Burial Records – A Great Resource

ImageWhen researching ancestors a great resource are burial records.  The records tend to show date of death, burial date, residence at time of death, grave number and often the proprietor of the grave.  They also show all occupants of the grave which can lead us to more of our ancestors.  At no cost records are available online for the Belfast area from 1869 onwards.  Approximately 360,000 records are available for the Belfast City, Roselawn and Dundonald Cemeteries.  The records can be found here:  http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/community/cemeteries/belfastcitycemetery.aspx

 About The Cemetery

 “Belfast City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in Belfast.  It was purchased in 1866 by Belfast Corporation (now the council) and was officially opened on August 1, 1869 as the city’s first municipal burial ground. “


 “The cemetery provides an important insight into the history of Belfast.  It is a recognised historical site and shows many fine examples of Victorian, Edwardian and Gothic revival architecture.

A number of sections in the cemetery were used for the burial of the poor.  These paupers’ graves have no headstones or any other form of grave marker. There are many thousands of children buried in these sections, which hold 80,208 remains in total.

Land was first acquired for a Jewish burial ground within Belfast City Cemetery in January 1871.  It was accessed via a separate entrance on Whiterock Road.  Above the gate, which is now bricked up, you can still read the Hebrew inscription that marked this area of the cemetery.  Translated, it means ‘the house of life’ or ‘house of the living’.  The area also contained a small Tahara, similar to a synagogue or chapel, which was destroyed by vandals in the 1970s. “ From the Belfast City Council’s Website

About CJ Murdoch

Looking For "Dead People"! My Journey Back In Time - Tracing my ancestors and researching the counties, cities and towns where they resided. Taking a “Glimpse” into their lives and stories and the times in which they lived; all in an effort to learn about their “Dash”! “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.” I have always been interested in researching my family tree and “hanging out” in cemeteries. Like most of us... I didn't ask enough questions when elderly family were still living. Oh, what I would give for 24 hours and a camera with my ancestors… just to sit and listen! I'm researching many family lines, including: Murdoch, Wilson, Berry, Love, Scott, Beattie/Beatty, Hendren, Sweeney, Robinson and Elvin; just to name a few. My families are predominantly from counties Antrim, Donegal and Londonderry. However, it seems that many of them, both maternal and paternal lines, originally hailed from Co. Donegal. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and now live in Ottawa, Canada, making frequent trips back home to visit with my family. Of course those visits also include treks to the many burial grounds of my ancestors. My most recent trip back home was during the summer of 2019! Looking forward to August of 2020 when I will return. If you are interested in help tracing your ancestors I’d love to hear from you!
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