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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 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)

Heaton Cemetery is currently Bolton’s busiest cemetery, and reflects the area’s multicultural heritage with dedicated burial sections for various religions and communities, including Ukranian, Polish, Latvian, Russian, Muslim and Hindu. The portrait artist, David Horatio Winder (1855-1933), is also buried here.

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.

Sources:

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!

Comments

  1. Do you have any information on how the name Heaton Cemetery was chosen? I am curious as I have an ancestor - Catherine Heaton Hall - who died in Bolton and was buried in Tonge Cemetery but wondered if her family name was somehow related to the Heaton cemetery? Thanks for any information you can give!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amber, Thank you for letting us know about your ancestor.

      The cemetery is named after the Heaton area of Bolton. The manor of Heaton dates back to the 12th century. The lords of the manor adopted its name and it became the surname of agricultural labourers and others connected to the area.

      Catherine may have been related to someone with the surname Heaton, or perhaps she was named after a family friend or godparent? To be sure, it is worth doing as much work on her family tree as possible.

      David Cameron gave his daughter Florence the middle name Endellion after an area of Cornwall, where she was born. It is always possible this is why Catherine had the middle name Heaton, but I think it is more likely she is named after a person.

      Emma

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  2. Any chance of an extra search field to select individual cemeteries. With five(?) Bolton cemeteries now to search, it would help if each one could be selected individually. I tend to print out all the occurrences of a surname as a new cemetery is added then work my way through them, the list is getting longer as more added!

    MB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi MB,

      The extra search field will be added in the next website update. Bolton's Overdale Crematorium will be added then, also.

      This will bring the total of Bolton cemeteries and crematoria on the database to seven:

      Astley Bridge Cemetery, opened 1884
      Blackrod Cemetery, opened 1887
      Farnworth Cemetery, opened 1876
      Heaton Cemetery, opened 1879
      Horwich (Ridgemont) Cemetery, opened 1928
      Tonge Cemetery, opened 1856
      Westhoughton Cemetery, opened 1858
      Overdale Crematorium, opened 1954

      Also, do you use the 'Results per page' box on the right hand side? I find it useful to alter the number to 100 when doing extensive searches.

      Please keep checking this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to make sure you stay to date with the latest news.

      Emma

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    2. The first thing that I do is change the "Results per page" to 100! be handy if it was "sticky" and remembered for the user..

      My Grandmother's elder brother is buried in Newark with his second wife. I have seen the grave after getting the details from the council but when I checked on here I found there is also an infant in the grave. I thought this could be useful because we don't know his second wife's maiden name (they married in Canada). The infant was buried 1899 and she was buried 1945, there seems a possibility that it could have been a family grave so I have been tracing the child's family.

      The child has the name William Henry Hossingbrook SHAW, son of John William Hossingbrook SHAW. As far as I can see this is the only occurrence of "Hossingbrook" in a name though there are several several similar names without the initial "H" in Nottinghamshire back to the 1600s.

      MB

      Delete
    3. Thanks, MB.

      This sounds interesting. I have checked FreeBMD and 'Hossingbrook' does not appear. However, there are instances of the name 'Ossingbrook'. Perhaps there are some spelling issues here? It might be worth searching on different spelling variants to see what you can find.

      Was your grandfather's elder brother enumerated on the 1911 census? If he was with his first wife there, the number of children who had died should be recorded.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I just discovered DeceasedOnline that other day. I've already located records for my 2GGF/M, John and Ann (Billington) Barrow in Heaton Cemetery. These are the first UK burial registers I've seen and I'm hoping for some guidance. The Heaton register has 3 columns for the place of burial (in this case 3/V2/21), No of Grant (4006) and columns for In Consecrated Ground or Unconsecrated Ground (in this case, "Church" is recorded in the Consecrated Ground column). I obtained a map, so the place appears to represent the Division (3), then Plot or Section (U2), the Grave #(21). They are in the CofE section, so I presume that's represented by "church" under Consecrated Ground. That leaves the No of Grant. Is that similar to a deed?

    A few more questions: What burial arrangements were available before these cemeteries were created? Were people buried in the churchyards? Do those burial grounds still exist (St Peter, for example) or were burials transferred to these cemeteries over time? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Bryan,

    We are very pleased you have discovered DeceasedOnline and that you have found useful records in the database.

    Could you email us at info@deceasedonline.com about the Heaton register, and we'll look into this properly for you.

    Regarding the questions on cemeteries, you are right in saying that before the large municipal cemeteries were created, most burials took place in church parish graveyards. However, non-conformists often had their own burial grounds. You should check with the relevant local archive as to what burial grounds existed in the area for the period you are researching.

    Some burial grounds still exist, but many now lie neglected. To find out more about those grounds or cemeteries, you can check with the burial ground/ church itself (if still in existence), the local council if they took over the management, or the local archive if the burial ground closed.

    Emma

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Thanks to your amazing website I have found many of my family members buried in various Bolton cemeteries, including Tonge Cemetery and wonder if it is likely that I can find any truth in a family legend. An aunt of mine believed that an aunt of hers, Mary Smith (b.in 1872), who was blind and lived next to the cemetery and made a living by filling watering cans for people visiting the cemetery so they could put flowers on the graves. How likely is it that a blind person could do that? The Mary Smith in question has no note on any of the censuses of any disability. My researches have suggested that it may have been my aunt’s gt. aunt, Mary Nuttall (1837-1908), who was deaf and dumb, who may have been the person she was thinking of and who was buried in the cemetery on the 20 February 1908.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your kind words. We're very pleased you're finding the database useful.

    It might be worth contacting the cemetery directly about your aunt, or perhaps a local Bolton newspaper or history group. I can tell you that one of my grandfather's cousins was blind and thanks to the help of the RNIB, he was able to obtain work as a gravedigger. So it could be done!

    Emma

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  7. I'm planning a visit to Bolton and surrounds this year - party for work, but partly to visit the area of my relatives - David Horatio Winder was my Great Grandfather, and my father was born in Bolton. I grew up to be an art teacher - it's only recently I realised where I got my artistic streak from. I have more information to find, but gradually finding useful sources. I think I'll need a guide when I get to Bolton!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is wonderful! I love hearing of traits shared with distant forebears. Your great grandfather was a talented man.
    Before you visit Bolton, you may like to contact the Friends of Heaton Cemetery. See details at https://www.boltoncvs.org.uk/civicrm/profile/view?reset=1&id=38293&gid=9
    Enjoy your visit and do let us know how you get on!
    Emma.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Our family from the US will be visiting Heaton Cemetary early September to hopefully locate my grandmother and grandfather's (Frederick Entwistle and Betsy Ann Entwistle) gravesite in early September of this year 2018. I don't know how to locate their gravesite. There is a small upright gravestone on it. If anyone can give me advice on how to find it, I would be most grateful. Jeannette

    ReplyDelete

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