Monday, July 11, 2011

Edinburgh heads surge of 1 million+ records from Deceased Online

Burial and cremation records for nearly 450 cemeteries and crematoria now online

BY EARLY AUGUST www.deceasedonline.com will have added another 1.25 million burial and cremation records from the north of Scotland to South Devon. And this on top of nearly a million burial records from the UK’s largest cemetery added in February this year, just in time for the Who Do You Think You Are Live exhibition at London Olympia.

Release dates for most of the new data are between May and early August, with the latest additions, in reverse chronology, as follows.
  • Greenwich becomes the 6th London Council to place its data on Deceased Online by adding records for Eltham Crematorium, one of the busiest crematoria in the country. Of the total 200,000+ records, an initial tranche of nearly 65,000 will be available by early August. (The other London councils are Brent, Camden, Havering, Islington and Merton)
  • Wakefield Council, West Yorkshire: 82,000 burial records will be added by mid-July (a further 300,000 plus should be online later in 2011 and into 2012).
  • Kettering, Northants: a total of 171,000 burial and cremation records for 8 cemeteries and a crematorium, most of which will be added in mid-July.
  • Edinburgh: on 24 June, 313,000 records were added for Seafield Cemetery and Crematorium and Warriston Crematorium.
  • Aberdeenshire: 37,400 records were added for 2 cemeteries in Peterhead during May and June.
  • Romford, Essex: nearly 38,000 records were added in June for Romford Cemetery, completing all the Havering cemeteries.
  • Wiltshire Council: 36,000 burial records for 7 cemeteries were added in May.
During April and May 327,000 burial records were added from authorities across a wide area, including Dacorum (Hertfordshire), Sawston (Cambridgeshire), Rushden (Northants), Cullompton (South Devon). Also, a new type of dataset was launched: grave memorial images with searchable inscription transcripts. Scottish Monumental Inscriptions provided the first of these collections, covering numerous cemeteries and burial grounds across 13 Scottish counties.

Deceased Online is the only central website dedicated to statutory UK burial and cremation records, and its recent expansion has increased its coverage to over 450 cemeteries and crematoria across the UK. Although most of the data comes from local councils’ statutory records, dating from the mid-19th century, many records on the Deceased Online portal are older than this and go back to the early 16th century.

“We set out to build a national database of statutory burial and cremation records”, says director Jamie Burges-Lumsden, “and we are now seeing real growth, with councils across the country adding their data. After a short summer lull, we expect records from many more new regions (including cities and large urban areas) to continue to be added to the site”.

Full details of all locations, cemeteries and crematoria are contained in the database coverage section on the Deceased Online website. Users of the website are advised of data and area updates by email bulletin after they have registered (they need to indicate their preference to receive the bulletins). Registration is free of charge, as is searching the database. If relevant records are found, the online user has the option to purchase access to these to view, print and download (from £1.50 each) and the revenue generated is shared between the Council and Deceased Online.

The range of data comprises computerised entries, digital scans of burial and cremation registers, details of others buried in the same grave and, where available, photographs of memorials with searchable inscriptions, and maps of cemeteries indicating exact grave locations.

A major advantage with Deceased Online is that users need not know the cemetery, town, city, county or local authority area where the person they are looking for was buried or cremated. Deceased Online enables UK-wide searching by name with a variety of search tools and filters to enable users easily to locate the subject of their search.