Family/Local History Enquiry?

If you have a question about your ancestors Stockton Reference Library’s team may be able to help you with your family history, or with your questions about the local area.

The Reference Library can provide free access to family history websites including Ancestry and Find My Past. We also hold church records for Stockton and the surrounding area, historical maps, local trade directories and electoral registers.

If you’re looking for a newspaper article – we have local newspapers as far back as 1855 which can be viewed on microfilm in our Family History Suite.

We provide one to one help sessions and also a free introductory family history course to help with your research.

Please visit the Reference Library within Stockton Central Library or contact us on 01642 528079 or email:

467 thoughts on “Family/Local History Enquiry?

  1. Would love any information of my Great Grandad Heritage, George Street in Thornaby. My Grandad John Thompson helped him in teaching children how to fish. I am told he had a great picture of my Great Grandad with all his trophies in his parlour on George Street


  2. Hi, I am looking for my family history, my ancestors were the Boundry family from 160 Norton Street, my nana Mary was the daughter of the family who lost their lives to the fatal bombing on 15 August 1941, I know my nana knew someone called Rose from that area as she took me to visit her but that’s all I remember, I would be really grateful if there is any more info on the family, I have the names of the names and DOB of the rest of the family but that’s all, thanks


      • Census records show that there were no members of the Boundry family living on Teesside in 1891, 1901, 1911 or 1939. The surname Boundry is unusual and quite rare, and appears to come from the south of England.


  3. Hi
    Two of my ancestors were born in the Mother and Baby unit on Windmill Terrace, Norton, in the early 1900s. Does anyone have any information about the home?


    • As Varo does appear to be a surname, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the name of a councillor/mayor/dignitary/notable person. I assume that’s where Skinner St. & Hutchinson St. get their names, among other suspects 🙂


  4. Anyone know, got photos of my dad from Mill Lane junior school, in the 50s. He was 12 in 1951.
    His name was George Bryan Broadbent, but went by Bryan all the time I knew him.


  5. I’m looking for information on a F Nagri who signed most of the children’s death certificates in 1965. My sister born 11 May 1965, died 26 July at 10 weeks and 5 days. The death certificate says 8 weeks. I though these were supposed to be accurate. But was told from London Head Medical that there was no registered registrar by the name Nagri in 1965, so I’m at a loss. Can anyone help?


  6. Vera Mcintyre worked for Hintons for many years at the Dovecot Street branch. She married a John Lenham in 1950 and there the story stops.

    Who were Vera and John, where did they come from and where did they go?


    • David, I have checked the register of births and cannot find any children born to Vera and John in the years immediately after their marriage. I have also found the death of a John Lenham (b.1928) who died in April 1954. He is buried in Oxbridge Lane cemetery. If that John was Vera’s husband, it might explain why you cannot find any trace of the couple after their marriage.


  7. I wonder if you can help me with a query about my Ripley ancestors in Stockton? The 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census shows them living in York Street, Stockton, near the town centre (no. 24 in 1851, no. 23 in 1861). Are there any old photos of York Street showing the street before the old houses were demolished? My great-great-grandfather John Ripley (1829-1898) spent his early life in Stockton, and served his apprenticeship as a bookbinder and machine ruler there, presumably in the 1840s. Any idea where he might have served his apprenticeship?

    Christopher Eva
    Lurøy, Norway


  8. John ‘Jacky’ Lenham (137620) served in WW1 with Machine Gun Corps and was promoted to Sgt. In WW2 he was Rgt Sgt Major with 8th Bn, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. In 1940 he was promoted to Lieutenant (QM). In 1941 he was transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps.
    Where and when was he born? Was it 1893 in Stockton? Is he related to the Lenham family in Stockton?


    • Hello,
      Searching through the World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards on Ancestry, I could only find one entry for a John Lenham who had served with the Machine Gun Corps. This John Lenham had the number 2667 whilst serving with the 5th Lancers and the number 41512 whilst serving with the Machine Gun Corps. His date of entry into war is given as 15 August 1914.

      I also found an entry for a John Lenham in the Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records which are available on Find My Past. The record provides the following information:

      ‘A’ No. – 7815838
      Date of Attestation: 18/04/1910 in Stockton-on-Tees
      Transferred from 5th Lancers on 19/01/1922
      Occupation on enlistment: Labourer
      Town/Parish: Parkfield, Stockton-on-Tees
      Spouse: May Gould, married 7/08/1919 in Rhyl, Flint
      Child: John Edgar, born 16/10/1925 in Cologne, Germany.
      Campaigns: The Great War, France 15/08/1914 to 6/12/1916, 12/03/1917 to 27/01/1919.
      It looks like John joined/transferred to the RE/Northumberland Fusiliers on 30/05/1939 and was sent to Edinburgh on 12/06/1939.

      Using this information, I have found the marriage parish record for John and May which showed John’s father to be Charles Lenham, a shipwright. From this I was able to find an entry for John and his father, Charles, on the 1901 census living at 24 Edwards Street, Stockton. John’s birth year is given as approximately 1893/1894. There is an entry on the birth index for a John Lenham registered in the September quarter of 1893 in the district of Stockton.

      Could this be the John ‘Jacky’ Lenham that you are looking for?

