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Finding Your Ancestors in the Database

This week, we look in more detail at the great grandfather that Deceased Online user Barry Rees recently found in the database.

Last week I mentioned that Barry Rees from Pembrokeshire was one of the winners of our tie-break competition to win a copy of Nick Barratt’s Greater London. Barry’s winning entry revealed that he was only able to find his ancestor’s grave thanks to Deceased Online’s digitized records for Plumstead Cemetery. He also told us that, “I still have his ship’s tool chest and tools.”

Barry Rees with his great grandfather's tool chest
Barry's great grandfather, Albert Alfred Scott, was born in Woolwich, not far from Plumstead in 1866. However, Barry knew that for much of his life, Albert worked as a ship’s joiner at Sheerness Dockyard on the east Kent coast. As Barry had inherited the ship’s tool chest and tools, he was always keen to find out where Albert was buried.

By using the database, Barry discovered not only the grave of his great grandfather, but also that of Albert’s parents, Barry’s great great grandparents, Abraham John Scott (died May 1897) and Mary Ann Scott (nee Selves; died 4 June 1907). The grave details revealed they were all buried together.

Albert died on 24 May 1929, and was buried in Plumstead Cemetery six days later. At the time of his death, aged 62, Albert was living in nearby Eltham. 

Page from the burial register of Plumstead Cemetery showing the entry for Albert Alfred Scott on the bottom row.
Thanks to the grave location map that can be found under Albert’s entry on the database, Barry has at last been able to visit his great grandfather’s final resting place. He has kindly allowed is to include a photograph of it here.

Photograph of the tombstone of Barry Rees' ancestors in Plumstead Cemetery
If, like Barry, you have discovered ancestors in the Deceased Online database, do let us know via the comments box below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Next week, we’ll be adding most (if not ALL) of the remaining records for East London’s Manor Park Cemetery. Currently, we have all recorded from 1931 onwards on the website and next week we’ll be adding the earlier ones.

We’ll be writing about the older records and the personalities associated with them in this historic old East London Cemetery in next week’s blog.


  1. most interesting, most essential, good work thank you

  2. Thanks Emma, this is realy interesting. I used Deceased Online to find out where my Hardiman relatives, especially the murdering Alf, are buried and didn't realise how many were buried (even from different families) under one record. Presumably the graves were unmarked?

  3. Thanks, Suzie. Good to know you found your Hardiman family in the database.

    Usually, if you find a number of unrelated people in the same grave this indicates a common grave. These may or may not be unmarked. Often they are, but the only way of being certain would be to visit. Stones may have been added by later generations. This reminds me a little of Bruce Forsyth's episide of WDYTYA.

  4. Regarding common graves, I found details of my maternal Great Grandmother in Eltham Cemetery. Although there was no memorial stone for my ancestor, thanks to the details of the eight others buried in the same plot - from the deceased online data; two of whom had been commemorated with small memorials, I was able to correctly identify the plot.

  5. Thanks very much for this, Barry. It's wonderful to hear that you have found not just headstones for your family but hard-to-locate plots as well.


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