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Saint Helen's Parish Church Registers 1590 - 1812

  The church registers are practically complete and are continuous for this period from 1590, which is an early date for a continuous record.   They start with the baptism of Jane Raisbeck on the 11th of May 1590.   The registers cover the populations of Normanby, Old Eston and Lackenby.   South Bank and Grangetown did not exist at this time.   Ormesby and Wilton had their own Churches and graveyards, Lazenby inhabitants would presumably be buried at Wilton.

The smaller rebound book covers the years 1590-1788.   The second covers 1788-1813 St Helens Parish Registers Covers
The earliest register has faded badly and is difficult to read in places.

                              First Page of the 1590 Register                                            Inside The Back Cover of the 1590 Register
St Helens Parish Registers Pages       St Helens Parish Registers Inside Backcover

Register Entries of Interest 1590 - 1812

11 May 1590
1st entry baptism of Jane Raisbeck
21 Jun 1590
1st Marriage is of Peter Jefferson & Ann Calhom
20 Jul 1590
1st Burial John Wilkinson
8 Jul 1641
1st mention of a soldier, Robert Lingwood buried 8th June/July. Was this a sign of growing unrest in Charles First's reign which led to the uprising in 1642?
16 Dec 1658
1st mention of the Pennyman name. William Pennyman son of William & Joan born on Thursday 16th December & baptised ye same day by Mr Mawman Minister.
.. Feb 1678
James Pennyman Jurat, Witness to burials in woollen. (Woollen Tax - Act of Parliament entitled "An Act for the burying in Woollen". Affidavits sworn to confirm the dead were wrapped in wool only). The entries are long winded and repetitive with weird spellings. The witness' may be of interest. After a few pages the entries were abbreviated to "Where off we have an affidavit".
8 Apr 1679
Mr Robert Snowdon of Normanby Hall married
25 Aug 1679
Mr Robert Snowdon of Normanby Hall buried 25th August being a Sunday.
6 Nov 1680
Thomas Blacklock baptised, Bastard of Robert Man (1st Bastard recorded.)
12 Nov 1680
Thomas Blacklock buried. We have an affidavit Bastard of Robert Man.
4 Nov 1699
George Snowdon Senr died the 4th and buried the 5th November 1699. He was baptised 24th April 1628 & married 9th May 1650. He had issue seven sons and three daughters of which he left behind him 5 sons unmarried and 1 daughter who had several children.
17 Oct 1712
William Consett & Elizabeth Pennyman married.
27 Mar 1722
Captain Consett & Joanna Pennyman married.
16 Sep 1777
Sarah Robinson daughter of John Robinson of Eston a Farmer, son of William Robinson of Normanby, Farmer, by Sarah his wife, who was ye daughter of William Clemmet late of Normanby, a Tailor. The child's mothers name is Ann Robinson daughter of Thomas Bulmer of Eston, Carpenter, by Elenor his wife, daughter of Thomas Hutton, a weaver of Stainton born Monday ye 16th and baptised Wednesday 24th September.
4 Oct 1777
Mary Kearsley of Eston third daughter of Samuel a servant, by John Kearsley & Frances Kearsley of Little Broughton a Weaver died ye 4th October and buried the 5th in ye Church Yard Aged 2½ of Worms.
17 Oct 1777
Ralph Ward Jackson son of Ralph Jackson Esq. of Normanby and his wife Mary (Lewin) born Friday October 17th and baptised November 14th 1777.
8 Nov 1777
Margaret Appleby daughter of William a labourer the son of Jonathon Appleby of Sedgefield, labourer, by Margaret his wife. The mothers name is Mary daughter of John Neesum of Normanby a farmer by Mary his wife born November the 8th and baptised December 7th.
11 Jan 1789
Elizabeth the wife of George Suggit a shoemaker died and buried the 12th age 84 a pauper.
8 Feb 1791
George Brown a labourer was accidentally drowned, buried 10th February age 82 years.
25 May 1794
Ann Snowdon the widow of George Snowdon a farmer buried age 90 years.
4 Feb 1797
John Apedaile the son of John & Ruth Apedaile buried February 4th age 10 years- he was accidently drowned in the River Tees in November last- the body was not found till February 3rd
18 Mar 1799
Joseph the son of Robert Medd a Master of Ship by Dinah his wife born 18th March baptised March 20th 1799.
16 Feb 1800
Ann Kearsley wife of John a Ship Master buried age 33 year.
4 Nov 1804
A man (his name unknown) supposed by the coroner's Jury to have shot himself in a fit of Lunacy, buried 4th November aged (in appearance) above fifty years.
4 Jan 1809
Joseph Stephenson an out pensioner of Greenwich Hospital died 4th Jan & buried 6th
23 Jun 1811
A man unknown found drowned in the Tees within the high water mark buried.

