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Christmas Ritual from Finland: visiting the cemetery

This week's post was inspired by the Finnish ritual of visiting cemeteries at Christmas.

It may not be everyone's idea of a perfect Christmas, but for religious and non-churchgoing Finns, taking candles to place on family graves on the 24th December is part of their annual tradition. Since the 1920s when candles became affordable, many Finns (up to around 75%  of Finnish families) will light the beginning of the Christmas period for their deceased relatives.
Some take candles to a local cemetery where they do not have relatives - often to enjoy the peaceful, reflective experience of the candlelit graveyard. In Finland, as with many of the cemeteries that feature in the collections of Deceased Online, graveyards are respected as places of calm for the living. Emphasis is placed on nurturing the trees and plants surrounding memorials. This results in cemeteries on Christmas Eve becoming candlelit sanctuaries, full of people, while remaining tranquil and respectful. Meanwhile, in …

Lewisham Cemetery: Captain Walter Napleton Stone VC

This week's post explores the life and family of First World War Victoria Cross hero, Walter Napleton Stone (1891-1917), who was commemorated recently at a special ceremony in Lewisham 
Politicians, relatives and local residents gathered in Lewisham High Street on 30 November 2017 to mark the unveiling of a paving stone in the name of former Blackheath resident, Captain Walter Napleton Stone VC.  

The paving stone is one of 628 specially commissioned stones which are being laid in the home areas of each of the Victoria Cross recipients of the Great War.

The date of 30 November commemorates the day Walter Stone was killed on the Western Front, at the Battle of Cambrai. Like many killed in action between 1914 and 1918, the grave of Walter Stone has not been found. He is remembered on a number of memorials, including the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing, the parish war memorial Shrewsbury's St Mary's Church, and on the Lewisham Shopping Centre mural. 
Although Walter has no known …

An MP in West Norwood Crematorium and a Theatre Dresser in Lambeth Crematorium

Examining the cremation records  of West Norwood and Lambeth Crematoria
With last week's launch of West Norwood and Lambeth crematoria records on the Deceased Online database, more of us can now find online ancestors who lived and/or died in the modern borough of Lambeth. Try searching the database if you are researching 20th-century individuals from any of the following parts of south London:
BrixtonBrixton HillClaphamClapham ParkCrystal PalaceGipsy HillHerne HillKenningtonLambethLoughborough JunctionBalhamOvalStockwellStreathamStreatham HillTulse HillVauxhallWaterlooWest Dulwich. As discussed in last week's blog, West Norwood Crematorium is located on the site of one of the 'Magnificent Seven', West Norwood Cemetery in south London. This cemetery lies close to Tulse Hill, Dulwich, Streatham, and Brockwell Park. Since it opened in 1916, the crematorium has served a wide spectrum of south London society - from the poorest to the powerful. The life of a figure of power, cu…

West Norwood Crematorium and Lambeth Crematorium

Deceased Online is delighted to be adding 90,000 records to its database this week with the collection of cremation records from West Norwood and Lambeth Crematoria in south London. The borough of Lambeth has a rich history, being located across the River Thames from Westminster. Home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as the site of numerous slum dwellings over the years Lambeth today is the fifth most densely-populated English district and includes the districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Clapham, Clapham Park, Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill, Herne Hill, Kennington, Lambeth, Loughborough Junction, Balham, Oval, Stockwell, Streatham, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill, Vauxhall, Waterloo, West Dulwich. Deceased Online has today uploaded the records of Lambeth's two crematoria. The records comprise digital scans of the original cremation registers, as well as scattering or burial locations.


West Norwood Crematorium lies on the site of the 'Magnificent' West Norwood Cemetery in sout…

North West England Collections on Deceased Online

This week I summarize the full collection of burial and cremation records on Deceased Online from across the North West England
Since July 2017, when Deceased Online added burial and cremation records from the council of Cheshire East, the collection of records from across the modern counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Merseyside has been one of the largest on the website. North West England is one of nine official regions of the country.

