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The Weardale Museum
& High House Chapel

Ireshopeburn, Co. Durham, DL13 1HD

“Outstanding Volunteer Run Museum”

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Local NewspapersFamily Letters Emigrants

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.

Letters from Emigrant Families