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

Durham St Nicholas, Durham
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Durham City
County Durham
Poor Law Union Durham
Registration District Durham
Records begin
Parish registers: 1540
Bishop's Transcripts: 1740
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 

DURHAM, a city, the capital of the county of Durham, and the head of a union, 67 miles (E. S. E.) from Carlisle, 87 (N. E.) from Lancaster, 67 (N. W. by W.) from York. The city is surmounted by the cathedral and the remains of the ancient castle, together with other ecclesiastical residences. The college was established at the same time as the university. The city comprises several parishes: St. Giles (1584), St. Mary Le Bow (1571), St. Mary-the-less (1560), St. Nicholas' (1540), St. Oswald's (1538), St. Margaret's (1557), as well as The (Durham) Cathedral (1609). The parish of Durham St Oswald's also includes the village and chapelry of Shincliffe (1826) and part of the chapelry of Croxdale (1696) [see also Merrington Parish]. The chapelries of Belmont and St Cuthbert were built respectively in the years 1858 and 1863 both of which also stood within the boundary of Durham ancient parish. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics. [1]

The former church of St. Nicholas was an ancient structure, situated on the north side of the market-place, and consisted of a nave and aisles, with chancel and square tower.[2]

Additional information: St. Nicholas', containing 2757 inhabitants, is a perpetual curacy; net income, £87; patron and impropriator, the Marquess of Londonderry. The church is of considerable antiquity; it was repaired in 1768.


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 St Nicholas, Durham Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

PALL = Pallot's Marriage Index (Ancestry) - (£)[3]


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images


For a full list of all the parishes and chapels of Durham comprising the whole ancient boundary of Durham parish, be certain to see "Church Records" on the Durham Cathedral, Durham PARISH page.

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

The Parish Registers for the period 1540-1963 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du.SN).

Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections DDR/EA/PBT/2/86 [March 1740-March 1741] July 1787- 1836 Parish Register transcripts are available to search free online at FamilySearch Historical Records. The initial 1740/1 transcripts are heavily damaged.

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.

Non Conformist Churches
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Society of Friends/Quaker

he following non-Church of England denominations were located somewhere in Durham, but the exact parish has not been identified:

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Presbyterian

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. The first film number is 241358.

Poor Law Unions

Durham 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.


Durham St Nicholas on GENUKI


  1. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848), pp. 110-121. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 December 2013.
  2. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 12 December 2013.
  3. Pallot's Marriage and Birth Indexes, Guide to Parishes. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online.


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  • This page was last modified on 11 May 2015, at 01:53.
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