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Showing posts from September, 2014

Remarkable Burials at Blackburn Old Cemetery

Blackburn Old Cemetery opened on 1st July 1857. Since then thousands have been buried in its hilly grounds overlooking the town of Blackburn. This week I highlight some of the remarkable, altruistic and notorious individuals whose burial entries can be found in the new Blackburn and Darwen Collection in the Deceased Online database.
Elizabeth Ann Lewis (1849-1924)
Elizabeth Ann Lewis was born in Shropshire in 1849 to farm labourer George Lewis and his wife, Ann. In 1867, she married Thomas Lewis, a coach builder from Cheshire. The couple settled in Blackburn, where Elizabeth Ann was horrified by the scale of alcohol addiction and public drunkenness.

Celebrated as the "Temperance Queen" or "Drunkard's Friend", Lewis dedicated her life to improving conditions for the working classes. She challenged the town's 600 licensed premises by establishing temperance bars where customers could drink herbal alternatives to beer, like sarsaparilla or dandelion and burdock…

Blackburn and Darwen Burial Registers

This week I look in detail at the burial registers featured in the new Blackburn and Darwen Collection, highlighting the rich variety of information to be found within.

This collection has been digitized in partnership with Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council. The Council's Cemeteries Office is based in Pleasington Cemetery BB2 5LE, from where staff manage three cemeteries and one crematorium. The Deceased Online database contains their burial and cremation records for the following dates:

Blackburn Cemetery (aka Whalley New Road): 1859 - 1997Darwen Cemetery: 1861 - 1998Pleasington Cemetery: 1969 - 2001 Pleasington Crematorium: 1957 - 2003. Blackburn and Darwen's records includes scans of the burial registers, details of those buried in each grave, and some also have detailed sections maps showing locations of the graves. The total number of individuals recorded in the three cemeteries' burial registers is over 276,000, and there are details of more than 63,000 cremations…

Blackburn and Darwen

This week Deceased Online will launch a new collection of burial and cemetery records from Blackburn & Darwen in Lancashire. Here I look at the history of Blackburn and the background to lives of many who are remembered in the burial registers.

I grew up in rural Lancashire, about 30 miles away from the heartland of the former cotton industry that is Blackburn and Darwen. Although there were a few mills around the area in which I lived, they were nothing compared with the vast numbers of mills and factories that emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries in Blackburn, Darwen and their near neighbours, Preston and Burnley. Like Blackburn, my village lay in the shadow of the brooding Pennine hills and our grass was bright green from regular rainfalls.
Today, Blackburn is remembered as "Cotton Town", a name that lives on in an excellent local history project: http://www.cottontown.org/Pages/default.aspx  The origins of the town's textile manufacturing lie in the middle ages …

Thank you WDYTYA Live!

Thank you very much to all those who came to see us at Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland 2014. We had a great time. Many thanks to Scotland, Glasgow and the SECC for the excellent hospitality.

Scotland's first time hosting WDYTYA? Live has proven to be a great success. The SECC was packed throughout Friday and Saturday last week, with Scottish family historians queuing to speak with vendors at stalls as well as to listen to the many talks and workshops on offer.

We were delighted to be virtually mobbed on our stand, regularly having a queue of visitors keen to view the database. The newly added Aberdeenshire collection was very popular, while several attendees wanted to learn more about our forthcoming Moray collection.


The team is now recovering after working flat out from opening to around 4.30pm on both days. But we're looking forward to doing it all again and introducing even more exciting collections in WDYTYA Live Birmingham at Easter 2015!

Did you attend last week&…