Family History Service

Our team of volunteer researchers have, over many years, built up a large database of Weardale people. It includes information on some 70,000 individuals and 500 interconnected families. If your family has Weardale roots the Museum should be your first port of call and you could save many hours of research.

Although the database is not available online, our volunteer researchers are available to help you and conduct research on your behalf via our Research at a Distance service. See our guide below on using the service.

Our Areas of Research

Geneaology Database

The Family history database is a powerful resource containing information and relationships on over 60,000 people and 400 interconnected families.

Census Records

We have fully searchable transcripts of the complete censuses for the Parishes of Stanhope and Wolsingham from 1841 to 1911.

Parish Registers

We hold transcripts of many of the Parish Regisiters.These include baptismal, burial and marriage records taken from Parish and Non-Conformist Registers.

Wills & Deeds

We have a growing collection of copies and transcripts of wills and deeds of Weardale residents or of people with strong Weardale connections. 

Memorial Inscriptions

The inscriptions on all of the extant gravestones in almost every churchyard and cemetery in Weardale have been transcribed and indexed.

Stanhope Burials

We have a searchable transcript, in spreadsheet format, of the burial records of the municipal cemetery at High Street Stanhope.

Tithe Records

We have digitised versions a number of Tithe records dating from the 1840's. These include Stanhope and Wolsingham Parishes, in a searchable format.

Photographs & Postcards

The Weardale Museum has a collection of over 1000 old photographs and postcards donated by many friends. These are assembled in albums covering every village in the Dale.

Old Maps

In addition to the 1842 Tithe Map we have a large collection of digitised Ordnance Survey Maps from 1857 (First Edition) and 1899 (Second Edition) covering the whole area.

School Admissions

Our fully-searchable spreadsheet file is a transcript of the Admissions Register for Wearhead School up to 1912.

War Records and Memorials

We have compiled brief biographical files of these war heroes listed on the ten village war-memorials in Weardale. Records incorporate information of rank, regiment, next-of-kin, place of burial

Letters From Emigrants

We have collected together several series of letters from Weardale inhabitants who emigrated abroad to, such letters often paint a very vivid picture of life and conditions here or abroad.

Using the service

  1. To access the data in our resource, and listed in the links, you must either visit or contact the Museum. You can not view the data on the web.
  2. If you are unable to visit we can conduct a search for you via our Research From a Distance service.
  3. Our database and record files concentrate specifically on Weardale and, with minor exceptions, do not extend beyond the ancient parishes of Stanhope and Wolsingham.
  4. All of our staff are volunteers. To avoid a wasted journey we strongly advise that you make an appointment if you have not used the system before.
  5. We are grateful to the volunteers who have spent hundred of hours building this system for you to use and enjoy and to Durham County Record Office where many of the original sources are held.
  6. There is no formal charge but we appreciate donations which recognise the value of our contribution to your work.

Supporting the service

Your donations all go towards making the Museum sustainable. They also demonstrate that you value the many hours of work which our volunteers have done in collecting and putting together this resource for the benefit of our visitors.
There are a number of ways in which you can support and the work we do, please visit our Support page to find out more.

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