England, Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Miscellaneous Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records .
Collection Time Period
The records cover the years 1717 to 1987.
The collection consists of miscellaneous records from the Northumberland Archives Service. Included are Official Actions (1901-1925), Electoral Registers (1901-1925), and Church/Parish Registers (1717-1987).
The records may include any of the following:
- 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 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, neighboring 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.
In 1832, the Reform Act created electoral registers. These registers recorded individuals who qualified to vote in the national elections for representation in parliament. The qualifications changed over the years. There were also electoral registers that covered local elections. Boroughs of large cities had their own electoral registers and their own qualifications for being listed in the registers. In 1878, boroughs combined their registers for the national and local elections. Other places combined their registers by 1885. Registration was suspended and no electoral registers were created during the World Wars: 1916 - 1917 (1915 - 1917 for Scotland) and 1940 - 1944. In the early years, registers included only about 7 percent of the population. By 1867 they included about 11 percent of the population. Only men are listed until 1918 because only men could vote. Until 1971 the registers listed only those 21 years of age or older.
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.
Why this Record Was Created
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.
The government required the keeping of electoral registers, and the reliability of the information is high with respect to the place of residence and the name of the individual.
Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until July 1837, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Information in parish registers and bishops’ transcripts can be verified against each other.
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Known Issues with This Collection
The England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records is a limited publication collection. FamilySearch has rights to publish images online to the following groups for this collection: Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers, LDS members, contributing organizations, and volunteers.
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023
Sources of Information for This Collection
England. Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records. Northumberland Archives Service. Ashington, Northumberland.