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Seaham

"This parish, which includes the townships of Seaham, and Seaton and Slingsby, is bounded on the north by the townships of Ryhope and Burdon, on the west and south-west by Eppleton and Wardenlaw, on the south by Seaham Harbour and Dalton-le-Dale, and on the east by the German Ocean.
"Seaham Township comprises 1706 acres, and its ratable value is 14,570, 13s.
"Seaton and Slingley Township contains 1358 acres, and its ratable value is 7788, 0s. 4d.
"Dawdon Township comprises an area of 987 acres, and its ratable value is 29,808."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

The Durham Records Online (containing the Seaham Super Index) is a set of pages offering a history and genealogy service for the greater Seaham area. There is a history of the area and some free data - mainly census returns.

Census

Seaham Township

"It population in 1801 was 115; in 1811, 121; in 1821, 103; in 1831, 130; in 1841, 153; and in 1851, in consequence of a railroad and other works in the township, it had increased to 729; in 1861, 2591; in 1871, 2802; in 1881, 2989; and in 1891, 4798 souls."

Seaton and Slingley Township

"The number of inhabitants in 1801 was 96; in1811, 126; in 1821, 95; in 1831, 134; in 1841, 175; in 1851, 200; in 1861, 236; in 1871, 228; in 1881, 196; and in 1891, 288 souls."

Dawdon Township

"The population in 1801 was 22; in 1811, 27; in 1821, 35; in 1831, in consequence of the construction of a new harbour, it had increased to 1022; in 1841, 2017; in 1851, 3538; in 1861, 6137; in 1871, 7132; in 1881, 7714; and in 1891, 9044."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]
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Church History

"The Church, originally dedicated to St. Andrew, and subsequently rededicated to St. Mary the Virgin, retains traces of great antiquity. The period of its erection has been ascribed to pre-Conquest times, but more probably it is of Norman date, as the leading features of the structure are Transitional in character. There was anciently a chantry, dedicated to the Virgin, to which Richard Atkinson was chaplain in 1501. The seating accommodation in the church is for 150. The living is now a vicarage, in the patronage of the Marquis of Londonderry, valued in the Liber Regis at 5, 0s. 5d.; gross income 350. Rev. Angus Bethune, M.A., J.P., vicar, and resides in the vicarage, a handsome stone building adjoining the church."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

There is a picture (10 kbytes) of the parish church of St. John, Seaham; supplied by George Bell.

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Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1646." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1646-1967 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Sea).

Marriage indexes for 1652-1837 (14 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1652-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

The following records for churches in the ancient parish of Seaham are also available at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL:-

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Description and Travel

"There is really no village of Seaham: the church and the residence of the rector constitutes what is known as Seaham, which is situated on the coast, about five miles south of Sunderland.
"The village of Seaton is pleasantly situated, about a mile and a half to the west of Seaham, and six miles south by west of Sunderland. Here is a station on the Sunderland and Hartlepool branch of the North-Eastern Railway. On the summit of the hill is the old mansion-house of the Middletons. It has been much altered and modernised at different times, but it still retains some traces of the old hall which was built in the seventeenth century.
"Seaham Harbour is a seaport, pleasantly situated on the margin of the German Ocean, where seventy years ago there was not a house or a path; and when it was proposed to create a port at the place, the project was treated as visionary and absurd. Seaham Harbour is connected by a railway with the principal collieries of the district; there is also a passenger and mineral line, connecting Seaham harbour with Sunderland, which was opened in 1855. The export trade is, however, almost exclusively confined to coal and glass bottles, which latter are manufactured here in enormous quantities. The chief imports are timber and silver sand. The principal industries are the extensive glass-works of Candlish & Son, which give employment to 500 hands, and produce 12,000,000 bottles annually, and theLondonderry Railway and Engineering works, which employ a considerable number of hands in the manufacture of locomotives, stationary engines, steam winches, boilers, &c. Iron-smelting and chemical-works formerly existed here, but these have now ceased working."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]
There is a pictorial site for Seaham Harbour Online called "County Durham's First Virtual Town".
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