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Messages - geordiewesterby

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Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Tuesday 13 January 09 22:03 GMT (UK)  »
An instituition in the the USA Gale/Cengage has put a lot of British 19thC newspapers online, fully indexed.  Includes the Northern Liberator (only a few years) and the Newcastle Courant. There are frequent free trials for access but I'm not sure if any are active now. Many City Libraries have annual subscriptions, which allow Library members remote access to the database. I'm a member of Newcastle City Library which gives free remote access.
Join the library.


Thanks, I'm a member of North Tyneside Library, which has an Ancestry subscription. I'll check that out.

Any idea why the paper refers to the police as 'Austrians' ?


Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Monday 12 January 09 22:56 GMT (UK)  »
The Bishops Transcripts (copies of original parish records) for large parts of Northumberland and Durham, including Newcastle St. Andrew are online at :

Click on "Europe"
Click on "England Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts ca. 1700-1900"
Then select the county, parish and years of interest

There are no indexes so have to be manually searched, records are often mixed up by date, and some dates missing, but its still a massive boon for research.  Many hours can be happily spent trawling backwards and forwards searching for your ancestors.

This doesn't help with your search, but something I spotted when looking for parents of Matthew, which you my find interesting if you don't have it already. These things bring our ancestors to life as human beings. An article in the Northern Liberator newspaper, Saturday August 10, 1839.

On Sunday night, Matthew Westerby, bricklayer and freeman of the borough, was returning from the house of a friend, had occasion to pass in front of the Manors Station House. It seems that the "Austrians" were at this moment dragging a ship carpenter, named Hall, into "durance", and Westerby happening to inquire what he had done. Policeman Moore  No. 80 gave him a blow with his fist on the side of his head and knocked off his hat, and on his remonstrating swore that he would knock the "Sowl" out of him. Westerby applied for redress to the superintendant, Stephens, who observed that those were troublesome times, and contented himself by laying his injunctions on "80" to be, in future, less profuse of physical force.

Today you could have sued.


That's remarkable Alan, that's my g g g grandfather!! Can you point me to that on the net ?

Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Monday 12 January 09 21:02 GMT (UK)  »
That's a fascinating observation Alan,

I had never considered Matthew being illegitimate - but it would explain a) why there is no record of a marriage and b) why there is no sign of Matthew's birth or baptism in any of the records. It's an exciting possibility and one which gives me fresh hope that I may yet find his birth and his father and mother!

Can I just ask you, are you looking at St Andrew's records online or do you have a CD or something? 

Any ideas on how I might go about proving that link ?

Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Sunday 11 January 09 21:59 GMT (UK)  »
Yes Stan

Of course it was, St Andrews Church, in the street that used to be called Darn Crook. That's probably the parish that the 1851 Census is referring to, that's what I thought all along, now I come to think of it. When I checked the parish records looking for Matthew's baptism, it was the St Andrew C of E records I was looking at. It wasn't there though, so maybe it's possible it was the RC church of St Andrew. Worth checking out.

Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Sunday 11 January 09 21:41 GMT (UK)  »
Michael & Stan,

Thanks for that. I can't help wondering why George Bell compiled that list, he must have gone through all the banns, then looked to see whether they got married or not. 25 couples changing their minds in one year at one church just seems an awful lot!

That's a good point about the Anglican legality of marriages. I hadn't really thought about Catholic marriages being 'non-conformist' like Methodists. On the 1851 Census, Matthew's place of birth as given as 'St Andrews' which if that is right would indicate that it was a Catholic baptism. I think I have already checked the records for St Andrews but I think l need to go back to the Archive and check it out again just for my own peace of mind!   

Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Sunday 11 January 09 15:20 GMT (UK)  »
Thanks eveyone for those comments, they are very interesting.

This is something I have come back to after a bit of a gap, but when I first saw the Banns record (in Boyd's Marriage index on the net a few years back) I went to the Tyne & Wear Archive to find the marriage. It's a couple of years ago now but there was no marriage listed at St John's in the records at the Archive. I'm pretty sure that there were other marriages listed for the year of 1810 - I couldn't swear to it though. That's something I could check out when I go to the Archive again.

