The Weardale Museum


Hotts, Ireshopeburn, Bishop Auckland, DL13 1HD

01388 517433

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Wills and Deeds.

Information about the resources for which we hold data

A unique and powerful family history resource  


containing over 60,000 individuals, from some 300 Weardale families,


whose relationships can be displayed as ancestor charts or descendant trees.

Genealogy Database Census Records Memorial Inscriptions Parish Registers Stanhope Burials Tithe Records Old Maps School Admissions War Records & Memorials Wills and Deeds Letters from Emigrants Photographs & Postcards Genealogies Newspaper Cuttings Research from a Distance Back to Family History

Contacts for our genealogy support:

Ken Heatherington



[email protected]


Ken takes the lead on developing the Weardale Museum resources.



Eric Draper



[email protected]


Eric provides research for the Weardale resources and additionally will help people with family history enquiries not related to Weardale.



David Heatherington (01388)517433)



[email protected]


David curates the Museum but is available to support family history enquiries.

Donate with a Gift Aid Form



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


There are currently over 1600 images of wills, ranging in date from 1569 to 1974, of which over 1000 have been fully transcribed.


We have started a project to transcribe Weardale wills for the period 1650 to 1858, using images of the original wills which have recently been made available on the internet, via the Northeast Inheritance Project of Durham University.




We have collected several sets of deeds outlining the transfers of land and property within and between families, in some cases over several centuries.



Most are concerned with land in and around the Westgate area, and in that respect can be regarded as following on from the deeds and other documents contained in the famous “Weardale Chest”, the subject of one of the museum’s displays.

Links to other sites The Weardale Museum has transcriptions of wills and deeds