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Oxford City Council Collection on Deceased Online

This week I look at the full collection of burial and cremation records on Deceased Online from the historic city of Oxford
By Hannah Johnston - Instagram, CC BY-SA 4.0,
In August 2018, Deceased Online added almost 50,000 burial and cremation records from the Oxford cemeteries of Botley, Rose Hill and Wolvercote, from Oxford City Council. In July 2019, records for the fourth cemetery, Headington Cemetery, were uploaded to the databaseRecords from 1899 to 2007 are available to search and view, with burial and grave register scans, a grave section location map, and details of other burials in the grave.
Headington Cemetery records  
  • digital scans of all burial registers up to 2007 
  • computerised data 2007-2016
  • maps showing the section in which the grave is located
  • grave details for each of the graves and their occupants. 
History of Headington Cemetery
By the mid-nineteenth century, Headington urgently needed a new burial ground as the village grew, and the existing graveyard at St Andrew's Church was running out of space. Two acres of land were purchased for the purpose from Miss Mary Latimer in 1884, and a mortuary chapel designed by Wilkinson and Booth was built in 1885. In 1932, Headington Cemetery was extended to make space for even more burials.
The grave register entry of Henry Sanderson Furniss, 1st Baron Sanderson
Above: The grave register entry of Henry Sanderson Furniss, 1st Baron Sanderson.
Note that in the grave register his name was recorded only as 'Henry Sanderson'

Headington Cemetery's burial records include details of those from all walks of life, including academics, celebrated writers, and automobile workers. The burial ground also provides the final resting place of many notable people from the 20th century. 

These include Henry Sanderson Furniss, 1st Baron Sanderson and son of Thomas Sanderson Furniss who, despite being almost blind, graduated from Hertford College of the University of Oxford, with a Master of Arts in 1893. He later lectured at Ruskin College, an educational institution in Oxford for adults lacking in formal education, from 1907 to 1916. Eventually, he served as the Principal of the college. His title of 1st Baron Sanderson of Hunmanby, York, was bestowed upon him in recognition of his distinguished career in education.

The section map below, taken from the Deceased Online website, highlights the exact location of Henry Sanderson's grave.
The section location map of Henry Sanderson's grave
John de Monins Johnson, printer to the University of Oxford from 1925 to 1946, was buried in Headington in 1956. Johnson was awarded a Hon D.Litt for his work on the Oxford English Dictionary in 1928. He also collected printed ephemera; any printed material not designed to be kept or preserved. The word ephemera comes from the Greek ephemeros, meaning, 'lasting only one day, short lived'. Johnson's printed ephemera collection is recognised as one of the most important and significant collections in the world and was transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1968.

The burial register entry of John de Monins Johnson
Above: The burial register entry of John de Monins Johnson

Major William Lauriston Melville Lee, author of A History of Police in England, was buried in Headington after his death in 1955. In 1916, Melville Lee was appointed as the head of the new Parliamentary Military Security Department No 2 (PMS2), established to spy on the British Socialist Movement and protect the British manufacturing vital to the war effort. The department worked for only a year before the controversial agent provocateur methods used against Alice Wheeldon and her family. This resulted in PMS2 being closed down, and led to Major Melville Lee's retirement to his house in Headington. He is remembered for championing a different way of policing, a kind of policing committed to public service and prevention of crime.

The burial register entry of William Lauriston Melville Lee
Above: The burial register entry of William Lauriston Melville Lee

Oxford City Council Collection available to view on Deceased Online include:
  • Botley Cemetery – 8,996 records from 1894 to 2016
  • Headington Cemetery – 8,678 records from 1899 to 2016
  • Rose Hill Cemetery – 20,834 records from 1894 to 2016
  • Wolvercote Cemetery – 17,163 records from 1894 to 2016
Other local records in the region available on Deceased Online courtesy of the National Archives for Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire.

Do you have ancestors from the city of Oxford? Please do let us know about anyone you have found in the Deceased Online collections! We love to hear from you, either in the Comments Box below or on our Facebook and Twitter platforms.


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