Local Resources

This page is intended to give you a brief introduction to local family history resources. All these sites are accessible by car, but most are in city centres so parking may be difficult and expensive. Get in touch with All Your Ancestors and let us do the hard work and reduce your costs.


Check with their websites to see whether they hold the particular parish register or other archive you want before you travel, inquire whether you need to book a reader and know what you are looking for. Most of them have strange opening hours so check before you go or get in touch with All Your Ancestors.

Northumberland and Durham Family History Society

The Society, founded in 1975, promotes interest in family history amongst its members and the general public. It has an excellent Research Centre at Percy House, Newcastle Upon Tyne with a library and search room.

Their Library has transcriptions, pedigrees, publications, mining and shipping information – and quite a bit of stuff that you won’t find anywhere else.

Tyne and Wear Archive Services (TWAS)

Located in Newcastle upon Tyne holds documents relating to Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland, dating from the 12th to the 21st centuries.

The collection includes:

  • Local authority records such as minutes, building plans and school records
  • Hospital records
  • Photographs
  • Magistrates and other court records
  • Business records, especially those of important local industries such as shipbuilding, engineering and mining.
  • Church records including registers of baptisms, marriages and burials
  • Records of local organisations of all sizes
  • Private papers of individuals and families from all walks of life.
Northumberland Record Office

Located at Woodhorn Colliery museum and archive near Ashington. Excellent bus service to Ashington, but no service from there to Woodhorn. Their website advises either a taxi or a 15 minutes walk or why not contact All Your Ancestors and see what we can for you.

Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office

Located at Berwick-upon-Tweed and is branch of the then Northumberland County Archives Service. It holds records relating to the former Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed which extended from Berwick, south to Ellingham, west to Ingram and north to Carham on the River Tweed.

Durham Record Office

Durham County Record Office is the local authority archive service for County Durham and Darlington. It is located in County Hall, Durham City. Their archive collections span almost 900 years, from about 1122 to the present day,

They collect and preserve records of:

  • the present County Durham and Darlington
  • the historic county of Durham (before 1974) between the Rivers Tyne and Tees.

These are usually based at the main library in each local authority.

Newcastle city library

Located in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.  Has parish register transcripts for most of the Tyne valley. Established in 1884 it has the largest collection of local and family history material in the North East. They also collect current local material and index articles from newspapers about local people, places and events. Holds microfilms of local cemetery records. Has an extensive collection of local newspapers.  One of seven sites across England and Wales to offer a full set of records of the General Register Office Indexes which include a full set of records on births, marriages, deaths, civil partnerships, adoptions and overseas events. Over 6,500 historic photographs of Newcastle and the surrounding areas are online on Flickr.

North Tyneside library

Located at Northumberland Square, North Shields. Has census returns, parish and nonconformist registers, monumental inscriptions, the IGI and GRO indexes. Holds microfilms of the local newspapers (Shields Daily News, and Shields Daily Gazette).

South Tyneside library

Located at South Shields. Has census returns, parish and nonconformist registers, monumental inscriptions, the IGI and  GRO indexes. Has parish registers for all of South Shields including St Hilda's and Holy Trinity. Holds microfilms of the local newspapers.

Gateshead library

Located at  Prince Consort Road. A good collection of parish registers, census returns, monumental inscriptions and local photographs.

Durham County library

Located in Durham City Centre.

  • local studies collection containing over 11,000 books, pamphlets, newspaper cuttings, periodicals, articles and ephemera
  • family history resources including the IGI, the GRO index of births, marriages and deaths 1837-2004
  • County Durham census records 1841-1901
  • GRO Index
  • The Durham Advertiser 1814 to September 2001 (on microfilm)
  • Durham Chronicle 1820-1951
Morpeth library

Located at Morpeth. It has a large collection of maps including 25 inch Ordnance Survey Maps of Northumberland dating from the 1860s and some local parish registers. Also local newspapers on microfilm including:

  • Blyth Weekly News 1883 – 1896 (not 1895)
  • Morpeth & Blyth Echo Jan 1870 – Jan 1872
  • Morpeth Gazette Nov 1972 – 1984 and 1987 – April 1992
  • Morpeth Herald Nov 1854 – 1985 (not 1855), 1992 and July 1994 – present (not 1995)
  • News Post Leader 1987 – June 1995 (Blyth & Wansbeck Editions)

You can see a brief guide to the Local History holdings of Northumberland libraries here , including Morpeth Library.

Hexham library

Hexham Library is located within the Queen's Hall. It houses the Brough Local Studies Collection, the second largest local history collection in the county. Also local newspapers on microfilm including:

  • Haltwhistle Echo 1904 - 1930; 1946 - 1968
  • Hexham Courant 1864 - Current
  • Hexham Herald 1868 - 1922

You can see a brief guide to the Local History holdings of Northumberland libraries here , including Hexham Library.

Sunderland library

Located at Sunderland City centre. They have the Sunderland Echo from 1873 to date. They also hold some Seaham papers, the Seaham Observer from 1858 to 1870 and the Seaham Weekly News from 1860 to 1938.