Grave removal records join Deceased Online

By Jon Bauckham, 17 October 2013 - 4:16pm

Deceased Online has digitised and uploaded more than 100,000 unique records held at The National Archives, offering crucial details about graves that have long since disappeared or relocated

Thursday 17 October 2013
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Fully searchable, the dataset provides details concerning thousands of lost graves, including those from Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and Quaker burial grounds across England and Wales

More than 100,000 new records have been added to Deceased Online, giving researchers the chance to discover details of graves that have long since disappeared or relocated.

Digitised from paper copies of local authority and Church Commissioner records held at The National Archives, the collection covers more than 200 closed burial grounds across England and Wales.

Searchable by details such as name and year, the records can reveal crucial information about an ancestor’s grave, including date of death, burial location and even the condition of the headstone at the time the report was made.

The documents were compiled after recommendations from the Attorney General in 1911 that notes should be made of all grave removals, including transcriptions of memorials and headstones.

This followed several decades of burial ground closures, mainly due to overcrowding and urban expansion. As a result, many bodies were removed and reinterred at newer municipal cemeteries in the suburbs or countryside.

Although the records themselves were created between 1923 and 1997, they can offer clues about lost graves dating back to the 17th century, for which no other information survives.

“These records not only cover a wide area but are probably the only way of tracing many of these people to a location,” says Deceased Online’s Richard Gray.

“In addition, the records often include details of other people buried in the same grave, which can provide the names of other family members.”

Approximately 105,000 burial records have already been added to Deceased Online. However, the complete dataset – a total of 175,000 burial records – will be made available from Friday 25 October.
 

take it further

► Explore the records at deceasedonline.com

 

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