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Cemeteries and Graveyards

Pen and Sword

Cemeteries and Graveyards

This comprehensive and fascinating guide from genealogist and historian Celia Heritage will be an invaluable tool for all family and local historians wanting to track down documentary sources relating to people buried over the centuries. A wide-ranging examination of historical and archaeological findings means that the book will also appeal to anyone with an interest in death and burial. Celia throws light on changing social attitudes to death and burial from pre-historic times to the modern day, investigates the origins and evolution of cemeteries and graveyards, and discusses the many different types of graves and memorials. She details a wide range of online and offline sources that will help locate burials and memorials, while also offering vital advice regarding good research practice and what to do if you struggle to find a burial for a particular person. One chapter takes an in-depth look at the origins of the parish churchyard, while another looks at graveyards associated with nonconformist churches and institutions, including workhouses, asylums, hospitals and gaols. There is plenty of detail about less well-known genealogy sources such as undertakers' and stonemasons' records, together with better known sources such as burial registers and memorial inscriptions. Celia opens up a world in which the meaning of symbols used on gravestones becomes clear and she takes us below ground to investigate the different types of burial spaces in which our ancestors were laid to rest. She also explains why so many gravemarkers no longer survive - not just through weathering. Throughout, there is a wide range of hands-on case studies which bring the subject to life and put it right into the hands of the researcher. This is far more than just genealogy, and Celia portrays this fascinating subject from the view of both historian and archaeologist.

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