Welcome to Durham University Library's North East Inheritance project, which is funding the creation of an online digital image catalogue of over 150,000 wills and related archives from across County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. These will provide an invaluable insight into north-eastern people and communities, their family relationships, trades and lifestyles. The wills date from the 16th Century to the mid-19th Century and many are accompanied by inventories of the goods belonging to the deceased, bonds, accounts, and a variety of associated documents.
Historians, genealogists, students and anyone interested in the history of the region and its people will be able to search the Durham probate records by name, place, occupation or date, and link to a comprehensive set of digital images of the actual wills themselves on the Genealogical Society of Utah's website. The project will also fund the conservation of the most fragile of the archives, and ensure their preservation for future generations. Access to both the catalogue and the digital images will be free and available worldwide. The catalogue will be completed and made available online in 2010.
North East Inheritance is funded by a £274,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This grant of £274,500 is matched by contributions from Durham University and by the English Record Collections Society, amounting to a further £141,250.