Author Topic: A 'grave' question...  (Read 5588 times)

Offline SS from The Rhondda

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A 'grave' question...
« on: Tuesday 20 January 04 18:24 GMT (UK) »
Is it the norm for only members of a family to be buried in a cemetery grave ? (Cemetery opened mid 19th century)

I had access to the index of my local cemetery, and in an ancestors grave there appear to be other people that are seemingly not related to me.

If it is only family that are buried in one plot, then I can spread my search by looking at these 'other' names.

There was no headstone for reference.

The cemetery did have a free online index, but has now gone over to CD only by subscription  :(

Offline Suzi

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 20 January 04 21:02 GMT (UK) »
It sounds as though it's possible that this could be a public grave, rather than a private grave.   My understanding is that private graves were/are usually families only.   Public graves were for those who could not afford a private grave.      
Danaher/Ireland and London 
Dorr/Norfolk and London 
Holmes/Kent and London
Speller/Essex and London 
Stiles/Styles/Wiltshire and London 

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Offline Chris in 1066Land

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 29 January 04 15:01 GMT (UK) »
Hi SS_Rhondda

I can only endorse what has been said by Suzi - Every parishoner has a right of burial within his parish, though the responsibility for finding a burial space lies with the executors of a deceased person; neither the church council nor any local authority is under a legal obligation to provide burial space.  In the event of executors being unable to find a space or where, for example in the case of a vagrant, there are no executors, responsibility for the disposal of the body lies with the appropiate district council.
Providing two independent doctors certificates have been obtained, a body may be taken to a burial plot and 'committed to the earth' without recourse to an undertaker or indeed a funeral service.
Public graves were for the poor, their burials were paid for by the state and there can be several unrelated people in the same grave - often the coffins are standing up rather than lyeing down to get even more in the same grave. (especially childrens coffins)
A family plot is just that, until there is no one else left to look after it - then, providing there is still space in it, it can be used for further burials.
Burial Registers and lists of grave-lots are normally kept in the superintendents office at the larger cemeteries. The registers for cemeteries which were established before 1837 are kept at the Public Records Office.
Hope that is of some help
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Offline juno

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #3 on: Monday 31 May 04 19:21 BST (UK) »
Private grave plots could hold up to six people I believe.

so sometimes friends, or distant relatives were also buried there. Especially if the death was unexpected, or of a single person.

Offline Clincher

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #4 on: Monday 31 May 04 20:14 BST (UK) »
My wife and I had recent experience of this situation. We found a grave of her grandparents whose surname was M...
Inspection of the cemetery register showed that 2 other people surnamed G... were buried in the same grave. Their name meant nothing to us but it turned out that one of them was the sister of my wife's grandfather and the other was the sister's husband.
Conversation with staff in the cemetery office led to our discovery that, according to them, even for a private grave there is not necessarily a perpetual right of ownership of the grave. If the cemetery authority does not know of any person having acquired the right of ownership down the years then, on giving public notice of what they intend to do, they can use it to bury other people in it or even remove the contents elsewhere.

Offline Lady Macbeth

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 01 June 04 14:22 BST (UK) »
Just to let you know I agree with all the above as I have had a similar experience.  My great, great uncle died unexpectedly in his twenties after a motorcycle accident.  He is buried with two other seemingly unconnected people and the headstone only refers to one of them.  My great great gf is buried in a family grave with his descendents and the other siblings are in other family graves with their respective partners etc.  I was mystified until I noticed that his wife's death (who died much later and is not buried with him) was registered by her sister (death cert), whose married name is the same as one of the people in his grave.  Therefore, I concluded that the grave belonged to his wife's sister's inlaws (hope you are following this).  A bit complicated but it does finally make some sort of sense.

Another thing to watch is where the names on the headstone don't follow chronologically with when they were buried.  I have noticed on two of my stones that the children, who died and were buried before their parents, appear after their parents' names ("and their beloved children...").  I am assuming that they could not initially afford a stone and that this was erected much later and the names inscribed retropectively.

Also, where you have two family graves next to each other, bodies may have been buried in one grave and their name appears on the other headstone.  For example, a child's name appears on the stone with it's parents, but was actually buried in the next grave with the grandparents.  However, the council burial records will tell exactly who is buried where and you should be able to account for them all, even if they are split between graves.

Good luck.
Gegan, Geoghegan, Gagan, or any variation whatsoever in Ireland (particularly Co Offaly/Kings Co) and Scotland;
Symons and Symon in Angus, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire, Scotland;
McKenna in Ireland and Scotland;
Wilkie in Kincardine and Angus, Scotland

Offline Sylviaann

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 01 June 04 16:50 BST (UK) »
I agree with all the above.

My mother is buried with my father but she had remarried so has a different name.  My step-father wanted to be buried there but his son thought differently so he is not buried there.  Both my mother and father are named on the stone.  If there is no stone then who knows.  If they were all buried about the same time then they are probably unrelated.  If at different time then a little research would help.

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Norfolk: Gooch, Loveday, Lake, Betts
Suffolk: Gooch, Crosby, Turner
Hampshire: Laws, Burrows
Kent: Beer
Jersey: Barette, de Gruchy
East London: Middleton, Gower, O'Farrell, Smith, Weston


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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 01 June 04 17:56 BST (UK) »
 :-\  I think pulpers graves are what they are called
      ie a cheep grave  :'(
        I have seen this in my family a member of family
         then an old man with no family  :'(
          then a very young child  :'(
           then the grave closed .......
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Offline moscan

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Re:A 'grave' question...
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 03 June 04 00:43 BST (UK) »
My Grandfather wasn't allowed to bury his daughter and wife in the family plot... he bought the right to bury them in a "Public Grave"   I am now allowed to purchase those graves as noone has made claim to them since 1928... in my grandmothers case there is one other person buried there but his family have not made any enquiries there...

Public graves here in Dublin meant that no headstone could be erected.. I don't know if that was the same in the UK...  Having bought the grave's I now can erect a headstone to my grandmother and my aunt...

best wishes

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