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Showing posts from November, 2013

Oldest Records in the Deceased Online Database

In this week's post I look at the oldest records in the database. I also highlight where you are most likely to find records of 16th and 17th century ancestors

Most of the burial records in the Deceased Online database date from the 19th and 20th centuries. We have digitized hundreds of registers from municipal cemeteries created from the mid-1800s onwards. However, you can also find thousands of individual burial records dating from as early as the 16th century.

Much of this older material comes from Scottish council burial records. These go back further than many of the English sources and generally have far richer data, such as this example below from Guthrie Kirkyard in Angus. These records were copied later but include burial details from the mid to late 17th century.


I was amazed to discover that the oldest record on the website is 888 years old. This record (pictured below) is from the Peterborough Cathedral collection and includes the details of three Abbots:
John de Sais…

Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

This week I look at the history and monuments of a fascinating cemetery in our North West England collection
The Deceased Online database includes the records of Overleigh Old Cemetery and the newer Overleigh Cemetery, both in the beautiful Roman City of Chester, Cheshire. The cemeteries are two of those administered and maintained by Cheshire West and Chester Council Cemeteries & Crematorium Service. 

The original Overleigh Cemetery was opened by the Chester General Cemetery Company on 12 November 1850. The site was laid out between 1848 and 1850 in Overleigh Road in the south-west Handbridge area of the city, close to the River Dee and the stunning Grosvenor Bridge. Its architect was a local man, Thomas Wainwaring Penson (1818-64). The chapels and entrance gate are now listed by English Heritage. Besides two chapels, two lodges and a chaplain's house, the original Victorian cemetery contained an ornamental lake with three small islands. Sadly, none of these survive.

By 1854 man…

Sutton and Merton Cemeteries

This week I look further into the latest South London additions to the database

A few days ago, all the burial records for the two cemeteries of the London Borough of Sutton were added to the Deceased Online database. These are for Sutton Cemetery and Cuddington Cemetery. The borough of Sutton is a leafy suburban area on the southernmost edge of Outer London. Bordering the London boroughs of Kingston, Merton and Croydon, Sutton was formerly part of the historic county of Surrey. Research into ancestors who lived in area can be followed up at Sutton Archives and Local Studies.


Sutton Cemetery lies off Oldfields Road SM3 9PX and is the larger of the two. The issue of whether there should be a municipal cemetery in Sutton was controversial as recently as the 1880s. The Local Government Board discussed the matter heatedly in 1886. One concern was that graves would be dug into chalk that lay at a higher level than the wells of the South Metropolitan Schools and there were fears of water con…

Census Book Competition Results

As we await new South London records on the Deceased Online database, this week's post looks back at our recent book competition

Thank you very much to all those who entered the competition to win a copy of my new book, Tracing Your Ancestors Using the Census (Pen & Sword, 2013)We had a great response, with answers emailed from all over the world.

Congratulations to the four winners who will each receive a copy of the book:
Jo-Ann from British Columbia in Canada Lesley in CheshireAnne from East Yorkshire Dawn in South Africa The full list of questions and answers for the competition is as follows:

(i) What date was the 1841 census taken? 
Answer: Sunday 6 June 1841

(ii) What year was the first separate census for Scotland introduced? 
Answer: 1861

(iii) In 1896 a quinquennial census took place. Where? 
Answer: County of London/ London

(iv) Which census is known as the 'fertility census'? 
Answer: 1911

The Scottish question seems to have foxed a few of you. Up until 186…