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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.

J. M Barrie (copyright Wikimedia)
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 burial sites through the Angus Council area.
This new headstones collection comprises photographs of headstones and memorials with digitized transcribed inscriptions for easy reading. Besides the usual search methods, you can search through the main search options and specifically under the 'headstone collections' option as well as entering details in other search fields.

The administrative area of Dundee City Council is located on the North East coast of Scotland bordered by Fife to the south, Perth and Kinross to the west and Angus immediately north. The collection is made up from 16,700 recorded names, available to search, with associated photographs and transcripts of headstones and memorials with digitized transcribed inscriptions.

Amongst the burial sites in the Angus records is the beautiful Kirriemuir Cemetery, the resting place of the author and dramatist James Matthew Barrie (9 May 1860 - 19 June 1937). Born in a weaver's cottage at 4 Brechin Road, Kirriemuir, Barrie life changed forever in January 1867 when his older brother David died after suffering a fractured skull whilst ice-skating. Believed to be an inspiration for Peter Pan - the boy who never grew up - David was mourned deeply by his mother. Barrie sought to fill his place, even wearing  David's clothes, to try and soothe his mother's grief.

In the records on Deceased Online, there is a photograph of the Barrie family memorial which reveals that David is memorialised under the name "David Ogilvy" - his mother's maiden name. Many readers will know that in Scotland married women were frequently buried under their maiden names and in many instances, children who died under the age of 18 were also buried with their mother's name.

Headstone at the Barrie Family's grave showing the names of Margaret Ogilvy, who was buried 6 September 1895, and her sons, David Ogilvy and James Matthew Barrie.

After graduating from Edinburgh University in 1882, Barrie worked as a journalist. He began writing novels, but his career was transformed when his new plays were performed in London's theatres. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he had major success with Quality Street, The Admirable Crichton and then on 27 December 1904, with Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. In 1911, he wrote the novel, Peter and Wendy.

It is believed Barrie created the story of Peter Pan for the Llewelyn Davies boys, George and John (Jack), whom he met in Kensington Gardens. Despite being married to Mary Ansell, Barrie grew close to the Llewelyn Davies family from 1897, particularly the mother, Sylvia, and her five sons, George, John, Peter, Michael and Nicholas. The story of Barrie's relationship with the family is the basis for the 2004 film Finding Neverland, The boys were first cousins of the novelist Daphne Du Maurier. After the deaths of the boys' father in 1907 and mother in 1910, Barrie became their official guardian.

Barrie retained a home, Black Lake Cottage, in Scotland. He died in London on 19 June 1937 but was buried five days later beside his mother in his first home of Kirriemuir. The details are noted in the burial register on Deceased Online. In his will he granted the rights to his most famous work, Peter Pan, to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital. This continues to the support the hospital's work with sick children to this day.

Burial register from Kirriemuir Cemetery open at the page showing the entry for James Matthew Barrie.

Another remarkable person buried at Kirriemuir is the poet, Scottish nationalist and suffragette, Helen Cruickshank (1886-1975).

Kirriemuir is a beautifully located and maintained cemetery with many visitors. To assist visitors, the maps on Deceased Online give precise grave locations.

Map from the DOL database showing the exact location of J M Barrie's grave.

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