Author Topic: South Tyneside November 2017 Meeting Report  (Read 1018 times)

Offline Annf

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South Tyneside November 2017 Meeting Report
« on: November 24, 2017, 06:36:36 PM »
The speaker at the meeting held on 15th November was the Society's Vice Chairman Douglas Burdon who gave a comprehensive talk on the Durham Wills Project.

Douglas commenced by detailing how in 2006 Durham University, in collaboration with the Genealogical Society in Utah, had started to index the testators and scan the Probate Records held for Durham and Northumberland, excluding the peculiar Courts of Hexhamshire and Throcklington, for the period 1650-1858, a task which was finally completed in 2010.

These records are held at Palace Green Library, Durham, and include among other things Wills, Codicils, Will Executor Bonds, Administration Bonds, Affidavits, Renunciations and Inventories.  It was recognized by Douglas that these documents held a wealth of information for the Family Historian, and he illustrated his talk with examples such as the 1737 Will of Ann Clement which named 27 persons with 10 different surnames, none of whom had the name 'Clement', a letter from a sailor to his brother indicating he had been 'press ganged' into the Navy, an Affidavit signed by Church Wardens, and a Renunciation which named several children, 3 of the daughters having married.  Images of the Wills and related documents can be viewed on-line via a link from the University website

The Northumberland and Durham Family History Society have undertaken a project, the aim of which is to record all of the personal names mentioned in the 54,912 probate records between 1701 and 1858.  To date 6 Indexes have been completed, including Chester Ward East, which is the area from South Shields to Gateshead.  A further 7 Indexes remain to be transcribed and it is expected the Coquetdale Index will be finalised during December.  The completed Indexes can be purchased from the Society or they can be viewed at Percy House.