Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy



“A county of England lying on the German Ocean, and bounded by Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Yorkshire.

It is about 40 miles in length and 30 in breadth, and contains 1 city, 8 market towns, and 113 parishes. It is hilly, and some points are nearly 2000 feet high. There are wide moors amongst the hills, and other tracts completely uncultivated. There are some islands on the coast, Holy Island being the largest. The coast is cliffy in some parts; other parts are shelving sands.

The principal rivers are the Wear, the Tees, the Tyne, and the Derwent. Coal, iron, lead, mill-stone grit, limestone, &c.;, are found here abundantly. The east and south parts of the county are fruitful in corn and pasture, and have a milder air than the other parts. It sends to other parts of the United Kingdom, and to foreign countries, both its native productions, and the goods it manufactures, such as coarse woolen goods, sail-cloth, steel, glass, iron, &c.; &c.; This county was formerly under the special jurisdiction of the bishop of Durham as a Prince Palatine, but in 1836 the palatinate was vested in the crown. Population, 342,284. It returns 10 members to Parliament.”

[From Barclay’s Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842]

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