Rainton, Durham Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Durham Gotoarrow.png Durham Parishes

West Rainton St Mary Co Durham.jpg

Parish History

RAINTON (East), a township and a chapelry in Houghton-le-Spring parish, Durhamshire. The township lies 2 miles N E of Leamside-Junction r. station, and 5 N E by N of Durham. There is a Wesleyanchapel.[1]

RAINTON (West), avillage, a township, and a chapelry, in Houghton-le-Spring parish, Durhamshire. The village stands ¾ of a mile N E of Leamside-Junction r.station, and 4¼ N E by N of Durham; and has a post-office under Fence-Houses.[2]

St Mary West Rainton was built as a parish church in 1864, but the chapelry of Rainton built in 1825 was a chapelry within the parish of  Houghton le Spring, Durham. The chapelry and parish included Cocken, Moorhouse and West Rainton. The parish was created by order in Council 15 May 1838.

St Cuthbert East Rainton was created as a parish in 1866 from West Rainton St Mary  parish. Subsequently the parishes of Chilton Moor St Andrew (1872) and Moorsley St Oswald (circa 1947) were created from its boundaries.

From: 'Radnage - Raithby', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 630-633. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51229 Date accessed: 24 March 2011.

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described West Rainton like this:

RAINTON (West), a village, a township, and a chapelry, in Houghton-le-Spring parish, Durhamshire. The village stands ¾ of a mile N E of Leamside-Junction r.station, and 4¼ N E by N of Durham; and has a post-office under Fence-Houses. The township comprises 1, 788 acres. Real property, £5, 722; of which £2, 100 are in mines, and £810 in railway s. Pop., 1, 447. Houses, 308. The manor belonged once to a convent at Durham, and belongs now to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The chapelry is more extensive than the township; and was constituted in 1838, and re-constructed in 1866. Pop., about 3,000. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value, £310.* Patron, the Bishop of Durham. A new church was built in 1864. There are a Wesleyan chapel and national schools.


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

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

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections DDR/EA/PBT/2/208/1 1825-1839 Parish Register transcripts are available to search free online at FamilySearch Historical Records. The transcripts for this period have been included in the Houghton-le-Spring image assembly 1825-1839 and await engineering correction.

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.

The Parish Registers for the period 1825-1987 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/WR).

FamilySearch Historical Records includes England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Non Conformist Churches

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

Houghton le Spring 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.

Web sites


  1. Wilson, John Marius, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales], 1870-72fckLR[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=4883 2
  2. Wilson, John Marius,Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72

Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.