Person:Dorothy Burn (1)

Dorothy Burn
d.3 May 1976
m. 16 Dec 1896
  1. Dorothy Burn1897 - 1976
  2. Thomas Reuben Whitfield Burn1899 - 1985
  3. Mary Annie Burn1901 - Abt 1980
  4. Frances Elizabeth Burn1903 - 1955
  5. James Burn1910 - Abt 1980
m. 19 Jan 1922
  1. John Tindale1922 - 1988
  2. James Tindale1926 - Abt 1995
Facts and Events
Name Dorothy Burn
Gender Female
Birth[1][2][3] 24 Apr 1897 Gateshead, Co. Durham, England
Marriage 19 Jan 1922 Gateshead, Co. Durham, Englandto Joseph Wordsworth Tindale
Residence[1] 1939 Whickham, Durham, England41 Poplar Crescent
Death[3] 3 May 1976

About Dorothy Burn

Dorothy Burn was born on 24 April 1897 in Gateshead, County Durham, England.[1][2][3] 1939 register gives November as birth month, Potts trust gives 24 April 1897 as does death record.

In 1901, age 3 she lived with her parents and two younger siblings, Thomas age 2 and Mary Ann 1 month old, at 8a, Athol Street, Whickham, Dunston, Gateshead.[4]

By 1911 the family had moved to Flour Mill Cottage, Dunston, where her father worked, there were three more siblings, of the six children born all six were still living.[5]
Three Burn sisters

Dorothy Burn was the eldest of six children born to Thomas and Mary Anne Burn. When she was 18, Dorothy went to work as a short-hand typist and clerk at the Vickers Armstrong munitions factory. During World War I (1914 - 1918) she joined the women’s voluntary army corps. She married Joseph Tindale when she was 24, on the 19th of January 1922 in Gateshead.[6] Their first son John was born soon afterwards, followed by his brother James, three and a half years later.

Dorothy was a religious woman and attended Dunston Christ Church where she met up with her mother and sisters on Sunday mornings. She also had a keen interest in Spiritualism and attended meetings with her husband Joe at the Spritualist Church on Market Road in Dunston. From the letters that she wrote to her son John when he living in London at the beginning of the war in 1939 and 1940, it is apparent that her belief in spiritism played a vital part in their lives..

12 January 1940

“ . . he probably has not had the same chance as you of viewing religion from more than one angle. When I was your age I studied it very diligently but I realise now that I didn’t get very far nor did I ever get the calm certainty about the continuation of life that I have now. Just keep on attending Bible Class and any other religious meetings that you feel like going to, you are touching spiritual influences all the time and keeping touch with the spirit forces . . .” 21 February 1940

“ Writing about China has reminded me that about 2 or 3 weeks ago, oh! it was last nightshift week (2 weeks ago) after I’d got into bed I “saw” a Chinese boy about your age. He was a student and was standing in the grounds of a college. He seemed a very nice boy or young man and he just stood as though seeking my approval. I got no message from him but I feel that he will help you and be a good guide for you. Then 2 nights later I saw a Scotch boy about the same age. He was in kilts but I didn’t see the colour. He just smiled as much as to say I am another of John’s guides. ” 17 April 1940

“Dad and I were at Swalwell meeting on Sunday night and after the meeting I gave two very good tests. I was delighted with my guides and myself because I thought I was losing my mediumship. We are going to take it seriously again and make another start.” 26 May 1940

“Dad and I went to Rye Hill Spiritualist Church last night . . . we went in and it was an open circle . . . Dad gave 2 or 3 tests and I gave 2. They were recognised and were good tests . . . . It was past midnight when we got home again. We could have stayed longer as the power was very strong but Dad had to be up at 6.30 for work. We got some marvellous evidence and absolute proofs of spirit return. . . I gave to Mr. Dickenson a full name of a man who had been killed on a bike and other names connected to him. Dad was describing a symbol (a mason sign) and I got the name Thomas with it. They couldn’t place Thomas in that connection. Then Dad described the man who came with it and Mr. Dixon knew him and said “That’s Thomas”. Then I got the name ‘Thomas Henry’ and the men both said “That’s right”.... It was a grand experience for us all: We gave other people messages and they were all pleased and Mrs. Dickenson, who was sitting between Dad and me, said she could still feel the power when we were getting ready for home.”

Dorothy was sixty seven when Joe died in October of 1964. She died 12 years later at the age of seventy-nine on 3 May 1976 in Gateshead, County Durham.[3] There had been some dispute about spiritism with her sister Mary many years earlier and they did not have much contact for several decades despite living very close to each other, although Mary named her oldest daughter Dorothy.

Note: The interest in spiritism (usually referred to as spiritualism) was common in England during the time Dorothy was an active medium. There were several small spiritualist “churches” or meeting places throughout Durham and Northumberland.

With thanks to Pauline Gashinski for background information.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 General Register Office. 1939 Register
    RG101/2827G/023/13 Letter Code: FGNL, 29 September 1939.
  2. 2.0 2.1 General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Birth Index. (London, United Kingdom: General Register Office, 1837-Present)
    Gateshead 10A 989, June 1897.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index. (London, United Kingdom: General Register Office, 1837-Present)
    GATESHEAD Volume 2 Page 0233, Jun 1976.
  4. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). England and Wales. 1901 Census Schedules: also for the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    RG13 Piece: 4762 Folio: 66 Page: 35, 1901.
  5. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). 1911 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    RG14PN30498 RG78PN1749 RD557 SD3 ED3 SN370 , 1911.
  6. General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Marriage Index. (London, England: General Register Office, 1837-Present)
    Gateshead 10A 1297, Mar 1922.