England, Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Miscellaneous Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records, 1570-2005 .

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1570 to 2005.

This collection includes records from the Northumberland Archives Service. Record types include Parish Registers, Electoral Registers, Non comformist Records, and Parish Chest. The records are from towns and parishes throughout Northumberland.

Each type of record was created for a different purpose, but most were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Church of England and Great Britain Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace. England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records. Northumberland Archives Service, Ashington, Northumberland.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in the England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records may include the following information:

  • Full name
  • Polling district or residence
  • Names of parents, spouse, or other family members
  • Type of event (such as marriage or death)
  • Date and place of the event
  • Names of witnesses

How to Use the Record

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the Name of County ⇒ Select the Name of Town, Parish/Church ⇒ Select the Event Type and Year Range (with Volume) which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the individual or individuals such as the registered voter, bride and groom, the infant, or the deceased
  • The place where the event such as a christening, marriage, or death) occurred
  • The approximate date the event occurred

Look for the following:

  • Political subdivision
  • Polling district, town, parish or church
  • Event type, year range, and volume number (in many cases the volume number will be blank)

Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • By following your ancestor through the electoral registers, it is possible to determine how long the person remained at a particular residence and to help establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the residence to locate your ancestor in the census and church records.
  • Use the location of the land to locate land tax assessments and probate records.
  • The name of the property may also be a clue to the occupation or sect. Occupations can lead you to church or military records.
  • Watch for titles as they can be clues to social status, occupations, sect, or other family members with the same name.
  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Compile the entries for individuals with the same surnames; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same parish or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all individuals with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related. Be sure to extract all individuals before you look at other records. This can help you identify related individuals to look for in other records.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

  • The residence or abode may be different from the location of the property so your ancestor may be found in records of another locality.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighbouring towns, or even a county.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
  • Witnesses are usually close family members

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for indexes. Local historical and genealogical are often good resources of indexed records.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes.

Church Records

In 1530, King Henry VIII established the Church in England, also known as the Anglican Church, the State Church, or the Episcopal Church. A law passed in 1537 required ministers to record the baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in their parishes. Priests recorded these events in registers and kept them at the parish level, which is the lowest level of authority in the Church of England. Within some parishes, chapelries were created to provide for the worship needs of the parishioner when the parish church was not easily accessible. Chapelries sometimes had the authority to perform baptisms, marriages, and burials, so they kept their own registers. Several parishes formed a deanery (presided over by a dean), several deaneries formed an archdeaconry (presided over by an archdeacon), and several archdeaconries formed a diocese (presided over by a bishop).

Beginning in 1598, ministers were required to send copies of their registers to an archdeacon or bishop annually. These copies are referred to as bishops’ transcripts, or sometimes archdeacon transcripts. As a result, two copies of many parish registers exist from 1598 to about the mid-1800s. After civil registration began in 1837, the value of keeping bishops’ transcripts diminished, so by 1870 most parishes had stopped making them.

Banns are proclamations of an intent to marry. After 1754 these banns were required to be read for three consecutive Sundays before a marriage so that anyone with reasons against the marriage could oppose it. Banns were read in both the bride’s parish and the groom’s parish.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Northumberland Archives Service

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 September 2011), Northumberland > Preston > Electoral registers, 1905 (ERS-20) > image 1 of 2, George Bulman, voter registration 1905; citing Electoral Registers, Northumberland Archives Service, Ashington, Northumberland, England.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.