Tag Archives: burial

Carved in stone, but that doesn’t make it correct

24 Dec

On Monday I wrote about John FAIRS, my 4x great-grandfather. I mentioned that his headstone records that he died on the 11th March 1846 and that the parish register recorded that he was buried on the same day.

I was rather suspicious of this, it seemed plausible that he died and was buried on the same day but it seemed unlikely and incredibly efficient of all the people involved, including the people who had to dig the grave.

A much more likely explanation was that one of the records was wrong, either the wrong date had been carved on the headstone or the officiating minister had recorded the wrong date in the burial register.

Given that John died aged only 41 years I felt that there could be an interesting story behind his death, so I decided it would be worth ordering a copy of his death certificate. I was astonished to receive the certificate in the post today, having only ordered it on Monday evening (excellent service from the GRO and the Royal Mail).

The certificate revealed the truth, John FAIRS died on the 7th March 1846 not the 11th March, so the inscription on his headstone is wrong.

Disappointingly the cause of death was not very exciting, the cause given is “Acute Gastritis 48 hours” according to Wikipedia Gastritis is “an inflammation of the lining of the stomach”. Not particularly exciting or unusual, Wikipedia does also say that “the main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption”, so maybe it was alcohol that caused his premature death?

Regardless of the cause of his death, this story does prove one thing, even if it is carved in stone it is not necessarily true.

NEWS: London’s largest cemetery now on Deceased Online

6 Dec

Deceased Online have added another 575,000 London burial and cremation records to their website, taking the total number of London records available on their site to over 1.1 million.

This latest batch of records date from 1854 and come from the St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery in north London. This cemetery covers the boroughs of Islington and Camden and according to the site is the largest single cemetery in London. The cemetery has its own entry on Wikipedia which provides a some basic details on the history of the cemetery and some of its famous residents.

According to the press release not all the records are on the site yet, “of the 800,000 burial records, approximately 70% of these are available immediately with the remainder to be uploaded within the next 3 to 4 months. The 575,000 records currently available comprise nearly 362,000 for the Islington section between 1854 and 1945 and the remaining 213,000 for the St Pancras section are for 1854 to 1898, and 1905 to 1911. Also available now are 46,500 records from Islington Crematorium which date back to 1937. The 8,500 most recent cremation records will be added in the next few months, together with the remaining cemetery records.

Not only will the remaining burial records be uploaded, but in the next few months “maps of areas in the cemetery indicating grave locations will be uploaded together with photographs of many notable memorials and headstones.”

Deceased Online is a perfect complement to the National Burial Index CD (from the Federation of Family History Services), together they provide a pair of essential resources for locating the burial place of UK individuals, especially as Deceased Online continues to expand covering more of the country. Sadly I don’t think I have any relations in this cemetery, but with such a large number of records you never know who you might find waiting to be discovered.

More dead Londoners on Deceased Online

20 Aug

The UK pay-per-view website Deceased Online have announced the addition of almost 100,000 more burial records from South London. This latest update features four cemeteries from the London Borough of Merton, and includes burial records dating from 1883 up to the beginning of 2010 (although dates vary for each cemetery).

According to their website the cemeteries added are:

  • Church Road Cemetery (also known as St Peter’s & St Paul’s Cemetery), Church Road, Mitcham, Surrey
  • Gap Road Cemetery (also known as Wimbledon Cemetery), Gap Road, Wimbledon, London
  • London Road Cemetery (also known as Figge’s Marsh Cemetery), London Road, Mitcham, Surrey
  • Merton & Sutton Joint Cemetery (also known as Garth Road Cemetery), Garth Road, Morden, Surrey

The London Borough of Merton joins the boroughs of Brent, Havering, Islington and Camden in having records available on the website. It is not just about London though, there are records from across the UK, the most relevant for me being the Kent and Sussex Crematorium.

You can find a complete list of all the cemeteries and crematoria already included on Deceased Online at their website, they are also busy “digitising nearly two million burial and cremation records to add to our database, from 15 burial and cremation authorities around the UK”. There has never been a better time to look for dead people!

If not Hailsham, then where? The missing burial of Jane GEERING

3 Jul

You may remember me writing about Jane GEERING before, she was my 5x great-aunt who was found drowned in the Common Pond, Hailsham, Sussex.

I know quite a bit about her death, from the reports in the local newspapers and her death certificate, but I did not know where she was buried. I had checked the transcripts of the parish registers for the church at Hailsham, and she hadn’t been buried in the churchyard there (and I have checked the original registers now).

I wasn’t entirely surprised, she died in 1874, two years after the cemetery at Hailsham was opened, and the fact that she probably committed suicide all pointed to the fact that she would have been buried in the cemetery. Of course if it was that straight forward I wouldn’t be writing this post.

I have checked the transcript of burials for the cemetery and she is not listed in there either. I know it is only a transcript, but it looks accurate. The entry numbers from the burial register have also been transcribed, so they haven’t missed an entry, and there is nothing like the name Jane GEERING, so I don’t doubt that she is not in the register.

Perhaps she was buried in the church or cemetery and it was not recorded in the appropriate register, but this seems unlikely. It seems more likely that she was buried somewhere else, but where?

The only other option I can think of is Lewes, Sussex. Her closest relatives, her nieces and nephews were living in Lewes, but I can’t imagine why they would go to the expense of having her body transported to Lewes for burial.

Deceased Online just keeps on growing

15 Jun

Deceased Online is steadily growing into one of the major online databases for UK researchers. They estimate that by the end of this year they will have a massive 4 million burial and cremation records on the site, and that will increase to 10 million by the end of 2011.

The total currently available is being boosted this month by the addition of approximately 250,000 new records from four areas. According their press release, the four new areas are:

  • City of Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Salcombe, Devon, England
  • Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
  • London Borough of Brent, England

Visit the website (www.deceasedonline.com) and check the exact details for coverage of cemeteries and crematoria in each area (links are at the bottom right-hand corner of their home page), as all these areas cover more than one cemetery or crematoria and the one you are after may not have been uploaded yet, so keep checking back.

The website works on a pay-per-view system, although searching is free (and a subscription package is apparently in the pipeline). The type of record found can vary from a scan of the burial register to transcription and you may even be able to get a plan of the burial location or an image of the memorial. The number of credits needed varies accordingly, full details are again on their website.

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