British Service Deceased Online

Since 2008 United Kingdom and Northern Ireland records of burials and cremations with the registrar records, maps of cemeteries and photos of headstones have been made digital and placed online by the British Service Deceased Online. As of January 2013 there were 6 million individuals in 15 million records in their database. Most (2 million) are in the London area (West London, East London) and are free to search. What is especially useful is the listing of any additional relatives buried in the same grave. This was common when small children died, to be buried with other siblings or a parent. To view the original record or photo the service does charge $2.40 for each (25 credits). To do that you just register on the site.

The service has made it their goal to get all burial registers scanned, indexed and stored on computer. As well as preserving fragile documents, this is a major step towards making them publicly accessible on the Internet.

To start go to the top tab titled ‘Search’. It takes you to the ‘Free Advance Search’ page. Place a surname to begin with and select the country such as United Kingdom (the other country is Northern Ireland), then the region, like ‘northwest’ and then the county. Place a time range such as 1850 to 1880 and search all the records.

If your search surname is common, many names will appear along with a burial date and the cemetery name. You can narrow the list by placing a given name, but sometimes that name may be different that what was on the buried record. Use a variety of spellings even with a surname. If a headstone in the collection has the surname also listed (such as a parent’s name) it will indicate of such a finding.

Finding a listing you are interested in can be view after payment for the service (credit or debit cards). You have six months to go back to that same listing to view multiple times. The image can also be downloaded to your computer.

Photo: St. Michael’s Church and cemetery in Marbury, in Cheshire Co., England dating back to the 1500s.

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