Launch event at Brompton Cemetery reunites Deceased Online user with her ancestors
After we uploaded the final set of records from Brompton Cemetery last week, we were inundated with messages via email, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, from users who found their ancestors in the records. With over 200,000 burial records from the cemetery online, it is perhaps not surprising that many family historians with London ancestors have found them here.
|The Gate Lodge of Brompton Cemetery|
This week, we held a launch event at Brompton Cemetery which was attended by the Charles Williams, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, renowned genealogist Dr. Nick Barratt, representatives of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, as well as staff from the Royal Parks, the cemetery itself, The National Archives and other local authorities. The event was a great success and the highlight was when family historian, Jan Ellis, was able to visit the grave of her ancestors after seven long years of searching.
BBC journalist Josephine McDermott reported on the story and you can read her interview with Jan at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22974465.
Also at the event was the official historian of Chelsea Football Club, Rick Glanvill. Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium overlooks Brompton Cemetery and the club’s founder, Henry ‘Gus’ Mears, is buried in its shadow. Rick told me, 'As the official club historian I am naturally aware of the close physical and family connections between the cemetery and its noisy neighbours – Chelsea F. C. Several of the first directors of the club have Brompton as their final resting place. Hordes of supporters always stroll through the cemetery to the game on match days and Gus's memorial is usually adorned with a blue and white scarf or flag after a trophy win. It's lovely that the burial records are so accessible: Blues fans can now easily find out whether they have ancestors of their own buried next door to Stamford Bridge.’ Rick was also delighted to have found the graves of two of his own Glanvill relatives in the Brompton collection.
A few years ago Rick produced a guided tour booklet exploring the Chelsea F. C./ Brompton links, and he now plans to conduct tours of the graves in conjunction with the Chelsea Supporters Trust and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery on the first weekend of the new football season. Read more about the history of the football club on Rick’s blog at http://thehistoryofchelseafc.blogspot.co.uk.
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Next week we will have the full list of winners and the answers to the London's Cemeteries book competition. Thank you to all who took part.