Sunderland (city), Durham Genealogy

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Sunderland City

Guide to Sunderland, Tyne and Wear ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.


See Sunderland parish for parish information.

History[edit | edit source]

Flag of the City of Sunderland
Location of Sunderland in England
Sunderland coat of arms

Sunderland is a coastal city at the mouth of the River Wear with adjoining beaches of Roker, Seaburn and Whitburn. The etymology of Sunderland is derived from "Sundered-land" with the river traveling through the city as opposed to sitting "upon" the river.

Historically in County Durham, there were three original settlements on the site of modern-day Sunderland. On the north side of the river, Monkwearmouth was settled in 674 when Benedict Biscop founded the Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey. Opposite the monastery on the south bank, Bishopwearmouth was founded in 930. A small fishing village called Sunderland, located toward the mouth of the river (modern day East End) was granted a charter in 1179.

Over the centuries, Sunderland grew as a port, trading coal and salt. Ships began to be built on the river in the 14th century. By the 19th century, the port of Sunderland had grown to absorb Bishopwearmouth and Monkwearmouth. More recently, Sunderland has seen growth as a commercial center for the automotive industry, science & technology and the service sector.

The modern City of Sunderland (/ˈsʌndərlənd/) is a local government district of Tyne and Wear, in North East England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Sunderland, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton-le-Spring, Washington, and a range of suburban villages.

The district was formed in 1974, titled the Metropolitan Borough of Sunderland, as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 and is an amalgamation of four former local government districts of County Durham. It was granted city status in 1992, the 40th anniversary of the Queen Elizabeth II's accession. The city had a population of 275,300 at the time of the 2011 census, with the majority of the population (174,286) residing in Sunderland. The 'Sunderland Built-up Area' (including Whitburn in South Tyneside and Chester-le-Street, Ouston, South Hetton and Pelton in County Durham) is quoted alternatively as having a population of around 335,000.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil )[edit | edit source]

Sunderland has 3 major civil cemeteries:

Bishopwearmouth Cemetery
Chester Road
Sunderland SR4 7SU
Phone: +44 191 520 5555

Southwick Cemetery
25 Helmsley Ct
Sunderland SR5 5HH

Sunderland Cemetery28 Kitchener Terrace
Sunderland SR2 9RR

Additionally there are 2 more cemeteries that are now no longer in use, but may have historic value:

Mere Knolls Cemetery
8LG, Torver Cres
Sunderland SR6

Houghton Cemetery
16 Dunholm Cl
Houghton le Spring DH5 8NX

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Sunderland has several Anglican churches. These follow:

St. Andrew's
Talbot Road
Tyne and Wear SR6 9PT

St. Cuthbert's Church
Rotherham Rd
Sunderland SR5 5QS
Phone: +44 191 537 3744

St Mary's and St' Peter's Church
Springwell Rd
Sunderland SR3 4DY

St. Matthew's Silkworth
Silksworth Road
New Silksworth
Sunderland, SR3 2AA

St. Chad's
Durham Road/Charter Drive
Sunderland SR3 3PG
Phone: 0191 528 2397

St. Peter's
Fulwell Road
Sunderland, SR6 0JD

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Sunderland is a very diverse area, with many races and religions in the community. These include:

  • Baptist
  • Bethany City Church
  • Calvary Christian Fellowship
  • Catholic
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Methodist
  • Pentecostal
  • Plymouth Brethren

There are communities of non Christian religions including the following:

  • Buddhist
  • Confucian
  • Jews
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Since the demise of the shipbuilding industry in the late twentieth century, Sunderland has had to rebuild its core competence. Since the mid-1980s Sunderland has undergone massive regeneration.

Sunderland University was opened in 1969, and has continued to grow, providing employment opportunities in the field of higher education.

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan opened the Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK factory in 1986, with the first Nissan Bluebird car being produced later that year. The factory and its supplier companies remain the largest employers in the region, with current cars produced there including the Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Juke. As of 2012 over 500,000 cars are produced annually, and it is the UK's largest car factory.

Also in the late 1980s, new service industries moved into sites such as the Doxford International Business Park in the south west of the city, attracting national and international companies. Sunderland was named in the shortlist of the top seven "intelligent cities" in the world for the use of information technology.

Redevelopment of the Monkwearmouth Colliery site, a major producer of coal that was shut down in the 1980's, which sits of the north bank of the river Wear opposite the Vaux site, began in the mid-1990s with the creation of the Stadium of Light football stadium. In 2008, it was joined by the Sunderland aquatic center.

Sunderland used to be a major glass-making center for the UK, with companies such as Corning and Pyrex based there. However these were shut down early in the 21st. century. Recently there has been a modest rejuvenation with the opening of the National Glass Center which, among other things, provides international glass makers with working facilities and a shop to showcase their work, predominantly in the artistic rather than functional field.[2]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "City of Sunderland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, of Sunderland, accessed 19 August, 2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors,"Sunderland, Tyne and Wear" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", Tyne and Wear, accessed 22 August 2017.