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Need help finding a grave/burial

(19 Posts)
UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 19:27:22

Can anyone advise me how to go about finding out where a family member was buried? He died in 1950. I have found the record of his death (in London) but nothing on where he's buried, despite narrowing it down to 2 quite likely cemeteries.

Many thanks - new to all this.

OP’s posts: |
FredaFrogspawn Sat 26-Sep-20 19:30:16

Is there anything on those cemetery websites?

Einszwei Sat 26-Sep-20 19:33:25

If the cemetery is part of a church you can ask for them to check the parish records.
If the cemetery belongs to the council, you can often ask them to search the burial records. Information on how to do so should be on the local council website.

You can also search on findagrave of you haven't done so already.

UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 19:38:09

Looked on findagrave already - nothing.

Nothing on the cemetery website for one church, cannot find the records for the other.

OP’s posts: |
UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 19:38:40

Thanks for the quick responses, this board isn't very active so I wasn't expecting such quick replies!

OP’s posts: |
FredaFrogspawn Sat 26-Sep-20 19:42:57

are you sure there was a grave, and not a cremation?

Einszwei Sat 26-Sep-20 19:43:52

For the church there should be the contact details for a church warden. Or try contacting the church through Facebook?

UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 19:47:00

Did they do cremations much in 1950?

If there was a cremation, wouldn't there be a gravestone?

OP’s posts: |
UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 19:48:16

How do I find out if it was a cremation or a burial? Will that be on the death certificate?

I have ordered that.

OP’s posts: |
CraftyGin Sat 26-Sep-20 19:51:45

Most church yards would have closed already. I think the latest graves in my church yard is well before 1950. A burial would have been in a council cemetery after that.

Ashes may have been committed in a church yard up to the present time.

FredaFrogspawn Sat 26-Sep-20 19:56:40

Apparently 15% of funerals led to cremations in the 1950s. The ashes may have been scattered rather than interred.

UntamedWisteria Sat 26-Sep-20 20:40:56

I'm pretty sure the ashes weren't scattered anywhere as it was all hushed up a bit.

The death happened in London so council cemetery is likely I guess. Would there be a record of the funeral at the church?

Thanks for all this great help.

OP’s posts: |
Stillamum3 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:45:30

If it's likely that the burial would be in a council cemetery, contact the council and they should point you in the right direction. They will know which cemetery it is likely to be, and have the records. If a cremation, which you are correct in saying, was not so common in the '50's, the local crematorium would have records.

FredaFrogspawn Sat 26-Sep-20 20:54:41

I have a friend whose baby brother died at 3 yrs old in the 50s, ten years before he was born. They were a very poor family. He found the records recently - the boy was buried in someone else’s grave in a London cemetery - they were able to show him whose grave it was so he could pay his respects. Apparently that was quite common if the family couldn’t afford their own grave/headstone.

I don’t know if that’s helpful at all.

CraftyGin Sat 26-Sep-20 20:55:01


I'm pretty sure the ashes weren't scattered anywhere as it was all hushed up a bit.

The death happened in London so council cemetery is likely I guess. Would there be a record of the funeral at the church?

Thanks for all this great help.

There will definitely be a record of the funeral in church, if you can pin-point the church.

Ashes aren’t scattered in a church yard. They are buried/committed in a small capsule. There will have been a committal service, so should be recorded somewhere.

missmeg3leg Sat 26-Sep-20 21:01:14

Hi OP,

I’m a member of quite a few FH sites (hobby / obsession! 😂) happy to have a search around if you want to pm me details....

mateysmum Sat 26-Sep-20 21:18:43

Most councils have someone responsible for burials and graveyards - often under bereavement services - mainly for ongoing burials, but they will often also deal with inquiries for historic burials and possibly cremations if the crem is publicly owned (as most are). If his ashes were scattered it is unlikely there would be a gravestone.

The relevant local archive may also help.

Have you looked at local papers of the time which would carry reports of deaths and funerals? Many are on line or at local libraries.

If you know where he died, the funeral would almost certainly have been close by but the death certificate won't help. It will only record place of death and who reported the death.

Good luck.

UntamedWisteria Tue 29-Sep-20 11:27:15

Thank you all for your great help with this.

I have found the information I was looking for - I contacted the local council officer responsible for cemeteries and they were able to pinpoint the grave and send me the details very quickly.

It turns out to be a very short distance from where I used to live, quite by coincidence!

OP’s posts: |
mateysmum Tue 29-Sep-20 13:55:32

Great news OP. The power of Mumsnet.

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