Skip to main content

New Search Facilities on Website

This week, Deceased Online uploads the remaining parts of the Redcar and Cleveland dataset. I also look at a selection of new features on the website which make collection easier to search and provide more flexibility - and at the bottom of the page, part 2 of the competition to win a copy of my new book.

Records for the remaining four cemeteries from Redcar and Cleveland are now available:

Loftus                                                  opened 1875   8,651 records
Redcar                                                             1874   16,936 records
Saltburn (or Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Sea)    1899    4,516 records
Skelton                                                            1875    9,739 records.

Like the areas featured in the previous blog, the life and economy of Loftus was dominated by ironstone mining. Its coastal location was also home to many seamen.

Redcar has over 8 miles of sands and became a seaside resort after the Middlesborough to Redcar railway line opened in 1846. The town also has a strong fishing and maritime heritage. Among those buried in Redcar Cemetery is Captain John William Bell (1865-1932), who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his bravery against an enemy U-boat in 1915. See: 

Saltburn-by-the-Sea is also a seaside resort, but was known for smuggling prior to the mid-19th century. Today it is mainly celebrated for its surfing. Saltburn Cemetery contains ten official war graves.

Skelton Cemetery also contains ten official war graves. The village population grew quickly after the discovery of ironstone in Skelton in 1850, and its first mines were constructed between 1857 and 1865. The mines would be responsible for a number of deaths of local men. Several of these are found in the cemetery's records. Read more about the mines at Bill Danby's local history website: The website contains a wealth of information for those with Skelton ancestors: 

The modest burial register entry of Merchant Navy Captain John William Bell DSC

Improved Searching

The Redcar and Cleveland and other burial collections can now be searched more easily. Minor problems with bugs and design issues have been fixed. The main features of the new search are available on the Advanced Search page and are as follows:

1. 'Search by Cemetery' facility - this allows users to select from the drop down options of county or borough instead of just selecting the burial/cremation authority. Below, I have clicked on the drop down boxes to select the option for Loftus Cemetery from the new North Yorkshire collection. This enables useful search methods such as searching individuals or selected cemeteries by name(s) or year(s) or both.

2. Clear Search and Last Search buttons are available with advanced searching. You can see these clearly marked in blue in the centre of the screenshot below.

3. Improved clarity on database coverage - all areas are now listed. The link to this list can be found at the top of the search pages under 'Coverage'  

4. Tips on searching - if you can't find the person you're looking for, quickly access the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and check out the hints on how to use wild cards.

Book Competition

This week we're offering a second chance to win one of two copies of my new book, Tracing Your Ancestors Using the Census (Pen & Sword, 2013). The book is aimed at all family historians, whether experienced or beginners, and explores the full history of the census in the UK while giving hints and tips on how to find your ancestors. English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish censuses are all explored thoroughly, with differences noted between the census questions and the manner of enumeration in the respective regions.

The format of the book is chronological and includes details on surviving early censuses and census substitutes. This week I celebrated the launch of the book at Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre in central London. This is just one of many local record offices that holds surviving copies of the 1801 and 1811 censuses for its region. In this case, the censuses were taken in the former village of Hampstead.

Please answer the following questions by midnight of Thursday 31st October:

(i) In 1896 a quinquennial census took place. Where? 
(ii) Which census is known as the 'fertility census'? 
Emma Jolly signing copies of her book at the recent launch event

 Competition Rules
  • entries by no later than the Thursday 31 October 2013 midnight
  • Answer both questions correctly.
  • entries to: with heading: 'Census book competition'
  • entrants should provide full contact information including full postal address, email address, and at least one telephone number
  • only one entry per week per person/email address
  • each entrant can only win the competition once and win one book
  • winning entries will be drawn each week and the winners notified
  • judges decision is final
  • the prizes will be sent to the winners by post as soon as possible
  • the answers to each set of two questions will be published in next week's blog


Popular posts from this blog

London's Spa Fields

Deceased Online has just uploaded around 114,000 burial records from Spa Fields in the modern London borough of Islington Spa Fields today, with the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer in the background Spa Fields Burial Ground became notorious in the 19th century for its overcrowded and insanitary conditions. Located in the parish of St James, Clerkenwell, the grave yard was not far from the ever-increasing City of London. Spa Fields was known also as Clerkenwell Fields and Ducking-pond Fields in the late 18th century, hinting at a dark side to what was then a summer evening resort for north Londoners. What would become a cemetery was a ducking pond in the rural grounds of a Spa Fields public house. It was here in 1683 that six children were drowned while playing on the ice. In his History of Clerkenwell (1865) William J. Pinks wrote that visitors, "came hither to witness the rude sports that were in vogue a century ago, such as duck-hunting, prize-fighting, bull-baiting

Haslar and Netley Military Hospital Cemeteries

Following on from last week's post, I'm looking further into Deceased Online 's latest collection of burials. These military burials were digitized in partnership with The National Archives .  Two notable institutions in the collection are Haslar Royal Navy Cemetery and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley. Both Haslar and Netley (as it was more commonly known) were Britain's foremost military hospitals during the bloodiest years of war in the western hemisphere The Royal Hospital Haslar and Clayhill Royal Navy Cemetery, Gosport, Hampshire The Royal Hospital Haslar dates from 1753. For over two hundred and fifty years Haslar served as one of main hospitals caring for sailors and marines of the Royal Navy and merchant services. Patients came from ships as well as from naval and seamen institutions in nearby Portsmouth and Gosport. The hospital closed as the last official military hospital in 2007. The Haslar Cemetery closed in April 1859 but the neighbouring Cl

Wakefield Collection: Cremation Records now available on Deceased Online

Records for both crematoria in Wakefield, Yorkshire have been added to the Deceased Online database Above: Pontefract Crematorium The two sets of crematoria records have been added to Deceased Online 's Wakefield Collection .  Wakefield district contains nineteen cemeteries and two crematoria. Many of the records go back to the mid and late 19th century when the cemeteries opened, and range across a wide geographical area. The full list of  Wakefield  cemeteries live on Deceased Online,  with opening dates in brackets,   is as follows: 1.  Altofts Cemetery  – Church Road, Altofts, Normanton  (1878)   2.  Alverthorpe Cemetery  – St Paul’s Drive, Alverthorpe, Wakefield  (registers from 1955) 3. Castleford Cemetery  – Headfield Road, Castleford  (1857) 4.  Crigglestone Cemetery  – Standbridge Lane, Crigglestone, Wakefield  (1882) 5. Featherstone Cemetery  – Cutsyke Road, North Featherstone  (1874) 6. Ferrybridge Cemetery  – Pontefract Road, Ferrybridge, P