For anyone who has missed all the updates on collections from these areas, or if you just need to be clear on what is now available to search online, below is the full list.

Boundary changes
Be aware that the modern counties have only existed in their current form since 1974. In that year boundary changes created the metropolitan counties of Merseyside (including Liverpool) and Greater Manchester (including the city of Manchester). The northern part of the county (including Furness and Cartmel) was transferred to the newl…

Anniversary of the founding of London's Metropolitan Police

This week's blog celebrates police ancestors with today (29 September 2017) being the 188th anniversary of the founding of London's Metropolitan Police

On 29 September 1829, 188 years ago to the day, the Metropolitan Police of London (later also known as the Met) was founded. Although this was first professional police force in England, there had been local constables throughout the 18th century. From the 1730s, some towns and cities paid for watchmen or constables to patrol the streets at night. In 1749, Henry Fielding set up the Bow Street Runners and in 1763, his brother, Sir John Fielding brought in the Bow Street Horse Patrol.

Outside of London, the first professional police force in Britain, the City of Glasgow Police, was established in 1800. Railway police began in 1830 with the creation of Liverpool and Manchester Railway's own force. But London's law and order remained chaotic with only 450 constables and 4,500 night watchmen to keep the peace.

Famously, the t…

Cheshire East Collection: Nantwich Food & Drink Festival

In honour of next week's Nantwich Food Festival and the recent upload of Nantwich Cemetery records to the Deceased Online database, this week's blog looks at the surprising salty past of this historic Cheshire market town 



From 1st to 3rd September 2017, the annual Nantwich Food Festival will be held entirely in the town centre among one of the county's largest collection of historical buildings. Over 200 exhibitors, demonstrators and entertainers will be based around the Elizabethan, Georgia and Victorian buildings against the backdrop of the medieval 14th century St Mary's Church. The organisers expect around 40,000 visitors.
Nantwich has notable Roman history and was known in the medieval period as 'Wich Malbanc'. Being a significant settlement near the Welsh border, Nantwich was also known by the old Welsh Hellath Wen. In the 18th century the name was changed to 'Namptwych'.

During the 19th century, Nantwich suffered an outbreak of cholera. By the end…

Cheshire East Collection: Crewe Railway Ancestors

This week I look deeper into Deceased Online's latest release of the Cheshire East Collection (1861-2015), exploring why Crewe's history lies at the heart of England's railway past.

As I revealed in last week's post, the Cheshire East Collection includes the records of six cemeteries and crematoria in the Crewe area of the county.. There are now 130,000 records from the Crewe office available on www.deceasedonline.com. The oldest are for the cemeteries of Coppenhall (dating from 1861), Nantwich (1870) and Crewe (1872). Anyone with ancestors buried at Nantwich should be aware that some of the older entries in the original registers of this cemetery are duplicates, for which correct grave details may be unobtainable.The Cheshire East records comprise digital scans of all burial registers or cremation indexes and grave details for each of the graves and their occupants. Records for the Macclesfield area have been digitised and will be released later in the year.
Today, Cre…

New Collection: Cheshire East

More records for county of  Cheshire as Cheshire East Collection (1861-2015) is added to the Deceased Online database. As someone who grew in Lancashire, I am delighted that Deceased Online has extended its North West England collection with the addition of burial and cremation records from neighbouring Cheshire East
Deceased Online has recently digitised burial and cremation data for the south part of the Cheshire East Council area, managed by OrbitasBereavement Services. This covers the following sites: 
Congleton Cemetery (500 records) 2004 - 2015Coppenhall Cemetery (10,400 records) 1861 - 2015Crewe Cemetery (51,750 records) 1872 - 2015Nantwich Cemetery (11,150 records) 1870 - 2015Sandbach Cemetery (3,950 records) 1935 - 2015Weston Cemetery (1,150 records) 1908 - 2015Crewe Crematorium (52,100 records) 1937 - 2009 (+ 1 record from 1945)History The oldest records in this collection come from the mid-Victorian Coppenhall Cemetery. Covering 9.44 acres, the cemetery was designed for the …