Memorial / monumental inscriptions
When you are searching for the burial record of your ancestor, unlike the birth, marriage and death records, they are not recorded in any central database.
You may find some information in the parish records, but graves can sometimes be difficult to find, so here are some hints and tips to help you locate them.
Some burial records are listed on subscription websites such as:
You may locate them on these sites but you will need to take out a subscription to view the actual records.
There is also some useful information on the Family History Federation website at: https://www.familyhistoryfederation.com/education-gravestone
Most Family History Societies have recorded some graveyards in their local area and might have published a CD, booklet or download containing the Monumental Inscriptions. You can purchase these either through www.parishchest.com or the Societies’ own websites.
If you know the area your ancestors may be buried, you could contact the local authority as some do have a searchable database on their website. Alternatively, you would need to contact them directly, but they may ask for a fee to do a search; the price varies depending on the local authority. Some cemeteries, however, do have a free searchable database and are quite happy to undertake a search for you.
In London you may find that your ancestors were buried in one of the seven large cemeteries built due to overcrowding in London’s churchyards. These are: Abney Park Cemetery, Brompton Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery, Kensal Green Cemetery, Tower Hamlets Cemetery and West Norwood Cemetery.
Unfortunately, in some cases, graveyards have not been transcribed at all and it is possible you will be unable to find the location of the burial of your ancestor. However, information is becoming available all the time, so don’t give up! There may come a time when you just might find them.