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TNA Records of Burial Ground Removals + Book Competition

This week, Deceased Online launches another collection from our partners, The National Archives. The RG37 collection covers copies of records of local authorities and Church Commissioners relating to burial ground removals 1923-2007. This is not the period covering the dates of the burials (which go back to the 1600s) but purely when the records were collected.

Following on from our recent work with The National Archives (TNA) to digitise the burial records of Brompton Cemetery and a number of military graveyards, Deceased Online will be adding over 175,000 records from the RG 37 collection, the first 105,000 of which are now available. These include records from Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and nondenominational graveyards in counties across England and Wales. 

There is a complete list of all records included in this latest collection on the Deceased Online website. The oldest record is from the 17th century, but most date from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Each entry contains the following details:
  • location of burial ground
  • years covered by monumental inscriptions and gravestones
Some records also include other information, depending on their original sources. The transcriptions featured in the collection were made by various authorities between 1923 and 2007.

English counties represented in the database are Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Cheshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Durham, Greater Manchester, Herefordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, South Yorkshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire. London records feature St Pancras Old Church in Camden, and numerous grounds in the boroughs of Barnet, Croydon, Ealing, City of London, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, and Wandsworth. Welsh graveyards include those in Anglesey, Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwent, Mid Glamorgan, Powys, South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan.
Example record from TNA RG 37 collection
As graveyards became full by the early 19th century many bodies were removed from urban burial grounds to newer municipal cemeteries further out in the suburbs or countryside. In 1911, the Attorney General recommended that an official record be made of burial removals. He also suggested that the subsequent records be deposited with the local registrar of births and deaths. However, the Registrar General asked that instead they be placed with his office in the miscellaneous records. This is why the collection now has the RG (Registrar General or General Register Office) reference at TNA.  

Private bills legalised the official removal of graves from this date. Further authorization was made in the Town and Country Planning (Churches, Places of Religious Worship and Burial Grounds) Regulations 1950 and the Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act of 1981. In time, around 175,000 records relating to removals from over 200 cemeteries across England and Wales were deposited at the Public Record Office (now TNA). 

For this record set, Deceased Online is only charging 15 credit vouchers. Currently, approximately 105,000 records from the collection are available. Further batches will be uploaded over the coming weeks

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This week also sees the launch of our competition to win one of five copies of my new book, Tracing Your Ancestors Using the Census (Pen & Sword).

For a chance to win, just answer the following questions by midnight on Thursday 17 October 2013:

(i) What date was the 1841 census taken? 
(ii) What year was the first separate census for Scotland introduced?

There will be another chance to win in a couple of weeks!

Competition Rules
  • entries by no later than the Thursday 17 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

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