Newcastle upon Tyne

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Guide to Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Newcastle upon Tyne
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Newcastle upon Tyne
County Northumberland
Poor Law Union Newcastle upon Tyne
Registration District Newcastle upon Tyne
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1762
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Newcastle upon Tyne
Diocese Durham
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Northumberland Record Office

Newcastle Bridges.jpg

Parish History

Newcastle-Upon Tyne (to be distinguished from Newcastle-under Lyme in Staffordshire) is the premier city of northwest England.

Newcastle upon Tyne, known commonly and locally as just Newcastle, is located on the north bank of the river Tyne. It is about 280 miles north of London, but in close proximity to Leeds, Sheffield, and Manchester. It is about 9 miles from the North Sea, and the river is navigable for oceangoing vessels as far as the city docks.

The ground beneath the city is formed from Carboniferous strata of the Middle Pennine Coal Measures Group—a suite of sandstones, mud-stones and coal seams which generally dip moderately eastwards. To the west of the city are the Upper Pennine Coal Measures and further west again the sandstones and mud-stones of the Stainmore Formation. The area to the west of the city has been known for centuries as the source of much of the coal for north east England.

The first recorded settlement in what is now Newcastle was Pons Aelius, a Roman fort and bridge across the River Tyne. It was given the family name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who founded it in the 2nd century AD. The population of Pons Aelius at this period was estimated at 2,000.

The Emperor Hadrian is known in history as the roman Emperor who commissioned the structure known as Hadrian's Wall. This wall, a huge civil undertaking, stretches across northern England from the west to the East, and was about 85 miles long. It's function was to act as a barrier or deterrent for the marauding Scottish hordes that were pillaging northern England.

Fragments of Hadrian's Wall are still visible in parts of Newcastle, particularly along the West Road.

After the Roman departure from Britain, completed in 410, Newcastle became part of the powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and became known throughout this period as Monkchester. Conflicts with the Danes in 876 left the river Tyne and its settlements in ruin. After the conflicts with the Danes, and following the 1088 rebellion against the Normans, Monkchester was all but destroyed by Odo of Bayeux.

Because of its strategic position, Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror, erected a wooden castle there in the year 1080. The town was henceforth known as Novum Castellum or New Castle. The wooden structure was replaced by a stone castle in 1087. The castle was rebuilt again in 1172 during the reign of Henry II. Much of the keep which can be seen in the city today dates from this period.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Newcastle was England's northern fortress. Incorporated first by Henry II, the city had a new charter granted by Elizabeth in 1589.

In the 19th century, shipbuilding and heavy engineering were central to the city's prosperity; and the city was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. Newcastle was one of the first cities in the world to be lit up by electric lighting.


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.

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths:

Church records

The city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne includes the following pre-1850 parishes, in order of founding date:

  • St Nicholas (the original parish church, with records from 1558)  St Nicholas became a cathedral church when the Diocese of Newcastle was created in 1882 and is now St Nicholas Cathedral one of the smaller cathedrals in England.
  • All Saints (ancient chapelry, created as a separate parish in 1808, with records from 1600)
  • St Andrew (ancient chapelry, created as a separate parish in 1808, with records from 1597)
  • St John (ancient chapelry, created as a separate parish in 1808, with records from 1587)
  • St Anne (chapelry, created as a separate parish from All Saints in 1843)
  • St Peter (created as a separate parish from St Andrew's in 1844)
  • All Saints, St. John the Baptist, and St. Andrew. There are places of worship in Newcastle for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Methodists of the New Connexion, members of the Scottish Kirk, Sandemanians, Swedenborgians, Unitarians, Roman Catholics, and others.[1]

Newcastle upon Tyne parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

PALL = Pallot's Marriage Index (Ancestry) - (£)[2]


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images

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.

Non Conformist Churches

Other Christian groups meeting regularly in Newcastle include:

  • Apostolic Church
  • Baptists
  • Chinese Christian
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Methodist
  • Pentecostal
  • Presbyterian
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army Church
  • Seventh Day Adventists

Non Christian faiths include the following:

  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Humanists
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Cemeteries (Civil)

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 438885.

Genealogy From Periodicals

Coat of arms of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle location in the England
Newcastle flag

Hanson, Marjorie. Does Hannah Ring a Bell. History, photos and family of John Bainbridge and Ann Hodgson, with the following surnames: Stevens, Burfort, Bell, Mellish, Greene, Livermore, Burford. Family moved around Gateshead, Morland, Carlisle, Newcastle, with a branch emigrating to Australia, Ballarat, in 1852. Article in Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal. vol.35,no2, pages 43-46. Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo v.35, no2. (summer 2010)

Thompson, Christopher. Jonathan Richarson: Quaker. History of the Richardsons originally of Hull. The author was given a family tree which was drawn up in 1829, and went back to the 17th Century. The article is a history of the family, who latterly went into Banking, and Mining. One of the relatives marrying a Rev. Robert George Willis, who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Descendants were in Hull, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Shotley Bridge. Picture of Amelia Willis nee Richardson, and Shotley Bridge Spa. Article in the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society Journal, vol.34,no.2. page 54-56. Family History Library Reference, 942.8 B2jo v.34, no.2. (summer 2009)

Moore, Philip.  My Danish Ancestors.  History of William and Wilhelmine Neilson, William stowed away on a ship to North Shields, England in 1863.  A brother Frederick came also. Picture of the Neilson family dated 1905.  Names mentioned are Moore, Freeman, Todd, Wragge, Atkinson, and Lewins.  A descendant moves to Newbottle, and to Galt, Ontario, Canada. Article dated 1786-1901. Article in Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal, vol. 35 no.2. pages 63-65. Family History Library Reference 942.8 B2jo (summer 2010) vol. 35, no.2.

Owen, J. Philip.  A Northumbrian Musician.  William Gillies Whittaker D. Mus. F.R.C.O.  History of William Gillies Whittaker and his wife Mary Ann, and descendants on both the paternal and maternal side.  Parents were:  John Whittaker and Mary Jane nee Gillies, and William and Susannah Walton Gillies with the following surnames:  Turner, Heads, Pearson, Taylor, Siddell, Purves, Watkins, Swan, Percey, with photos.  Article dated 1799-1976, and is found in the Northumberland & Durham Family History Society, vol. 35. no.4, pages 127-131, Family History Reference 942.8 B2jo vol.35,no.4.

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers



Newcastle is the commercial, educational and, in partnership with nearby Gateshead, the cultural focus for North East England. As part of Tyneside, Newcastle's economy contributes around £13 billion to the UK GVA. The Central Business District is in the center of the city, bounded by Haymarket, Central Station and the Quayside areas.

While the major industries of ship building and coal mining have declined, Newcastle is building up a core of employers in the electronics, aerospace, and banking arenas. There are also several major Universities within the city proper, and this contributes to the potential for educators in the region.

Finally retailing is huge in the city, and contributes significantly to the economy. In 2010, Newcastle was positioned ninth in the retail center expenditure league of the UK. There are several major shopping areas in Newcastle City Center. The largest of these is the Eldon Square Shopping Center, one of the largest city center shopping complexes in the UK. The main shopping street in the city is Northumberland Street. In a 2004 report, it was ranked as the most expensive shopping street in the UK for rent, outside London. [3]

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Northumberland 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.



Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum
Newcastle Discovery
Blandford Square
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA, UK
Phone: +44 191 277 2248



  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 18 December 2013.
  2. Pallot's Marriage and Birth Indexes, Guide to Parishes. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online.
  3. Wikipedia contributors,"Newcastle Upon Tyne" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", Upon Tyne, accessed 20 April 2017.
Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.