Andrea, Stan, Bishop's Transcripts is something I haven't come across before, so I've just been reading up on what they are, but I think that the microfilmed records I was looking at in the Tyne & Wear Archive are the records of the church and not the BT's.

 Stan - quote[In the Bishop's Transcripts there are only marriages for Jan., Feb., Mar., 1810. (page 282) For some reason it looks as though no marriages were carried out for the rest of the year, according to this. Also it is called the Chapelry of St. John in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In a case this like this what would have happened, if they had published the banns and there were no marriages in 1810 for the rest of the year, would the couple go somewhere else to get married? I've checked the records of the city centre churches for 1810 and thereabouts and there are no marriages recorded there for John & Dorothy either.

Michael - in answer to your question, I don't actually know that this couple  are my ancestors - it's just that I know my g g g grandfather was Matthew Westerby, born 1811/12 - he's well documented as he's on the 1841 & 1851 Census, and he got married in 1838, so I've got his marriage cert, which lists his father as being JOHN WESTERBY - occ HUSBANDMAN. Matthew and all the people after that were all bricklayers, and the name Westerby isn't a north-east of England name, they're mostly in Yorks & Lincoln. So I was working on the theory that John maybe come into the area from Lincs or Yorks, but I cant find anything about this John Westerby the husbandman in any records for Newcastle upon Tyne. The only thing is this record of Banns, for 1810, and it's very tempting to think that this couple were Matthew's parents. Frustrating thing is, there is no record of Matthew's birth either in any of the Newcastle church records. So I'm a bit stuck. I pretty much gave up at one point but then it was mentioned to me about banns being put up at both churches so I checked out whether maybe Dorothy was from a different parish, outside the city, and that might lead me to Matthew's birth. But, not the case, they were both from the same parish according to the Banns.

 Thanks again everyone for your comments, any observations are very welcome.


Yorkshire (West Riding) Lookup Requests / Re: Grandson born in Spain
« on: Saturday 10 January 09 15:21 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Susan

I see you posted this in May last year so apologies if I'm 'teaching granny to suck eggs' with this, as it were, I've only just joined up with Rootschat for the first time even though I've been researching for 8 years!

I've come across Perfecta in the course of my research, when going through the net, she's not from my branch of the family (that I am aware of up to now anyway) but there was a guy called Malcolm Shaw who was researching this back in 2002 and maybe one or two others. If you google 'Perfecta Westerby' there a couple of links to the people who are looking, her father worked in the UK on the railway according to one.


David Westerby

Northumberland / Re: ST JOHNS CHURCH & GEORGE BELL
« on: Saturday 10 January 09 14:49 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Andrea, Thanks for your reply.

'Both of this chapel - that's what the original Banns record has entered. (It has them on all of them). St John's is a C of E church so that must have just been the term they used to describe their church in those days?

I did think that one of them might have been from a different church but that isn't the answer. Bell's listing does detail 2 instances where one of the couple came from a different church (i.e there is an entry for 'George Charlton of this Chapel and Eleanor Pettigrew of St Nicholas Parish'). I just doesn't seem likely that in a year 25 couples would put the banns up and then not go through with it, so I was looking to see whether anyone else had come across anything like it.

I've checked the records of all the other parishes in the city and there is no record of the marriage, just in case they put the banns up at St John's and then went to a different church (not very likely I would have thought!).

I've hit a bit of a stone wall with this one.

« on: Saturday 10 January 09 12:24 GMT (UK)  »
I am wondering whether any other researcher has come across something like this. A couple called John Westerby & Dorothy Robson, who may or may not be my g g g g grandparents, published Banns at St John's Church (now in Grainger St in Newcastle upon Tyne) in February 1810. However the marriage is not recorded in the records for the Church. I originally thought that they had maybe just had not gone through with it, but then I came across a listing made by the local geneologist George Bell which listed 'Instances Of Banns At St John's Where The Marriage Did Not Take Place There' (I can't recall the exact wording of the title of the listing , but it is to that effect). This list details 25 other couples who put the banns up at St John's in 1810 but did not get married there. Surely this is too many to have just 'not gone through with it' ? In all but two of these instances, the couples were both 'Of This Chapel' so it's not as if they could have got wed at the other church pertaining to the bride or groom.

Has anyone else come across something like this in their research or have any theory as to what happened, or any helpful suggestions ?

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