The probate catalogue of Durham University’s North East Inheritance (NEI) Project is now online. The project aims to put online wills proved and administrations granted in the Diocese of Durham (covering County Durham, Northumberland and parts of Cumberland and the North Riding of Yorkshire) up to 1858.
You can search the free probate catalogue at the NEI website. The NEI Project is funding the creation of an online digital image catalogue of over 150,000 wills and related archives.
The project team says: “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 FamilySearch website [although the images are not yet available]. 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.”