Morpeth, Northumberland Genealogy

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Northumberland Parishes

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

Morpeth, Northumberland
St Mary's, Morpeth .jpg
St Mary's, Morpeth
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Castle; Morpeth
County Northumberland
Poor Law Union Morpeth
Registration District Castle Ward; Morpeth
Records begin
Parish registers: 1583
Bishop's Transcripts: 1769
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Morpeth
Diocese Durham
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Northumberland Record Office

Parish History

MORPETH (St. Mary), a parish, a borough, and the head of a union, partly in the E. and partly in the W. division of Castle ward, S. division, and partly in the W. division of Morpeth ward, N. division, of Northumberland.[1]

Additional information:

Morpeth St Mary is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Northumberland. Ulgham is a chapelry of Morpeth.

Other places in the parish include: Newminster Abbey, Parkhouses, Shilvington, Stobhill, Tranwell and High Church, Twizell, Buller's Green, Bullers Green, Catchburn, Cottingwood Common, Hepscott, Leipscot, Morpeth Castle, and Morpeth Castle with Catchburn, Parkhouses and Stobhill.

Church of England parish registers begin in 1583. Church of England Bishops' transcripts exist from 1769.

The ancient Church of England parish church of Morpeth is St Mary's at Kirkhill. The oldest remaining parts of the structure belong to the Transitional Early English style of the mid to late twelfth century. The church, which was the only Anglican place of worship in that area until the 1840s, has been restored on a number of occasions.

The need for a second church, in the centre of the town, was apparent by 1843. Accordingly, the church of St James the Great, designed by Benjamin Ferrey, was consecrated for worship on 15 October 1846. Ferrey designed the church in a "Neo Norman" style, based on the twelfth century Monreale Cathedral, Sicily.

A third church, St Aidan's, was opened to serve the Stobhill housing estate in 1957. It is a modern red brick building with a vaulted roof.


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

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/183 Date: 1769-1840
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.

Morpeth, St Mary: Records of baptisms 1583-1953, marriages 1583-1954 and burials 1583-1956 are available at Northumberland Collections Service. The International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) includes baptisms 1583-1812 and marriages 1583-1812 for this parish, and Boyd's Marriage Index includes marriages 1583-1812 and banns 1754-1775. Transcripts of baptisms and marriages 1583-1812, burials 1583-1587, 1592-1633, 1646-1812 and baptisms of dissenters 1750-1808 are available at Newcastle Central Library, Local Studies Dept. A transcript of monumental inscriptions at Morpeth (microfiche TN77) 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. FamilySearch Historical Records includes England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Nonconformist Records

Morpeth, St Bede later St Robert (Roman Catholic): Records of baptisms 1780-1960, marriages 1808-1990 and deaths 1801-1982 are available at Northumberland Collections Service. Transcripts of baptisms 1780-1837, marriages 1808-1840 and deaths 1804-1868 are available at Newcastle Central Library, Local Studies Dept.

Northumberland Collections Service also has records for the following nonconformist churches in Morpeth Parish:

Carmel Full Gospel Church, Dacre Street. - Marriages 1979-1986.

  • Dacre Street (Congregational) - Births/baptisms 1829-1872, 1915-1976, marriages 1915-1972 and burials 1915-1928. (Births/baptisms 1829-1837 also at Tyne and Wear Archives Service).
  • Manchester Street (Methodist) - Marriages 1901-1962
  • Morpeth Wesleyan Circuit (Methodist) - Baptisms 1839-1908
  • Morpeth Methodist Circuit - Baptisms 1908-1962
  • St George (Presbyterian) - Births/baptisms 1747-1848.
  • Early Primitive Methodist chapels in this area belonged to Hexham P.M. Circuit. Records for 1824-1837 are included on the IGI (listed as Bull Bank or Bethania Chapel).

Poor Law Unions

Morpeth Poor Law Union, Northumberland

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

Bowman, John.  My Bowman Family in Northumberland and Durham.  History and family tree of Mark Bowman and Ruth surname not listed. Dates from 1682-1902, with relatives in Ray, Kirkwhelpington, Hartington, Cambo, Low Angerton, Hartburn and Middleton.  Surnames, Beller, Laidler, Charlton, Sinship, angus, Stamper, Hardcastle, Stephenson, Aslin, Fenwick, and Sweeting.  Photos included are of 2 gravestones, the marriage of Anna Bowman and the Rev. Harrison Fenwick, John Harcastle Bowman, and Henry Bowman.  Article in the Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journam. vol. 38, no.1. pages 25-29.  Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo vol. 38,1. Spring 2013.

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.<br>



  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848). Date accessed: 07 August 2013. information about the history of the parish for images of Morpeth churches for historic images of the church British History online