Tag Archives: headstones

Identifying headstones #familyhistory #graveyards

Tracing relatives – whether you are researching your family tree or on the trail of your birth family – will inevitably lead you at some point to a graveyard. Finding the headstones of relatives is always a bittersweet moment, but the text and dates may drive your search onwards.


[photo: @SandraDanby]

That process is now easier as 22,000 new UK headstone records have been added to the database at The Genealogist with additions of records from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, West Midlands, Wiltshire plus 12 Jersey parishes.

Each entry comprises the text of the memorial inscription, photographs of the headstone and its surroundings. Once you have identified the record you want, you can then view a map showing the graveyard location. For more information about the online headstone database, click here for The Genealogist.

For more articles about researching family records, try:-
How #adoption became a legal process #UK
How History Pin puts your #familytree research on a map
Was your relative a VAD nurse in the Great War?

Sandra Danby

In Ignoring Gravity, first in the ‘Identity Detective’ series of adoption reunion mysteries, Rose Haldane unravels the mystery of her birth. She searches a graveyard for the headstone of her birth mother. Before writing this scene. I spent a long afternoon in a local churchyard, absorbing the atmosphere, reading the dedications. BUY
Watch the book trailer.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Identifying headstones #familyhistory #graveyards https://wp.me/paZ3MX-79 via #AdoptionStoriesBlog

Searching the #DeceasedOnline database of #graveyards

I grew familiar with churchyards and graveyards when I was working on Ignoring Gravity. Rose Haldane believes her birth mother is dead and so searches amongst the headstones at her local church.

[photo @SandraDanby]

If Deceased Online had existed when Rose was searching for her birth mother, perhaps she would simply have searched the database online. Deceased Online is the first central database of burial and cremation records in the UK, and records are constantly being added to its database. 

Read how I researched the graveyard scene in Ignoring Gravity.

[photo @SandraDanby]

So I tested the Deceased Online database with a random search for the name of my father. One exact match was found, a gravestone at St Maxentius, Bradshaw, Lancashire. Not my father, and not one of my relatives. Sadly my search went no further as this headstone is not part of the DO contract, so was available to view only by payment with the local authority: £2 to view the single headstone, or £15 to view all 511 headstones at this property. 

[photo @SandraDanby]

My second search was for ‘Rose Haldane’. More success here, 36 headstone collections were found for Haldane, various cemeteries, mostly in Scotland, with multiple headstones. The most, seven, are at Kilmaurs Cemetery in East Ayrshire. Again, I was unable to view the headstone without payment. If I was searching for real, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay the fee.

This post was inspired by the article ‘50 family history websites to watch in 2015’ in the January 2015 issue of the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:

Searching the #DeceasedOnline database of #graveyards https://wp.me/paZ3MX-1g via #AdoptionStoriesBlog