Residents, or those with family or historic ancestral connections to the area, are now able to go online to access burial and cremation records managed and held by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The Council, in partnership with Deceased Online, www.deceasedonline.com, has scanned and created digital versions of all burial and cremation records going back to the early 1850s to enable easy and fast searching for family and ancestors’ records.
Under statutory legislation, burial and cremation records need to be managed and preserved by all local authorities. Until now, anyone searching for these records would have needed to apply to the Council or visit the Bereavement Services offices. The availability of the online records means that individuals are able to search the data themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will improve accessibility for the users, reduce the demand on Council resources and provide far easier and faster access to the records by the public. The online records will also be available to global users and visiting tourists who have an interest in the region and local family connections .
Deceased Online already has records for 150+ UK councils and other archives in its database; users can search the website free of charge and digital copies of records can be downloaded for a small fee per document.
Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are embracing digital technology to ensure these vital records are safeguarded and made easier to access and at a lower cost than before. This project will also provide local, national and even international researchers access to the fascinating history of the area at the click of a button from anywhere in the world.”
The digital records available are as follows:
Bathwick Cemetery, 1862-1998
Harptree Cemetery, 1884-2011
Haycombe Cemetery, 1937-1990
Locksbrook Cemetery, 1864-2010
St James’s Cemetery (formerly Lyn Wid & St James), 1861-2011
St Michael’s Cemetery, 1851-2008
Twerton/Bellots Road Cemetery, 1882-2003
Haycombe Crematorium, 1961-1996
People searching the website will be able to find:
• Scans of original registers
• Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
• Maps indicating the section within the cemeteries where each grave is located (available for Haycombe, St James’s and Twerton cemeteries only)