Working my way through the parish register of Burton Agnes at the East Yorkshire Archives in Beverley this week, I came across a couple of entries that provided a lot more information than the usual entries up to that point had. These were all signed by William Dade Rector of Barmston, two baptisms in October 1784, three burials Oct-Dec 1784 and a marriage on the 6 October 1784. I smiled to myself as I had come across ‘Dade’ register entries before and you’re always lucky when you find one as the information provided can take you back another generation, and often point to a different parish. I wondered what William Dade Rector of Barmston (near Bridlington) was doing in Burton Agnes that winter of 1784. The answer lies in the fact that William’s brother Thomas had lately been made Vicar of Burton Agnes and both the brothers had been born there, their father Thomas Dade (1718 – 1759) having been Vicar of Burton Agnes himself. I can only assume William was looking after the parish for his brother until he could move from his previous parish of Middleton in Teesdale to take up his duties in Burton Agnes.
William himself was not only Rector of Barmston (1776 – 1790), but of St Mary Castlegate York (1773- 1790), and also of St Michael-in-Spurriergate (1773); he was also the Vicar of Ulrome (not far from the parish of Barmston). In the 1770s Dade began recording information not only on the child he was baptising, but the father’s name, his parents name and their abode as well as their occupations and the same information for the mother. A full Dade entry looks like this:
St Mary, Castlegate, York
29 September 1774 – Archibald 1st born James Christie, Cornet in the Royal North British Dragoons eldest son Archibald Christie of Inveresk in North Britain by Ann his wf, Sister to Sir Alexander Gordon & Lucy, 6th daughter John Beardsley of Warwick, Attorney at Law dec by Mary Neale his wf, born Sept 24
So much information contained in one baptism entry, we have Archibald and his parents James & Lucy, his paternal grandparents Archibald Christie and Ann Gordon (whose brother Alexander is also mentioned) and his maternal grandparents John Beardsley and Mary Neale. Not only that we know that his paternal grandfather is from Inveresk in North Britain (i.e Scotland) and his maternal grandfather was an attorney at law. What a goldmine for any Christie researcher out there.
Another entry from the same page in the register reads:
21 November 1774 – Charity d John Hodgson of Lutton near Malton Lab, s Thomas Hodgson Weaver dec and Mary (d Richard Beeles of Hunkleby near Pocklington, a weaver) now pris in the Castle, b Nov 16 in the Castle
You have to wonder what John Hodgson had done to get him and his wife Mary incarcerated in the Castle that their daughter Charity was born there. We learn that John is a labourer of Lutton near Malton, his father Thomas is a weaver, his wife’s maiden name was Beeles and her father is from Hunkleby near Pocklington and he too is a weaver. Again by finding the baptism of Charity we find her paternal and maternal grandparents. (Addendum Quarter Sessions for East Riding shows a Mary Hodgson of Lutton wife of John Hodgson of Weaverthorpe labourer, accused of theft of linen cloth at Weaverthorpe, which is a mile down the road from Lutton. QSF/254/B/3 c1771 So it looks like it was Mary who was incarcerated in the Castle).
In 1777, the Archbishop of York William Markham decided that all parishes within the Diocese of York should follow Dade’s example and many parish priests took up this idea and began to keep registers that, if they didn’t exactly follow Dade’s example, came quite close to it. Many clergymen though resented the extra work and the Archbishop made it clear that he wouldn’t punish any man who didn’t comply with his decision. I have come across examples of Dade type registers in my researches and these include the following examples:
Thomas 2nd son of Robert & Ann Watson Daughter of Charles & Elizabeth Cawkwell baptised at Thorne in February 1806
Here Ann’s parents are mentioned as Charles & Elizabeth Cawkwell, no mention is made of their occupation or of Robert’s parents, but from this I was able to find Robert Watson marrying Ann Cawkwell in 1803, I also know I need to go back in the baptism registers as Thomas was the second son of Robert & Ann.
Dinah daughter of Leonard Hunter, Miller and Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Thompson baptised at Pocklington 6 November 1794
This one is a lucky one for me, Dinah was the only child born in Pocklington, I managed to trace Leonard to York where Dinah’s siblings had all been born. Finding this baptism broke a brick wall of several years standing, proved her last name was Hunter and took me back two further generations. Though it doesn’t name Leonard’s parents, it gives his wife’s parents names and from that I was able to find Elizabeth’s baptism in 1749 in St Maurice’s, York.
However with the introduction of Rose’s Act in 1812, Dade registers came to an end, though some continued on for a little while afterwards, they soon died out.
William’s brother Thomas Dade who was Vicar of Burton Agnes for over 20 years was obviously not a follower of his brother’s ideals, his entries in the parish register of Burton Agnes are brief to say the least! I can’t help but wonder if this caused a few discussions between the brothers as to which was the best way to record the information of these life events.
William Dade died at Barmston in 1790 at the age of 50. As well as his work as a clergyman, Dade was an Antiquarian, and in 1783, he had been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and he was working on a folio of the History and Antiquities of Holderness which he never completed before his death; this was considerably reworked and published later by George Poulson an historian in Beverley. Another project which he was working on was that of an “Alphabetical Register of Marriages, Births and Burials of considerable Persons in the County of York” in several volumes, I’m not sure if this was published. Obviously Dade himself had an interest in genealogy which would help to explain his interest in preserving family information for generations to come.
So if your family history journey takes you to Yorkshire and you are lucky enough to find yourself faced with an entry with extra information, then you can thank this eighteenth century antiquarian with an interest in genealogy. I know I do.