Family History Notebook

John Swindel / Swindall
of Nether Warden

Ancestry untraced. Born before c1635


?Richard (m.1667 Hexham)

?Jane (m.1683 St John Lee)

?Robert (first definite child 1696 - Warden, died 1723/4 - Warden)
?Jane (m. 1701 Ryton)

Witnessed a marriage in Hexham in 1653 (as John Swindale) and is presumable the person who acted as godfather, also in Hexham, in 1677 (as John Swindel).

Descent untraced

PersonID 05000


1    John was almost certainly born before 1635 in view of his acting as a marriage witness in 1653. He could be significantly older, i.e. born 1620 or even 1610. Thus he could easily be the father of Richard Swindale who is first known from his marriage in 1667. On the other hand Richard could be a brother - or even no relation (unlikely).

A link between John and Robert seems almost certain in view of the Warden location. Robert could be born as late as 1675 and thus be a son or grandson.

The absence of any other Swindell (etc) in the 1664 Hearth Tax could suggest that John's was the only Swindell household in Northumberland in 1664 but the various exemptions and possible omissions n the record mean that this is by no means certain.

2   There is no record of the birth of Richard, Robert or either Jane. but registers for Warden are only available from 1695. Alternatively the whole family could have moved into the district.


1    Listed on the hearth tax register for 1664 (as John Swindall) in Nether Warden - not payable.

Hearth tax exemptions:

 "By the 1662 Act certain hearths were made not liable namely
a)    those in houses already exempt from paying local taxes to church and poor due to 'poverty or smallness of estate',
b)    and those in dwellings whose rentable value at market rates was 20 shillings a year or less and whose occupiers did not have or use any land or tenements of their own or others exceeding that value nor had any goods worth more than ten pounds. For those in this second category a certificate was required signed by the minister, and at least one of the churchwardens or overseers of the poor of their parish and certified by two justices.
c)    a third category of hearths in blowing houses, stamps, furnaces and kilns and those in hospitals or almshouses below a certain annual income was also exempted."

Those in category (a) were not listed; those on category (b) (or (c)?) were listed but no tax was required.

I have found no other Swindall, Swindale, Swindle &tc listed in Northumberland.

2    A lead mine that was worked in the Hawden* and Settlingstone's ground from 1687-1697 has been resumed within the last few years. ci
     * NW of Newborough Chapelry.
    The open or Town Fields within the Township of Netherwarden were divided by agreement dated 8 Dec 1701 and the division confirmed by by an award of Feb 2 1702. cii


a)    Hexham parish registers on microfilm at Morpeth Record Office - but the 'original' is a handwritten copy.

b)    I do not have a record of my original source for the Hearth Tax. I must assume it was a document at Morpeth Record Office. (?? Source? RO/E179/158/103?)

There is a series of extracts from the Northumberland Heath Tax of 1664 in the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society Journal in the 1980s. Nether Warden is Part VIII in Vol 11 no 4. (Winter 1986).
Parts I - XII do not contain any other Swindells (etc) but I do not know the coverage. Neither do I know whether this extract is for Michaelmas or Lady Day .

ci)    A History of Northumberland Pt II Vol II Rev John Hodgson 1896  p363
cii)   Ditto page 404