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Each of the seven Fathers founded a house of Dwarves.
Durin’s house was called the Longbeards. His people were known as Durin’s folk.
According to the traditions of the Dwarves, he was set to sleep alone beneath Mount Gundabad in the north of the Misty Mountains, which remained a sacred place to them ever after. He awakened some time after the creation of the Elves in Y.T. 1050, and according to an early version of the story travelled great distances to other Dwarf kindreds, where other Dwarves joined him. He arrived at the Mirrormere, a lake in a valley below Caradhras in the Misty Mountains, and there founded what became the greatest and richest of the Mansions of the Dwarves: Khazad-dûm (Dwarrowdelf), afterward called Moria (meaning ‘Dark Chasm’ in Sindarin).
In the published version of the story, Durin died before the end of the First Age. An early version of Appendix B (“The Tale of Years”) had him leading Dwarves from the ruin of Beleriand to found Khazad-dûm at the beginning of the Second Age; but Tolkien abandoned that line.
After Durin died, Khazad-dûm was ruled by “many generations” of his descendants, until the Balrog appeared in Moria. In this long line, Tolkien writes, there appeared occasionally “an heir so like to his Forefather that he received the name of Durin.” More complete versions of the account of Durin’s Folk make clear that the later Durins appeared scattered amongst many generations. These six further Durins were believed by the Dwarves to be reincarnations (or even reanimations) of Durin I, with memories of his earlier lives.
In T.A. 2989, during the unsuccessful attempt to recolonize Moria, Balin’s party evidently found Durin’s Axe. Though not stated in the text, many have concluded that this was an heirloom lost when Durin VI was killed by the Balrog in T.A. 1981 (A helm is also mentioned, not identified in the text as Durin’s, from which some have conjectured “Durin’s Helm” as well.) The Axe was evidently lost again when Balin’s party was destroyed in T.A. 2994.