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Showing posts from 2012

Pretoria Pit Disaster 1910

Today marks the 102nd anniversary of Britain’s third worst mining disaster, which took place on 21st December 1910 in the parish of Westhoughton, around five miles from Bolton, Lancashire.
Four days before Christmas, on Wednesday 21st December 1910, 889 miners arrived for work at the No. 3 and 4 Bank Pit of the Hulton Colliery Company in Westhoughton. Known as the Pretoria Pit, the mine operated five seams. No 3 Pit worked the Plodder, Yard and Three Quarters Mines. No 4 Pit worked the Trencherbone, Three Quarters and Arley Mines, and was connected to the No 3 shaft at the level of the Yard Mine. At 7.50 a.m. a huge explosion swept through the Yard Mine, killing all but two of the men and boys who were working there. The shaft to No 4 and ventilation fans were damaged, causing access problems and danger of gas. There were only two survivors in the Yard Mine, Joe Staveley and William Davenport, who were found alive by the rescue team.
In the wake of the blast, afterdamp, a toxic mixtur…

J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)

New Scottish data from Angus and Dundee on Deceased Online
With only two weeks to go until Christmas Day, we're feeling festive at Deceased Online. We're looking forward to turkey, crackers, putting up our Christmas trees and booking our pantomime tickets. Our favourite pantomime has to be Peter Pan, and we are very proud that the celebrated author of the original story, J. M. Barrie, is in our main records from Angus Council (click here for details). We have also just added a new range of Headstone Collections, that include 31 burial sites in the Angus region (click here to view) togeher with 6 cemeteries in Dundee City.
The administrative area of Angus Council is located on the North East coast of Scotland bordered by the city of Dundee to the south, Perth and Kinross to the west and Aberdeenshire immediately to the north. In this Headstone Collection, there are 34,000 recorded names available to search. With the main Angus Council data, the website now includes records for 85…

WDYTYA? Live 2013

Deceased Online is coming to Who Do You Think You Are? Live!
Like many of you, here at Deceased Online (DOL) we are getting ourselves ready for next year’s WDYTYA? Live event at London’s Olympia. From Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February, we will be exhibiting on Stand Number 924 at the world’s biggest family history show. There will be numerous demonstration computers with our friendly team showing visitors how to get the best from DOL and other special features.

2013’s show looks to be the best yet, with an even bigger Military Pavilion and Photography Gallery, fantastic speakers and celebrities from the TV series, DNA advice, workshops, SOG Family History Show, Heirloom Detective, and Ask the Experts. 
This will be our fourth year at the show and we’ll be revealing even more exciting new features and records on the Deceased Online database Visitors to our stand in previous years will know that we’re one of the busiest at the show, so there will be plenty of enthusiastic staff to hel…

The Warburtons of Bolton

This week, we uploaded burial records for Astley Bridge and Blackrod Cemeteries to the Deceased Online database. To mark the occasion, we look at Henry Warburton and discover what he owed to the humble loaf of bread.
On 9September 1936, 71 year old Henry Warburton was buried at Astley Bridge Cemetery in Bolton, Lancashire. A true son of Bolton, his pall bearers were playing staff from the local football team, Bolton Wanderers FC. When his probate was granted in London a few months later, on 25 January 1937, his estate was revealed to be worth a vast £29,875.
This was some way from Henry's origins, being born in 1865 as the son of a cotton waste dealer in Kestor Street. But his good fortune was to begin in 1876, when he was just 11 years old. It was then that Henry's uncle, Thomas Warburton (1837-1909) set up his eponymous bakery business. His plan was simple: "This is a family company selling traditionally baked bread with freshness and quality you can really taste,&quo…

Kildalton Kirkyard, Isle of Islay

Newly added data increases Deceased Online's Scottish database to nearly 200 cemeteries and burial grounds

In a joint project with Scottish Monumental Inscriptions (SMI) we have uploaded monumental inscriptions together with photographs (of headstones dating back to 1632) for 13 cemeteries and burial grounds as indicated below:

SITE NAME EARLIEST READABLE YEAR New Calton Burial Ground, Edinburgh 1746 Invergarry Cemetery, Highlands 1957 Cromdale and Advie, Morayshire 1768 Old Monklands Cemetery, North Lanarkshire 1632 Biggar Churchyard and Cemetery, South Lanarkshire 1700 Larkhall, South Lanarkshire 1900 Lesmahagow Churchyard, South Lanarkshire 1622 Stonehouse Churchyard, South Lanarkshire 1651 Stonehouse Old and New Cemeteries, South Lanarkshire 1876 Strathaven Cemetery, South Lanarkshire 1676 St Mary's Churchyard, Dunblane, Stirling 1833
Abercorn Churchyard and Cemetery, West Lothian 1662
Adambrae Cemetery, West Lothian 1932
The transcripts and photographs have been made avail…

