NORTHUMBRIA is a mailing list dedicated to the discussion of Genealogy and Local History in the counties of Northumberland and County Durham, England.
"Northumbria" was the name of an ancient Saxon kingdom which covered roughly the same area as the counties of Northumberland and County Durham or, more correctly, these two counties as they were before the local government re-organisation of 1974. Northumbria hasn't existed as an administrative entity for many centuries but the name is used by many organisations which serve the two counties, for example, the Northumbria Tourist Board and Northumbrian Water.
|Maps by Colin Hinson and Brian Pears|
Northumberland and County Durham are the two most northerly counties on the eastern side of England; Northumberland lying roughly between the River Tyne and the Scottish border, and County Durham between the rivers Tyne and Tees.
County Durham is the only county in Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) which has the word "County" in it's name - this is to avoid confusion between the county and the city of the same name. The terms "County Durham" (or "Co Durham") should be used if you mean the county, and "Durham" (or, better still, "Durham City") if you mean the city. The word "County" (or "Co") should never be used as part of the name of Northumberland.
The local government changes of 1974 resulted in the formation of two new counties within our area. These were "Tyne and Wear", which took in the urban areas of Northumberland and County Durham on both banks of the rivers Tyne and Wear, and Cleveland, which took in parts of County Durham and Yorkshire around the river Tees. Both counties have subsequently been abolished (Tyne & Wear in 1986 and Cleveland in 1996) and the Districts within them now have "county" status. The names of these Districts are "Newcastle-upon-Tyne", "North Tyneside", "Gateshead", "South Tyneside" and "Sunderland" (from the former county of Tyne and Wear), and "Hartlepool", "Stockton-on-Tees", "Middlesbrough"* and "Redcar and Cleveland"* (from the former county of Cleveland). In addition to these, in 1997 the Darlington District too was given county status. (* Not in the Northumbria Mailing List area.)
These independent Districts had only a single-tier of local government, in contrast to the rest of the "Northumbria" area which had two - a county council and a district council. Northumberland - the new smaller Northumberland which had lost its main urban areas to Tyne and Wear in 1974 - comprised the six districts of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnwick, Castle Morpeth, Wansbeck, Blyth Valley and Tynedale, each of which had a District Council providing some services, with Northumberland County Council providing the rest. The districts in County Durham - the new, smaller Co Durham - were Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Durham, Easington, Sedgefield, Wear Valley and Teesdale, and, of course, the county council was Durham County Council. In 2009 the six District Councils in Northumberland and the seven in County Durham were abolished and the two County Councils became Unitary Districts responsible for all services.
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Subject lines too should be brief but should be carefully chosen to indicate the nature and topic of the posting. If you are posting your surname interests, it is useful to put the surnames at the beginning of the subject line, preferably in upper case (capitalised).
Please note that (1) you can only post messages to the list from the e-mail address you used to subscribe to the list, and (2) you must not send subscribe or unsubscribe messages to the above address.
In addition to the above, our list owner has asked us not to send queries to individual list members. This was to address a continuing problem whereby certain list members, who regularly contribute their time and energy to answering member's queries, were receiving a large volume of personal e-mail from list members containing new queries or requests for additional information. Such queries or requests should always be sent to the mailing list and you should not expect a reply if you send them to an individual. Obviously, this does not apply in cases where list-members discover a common research interest and wish to continue their discussions by means of private e-mail messages.
Our joint listowners are Fiona Mitford who can be contacted at:
And Brian Pears who can be contacted at:
Please contact Fiona or Brian if you have problems relating to the NORTHUMBRIA mailing list.
Many areas now have mailing lists dedicated to genealogy and local history.
For details of mailing lists serving other parts of the British Isles see:
and for mailing lists serving other parts of the world see:
The Northumberland and Durham Family History Society covers the same area as the NORTHUMBRIA Mailing List. For further information see:
For those with a particular interest in the southern part of County Durham might also find the Cleveland, North Yorkshire and South Durham Family History Society of value. For details see:
For details of family history societies serving other parts of the British Isles see:
The definitive Internet resource for genealogy in the British Isles is GENUKI - the United Kingdon and Ireland Genealogy Information Service. The home page of this service is at http://www.genuki.org.uk/ and information of value to Northumberland and County Durham researchers can be found on this page and on the British Isles (http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/ ) and England ( http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/) pages. However, of particular value to our list members are the County Durham pages at:
and the Northumberland pages at:
These pages contain information relating to each county as a whole and subsidiary pages give information relating to individual parishes within the counties. There are also links to many other genealogy resources relating to the two counties.
You can search the GENUKI pages relating to Northumberland and Co Durham:
The following resources will also be of interest (links to these can also be found on the GENUKI pages mentioned above).
Yes, there are two ways to access messages that have been posted to the list:
- Threaded Archives:
- Searchable Archives: