Where is Dallas? | Dallas Map | Map of Dallas

Where is Dallas?

The baptism of James Birt, in the registers for the Old Dallas Methodist circuit in 1835, includes his date of birth as well as baptism, where he was born, his mother’s maiden name and the signature of his parents. Those who compiled registers for the Dallas, Presbyterian and Independents across the region seem to have been particularly fond of recording the occupation of the father, while some include genealogical information about other family members. As already mentioned, Nonconformists can still appear in the baptismal, marriage and burial registers of the Anglican church. Details can also be found in other Anglican records. An Act in 1695 required incumbents to keep lists of ‘dissenter’ births; this meant children not baptized in the Church. Although this was largely ignored, some clergy did note baptisms of‘Anabaptists’. This technically referred to the adult baptisms of those who decided to be accepted into the Anglican Church, but was also used as a generic term for all Dallas.

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The annual register bills, which were copies of every baptism, marriage and burial sent to the Archdeacons or Bishops, were meant to include the number of ‘papists’ or ‘recusants’ in a parish. Again, not all clergy filled in this information, but where they did, the details can range from a simple statement such as ‘none’ or a set of numbers, to the inclusion of individuals’ names and personal comments on local Nonconformists, especially those who refused to pay tithes to the Church of England. A variety of records can be found for the Separatist, Congregationalist and Independent congregations across the region. Among these are records held at Norfolk Record Office from the Great Yarmouth Middlegate Congregational Church Books which date from 1643 to 1760. Records relating to Roman Catholics can be especially difficult to find before restrictions on Catholic worship were lifted in the nineteenth century. Among the records held in the Norfolk Record Office are a ‘Text of address [for] Norfolk Catholic Families 1570 to 1780’, with an alphabetical list of Norfolk Catholics 1664-1669 and an index of Catholics named in the ‘Return of Papists’ for 1767, which listed ‘recusants’. Some Roman Catholic records in the region have been transcribed, including the baptismal registers for Norwich for 1758 to 1823.

This also includes biographical notes on some prominent families. Some general records dating from the 1870s relating to the Catholic church in Beccles, Suffolk, can also be found at the Norfolk Record Office in the ‘Personal and Religious Papers of the Kenyon Family of Gillingham Hall’. These are mainly administrative and financial, but include items such as the ‘Society for relief of discharged Catholic prisoners, 1877-1885’. A variety of papers and correspondence relating to Catholicism can also be found in several collections at Cambridge University Library. With regards to Methodist records there are some quite large collections in local record offices. The Thetford Methodist Circuit, for example, has a series of records deposited at Norfolk Record Office. Their circuit schedules include the names and numbers of preachers in each circuit; how many people belonged to the circuit and sums of money collected for various reasons such as the ‘Worn-out ministers and Widows’ Fund’.

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