers and Haltwhistle Friends (Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham) Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/2 Date: 1871-1892 Contents: In the ecclesiastical parishes of Allendale St Cuthbert (Northumberland), Alston (Cumberland), Edmundbyers (Durham) and Haltwhistle (Northumberland)
    Related material at DULASC: DDR/EA/PBT/2/9
  •  Alston and Haltwhistle Friends: 1873-1884 Alston and Haltwhistle Friends (Cumberland, Northumberland) Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/9 Date: 1873-1884 Contents: In the ecclesiastical parishes of Alston (C) and Haltwhistle (N)
    Related material at DULASC: DDR/EA/PBT/2/2
  •  A transcript of monument inscriptions for Coan Wood Society Of Friends burial ground is available at Newcastle Central Library, Local Studies Dept.

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

Waugh, John R. & Harper, Linda.  Searching For A Lost Geordie.  A history of two men from Haltwhistle,  that emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand and their military history.  History of John Waugh 1854-1938, father and mother John Waugh and Hannah nee Milburn.  (2) Joseph Herbert Waugh, the son of Willian and Hannah Waugh, the nephew of John Waugh. Article in the Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal, vol. 35, no.1, pages 18-20. Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo vol. 35,no.1. (spring 2010).

Poor Law Unions

Haltwhistle Poor Law Union, Northumberland

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Northumberland 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). Adapted. Date accessed: 07 Aug 2013.