Just to add another reason for confusion to the substantial contributions made by others -
register errors! In the majority of cases, burials were entered in the parish register by
the Parish Clerk and they did not always get it right - date? name? spelling? They
sometimes entered it in advance, pre-empting the event, which occasionally did not happen
on the planned date or even at all. Lastly, as in the case of my Great Grandmother’s
parish, the Rector wrote in 1791 in the register “The Baptisms and Burials not having
been entered by my predecessor since the year 1785, I have inserted them from a Memorandum
which I procured from the Parish Clerk”. How much of that was guess work? Or, “Mr
Tamerlane [Rector] lost ye year 1751 and part of ye year 1752” and “The Account of
baptisms and Burials during the years of 1811 and 1812 was mislaid through the
carelessness of the then Parish Clerk”. Best of all "There have been no entries in
the parish register for the past three months because the vicar has been drunk” !!!! If
all that could go wrong in just one parish it seems reasonable to presume that there was a
good chance of similar errors elsewhere
From: Barry Beerdragon <barrybeerdragon(a)gmx.com>
Sent: 03 September 2018 14:32
Subject: [SOG-UK] Meaning of Church Burial Register Entries
This may seem a stupid question but does having an entry in a Church Burial
Register mean the deceased was buried in the Church grounds or just that
their funeral service was held there? As an example St Margarets Uxbridge
was supposed to stop burying people in its churchyard in 1855 as, like many
London churches, it was running out of space, and yet burial entries
continue in its register until the early 1900s. I know at least one person
who died in the 1860s and has an entry in that Church's register and yet has
a gravestone in Hillingdon & Uxbridge Cemetary just down the road.
If this was quite common then I guess the title "Burial Register" is a bit
misleading and "Funeral Service Register" would be more accurate?
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Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2018 09:01:00 +0100
From: Adrian Bruce <abruce6155(a)gmail.com>
Subject: [SOG-UK] Fwd: Meaning of Church Burial Register Entries
To: SOG Mailing List <SOG-UK(a)rootsweb.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
(Re-sent in plain text - I hope)
It's not a stupid question.
When I last raised this on the WDYTYA? Forum, Guy Etchells responded
"The burial register is supposed to record burials not funerals.
"All parishioners had a right to burial in a CofE churchyard, whether
the burial service was conducted under the rites of the CofE or not.
"The law required burials to be recorded not funerals or burial services."
Teresa's point about treating dedicated parts of cemeteries as if they
were part of the church's own graveyard seems eminently plausible and
sensible - I've not seen it in Cheshire, but I've not looked at any
other than my own relatives.
Re closed graveyards - you need to be careful about exactly what
"closed" means. There's closed to any further burials at all and
there's closed to the digging of new graves - the latter allowing
further burials in existing plots.
So while the theory is that it's a burial register not a funeral
register, there may be oddities whose explanation is not clear.
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End of SOG-UK Digest, Vol 13, Issue 66