Australia Research Guide | Cemeteries
When a death certificate cannot be found, cemetery records can give information on the death of an ancestor. They may also offer more information on a deceased ancestor and their close family.
There are two types of cemetery records that record information about people who have been buried – burial records and headstone inscriptions. Even if there is no monument or plaque, burial records record all burials in a cemetery. Headstone inscriptions, often give important information that is not available elsewhere, especially for early deaths where written records do not exist or provide little data.
Information on burials can be found in a variety of sources, including:
Except for Tasmania, death certificates in all states and territories specify the location of the deceased’s burial from:
Burial records vary from cemetery to cemetery, however, the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death and plot number or description of location are often included in the majority of entries. By researching both burial records and headstone inscriptions, the following information may also be found:
Cemetery trusts, ecclesiastical authorities, and local councils keep burial and cemetery records. Many of these have been published and are available for research online. Although not all local councils offer an online search option for cemeteries, their websites are always worth examining if their area of authority includes the cemetery or burial site of interest. If you’re having trouble obtaining cemetery or burial information online, see if your local library, state library, or family history group has published records or transcriptions, or gives access to historic registers.
Some things to keep in mind when looking for Australian cemetery records:
Pictured: Daylesford, Victoria, James Charles Armytage (1802-1897)