"The most northerly county of England. It lies next to Scotland, on the German Ocean, and is bounded by Durham and Cumberland. It extends about 70 miles in length, and 50 in breadth; and contains 12 market towns, and 460 parishes. The air is not so cold as might be imagined from the latitude in which it lies; and the snow seldom lies long in Northumberland, except on the tops of the hills, some of which are above 2000 feet high. The soil is various; the eastern part being fruitful, having very good wheat and most sorts of corn, with rich meadows on the banks of the rivers; but the western part is generally barren, it being mostly heathy and mountainous. It yields lead; and is one of the most productive and best coal-fields in England. Iron and glass-works are its principal manufactories; and it has some fisheries. This county is well watered by rivers, the principal of which are the Tyne, Tweed, and Coquet. Alnwick is the county-town, but the largest and richest is Newcastle. Population, 250,278. It returns 8 members to parliament." [From Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842]
The Northumberland and Durham Family History Society. (The society publishes a quarterly journal, and meets at Gateshead, Durham, Hexham, Newcastle, Fenwick, Blyth, South Shields, and Sunderland, and has a London Branch which meets at the Society of Genealogists.)
The Felton and Swarland Local History Society:- Membership enquiries should be sent to:- Mr David Bradbrook, 2 Kenmore Road, Swarland, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 9JS, United Kingdom.