View Full Version : Help needed with Baker/Barker - Chester-le-Street

Marie Mckay
21-07-2006, 7:33 PM

I'm not sure whether to put this post here or on the beginners page - all I know is that I need help.

My g-g-g-grandfather George Baker was married to Margaret Tate in Suunderland in 1935.

I have found a reference to the marriage stating that George's parents were John Baker and Elizabeth Slater - great so far.

However, looking for them I found one source that said John Baker married Elizabeth Slater 5 May 1800 in Tanfield.

Another source said John 'Barker' married Elizabeth Slater 5 May 1800.
They had two other children besides George (b. 1806) - Elizabeth (b. 1804) and Margaret Ann (b. 1808)

I know John and Elizabeth were both born in Chester-le-Street.

Could people changes their names?
Is it a spelling error?
Am I completely on the wrong track?
Where do I go from here - without spending a fortune?

Please help!!!


Ron Leech
22-07-2006, 9:39 AM
Hi Marie

I assume that the marriage should be 1835 in Sunderland? Where did you get the reference from as if it is this is date then it is pre-registration? You would need to see the parish records to verify. If the Information that you have comes from Latter Day Saints it imperative you do this.

Have you proved your links back to these people i.e. got the various marriage and birth certificates and confirmed details by looking at census records.

Bear in mind that until the 20th century spelling was often a complete lottery.
Even today to change your name you do not have to register that with any one.

Marie Mckay
22-07-2006, 11:08 AM
Hi Ron

The marriage in 1935 has been checked with Durham parish records and confirmed by other branches of the family researching the same line.

I must admit that the info regarding the Baker/Barker spelling has come from the Latter Day Saints and the free BMD index.

I will attempt to check the Chester le Street parish records to see if I can find anything.

Thanks for taking an interest.


Ron Leech
23-07-2006, 9:06 AM
Hi Marie

So much for my assumption that 1935 was a typo! I would buy a copy of the marriage certificate if you don't already have it. Errors still do occur I have a 1975 marriage up there with a surname mispelling. This will show the full names bride and groom and hopefully their ages plus the names of both fathers and their occupations, the addresses bride and groom were using on the day of marriage, names of the witnesses which is sometimes but not always useful.

Armed with this information you can start tracing back one or both of the fathers. Look for their respective marriages, when they took place will probably be dependant on the age of the bride or groom and also on older siblings for each of them.

From the marriage details you can also try obtaining birth references for bride and groom and then birth certificates. It is inevitiable that you will have to spend some money tracing your ancestors.

Marie Mckay
24-07-2006, 6:27 PM

Yes I knew eventually I would have to spend money - and to be honest I'm having so much fun I don't mind paying for a few certificates.

I agree that getting hold of George and Margaret's certificate - is the best bet, especially as I know nothing of her side of the family and it would open a whole new line.

Thanks for your advice Ron


Marie Mckay
29-07-2006, 10:25 PM
WHO wrote that? Twice !!!- Even after the error was pointed out !!!

I'm sorry Ron - it's taken days for me to realise my mistake - I'm not normally this slow, honest.

You are right of course it should have been 1825 - (Eighteen)
April 16 1835 to be exact.

I have since found out the Margaret's parents are Elizabeth FULLer and Thomas TATE from Hampshire.

In the future I will promise to proof read post before I send them.

Marei - just kiddign !

Ron Leech
30-07-2006, 8:34 AM
Hi Marie

It's very easy to make mistakes I do it all the time.

Did you manage to check the Chester le Street parish records. It seems a long step from Hampshire to the north east.

Marie Mckay
30-07-2006, 2:15 PM

George Baker and Margaret Tate's marriage is listed in the Sunderland registers (1830 - 1837).

In the 1851 census Margaret Baker is living in Sunderland 12 Vine Street with her mother Elizabeth Tate who was born in Gosport, Hants. (How lucky is that!)

In 1861 after Margaret had married a second time Elizabeth was living in Sunderland 44 Vine Street with grandson Charles W Baker.

Elizabeth must have moved to Sunderland after she married because Margaret and her older sister Elizabeth were born in Sunderland. Although there is no evidence of occupations the fact that Gosport and Sunderland are both coastal towns could have played a part - fishing - shipbuilding etc.

I have checked the Chester-le-Street parish records online for the marriage of George Baker's parents and they are not listed.

My question now is - where will I get a certificate for the marriage of George and Margaret if it is before 1837?



Ron Leech
30-07-2006, 7:18 PM
Sadly no certificates were issued before July 1837. The best you can hope for is to get sight of the parish register and obtain a photo copy. Occassionally other documents exist but they are generally few and far between.

I would look at the parish register for every church where known events took place and scan back over several years to see if births (baptisms), marriages or deaths (burials) took place before 1835 in your known surnames, it is very hit and miss I am afraid but you can sometimes build up a pattern of events. The International Genealogical Index (IGI) is helpful in this respect but does not have a complete listing and you should always go back to the source documents to verify any findings.

Marie Mckay
31-07-2006, 5:01 PM
Thanks for all your advice Ron

I have a few leads and hope to get to the records office in the next few weeks.