Research Studies

  My initial study covered the period 1590-1611 a period of 21½ years.   During this time there are 64 marriages, 226 Births and 249 deaths therefore an average of 3½ children per marriage.   Quite a low number considering there was no birth control.   I was intrigued and decided to look more closely at the figures.   These revealed some extremely high death rates though there was no indication in the register as to why.   However a study of the deaths of multiple family members could only point to some kind of sickness.   This was a tight knit agricultural community of farms and farm workers cottages.   Whilst Marriages complied with the social boundaries of Lord of the manor, Clergy and the better off, death struck at all classes regardless.

159015614Half Year
1591152  6
1592  9111
1594105  6
1595  80  2Bad Harvest
1596  70  7Bad Harvest
1597  6145
1598  9251
1599106  2
1600  9411
1602  8411
1603135  5Plague and Typhus
1604122  4
1605  62  1
1606161  6Prosecution followed by crisis
1607  8315Plague
1608  92  5
1609123  9
1610  95  4

  The period covering the first five years of the registers revealed stable communities in Eston and Normanby.   Bad harvests in 1595 and 1596 would have left the population weak and desperate and may account for the only recorded years when there were no weddings.   The following two years had 96 burials but only 15 baptisms, so I decided to check the names.   The early registers recorded birth marriage and death in one register in date order.   This was useful as baptisms were often followed by the burial of the child and sometimes the mother.   Baptisms usually followed a marriage.   There are 68 family names recorded in the 1st five years for the two possibly three communities which are tabulated below.

List of Surnames in Saint Helen's Register 1590-1595

Addeson-Addison Hogge Raisbeck
Baites Holdie Robinson
Barker Hope Ruddock
Bennison Huwood Salmon
Brasse Ingledewe Scamton
Calhom Jackson Seamer
Carrocke Jefferson Smith
Chicken Johnson Snodon-Snowdon
Clark Kildaile Stevenson
Colson Langhorne Stott
Conyers Lawe Tailor
Cooke Lionesse -lyonesse Thecor
Corcar Lyell Thompson
Corner Man Walsh
Culley Mason Ward
Dauson Morlay Weie
Davison Nailer Wheatlay
Fludders Nicholson Whitehead
Fulthrorp Parker Wilkinson
Greenside Patricke Wilson
Harplay Peighen Wodd
Hinkson Pickard Younge
Hodgson Potter

  Names of interest are Addison, Consett, Jackson, Morlay, Sillibourne and Snowdon families.
  One of the names that became extinct is Sillibane: a Robert Sillibane married Isabell Herrison on the 2nd October 1603 the following week Francis Scarth married Elizabeth Sillibane on the 10th.   The first reference to the name is the burial of Margaret on the 4th of February 1602, the last reference is 1761.
  The Brass family are another which died out.   Until recently there was a headstone in the old ground near the Church tower.

(The parish records that I transcribed to produce the above surname table are shown here
Saint Helen’s Parish Register Transcript - Surnames 1590-95 )

  A study in 1979 of crisis mortality in some parishes in the North Riding of Yorkshire between 1570 and 1850 showed that higher burial rates indeed occurred after bad harvests.
   Many deaths often occurred from outbreaks of infectious diseases (smallpox, typhoid, influenza and bubonic plague).
   Poor sanitation contributed to the disease outbreaks and the dangers of iron stone mining resulted in further deaths and injury.
(Extracts of the study and other reports are shown in Appendix I: High Death Rates in Eston & Normanby)

I also transcribed marriage records from the Parish Registers covering the 217 years of my ongoing research covering 1590 to 1837.
(See Saint Helen’s Parish Register Transcript of Marriages )

Civil War and Commonwealth Period Parish Register Examples

1642 - 1649
St Helens Parish Registers Page Eg 1642 - 1649

1649 - 1657
St Helens Parish Registers Page Eg 1649 - 1657
Note the poor quality ink and record keeping on this page.

Woollen Tax

  This is one of the first pages in this register to record the burial of people in wool.   The burial entry also records the affidavits of witnesses who swear an oath that the person was buried in wool and nothing else.   These affidavits usually record details given by family and friends.   The entries are long winded and repetitive with weird spellings. After a few pages the entries are abbreviated to "Where off we have an affidavit".

1676 Buried in Wool Entry
St Helens Parish Registers Page Eg 1676 Buried in Wool entry
Feb 1678 James Pennyman Jurat, Witness to burials in woollen.
(Woollen Tax) Act of Parliament entitled, 'An Act for the burying in Woollen'.

Saint Helen's Parish Registers 1724-26

  These pages give the name and profession of the father of baptised children eg:
        "William son of William Coverdale a labourer was baptised the 14th day of November 1725".
  Entries sometimes include extra details eg:
        "Paul Hardistye and Jane Sillibourne married by the cobbler of Osmotherly 1724
                 and remarried by the Vicar of Ormesby 11th October 1725".
  A typical entry is eg:
        "William Coverdale and Dorothy Chapman were married June 25th 1725".
  Only one death is recorded between September 1724 and May 1726.

