Durham Births - What else you can try
This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find birth information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the birth section of the Durham Guided Research page.
Additional Online Resources
Additional Databases and Online Resources
- 1538-1975: England, Select Births and Christenings at Ancestry ($)
- 1559-1800s: Parish Records at TheGenealogist ($)
- 1590s-1920s: Durham Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms at FindMyPast ($)
- 1837-1918: Search the GRO historical birth and death indexes at General Register Office (free to search, login required) -- birth index lists mother's maiden name
Online Images (Browsable Only)
Some collections have not been indexed but are available to browse image by image.
- 1594-1815: England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations at FamilySearch Historical Records
Additional Records with Birth Information
Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for birth events may not have been created at the time of the birth. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.
|Use these substitute records to locate birth information about your ancestor:|
|Why to search the records|
|Starting in 1837, birth registration lists the child's birth date and place and parents. Marriage registration lists the ages of the bride and groom and the names and occupations of their fathers. Death registration lists age at death, allowing the researcher to calculate approximate birth year.|
|Census records from 1841 onward give the age and birthplace of the recorded individuals, allowing researchers to discover birth places and calculate birth years. The 1911 census lists the number of children (alive and deceased) born to the couple.|
|Monumental or tombstone inscriptions and records created when a deceased individual was interred in a cemetery. May include the deceased individual's birth date or age.|
|Go back to the Durham Guided Research page, and click on "Death". Death and burial parish registers may include age at death, allowing researchers to calculate approximate birth years.|
|Society of Friends (Quakers) and other nonconformist churches, such as the Presbyterian Church, also have birth and baptism parish registers.|
|May contain birth and death notices and even obituaries. Death notices and obituaries may list the deceased's birth date or age.|
|Military records, after 1707, may include the birth place and age of the individual, allowing researchers to calculate the approximate birth year.|
|May contain birth place and age, allowing researchers to calculate approximate birth years.|
Tips for finding births
Successfully finding birth records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:
- Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
- Search parents. Search for the parents, if known, as the child's first name may not be on the birth record.
- Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth.
- Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
- Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
- Search county. Search using the county name only instead of by parish.
Why the Record may not Exist
Known Record Gaps
Mandatory birth registration started in 1837. However, universal compliance did not occur until 1874. Before 1837, births and baptisms can be found in church records (mainly the Church of England). Although the oldest baptism records date to 1538, many parish churches did not start recording baptisms until the 1600s.
Some church records may have been lost, destroyed, or damaged (especially in the 1500s and early 1600s). More specific information is not known. Civil registration records are generally complete.