Family History

Find your roots in the North East of England

There is a growing interest in family history. Many people around the UK and indeed the world can trace their family origins to the North East of England.

Researching your family history starts, of course, with collecting as much information as you can from living relatives, and building up a family tree starting from yourself and immediate family. Include birth or baptism dates, marriages and details of deaths or burials.

If you have family roots in the North East of England, we hope this page will help you take your search a stage further. And once you have done your research you will probably wish to visit places associated with your family history, including parish churches. If your family place names are not found in this Spirit in Stone website, try looking at www.achurchnearyou.com.

A big part of your research will be to explore Parish registers. Many registers have been microfilmed and several have been transcribed and indexed. Information about the family history records in Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn and Durham County Record Office, include Church of England parish registers dating back to the 16th century and nonconformist church registers, plus links to all the main sources used by family historians, including wills, census and birth, marriage and death records.

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    Holy Trinity at Matfen

    A beautiful 19th-century church with a fine spire, a lovely atmosphere and a beautiful churchyard.

    Exterior of St Mary's at Etal

    Set in the grounds of Etal Manor, this church (designed by William Butterfield) was built 1856-58 by Lady Augusta FitzClarence as a burial place for her husband Lord Frederick (one of the illegitimate sons of King William IV ).

    Holy Trinity at Horsley

    Built in 1844 by 2nd Lord Redesdale - architects J & B Green. Important estate church with strong links to the Mitford family.

    St Michaels Church in Alnwick

    Spacious perpendicular style church with many medieval features, e.g., Hotspur pillar. 1464 charter of Henry VI that two 'burgesses' of Alnwick rebuilt their church. Patronage of Dukes of Northumberland; Percy connection.

    Listed 18th Century Tombstone

    Visitors, sometime from as far away as Australia and the USA have described the church in the visitors book as ‘impressive’ and ‘lovely; they admire the particular peaceful quality of the building.

    St Paul's Exterior

    Tranquil ancient sacred space and historically important Flodden Battlefield church.

    Church Exterior

    A Chapel of Ease built in 1786. Has a wonderful window commemorating the work people who died while the Catcleugh dam was built from 1894-1905.

    St Mary's at Stamfordham

    A stunning Grade 1 listed church with Saxon origins. Lots of fascinating ancient monuments and a beautiful churchyard.

    Outside St Cuthberts Church in Norham

    Described by Simon Jenkins in his "England's Thousand Best Churches" as a "mini-Durham Cathedral".

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