Northumberland’s proximity to Scotland, as a site for border wars, reivers’ raids and rebellions, means that the county’s breathtaking landscape is peppered with fortified farm houses.

For family historians on the hunt, there are numerous archives that may hold material relating to your kin. For that reason local expertise is invaluable, so the website of the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society may prove a useful starting point. You can also try the following websites to find free Northumberland family history records online:

Northumberland family history: The best websites

1. FamilySearch

FamilySearch Northumberland family history

Highlights on FamilySearch include images of Bishops’ Transcripts from parishes in Durham, Northumberland, and parts of Cumberland and York (1639–1919).

2. FreeREG

FreeREG Northumberland family history

FreeREG has more than 1.2 million records for Northumberland, including over 617,300 baptisms.

3. North East Inheritance

North East Inheritance Northumberland family history

This Durham University project has created a digital-image catalogue of more than 150,000 wills and related archives from the region.

4. North East War Memorials Project

North East War Memorials Project Northumberland family history

This website is the result of a project that aims to record every war memorial located between the River Tweed and River Tees.

5. University of Leicester Special Collections Online

Trade directories Northumberland family history

Trade directories are a great way of tracing your family history. This University of Leicester website has historical trade directories from Northumberland.

Jonathan Scott is the author of A Dictionary of Family History