Bolton Cemeteries: Tonge and Heaton

We are really excited about all the new data we’re adding from the cemeteries and crematorium in the Bolton Council area.
As you may have seen on our Facebook and Twitter pages, last week we uploaded 116,000 burial records for Tonge Cemetery, which dates back to 1856. This week, we have added nearly 95,000 records from Heaton Cemetery, which opened in 1879. As usual, included with the records are all the register scans and detailed maps of grave locations.
For Tonge Cemetery, we’ve also included over 3,000 photographs of memorials and headstones which we estimate will represent some 15,000 of those buried. It’s interesting that the ratio of headstones and memorials to the total number is so small; only 10% of burials are acknowledged in this way. So the inclusion of a detailed map in the data is essential for those trying to find most of the graves.
The map for Tonge Cemetery show how the cemetery designated specific areas for separate Christian denominations, with Anglicans, Roman …

Remembrance Day 2012

This Sunday marks the 94th anniversary of the end of the Great War. In honour of the Armistice, this week’s post pays tribute to the many servicemen and women, and civilian war dead, whose burial records can be found in the Deceased Online database.
Over 1,700,000 men and women of Commonwealth forces died in the two world wars. Thousands more were killed in the numerous battles and wars that have taken place across the world over past centuries.
Deceased Online’s database includes not only official Commonwealth burial grounds like those in Shooter’s Hill, Greenwich, and Chester (Blacon), but records of individuals whose service is long forgotten and whose graves now lie neglected. There are collections of Allied forces from outside the Commonwealth, such as the Norwegian section in Greenwich and that of 86 Polish airmen whose graves lie in Chester, far from home.
 There are also burial details of men killed in Victorian conflicts, like the Crimea and the South African Wars. Besides these…

New Maps Online for St Peter's Cemetery and Churchyard

New data for Scotland will be appearing on Deceased Online over the next couple of weeks. Here we give you an insight into our holdings on the cemeteries of Aberdeen.
The ‘Granite City’, as Scotland's third largest city is known, features strongly in the Deceased Online database. You can search around 248,000 records from nine cemeteries and burial grounds, including St Nicholas Churchyard, Trinity Churchyard, Nigg Cemetery, John Knox Churchyard, St Peter's Cemetery - linked with Spital Churchyard, St Clement's Churchyard, Old Machar Churchyard, Grove Cemetery and Nellfield Cemetery.
We have just added detailed grave location maps of Spitak (aka St Peter’s) Churchyard and St Peter’s Cemetery. Located in the north of the city, these two cemeteries form one vast graveyard. The Deceased Online database contains registers, which date from 1767, for over 160,000 burials. Besides the registers are the Dues Books. For the earliest dates these cover the date of burial, name occupat…

Woolwich Cemetery in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

SS Princess Alice: London’s worst peacetime disaster

Now that all 485, 000 cemetery records from the Royal Borough of Greenwich are available on the database, this week’s post examines the history behind the Princess Alice Memorial in Woolwich Cemetery. This towering cross was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the sinking of the saloon steamer, the Princess Alice, which took place on the River Thames on Tuesday 3 September 1878, just south of North Woolwich. 120 of the alleged 640 victims are buried in rows behind the cross.
Today, few have heard of the Princess Alice disaster, but throughout September 1878, details of the tragedy and its aftermath dominated newspaper coverage across the UK.
The Princess Alice was one of the largest saloon steamers of the London Steam Packet Company, and could carry up to 700 passengers. Tuesday 3 September was a fine day, and the sunshine tempted many from across London to spend the day enjoying the weather in Kent. The steamer set off…

This week we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston: scholar, writer, traveller and teacher

Tutor to China's Last Emperor

Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston KCMG, CBE (13 Oct 1874- 6 March 1938) was born in Edinburgh exactly one hundred and thirty-eight years ago this week.
Johnston spent much of his life away from Scotland, after entering the colonial service in 1898 and being sent initially to Hong Kong.
In 1919, he was appointed tutor to China’s non-sovereign Manchu emperor, Pu Yi, who was then 13 years old. Pu Yi had abdicated in 1912, becoming 'The Last Emperor'. At the time, Johnston and his colleague, Isabel Ingram, were the only foreigners in history to be allowed inside the inner court of Qing Dynasty. Johnston loved China and continued to serve there as a diplomat after Pu Yi was expelled from the Forbidden City in 1924.
On his return to Britain, Johnston was appointed Professor of Chinese at the School of Oriental Studies in London. He wrote Twilight in the Forbidden City (1934), an account of his time in China and of his relationship with his young charge. I…

How To Find Your Ancestors in the Deceased Online Database

Inspired by user feedback, this week’s post looks at the best ways to use the database
Thank you very much to all those who have emailed, tweeted and written on our Facebook page. We really appreciate your comments and would like to respond with some useful tips on getting the best from the Deceased Online website.
Burial records provide an essential resource for family historians. Unfortunately, even when you have details of an ancestor’s death from a death certificate or obituary, finding where he or she is buried can prove difficult. Sometimes, when your ancestor has a common name, the burial record can provide the details you need to identify him or her in the General Register Office index or in the ScotlandsPeople records.
The Deceased Online database holds a variety of burial and cremation records, including images of registers, maps of cemeteries with grave locations and some photographs of memorials and headstones. The records also enable you to discover who shares your ancest…