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Guide to Longhorsley, Northumberland ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
St Helen's Church, Longhorsley
|Poor Law Union||Morpeth|
|Registration District||Morpeth; Rothbury|
|Parish registers: 1668|
|Bishop's Transcripts: 1769|
|Probate Court||Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)|
|Location of Archive|
|Northumberland Record Office|
HORSLEY, a township, in the parish of Ovingham, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 9¾ miles (W. by N.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There is a place of worship for Independents.
Longhorsley St Helen is an Ancient Parish and includes: Bigge's Quarter, Carlisle's Quarter, Chirn, Freeholders' Quarter, Garrotlee, Longhorsley Moor, Longshaws, Moresley Moor, Riddell's Quarter, Stanton, Todburn, Wholm, Wingates, Wingates Moor, and Witton Shields.
The Norman church, now in ruins although the churchyard is still in use, is half a mile south of Longhorsley village and possibly replaced a wooden Saxon building. The earliest record of a vicar here is from 1299.In 1783 the church was entirely rebuilt on the old foundations. It was a plain structure, the main feature being an attractive trefoil chancel arch. Lack of facilities and the need for extensive renovation made it necessary to abandon it in 1966 The old Church of England school in the village (West Road) was then taken over, adapted, and is now the church. It was built in 1848. In 1981 the porch of the old church was dismantled and rebuilt on the west end and is now the main entrance.
Horsley was an old English name and could be defined as a wood or clearing where horses grazed. The name "Long" was added to distinguish it from another Horsley. In fact in the Latin recors, it was Horsley-longa. Longhorsley was one of the main routes to Scotland, the Roman Road called the Devil's Causeway ran from Portgate north of Corbridge, Northumberland in a direct line to Tweedmouth, passing through Netherwitton, Northumberland, Todburn and Longframlington, Northumberland.
A curious feature of the village is that the Norman church was situated more than half a mile south of the modern village on the Whemley Burn. In examination of the subsidy rolls of Edward I it is remarkable how heavily the village was rated. [The subsidy rolls record levies on places to finance the Scottish wars]. In comparison to the head of the de Merley Barony, nearby Morpeth, Longhorsley pays a higher levy. 23 taxpayers are listed in the subsidy rolls and they would have been a smaller part of the local population.
In 1271 Roger de Merley the Third had died and his daughter Mary married William, Baron Greystock. He became the Lord of Morpeth and other de Merley lands, including Longhorsley. In the subsidy roll the highest rated Longhorsley resident is a member of this family.
The Rectory is valued highly also [the value of the office not the building] and the advowson [right of presentation to the church living] was granted by Lord Greystock to the Priory of Brinkburn; on of their canons would hold the office and appoint a curate.
In 1299 Robert Dathenorth was admitted to the vicarage of the church of Horsley-longa by Walter Grey, Archbishop of York, 1299
The dedication to St Helen recalls the wife of the Roman general called Constantius Chonis who served in Britain. The de Merley family held Learchild part of Beanley, where there was a Roman fort on the Devil's Causeway. Helen was said to be an inkeeper's daughter from Bithynia in the East and when Constantinus Chonis returned to Rome in 292 A.D. he divorced her. She was however the mother of Constantine, The Roman Governor in North Britain based at York. She made a pilgrimage to the Holy land, where she died 330 A.D. at the age of 80 and was buried at Rome. Her feast is celebrated in the East (with Constantine) on 21 May but in the West on 18 August.
In the North East of England there are 135 churches dedicated to St Helen.
Civil Registration Districts
registration events post 1837 may be searched online at Free BMD
Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections Reference number: DDR/EA/PBT/2/170 Date: 1769-1830 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.
Longhorsley, St Helen: Records of baptisms 1667-1959, marriages 1695-1978 and burials 1695-1981 are available at Northumberland Collections Service. Bishops' Transcripts for the period 1769-1830 are deposited at Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green, Durham City. The International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) includes baptisms 1694-1875 and marriages 1668-1876 for this parish, and Boyd's Marriage Index includes marriages 1694-1706. A transcript of monumental inscriptions at Longhorsley (microfiche TN78) 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)
Longhorsley, St Thomas Of Canterbury (Roman Catholic): Records of baptisms 1848-1950 and marriages 1848-1865 are available at Northumberland Collections Service.
Witton Shields (Roman Catholic): Records of baptisms 1789-1803 and deaths 1796-1801 are available at Northumberland Collections Service.
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 438896.
Poor Law Unions
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