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 Catholics and non-conformists all having dedicated sections.
We shall be adding the records of the remaining five cemeteries over the next few weeks. These are:
Astley Bridge Cemetery, opened 1884
Blackrod Cemetery, opened 1887
Farnworth Cemetery, opened 1876
Horwich (Ridgemont) Cemetery, opened 1928
Westhaughton Cemetery, opened 1858
Overdale Crematorium, opened 1954
|Headstone of Robert Lever Bailey (died 31 March 1864), member of the Order of Druids, Bolton District|
Tonge Cemetery (formerly Bolton Cemetery) has a fascinating history, dating from its official opening on New Years Eve 1856. Bolton’s biggest cemetery was designed by William Henderson, the architect of Corporation Park in Blackburn, Alexandra Park in Oldham and Bolton’s own Queen’s Park. In 2002, Tonge was listed by English Heritage on the Grade II Register of Parks and Gardens. It is now home to the graves of notable Bolton residents, such as the Victorian composer and choir leader, John Fawcett (1789-1867) and the much-loved steeplejack and television presenter, Fred Dibnah (1938-2004).
|Burial register entry of Thomas MCarte 1872|
Many of you have been in touch about Thomas McCarte/MacCarte (1838-1872), the one-armed lion tamer who was buried in the cemetery in 1872. The rather gruesome details of his death in the travelling fairground show of Manders’ Menagerie were described by a contemporary journalist in the Bolton Evening News. The story was picked up internationally and reproduced in the New York Times. The full article can be read at its archive: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40617FC3C5D1A7493C2AB178AD85F468784F9.
|Heaton Cemetery Chapels and Lodge (copyright: Bolton Museum and Archives Service)|
Residents of the Bolton and its environs made a significant contribution to the Industrial Revolution. The town’s textile industry, coal mines, papermaking, calico printing, leather tanning and railways all contributed to Bolton’s growth at this time. Sadly, in the early Victorian era, local workers experienced unemployment and poverty as a result of the Corn Laws. The town was then devastated by cholera in 1848.
The father of William Crumblehulme (1831-1910) was killed by an earlier outbreak of cholera, leaving little for his impoverished family. Through Sunday School, the young Crumblehulme learned to read and right, and as a young adult he found work in the local mill. He then found employment as a salesman in the foundry of a fellow member of the Temperance Society. Eventually, Crumblehulme learned enough to set up his own foundry, which he did in 1875 under the name ‘Crumblehulme and Edge’. From here the business grew, receiving valuable orders such as that of installing a heating system at the Woolwich Arsenal. In 1901, the now prosperous Crumblehulme retired to the genteel resort of Southport. After his death in 1910, his body was taken by train to Bolton, where he was laid to rest in Heaton Cemetery on the 7th July.
Do you have any ancestors buried in any of Bolton Council’s cemeteries? We love to hear from you? Do leave a comment in the box below!