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Thanks to all of you who have responded to our regular requests to get in touch. We really value all the comments, Facebook posts, tweets and emails that you send to Deceased Online. In this week's post I look at some of the most recent comments that readers have contributed.

The spectacular War Memorial at Greenwich Cemetery dominates the London skyline
Four years ago I blogged about Deceased Online's burial records of Greenwich Cemetery in south east London. Jackie Wealthall got in touch to say that she had visited the cemetery, and that although she had her ancestors' grave numbers, "it was impossible to find their actual graves". Thanks to Jackie for letting us know. 

I have visited many churchyards and cemeteries over the years and have also been disappointed when my ancestors' graves are either unmarked or covered by brambles. One of my ancestors was remembered with a grand headstone, but unfortunately I discovered on my visit that the stone had been destroyed by a tree growing straight through it! In the same graveyard, I had a map of the exact resting place of my great great grandparents but couldn't reach the grave as the surrounding area was thick with brambles. In cases like these it can be worth speaking with the managers of the cemetery to ask whether specific areas can be cleared of brambles. It's not always possible, but where cemetery managers employ a grounds maintenance team, it can be done. Another tip, particularly for those who are making a long journey to a burial place, is to contact a Friends group for the relevant cemetery to ask volunteers to check the site before you visit. 

One of my colleagues at Deceased Online was helping to prepare data for Brompton Cemetery in Kensington, West London, and was taking some photos of memorials. He photographed a particularly interesting memorial, turned around, quickly looked at a modest headstone and was amazed to see it was for his great, great grandparents. Of course, he was delighted (as was his mother) but then he realised the grave is right in the shadows of the neighbouring Chelsea FC stands. As a lifelong Arsenal fan (Chelsea's arch rivals in London), this somewhat tainted his genealogical discovery!

Not all readers have been able to visit their ancestors' resting places, even when they have found the record on the Deceased Online database. Last week, Kathy V. told us that, "I have just traced an ancestor's burial to Greenwich Cemetery. His name is on a war memorial and I'm  trying to learn more about him and his death. Is there a source that explains the numbers associated with his name on the memorial? Is it correct that there are 2 WWI memorial walls? Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos of the cemetery."

We're delighted that Kathy appreciates the photos that we have been posting on our blog and social media pages. As you can see from the image above, the war memorial in Greenwich Cemetery is absolutely stunning. This area of the cemetery is known as 'Heroes' Corner' and is formed from 263 large war grave plots. It is correct that there are two curved screen walls that list the names of the 558 First World War casualties buried both in the plot and in unmarked graves around the cemetery. The photograph above shows one of these walls.

To find out more about tracing those who served in the First World War, see this online guide from our friends at The National Archives.

Blue plaque for my great uncle Harry Harrison on the wall of the Brook Street Community Centre in Tipton
Last year I was very excited to find some of my grandmother's Harrison family in Deceased Online's Sandwell Collection. In my post, I wrote about my family's background in Tipton in the West Midlands. A few months later, Roberta Unsworth commented that, thanks to this collection, she had at last found where her paternal grandparents are buried - Heath Lane, West Bromwich

And just last week, Mrs P wrote, "I was born in The Black Country and so were most of my family. Many from Tipton and West Bromwich. Many were married and baptised in St Lukes, Tipton and I have family buried in Heath Lane,"

I always like hearing from anyone with Black Country ancestors. Perhaps we're related!
Entrance gates of Stapenhill Cemetery in East Staffordshire
In February, Deceased Online uploaded its East Staffordshire Collection, featuring Burton upon Trent. Piglet contacted us to say, "My husband's ancestors, JOWETT, were buried in Stapenhill Cemetery. Edward, 1849-1883 was a Brewer's labourer, living in Brook Street, with his family. His parents, Edward and Harriet, were also buried here, as was his brother John, 1856- 1924. John and his father both worked on the Railway, as did my ancestor, also buried here. He was Alfred George Howard, born in St Albans, Herts, but moved to Brook Street, Burton on Trent, and died here in 1894. His wife, with the unusual name of Herodius Drury Wedd was buried with him. When my gt gt grandfather died his money was left to Herodius."
Herodias by Paul Delaroche (1843)
I was fascinated to read these details of Piglet's ancestors. The economic situation in Britain is different today, but it is useful to note that the brewing trade in the Burton area was so big that workers were drawn there from across England. 

I also liked hearing about the unusually named Herodius Drury Wedd. In the New Testament Herodias (nowadays more often spelt with an "a") was a wife of King Herod II and the mother of the notorious Salome. Like her daughter, Herodius is associated with the death of John the Baptist - making this an odd choice for anyone brought up in the Christian faith. It is a name associated with a strong woman, however, which may be relevant in this instance.

As you can see from these examples, we really do love hearing from you! We plan to do more posts featuring your comments on our Facebook page. Do please keep commenting, tweeting and posting on Facebook. Your comments help us to provide the service you want and are also useful for sharing valuable insights with other database users.


  1. I have tried to work out what would have driven him to decide to make this undertaking.
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