Throughout the 19th century large numbers of Weardale inhabitants were forced to move to seek employment elsewhere, and many adventurous families chose to emigrate. When this happened, letters would be exchanged between the émigrés and those they left behind, and such letters often paint a very vivid picture of life and conditions here or abroad.
We have collected together several series of such letters, of which the following are a selection:
- Dent family letters from Australia and from USA
- Fenwick family letters from USA
- Graham family letters to USA
- Nattrass family letters to Canada
- Ridley family letters from Australia
- Robinson family letters from South Africa
- Vickers family letters to USA
- Watson family letters to and from USA, Australia and South Africa
The letters naturally enough give news of the close family members, but very often also mention friends, neighbours and the wider community.