Information for researchers - baptisms

Entries are arranged in four sheets, one each for the 18th 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

All data within the spreadsheets has been derived from official paper-based Baptism, Marriage, Death, Dissenter and Stranger records (ledgers) held at the Northumberland Archives, Walkergate Building, Walkergate, Berwick.
Except as below, we have not seen the actual original documents unless otherwise stated. Thus, we have not had full access to the additional data these original documents may hold.
With reference to Baptism data from 1902 to 2019, we have used the actual current Baptism register held under guardianship of the St Helen’s Parish Church Warden. (Mrs Susan Lindsay, Cornhill Farm, Main St, Cornhill).

Conventions used in transcription

All data within the aforementioned records has been replicated verbatim including terminology and spelling (even where common sense would indicate that it is incorrect).

Spelling variations

It is important to bear in mind that data such as surnames could have altered over the generations, e.g. Willson to Wilson, Wedderburn to Wetherburn, Broun to Brown
Further examples of surname variations include: Nuton (Newton), Havery (Harvey), Archbold (Archbald), Dunkan (Duncan), Hogard (Hogarth), Grive (Grieve) however there may be more therefore it is suggested to try alternatives.

When using this database, you may need to alter your search parameters to take into account spelling anomalies/differences/variations across all data fields.

Where any of the fields has a value of 'not recorded' this means that that the official records did not detail this type of information.

From 1733 to 1752 the ordering of the baptism dates became a little jumbled in the official records and upon checking the microfiche record, the baptism/date of birth data was unclear. We have endeavoured to record the baptisms in datal order within each year wherever possible.

Date convention

Until 1752, the (Julian) calendar year ran from and to Lady Day, 25th March. For Baptism data, any child that was baptised between 1st January and 24th March, the Baptism has been recorded in the Baptism record for the following year, e.g. a baptism performed on 20 February 1725 will be recorded under the year 1726. For this record, we have recorded the Baptism year using the modern day (Gregorian) calendar year (1 Jan to 31 Dec). Affected records are noted.

Obsolete terms in the registers

The term Stranger intimates that the baptised child may be of uncertain parentage on the paternal side, or that the parent or parents were resident in another parish.

The term Dissenter intimates that the parents of the baptised child were not members of the Church of England but of a non-episcopal church or none.

Not all children whose birth was logged in the Dissenter records were actually baptised, hence missing baptism dates.

Where the profession is stated in official records, we have assumed this to be the father’s profession unless clarified otherwise.


Where the official records states the ‘native’ location of the parent(s), we have not assumed that this was the address of the parent(s) at the time of registering the baptism, unless stated otherwise.

Where the address within the official record is unclear, the annotation against this entry will read ‘not included'’

Some of the official records have two surnames in the surname field (and they are not double-barrelled). We have entered them as recorded and we have not assumed that the two parents were married unless stated otherwise.