A NEW online service has been launched to enable people to search for details of all burials which have taken place in Leicester’s cemeteries over the last 170 years.
Information on more than 400,000 burials is now available thanks to a joint venture by Leicester City Council and website Deceased Online, meaning people can access information dating back to the first burial at Welford Road Cemetery in 1849.
The council’s bereavement services team handles requests from family members seeking details of burials and cremations at the city’s cemeteries, but the new service will be accessible 24/7 and will connect to thousands more records held by other councils across the UK, as well as the National Archive.
The first tranche of information covering the 400,000 burials registered in the city from 1849 to 2015 is now available, with details covering more than 200,000 cremations due to be added in about two weeks.
People searching for details of burials or cremations since 2015 will still be able to do so via the bereavement services team.
Leicester City Council’s bereavement services manager, Alan Brown, said: “People come to us regularly wanting to find out details of where and when relatives were buried, particularly when people are researching their family history or trying to piece together information from the past.
“Every burial and cremation that takes place in the city is registered and documented, but in the case of historic ones it can be very time consuming to get those records manually.
“We’ve worked with Deceased Online to digitise all the records, meaning they are now available for people to search for directly, and also to cross reference the information with burial details held by other participating local authorities, and the National Archive.”
People will be able to search for a record for free, and pay a small charge to get copies of documents and other information online.
The online availability of the city’s burial and cremation records comes ahead of the latest programme of Heritage Open Days in September, in which visitors can explore local historic sites including numerous churches and local cemeteries.
Leicester deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “These online records make a fascinating resource into the city’s history and the generations of families who have lived here.
“Our forthcoming Heritage Open Days will see events in a number of cemeteries and churches, which will give the opportunity for people wanting to locate a grave or find out more information to do so.”
Guided walks will take place at Belgrave Cemetery and St Peter’s Churchyard as part of the programme of heritage events.
For information and to search burials in Leicester’s cemeteries visit here.
More details of local Heritage Open Day events are available here.