Sunderland, Durham Genealogy

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

Sunderland, Durham
Sunderland Holy Trinity.jpg
Sunderland Holy Trinity
Type Ecclesiastical Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Sunderland Town
County Durham
Poor Law Union Sunderland
Registration District Sunderland
Records begin
Parish registers: 1875
Bishop's Transcripts: None
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Easington
Diocese Durham
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Durham Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

Sunderland Holy Trinity, church, which is situated in the upper part of the town, was erected in 1719, and repaired in 1803. The chapel of St. John, which stands at the head of Barrack-street, was built in 1769. Some almshouses in Assembly Garth, for 38 inmates, superannuated seamen or their widows, belonging to the "Muster Roll," were purchased in 1750, by the trustees of the "Seamen's fund," appointed under an act of the 20th of George II. This act compels all masters of vessels to levy sixpence per month from each sailor towards the support of the institution, from which more than 700 individuals derive benefit. The poor-law union of Sunderland comprises eleven townships and chapelries in the parishes of Sunderland, and Bishop and Monk Wearmouth, containing a population of 56,226.[1]

Additional information: SUNDERLAND (Holy Trinity), a sea-port, newly enfranchised borough, and parish, and the head of a union, in the N division of Easington ward and of the county of Durham, 13 miles NE from Durham. Prior to this year, this town belonged to Bishop Wearmouth (which also see). This town, which is situated on the south bank of the River Wear, was anciently included in the parish of Bishop-Wearmouth, of which it continued to form a part till the year 1719, when it was separated, and erected into an independent parish.

After a campaign in 1712 by local merchants, a church was built and called Holy Trinity the parish Church of Sunderland. Sunderland was separated from the ancient parish of Bishopwearmouth by Act of Parliament in 1719.

The first records date from 1719 and the church was consecrated on 5 September in that year by the Bishop of London. The church ceased to be used for worship in 1988, the final service held on 26 June 1988.

Today, Sunderland is in Tyne and Wear County.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Sunderland parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS = FamilySearch - free
FREG = FreeREG - free
FMP = Northumberland and Durham Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
TGEN = Durham Parish Records (TheGenealogist) - ($)[2]
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - ($)
FS BTs = England, Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts, 1639-1919 (FamilySearch) - free
FS Marr Img = England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1594-1815 (FamilySearch) - free
FS Marr = England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900 (FamilySearch) - free
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
NBI = National Burial Index (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
Sunderland Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS 1538-1975
FREG 1538-1900s
FMP 1538-1990
TGEN 1559-1800s


FS Marr Img


FS Marr






FS Catalog PRs

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

Records are also available at the Durham County Record Office.

Non Conformist Churches[edit | edit source]
  • Baptist
  • Calvinist
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Jewish
  • Methodist New Connexion
  • Presbyterian
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Roman Catholic
  • Society of Friends (Quaker)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • United Presbyterian Church of Scotland
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Census records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Thompson, Christopher. Jonathan Richardson: Quaker. History of the Richardsons originally of Hull. The author was given a family tree which was drawn up in 1829, and went back to the 17th Century. The article is a history of the family, who latterly went into Banking and Mining. One of the relatives marrying a Rev. Robert George Willis, who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Descendants were in Hull, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Shotley Bridge. Picture of Amelia Willis nee Richardson, and Shotley Bridge Spa. Article in the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society Journal, vol.34, no.2. page 54-56. Family History Library Reference, 942.8 B2jo v.34, no.2. (summer 2009)

Jones, Andrew Forsyth. The French Family of Sunderland and the USA. History of the family of Joseph and Mary Ann French with description of their son Joseph French born 1847, Gateshead, and his wife Frances Ann Samuel, born Sunderland, July 1846. Photo included on their golden wedding. The family of Joseph and Frances and all but one of their children emigrate to USA in 1887, and settle in St Paul, Minnesota, and after 5 years move onto San Francisco. Photo of Andrew Forsyth, and Elizabeth nee French in 1903. Other surnames mentioned: Bennett, Forsyth, Douce, Winks, Lundgren. Article dated 1846-1954, and is found in the Northumberland Durham Family History Society Journal. vol. 32, no.2 pages 48-49. Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo vol. 2007)

Chapman, Terence. Monaghans and Mehrtens. History and family records of Joseph Monaghan baptised at St. Andrew, R.C. Church Newcastle upon Tyne, 1823, and his wife Elizabeth Hutchinson born in Sunderland, 1830. Family move around, Orland, Ashington, London, Durham-Ryton. Article dated 1823-1999, and other surnames mentioned in the article are: Overton, Atkinson, Blow, Mehrtens, Anderson, Pigg, Saltmarsh, Eatch, Hall and Harcastle. Article is in the Northumberland Durham Family History Society Journal, vol 32,no.3. page 105, Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo, Autumn 2007

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Probate records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Sunderland on GENUKI

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848), pp. 261-271. Adapted. Date accessed: 10 December 2013.
  2. Searching Parish Records online (Durham) - The Following Parishes are Available at TheGenealogist,, accessed 23 April 2019.