Piece together your British family history through these death and burial records. The records also include monumental inscriptions from Clifton Road Cemetery in Rugby. The transcripts may reveal your ancestor’s parents’ names and final resting place. The chocolatier John Cadbury, who was born in Birmingham in 1802, can be found in this collection.
Each record includes a transcript of the original burial registry or details from the monumental inscription. Each record will vary depending on its source, but most will include a mixture of the following information:
Inscription – this field is limited to the records from Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby, created by the Rugby Family History Group. You will find the information recorded on the individual’s grave stone. Grave stones usually record the name of the individual’s spouse, children and/or parents. Also, some grave sites may have more than one person buried in the same plot.
Number in grave
Family history society contact – this field is limited to records from the Birmingham and Midland Society of Genealogy. You will find a link to the society’s website in the Useful Links and Resources, where you can order a copy of the original record.
County and country
The historic county of Warwickshire was abolished in 1974. The landlocked county was bordered by Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. The county previously included the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull. These records are not intended to be a comprehensive survey of all the burials in Warwickshire. For more detail about what towns or villages are included in the Warwickshire Burials, view our Warwickshire Place List available in Useful Links and Resources.
Among the burials recorded is that of Seth Bond whose death at the age of eighty in 1902 belies his lucky escape some fifty years prior. In October of 1854 at the age of 31, Seth took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War (1853-56). The charge, which saw a large number of those who took part killed or taken prisoner, has gone down in history as a testament to both the bravery of British cavalry and the recklessness of British officers.
Warwickshire Burials includes the interment registers from four Birmingham cemeteries:
Key Hill Cemetery
Key Hill Cemetery, in the Hockley district of Birmingham, was opened in 1836 and was one of the first non-conformist burial grounds in the city. The original interment register, containing over 60,000 records, has been filmed by Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry (BMSGH). There have been a few recent burials. The cemetery has not been actively used since World War Two.
Warstone Lane Cemetery
Warstone Lane Cemetery, alongside the Jewellery Quarter in the Hockley district of Birmingham, was opened in 1848. The original interment register, containing almost 94,000 records, has been filmed by BMSGH. The use of the cemetery has declined significantly since the 1960s.
Handsworth Cemetery was opened in 1901 and was expanded in 1911 by the Birmingham City Council. The cemetery contains grave sections for various denominations including Free Church, Muslim and Roman Catholic.
The cemetery sits on 103 acres on Moor Lane in Witton, making it the largest in Birmingham. The cemetery first opened in 1863 as the Birmingham City Cemetery. Amongst the thousands buried at Witton are 459 war graves from the First World War. In 2013, the cemetery was declared as full capacity and no longer able to accommodate new burials except for those in existing family plots.
For records from these three cemeteries, the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry can supply an image of the relevant entry from the interment register by contacting Yvonne Harrison by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 54 Exe Hill, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 7RA.
You will receive a copy of the original entry in the interment register, giving the name of the deceased, address, age, cause of death (if shown), informant (e.g. parent or other relative) and officiating minister. To comply with the Data Protection Act, if the date of death is less than 75 years ago, the address of the informant will be blanked out. For further information about the cost of records and discounts available, please view the link Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry in Useful Links and Resources.
The chocolatier John Cadbury, who was born in Birmingham in 1802, can be found in Warwickshire Burials. In 1824, he opened a grocer’s shop that sold foodstuffs such as cocoa and drinking chocolate, which Cadbury prepared using a pestle and mortar. The manufacturing business started seven years later when he opened a factory in Crooked Lane in Birmingham. By 1842, Cadbury’s were selling 16 types of drinking chocolates and 11 cocoa varieties. John Cadbury retired in 1861 due to ill health and handed the business over to his sons, Richard and George, but it wasn’t until 1905 that the first Dairy Milk bar was made. John Cadbury died on 11 May 1889 and is buried in Witton Cemetery.
From around the 7th century, burial in Europe was under the control of the Church and could only be carried out on consecrated church ground. From the early 19th century, however, the burial of the dead in graveyards (burial grounds within churchyards) began to fall out of favour. This was due to rapid population growth in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, continued outbreaks of infectious disease near graveyards, and the increasingly restricted space in graveyards for new interment. Entirely new burial places were established far from heavily populated areas at the outskirts of towns and cities. Many new cemeteries were municipally owned and therefore independent from churches. In Britain, this movement was initiated by dissenters who wanted non-denominational burial places, and was also driven by public health concerns. The Metropolitan Burial Act of 1852 legislated for the establishment of the first national system of government-funded municipal cemeteries across Britain, paving the way for an enormous expansion of burial facilities throughout the 19th century.
In the 19th century, urban burial grounds were viewed as public open spaces and were thus professionally designed to be attractive places to visit in their own right. They were often designed by people who designed public parks and were seen as public landscapes as well as burial grounds.
The Warwickshire Burials record set was created through an amalgamation of work by
Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry
Pam Batsone & Mary Williams
Rugby Family History Group