1724 - 1726
St Helens Parish Registers Page Eg 1724-1726

Saint Helen's Parish Register 1788: Good Example Page of Best Practice

  It records Birth, Marriage and deaths.   More importantly to the researcher it gives status, bachelor, spinster and age at death with parentage or spouse as shown by the death of Jane Foster wife of Robert a descendent of the first Minister Nicholas Foster.   Bastardy is recorded as Natural son eg:
        "Timothy Johnson the Natural son of Eunice Cooper".
  Occupations are shown eg:
    "James Hall Husbandman Age 83
    John Guy Husbandman
    John brown Husbandman
    Thomas Chisman Publican
    John Kearsley Marinor
    William Richardson Blacksmith"
  The date of death and age as well as burial may be included eg:
    "Elizabeth Snowdon the wife of James Snowdon a blacksmith
        died Sept 4th & was buried Sept 6th aged 57 years"
  Finally the first entry of 1789 includes the date of birth:
    "Aley daughter of Clemmet Robinson a Farmer born 28th October 1788 ,Baptised January first 1789".

First page of 1788 Register
St Helens Parish Registers 1788 First Page

  The Snowden family of Blacksmiths can be traced through all the registers and worked the same forge for 400 years.
  It is quite easy to find this forge as there are only two and the Snowdon family worked the one at Old Eston on the main road opposite the Stapylton Arms.   Recorded just a few entries later is the death of an Elizabeth (Mewburn) the wife of James Snowdon Blacksmith.   The family forge is shown below before conversion to bungalows.

Snowdon Family Forge 1 Snowdon Family Forge 2

Saint Helen's Parish Registers 1813 to 1906

   Only the Baptism registers exist between 1837 and 1883 - no Marriage or Burial registers can be found.
   Some of this gap may be filled by other sources such as the "Eston & Normanby Parish Magazine" first published in 1873.

   From 1868 Vyvyan Moyle the incumbent of Ormesby church was also in charge of Saint Helen's as a curate.   He was convicted in 1873 and sent to prison for fraud and embezzlement!    (see Article "Fraudulent Deeds In Holy Orders" )

1813-1856 Baptism Register                  1856-1865 Baptism Register                1865-1906 Baptism Register
St Helens Parish Registers Baptisms 1813 - 1856        St Helens Parish Registers Baptisms 1856 - 1865        St Helens Parish Registers Baptisms 1865 - 1906
The entries of this register can be compared with the census to find the abode

Rebuilding of Saint Helen's Church 1824

   Rebuilding of Saint Helen's church took place in 1824 so religious ceremonies were performed elsewhere.
   A check of Saint Cuthbert, Ormesby Parish Register (No.3)PR/OR 1/3 identified two marriages of Eston individuals that took place whilst Saint Helen's was being rebuilt in the Georgian style
(See extracts from "Saint Cuthbert Parish Register" ).

   The "Account of Pews" below provides further information on individuals appearing in the Parish Registers as well as upon Monumental Inscriptions in the cemetery.

An Account of the Pews in Eston Chapel 1824
St Helens Account of the Pews 1824 cover        St Helens Account of the Pews 1824

  Names of interest in above Pew List:
    William Ward Jackson - baptised 1877 - son of Ralph Jackson (see last entry of extract "Diaries of Ralph Jackson")
    Ralph Jackson
    Benjamin Taylor (see below)
    Lady Hewley's Trust paid £32 in 1824 to purchase three pews for the "newly erected (parish) church at Eston".
         [extract from a Lady Hewley Trust book provided by Joan Outhwaite]

  Did the following craftsmen work on the re-building of Saint Helen's church in 1824?
    Peter Walker of Normanby is a Carpenter in 1824-1825 in parish register
    John Jackson of Eston is also a Carpenter in 1825 register.
    Benjamin Taylor ( who is named on the above Pew List) was a Mason:
         Registers record he married Elizabeth Chisman on 28th April 1823 and a son is baptised in 1824 Fathers occupation Mason.
         Note the Freemason symbol carved on the Taylor Family Monument in Eston Cemetery.

A New Church for Eston with Normanby 1884

North Eastern Daily Gazette Monday 12th March 1883 (page 3 Issue 4905).

"4,000 people lived at Eston 2,000 at Normanby but the parish church could only accommodate 180 and on many occasions more than 400 people had been crowded in to the church on a Sunday evening.   From a physical point of view, this state of things was not healthy; it was not healthy in another way.   The spiritual interests of the people could not be adequately provided for.   The Parish Church was a distance away from the people, and besides it was draughty, dingy, ill ventilated, badly constructed, and it let in water.   Therefore a new church holding 500 should be built."

York Herald Newspaper 24th March 1884 (page 6 Issue 10241)
Extract from article 'Opening & Consecration of Christ Church' referring to Saint Helen's

"The old chapel of ease with its Norman Tower on the North Side of the village had long been in a state of decay, and was altogether inadequate for the accommodation of the churchgoers of the place."

© 2013 Sylvia Fairbrass   Normanby Local History Group

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