Saturday, 6 October 2012

Errors in the Hutton Rudby parish registers 1831-78

All Saints' church ca1920

If you are researching your family history in 19th century Hutton Rudby - or indeed, in Middleton-upon-Leven or East Rounton - there is one unfortunate snag.

Robert Joseph Barlow, the vicar of the parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland between 1831 and 1878, was a great character, much appreciated in the village and still remembered for his hard work and personal charity during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

But paperwork was not his strong point and researchers have found errors and omissions in the registers during his time in the parish.

He appears to have written up the registers from memory or from scraps of notes that he took at the time, and it seems likely that he occasionally lost the register books (temporarily).  He did not send them up for Bishops’ Transcripts.

Gaps are particularly noticeable in the 1840s.  For several years in that decade, he made few entries in the burials and baptisms registers (and some years have no entries at all), and judging by the small number of entries in the marriages register, that may also be incomplete. 

Errors of dates and Christian names have been discovered throughout his time in office.  Some of these may be due to pressure of circumstances in his personal life, but others are not easily explained.

Family historians will need to bear this problem in mind – it may explain some puzzling entries, or the absence of entries they expected to find.

There are believed to be no problems with civil registrations. 

If you cannot find a register entry, it is worth trying the Memorial Inscriptions of All Saints’, Rudby-in-Cleveland.  There are also a few announcements to be found in The Stokesley News & Cleveland Reporter (1 Nov 1842 to 1 Sep 1844 on British Library microfilm at the Middlesbrough Reference Library) and The Cleveland Repertory & Stokesley Advertiser (1 Apr 1843 to 1 Oct 1845, with fragments of one more edition, on British Library microfilm at Middlesbrough Reference Library).

Some examples

An example of an error in remembering/transcribing dates

In one of Mr Barlow’s few surviving notebooks appears the following jotting:
Charlotte Sidgwick           
Sept 26  - Aged
Mary Imeson  -   aged 30  -  Octr 25       
Nancy Suggett aged 81 [?]  Oct 23   
In the burial register books he made three successive entries:
Charlotte Sidgwick buried on 26 Sep 1852 aged 34
Mary Imeson buried on 28 September – and her death certificate actually gives her date of death as 4 October. 
Nanny Sugget buried on 26 September
An example of a burial and baptism not recorded

Bartholomew Goldsborough death in 1844 is not recorded - but his headstone is listed in the Memorial Inscriptions and his death was announced in The Cleveland Repertory & Stokesley Advertiser.  Soon after he died, his wife gave birth to a son - an event noted by The Stokesley News & Cleveland Reporter.

Three examples of errors in Christian names
(these examples were found by Beryl Turner)

13 Dec 1855 baptism of John Herring Redhead, son of John & Hannah, Sexhow, farmer.   
The father’s name should be William
23 Dec 1871: Dorothy Garbutt, daughter of Thomas & Dorothy Caroline, Hutton, farmer.   
The child was called Annie
17 Jun 1873:  Thomas Watson Garbutt son of Thomas & Sarah, Hutton, farmer.   
The mother’s name was Dorothy Caroline.

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