Hunting for Headstones

Have you been searching for NSW deaths but can’t find them in NSW BDM? The next best thing is to search for a cemetery record.  There are two types of websites that record cemetery records on the internet: ones that hold official records of every death in a particular cemetery and ones that transcribe the actual headstones.  The limitation of the latter is that, if there was no headstone, or if the headstone has deteriorated to the point where it can’t be read (or it has gone altogether!), then there won’t be a record.

Sydney’s major cemeteries are pretty well known and generally easy to search.  It becomes more difficult finding individuals who died in country areas; in the small cemeteries that dot the NSW countryside.

Many local councils are now digitising their records and putting them online and that’s a great help.  You just have to know the town or shire in which the cemetery lies and you can go to their website and see if you can search.  Don’t be dismayed if the records for the cemetery you are searching for aren’t yet digitised.  Often, a call to the local council will result in them searching their records for you.

If that doesn’t work, there is a website that claims to have documented every cemetery in country NSW.  It’s called the Australian Cemeteries Index and you can find it at http://austcemindex.com .  Although the site is called “Australian Cemeteries Index”, there are few cemeteries listed for other states but it’s great for country deaths in NSW.

The site has developed over the years – originally it was just a surname only search.  Now, there’s a more sophisticated search screen allowing you to put in additional details regarding given names, dates, spouse names and the like. That will help you to narrow the search.  There are also many, many pictures of headstones – great for those into enhancing their NSW family history rather than just recording births, deaths and marriages details.

However, these are transcripts of existing headstones.  Remember the warning above.  Nevertheless, this is a valuable website in searching for NSW deaths in the country.

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One thought on “Hunting for Headstones

  1. unfortunately you won’t find Dubbo cemeteries (only the Pioneer Cemetery) – you have to go through Dubbo family history group & pay

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