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  1. #1
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    Default London Cemeteries. Wonderful resting places for Londoners.

    Hi

    Most of my London ancestors are buried at Highgate, St Pancras & Islington & Nsome East and South London cemeteries which when erected in 1852ish after the Metropolitan Burial Acts were still in the countryside outside the huge metropolis.

    5 of my London ancestors who lived in crowded Central London parishes were buried at the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery. They had lived at St Pancras and Holborn and one in St Luke.

    It is amazing that after living in a crowded metropolis of around 3 to 4 million people, surrounded by gigantic tenement blocks, crowded buildings, streets, factories, government buildings, often poverty and noise and the constant clatter of horse hooves echoing down the cobbled streets our London ancestors were sent to what seems to be the most tranquil areas of these London cemeteries surrounded by trees, leaves, grass and bracken. Amazing.
    London did swallow up the surrounding countryside over the years.

    Even today when you visit these cemeteries you only hear birds and the faint sounds of vehicles roaring in the distance along the M25 and N Circular and other major London roads.

  2. #2
    Jan1954
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    That is so true, Ben.

    Behind Grays Inn Road, on the corner with Wren Street, London, is a green square. I cannot remember what the name of it is - Calthope Gardens, pehaps?

    I used to work in GIR and walk down from St Pancras Station. I would sometimes just stop in this square to drink my coffee, surrounded by gravestones and tombs. Many of them are quite ornate but the tranquility of the place is wonderful - and just a stone's throw from the bustle and noise of the traffic.

  3. #3
    Needs glasses to read properly but knowledgeable and very helpful. pipsqueak's Avatar
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    How did you find out where your London relatives were buried?

  4. #4
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    Hi

    I had a gut feeling that some were buried in the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery and Highgate, and how right I was. I went up there and found the burial dates of two of my London 3xgreat grandparents first but then I went back up to find a likely burial for my ancestor Thomas Roberts as I couldnt find a likely death in the registers so it required a bit of brain power.

    All I knew was that Thomas had died inbetween Nov 1886 and Dec 1890 according to family certificates. I found a few possibles for the time inbetween but to no avail as I eliminated them. When I visited the SP&I Cemetery again, I noticed in the Islington one the burial of a Thomas Roberts in May 1889 of the Holborn Infirmary, and I thought "MY Thomas was in Holborn in 1886".

    I quickly went back to the FRC in Clerkenwell and found the death cert of a John Thomas Roberts, aged 76 in Islington district. I then found a John Roberts on 1881 in Islington Workhouse aged 68. But I later found out that he was still alive in 1891 so I was talking about 2 different people.

    I sent for the 1889 death cert and it said "formelry of 25 Evelyn Buildings, Holborn" which is where my Thomas Roberts wife died in Nov 1886.

    A brickwall smashed down all thanks to a visit to a cemetery.

    Ben

  5. #5
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    My gg grandmother died in St. George Infirmary, St. George in the East and after much passed on emails was given the City of London Cemetery online database.

    https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/corpo...SearchForm.asp

    It cost me 35 to have them search the 1910 parish indexes. Disappointing but for some the later interments might be found free online or if you are able to visit the registers in person. I hope I don't have to wait too long for an answer - they mail the information.
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  6. #6
    Mutley
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    I recently visited London and sat in the gardens of the old Bethlem Asylum (the present site of the Imperial War Museum).

    It was so peaceful, my grand daughter and I fed a squirrel with our lunch while we looked up at the windows of the great building and remembered this was where the word 'Bedlam' originated from.

  7. #7
    A very furry Feen! Feen's Avatar
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    Hiya Benny,

    What a great thread and I thought I'd bump it with my contribution.....

    I found this forum while I was researching some C19 relatives who were involved in the railway accident at Wigan in 1873. I had heard the story of that family when I was in my teens, but not thought about them much recently, but after reading the report that Peggy PMd me, I felt moved to go and find their grave in Highgate Cemetery. I had not been to Highgate before - well that's not quite true, I went to the Flask pub once with some friends but it was late at night and I didn't see much of the surroundings! I was gobsmacked with the beauty of the place - the village, the park and the cemetery - as I think just about everyone who goes there must be. Finding the grave was an incredibly moving experience and I'm now planning to maintain it as the last surviving member of that family wished. I became a Friend of the Cemetery, and a volunteer, and I've just started taking tours of the West Cemetery. It's an extraordinary new departure that I'd never have imagined at the start of this year. Isn't it interesting where family research can lead?

    Highgate was actually recommended in a newspaper article on Friday as one of the top 10 European cemeteries to visit. It really is a very special place, an absolute treasure trove of social history, and so worth the trip. Worth travelling to see, and also worth making the effort for if you're a lazy Londoner like me, who never used to get off her bum to go sight-seeing locally .

    Feen

    x

  8. #8
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    Hi

    I went back to London at the end of September and visited the gravesites in the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery where my St Pancras ancestors were buried in 1884 and 1885. They lived in Whitfield Street, parrallel to Tottenham Court Road. Where they are buried is in a small swathe of ground in a wooded area of the cemetery now covered in those leafy looking weeds and it is so peaceful there. The trees are so tall that the swathe of burial ground is like inside a vegetation dome.

    My Highgate ancestors grave can be overgrown at times but I think the area is maintained by the governors of the cemetery who I have to thank for.

    Ben

  9. #9
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    Whenever I went to England, we always stopped to look at the churchyards and cemeteries and it was fascinating and beautiful. Unfortunately none of my ancestors were buried in any of these obscure villages and towns but I was always awed by the sense of history that they provided on the stones.
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  10. #10
    A very furry Feen! Feen's Avatar
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    Which part of Highgate cemetery is your family grave in Benny (if you don't mind me asking - frankly I'm just being nosy, and wonder if it's a grave that I know). If it gets cleared from time to time it's probably on or quite near a main path.

    Hello Vanessa, did you make any progress with finding your ancestor who you thought might be in Putney Vale cemetery?

    Feen

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