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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Who Lived There?

In Tudor times, everyone went to church every Sunday. If you didn't go, you had to pay a fine. And, just like today, children were christened, or baptised, when they were babies. When he christened each baby, the vicar would write the details in a book called a register.

Durham St. Oswald christenings, 1533 (EP/Du.SO 116, p.3)
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Here is a christening register from the church of St Oswald in Durham for 1588, when Elizabeth I was queen.

See if you can read any of the names of the babies christened (the names are written at the start of each line).

The writing is hard to read because some of the letters are shaped differently, and the spelling is different too.

If you get stuck, there's a typed copy, or transcript, of the christening information (EP/Du/SO/116).

When you've had a good look, see if you can guess what it might be (think about what events people go to church for today?)

Now let's see what else we can find out from church marriage registers.