Skip to main content

Unusual Discovery in Nunhead Cemetery

This week we welcome a post by Society of Genealogists’ trustee, Amelia Bennett, who was delighted to solve her own family’s mystery in Deceased Online’s Southwark Collection.
Nunhead Cemetery
My 2 x great grandmother Caroline Lageu was adopted in 1873, when she was 13 years old, by Alfred Strivens Hudson and his wife Ann. Her biological parents had died tragically young after falling on hard times. Caroline’s mother, Caroline Lageu senior, died of consumption in 1869.  Her husband, Thomas’ luck was dropping even before then, having started at a pub just off the Strand, then one on King Street (now Kingly Street between Regent Street & Carnaby Street), then out to Walworth, and finally ended up at a pub on Well Street, Hackney in east London.
I had searched for some time for the burials of Caroline’s biological parents’ (my 3x great grandparents), but found nothing. The search was complicated by the fact that Lageu is such an unusual surname that it is almost always mistranscribed. 

I decided instead to turn the hunt to records of Caroline’s adoptive parents. Using the Deceased Online database, I found a grave record at Nunhead Cemetery for Alfred S Hudson in 1888.  After looking at the burial register summary on the website, I checked the details of the other occupants of the grave (reference number 123/8973).  Although this often just gives unrelated people, this time I found a treasure trove. 

Firstly, there was Thomas Lageu (mistranscribed in the record as “Lagen”), Caroline’s father, who was buried on the 7th February 1873. 

Details from the Deceased Online database showing the list of those interred in grave 123/8973 at Nunhead Cemetery
Entry in the burial register of 7 January 1873 showing Thomas Lageu
Also, there was Caroline Lageu (née Jones), Caroline’s mother.  Then there were two other Lageus – Francis & Henry.  Looking at their records, they appear to be twin sons of Thomas & Caroline senior – they died a few months apart. Before discovering them on Deceased Online, I had no knowledge of these two at all.  Also, there was William Lageu, Caroline’s younger brother who died in 1875 aged 11.  I knew about him but hadn’t known that he had died at the young age of 11. 

In addition, Carrie Lageu Smith is there – that was one of the daughters of Caroline Lageu and her husband Frederick William Norman Smith – I had known about her but hadn’t managed to track down her burial.  

Even more exciting was the discovery in the grave of a William Jones. When I reviewed Caroline’s mother’s tree, it became clear that William was Caroline Lageu’s uncle. He had been born in Mold, Wales and, with such a common name, it was unlikely I would have ever traced him down to London. I’m very pleased I chose to check the records on Deceased Online. This experience confirmed to me that I should always check grave details in full!

The records for Nunhead Cemetery can be searched on the database in the county section of London in the borough of Southwark.
       Have you found any Welsh or other non-English ancestors in the Deceased Online collections? Have you managed to find your ancestor in burial records after failing to find them elsewhere? If you have found any of your family members in the Southwark Collection, we'd love to hear from you! Contact us in the box below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages. 


Popular posts from this blog

London's Spa Fields

Deceased Online has just uploaded around 114,000 burial records from Spa Fields in the modern London borough of Islington Spa Fields today, with the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer in the background Spa Fields Burial Ground became notorious in the 19th century for its overcrowded and insanitary conditions. Located in the parish of St James, Clerkenwell, the grave yard was not far from the ever-increasing City of London. Spa Fields was known also as Clerkenwell Fields and Ducking-pond Fields in the late 18th century, hinting at a dark side to what was then a summer evening resort for north Londoners. What would become a cemetery was a ducking pond in the rural grounds of a Spa Fields public house. It was here in 1683 that six children were drowned while playing on the ice. In his History of Clerkenwell (1865) William J. Pinks wrote that visitors, "came hither to witness the rude sports that were in vogue a century ago, such as duck-hunting, prize-fighting, bull-baiting

Haslar and Netley Military Hospital Cemeteries

Following on from last week's post, I'm looking further into Deceased Online 's latest collection of burials. These military burials were digitized in partnership with The National Archives .  Two notable institutions in the collection are Haslar Royal Navy Cemetery and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley. Both Haslar and Netley (as it was more commonly known) were Britain's foremost military hospitals during the bloodiest years of war in the western hemisphere The Royal Hospital Haslar and Clayhill Royal Navy Cemetery, Gosport, Hampshire The Royal Hospital Haslar dates from 1753. For over two hundred and fifty years Haslar served as one of main hospitals caring for sailors and marines of the Royal Navy and merchant services. Patients came from ships as well as from naval and seamen institutions in nearby Portsmouth and Gosport. The hospital closed as the last official military hospital in 2007. The Haslar Cemetery closed in April 1859 but the neighbouring Cl

Wakefield Collection: Cremation Records now available on Deceased Online

Records for both crematoria in Wakefield, Yorkshire have been added to the Deceased Online database Above: Pontefract Crematorium The two sets of crematoria records have been added to Deceased Online 's Wakefield Collection .  Wakefield district contains nineteen cemeteries and two crematoria. Many of the records go back to the mid and late 19th century when the cemeteries opened, and range across a wide geographical area. The full list of  Wakefield  cemeteries live on Deceased Online,  with opening dates in brackets,   is as follows: 1.  Altofts Cemetery  – Church Road, Altofts, Normanton  (1878)   2.  Alverthorpe Cemetery  – St Paul’s Drive, Alverthorpe, Wakefield  (registers from 1955) 3. Castleford Cemetery  – Headfield Road, Castleford  (1857) 4.  Crigglestone Cemetery  – Standbridge Lane, Crigglestone, Wakefield  (1882) 5. Featherstone Cemetery  – Cutsyke Road, North Featherstone  (1874) 6. Ferrybridge Cemetery  – Pontefract Road, Ferrybridge, P