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Public and Private Graves explained

St Mary’s Cemetery has two types of grave – public and private.

Public Graves (Also known as Common Graves)

These were the cheaper burial option; which was used until the end of the 1970’s. Children continued to be buried in public graves until the late 1990’s.

Over 115,000 adults and children were interred in Public Graves at St Mary’s Cemetery.

A Public Grave contains many people, often more than eight, who were not related to each other but who died around the same time.

In the 1980’s St Mary’s Cemetery reclaimed all the common graves and removed all headstones or grave markers. The graves were never disturbed but approximately 12 foot of fresh earth was placed above the graves. This is now used as new private plots.

Those interred in public graves are recorded in the cemetery records. Some descendants of those interred in public graves have chosen to have a memorial in the Cemetery Chapel.

Private Graves (Also known as Family Graves)

These graves will have family members buried together; sometimes decades apart. St Mary’s Cemetery also has graves for religious orders which will have priests from the same parish or nuns from the same convent buried together.

A Private Grave will have a number and a plot name; the plot name initials can be found on the Cemetery Map.

There are Private Graves available for purchase at St Mary’s Cemetery. Please contact the Cemetery Office for more information.

Persons of Note

There are thousands of people buried at St Mary’s Cemetery.

There are people buried at St Mary’s Cemetery from every sector of London’s population.

You will find the graves of politicians, judges, religious leaders, artists, authors and composers together with spies, entertainers, sportsmen, scientists, inventors – even the occasional gangster!

In March 2000 Bob Moulder compiled a list of “Persons of Note” buried at St Mary’s Cemetery. He wrote a short biography of each person explaining what they had achieved that made them notable.

This fascinating document is stored in the St Mary’s Cemetery Office

If you would like to have a name added to the list
please contact the office to discuss.

Burial Records

St Mary’s Cemetery has a record of every burial that has taken place since the opening of the cemetery in 1858.

What information is contained in a Burial Record?

The records in the database contain the following information:

First Name - All first names and middle names

Surname

Burial Date Age - In some cases this is an approximate age. Notes -This is the capacity of the grave and how many interments have occurred.

Grave Number - The grave numbering system is explained alongside a map of the cemetery here.

Brought from - The place of death; could be hospital, hospice or home address.

Fee - Cost of this burial; pre-decimalisation prices have been converted.

Grave Type - This could be Public or Private.
See an explanation at the top of this web page.

Year

The records do not have date of birth, date of death, home address, named next of kin or relationship between those buried in the same grave.

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Grave Ownership

When a grave is purchased the cemetery records the name and address of a family member or friend to be the Grave Owner. The Grave Owner is not always the next of kin of those interred in the grave. The Grave Owner can transfer ownership to someone else or, if the Owner is deceased, Ownership can be claimed by a relative.

To find out more about Grave Ownership transfer please contact the office. It is possible for the Cemetery Office to find the name and address of Grave Owners but only from 26th March 1924 onwards. Unfortunately the earlier records have been lost.

Burial Records

St Mary’s Cemetery has a record of every burial that has taken place since the opening of the cemetery in 1858.

What information is contained in a Burial Record?

The records in the database contain the following information:

First Name - All first names and middle names

Surname

Burial Date Age - In some cases this is an approximate age. Notes -This is the capacity of the grave and how many interments have occurred.

Grave Number - The grave numbering system is explained alongside a map of the cemetery here.

Brought from - The place of death; could be hospital, hospice or home address.

Fee - Cost of this burial; pre-decimalisation prices have been converted.

Grave Type - This could be Public or Private.
See an explanation at the top of this web page.

Year

The records do not have date of birth, date of death, home address, named next of kin or relationship between those buried in the same grave.

Burial-records-photo-2

Grave Ownership

When a grave is purchased the cemetery records the name and address of a family member or friend to be the Grave Owner. The Grave Owner is not always the next of kin of those interred in the grave. The Grave Owner can transfer ownership to someone else or, if the Owner is deceased, Ownership can be claimed by a relative.

To find out more about Grave Ownership transfer please contact the office. It is possible for the Cemetery Office to find the name and address of Grave Owners but only from 26th March 1924 onwards. Unfortunately the earlier records have been lost.

St Mary’s Cemetery, Harrow Road, London, NW10 5NU

T: +44 (0) 208 969 1145

F: +44 (0) 208 969 1153

E: saintmaryscemetery@gmail.com

© 2019: St Marys Cemetery

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