      If you would like a copy of any of the records that we have found please email Stockton Reference Library at

      Kind regards,


      • Thank you for this fascinating research, but I’m afraid he’s not related as far as I know to the Stockton Lenham’s. If I do find a link I’ll let you know.


  9. I would like to find a photo of my Dad Geoffrey Shaw who worked at Shaw’s cast steel foundry Middlesbrough and in the war commanded 608 squadron at Thornaby and my Godfather another Yorkshire man who commanded before him but then transferred to 609 at Yeadon aerodrome. They were both too old for flying Spitfires in the Battle of Britain but both joined the Auxiliary Airforce together when it was formed in 1924.

    Come WW2, Dad was awarded the DFC for some engagement over the N.Sea in an Anson, did time in the War office in London and then hunted U-boats in the Med with US Catalina aircraft. Godfather Geoffrey was given the “air security of Scotland “ by Churchill’s Air Minister Viscount Thurso, with no resources at all. He badgered the chain home radar people to extend coverage from coastal aerodromes in Norway to the Fleet anchorage in Scapa Flow and surveyed Spitfire landing sites midway between. He became Commandant of the Observer Corps and organised their effectiveness against low flying intruders and had regular contact with the Shetland Bus Co who smuggled agents in/out of Norway gathering Intelligence. When the Battle of Britain was won he got hold of spitfires flying the first from Eastleigh Southampton himself with the instruction book on his knee, worked out tactics against the Condor spy planes and taught his first pick pilot himself. He transferred to the RAF, did a stint at Bentley Priory and finished as an Air vice marshall.
    I think one or both were present when the king inspected 608 at Thornaby Many thanks if you can turn something up about that occasion.


    • Hello

      I have a couple of photos of Thornaby RAF Station taken in the late 1930s, one shows King George VI alighting from an aeroplane on his visit to RAF Thornaby, the other shows an aircrew.

      I have uploaded them to this location:-!Ajpj0BgkXQUQgzw9CkphA4CobzcQ?e=gXaf8H

      Feel free to download them.

      I have a few other photos of aircraft at the base during the 1930s.

      I also have a photo of the Shetland Bus Memorial in Alesund Norway, I took this in 2008 whilst visiting Norway. I am quite proud of this shot as it is one of very few that I have taken that was a competition winner.

      My Grandfather joined the fledgling RAF in 1924 and was discharged in 1937 and immediately re- joined and served through the war until his final discharge in 1945.

      I can be contacted at


      • Hello

        Many thanks for trying to send me your photographs, unfortunately I have made a mistake with my email address, this is it corrected.

        My grandfather served at RAF Thornaby in the early days of WWII and his daughter, my aunt, is interested in finding out as much as possible about his service record.


  10. My great grandfather James Arthur Shaw was buried in Oxbridge cemetery Stockton-on-Tees in or around December 1953 – any idea how I find his plot?


  11. I am researching my family history and I believe my Great Grandmother attended the people’s mission in Thornaby and possibly the missions sisterhood in the 1960’s /early 1970’s. Her name was Elizabeth (Betty) Bainbridge formally Wright and I believe she may have attended with her sister in law Dolly Wright / Bainbridge or Edie Wright/Bainbridge. I would be extremely grateful for any information you could provide.
    Kind regards.


    • Ancestry UK – Peter Gales Family Tree – Member: JanetGibson50

      Elizabeth Jane Wright
      born 03 Jun 1897 – died 3 May 1989 [Abbey Wood, Whinney Hill, Stockton on Tees]
      Percy Lancelot Bainbridge – married 1915
      born 17 Jun 1891 [Thornaby]
      died 25 Aug 1969 [Abbey Wood, Whinney Hill, Stockton-on-Tees]
      Dorothy Dennison – Dolly ?
      born 10 Mar 1887 [Stockton-on-Tees]
      died 06 Feb 1967 [35 Millbank Lane, Thornaby on Tees]
      William Alfred Bainbridge – married 1905
      born 22 Jan 1885 [Thornaby]
      died 25 Aug 1955 [Stockton & Thornaby Hospital, Stockton on Tees]

      1911 Census
      Father – George Wright b1865 [occupation – Waggon wright]
      Mother – Hannah Wright b1865
      Susanna Morgon Wright b1895
      Elizabeth Jane Wright
      Edith Wright b1901
      George Edward Wright b1903
      Millie Wright b1905


    • Hello Christine, thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately the Reference Library doesn’t hold any records for the People’s Mission, therefore we are unable to help you with this. You could contact North Yorkshire Record Office or Teesside Archives who may have some information.


    • Hello Christine. I was interested to see your post about your great grandmother attending the People’s Mission in Thornaby. Dolly Wright was my aunt – me and my siblings lived with her and uncle George from 1963. Edie was Elizabeths sister and there was also Millie.
      I have many fond memories of going to the Mission with Auntie Dolly on a Sunday and in school holidays during the week when the Sisterhood met. I also used to visit Lizzie – as she was known to us – at her little farm in Whinney Hill. Her husband was called Percy as was their son. I also remember a lady called Maureen but was never sure what relation she was to Lizzie. Hope this is of interest to you.

      Christine Mothersdale


      • Hi, Christine

        Yes this is my family that I’m looking into, Maureen was my mam. I would love to hear more of what you know.

        Thank you for your response.


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