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Most Detailed Registers on Deceased Online

Deceased Online features a wide range of registers and burial transcriptions. Previously in this blog, I've highlighted some of the Scottish collections, particularly monumental inscriptions and how they can be used to tell you more about your ancestors. In this week's post, I show how best to use one of the most detailed English collections in the database for your family history research.

Eastway House, Blandford Forum. An unusually decorative facade, by Blandford standards, for this house on East Street, with a curvy parapet, plus urns and balls. Copyright Derek Harper.

One of the first set of registers to be digitized on the Deceased Online database back in 2010 was that of Blandford Forum Town Council in Dorset. Blandford is a pretty market town located 10 miles north west of Wimborne Minster, 16 miles north of Dorchester, and 104 miles from London. Although much of the town was rebuilt after a fires in the 17th and 18th century, the town dates from Roman times. The Council, based in Church Lane, holds the records for Blandford Forum Cemetery. Dating from 16 June 1856, the cemetery has been well cared for over the years. The Deceased Online collection contains scans of 7,600 burial records, as well as maps of the grave locations.

The above image is taken from the 1858 Register of Burials in the Burial Ground of Blandford Forum 1858. Number 90 in the register is Harriet Cross, a Spinster, aged 62. The register states that she died in Blandford Forum, and was buried on the 1st February by W. Harte, Rector. Her grave number was 179 and she was buried in consecrated ground.

The second entry is for Charles Giles, a Labourer, aged 57, who also died in Blandford Forum. Unlike Harriet Cross, Giles was buried by B. Gray in unconsecrated ground (grave number 23). The close-up below shows the second page with the names of the rector and "B. Gray". The full page shows that all the burials in unconsecrated graves were performed by B. Gray. The 1871 census of Blandford Forum lists a Benjamin Gray as the Independent Minister for Blandford Chapel. This is further supported by the website of the current chapel, which notes that Reverend Gray was Minister between 1855 and 1890. That he buried Charles Giles suggests that Giles, too, was a nonconformist.


Detailed burial registers like this can thus be used not just to identify when and where an individual was buried, but also to point to further sources. Discovering that Charles Giles was buried by an Independent Minister, suggests that his baptism record is likely to be found in nonconformist records. Where records survive for Blandford Forum's Independent Chapel, they could be explored to see, for example, if Giles is mentioned in the minutes or other sources. The occupations written in the registers can be used to check against details of an ancestor given in censuses or on birth, married and death certificates.
Blandford Forum Station [the station no longer exists, but was once located on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway], with up freight, 1963. Copyright Ben Brooksbank.
If you have Dorset ancestors and want to explore more burial registers, do note that the Deceased Online database also holds nearby records for the coastal areas of Weymouth and Poole.

Have you found a very detailed record on Deceased Online for your ancestor? Do the Blandford Forum records contain the most detail, or have you found records that reveal more? Do let us know in the Comment Box below, or via our Twitter and Facebook pages. We love to hear from you!

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