03 August 2016

The burial place of Thomas Ball

Thomas Ball, my 4x great grandfather, died on 12 January 1873, at his residence - Francis Cottage, Highgate, England. I have been unable to find a record for his burial, but I have always suspected that he might have been buried in Highgate Cemetery, mainly because of the close proximity of his home to the cemetery. 

The Highgate Cemetery website requests a payment of £40 to look up a burial for someone. Considering I was looking for Thomas, and also hoping that his wife Sarah might also be buried there, I wasn't about to spend £80 on just a hunch. 

There was one other option though: the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre at the Holborn Library holds burial and grave registers for Highgate Cemetery. And you can visit a library for free! Perfect. 

The indexes to the burial registers are ordered by year, and are partially in alphabetical order - only to the first letter of the surname. And I found Thomas relatively easily, because I knew the year he died. 

The entry in the index said that Thomas' burial number was 42405, his grave number was 4383, and that his place of death (abode) was Pond Square, Highgate, St Pancras. 

The following is the entry in the burial register: 

The entry in the grave register contained a lot of information, including all the other people buried in the same grave. Unfortunately, that didn't include Thomas' wife Sarah. Seven people in all - mostly Thomas' grandchildren, with the following comment written at the bottom "This grave is quite full." I'll say.

The final thing I was able to find out was the actual location of the grave in the cemetery. 

The grave register noted that the grave was in section 53 of the Old Ground. This is in the West Cemetery, which you can only access by appointment, and if you give them two weeks notice they can go and find the grave, clear access to it, and then take you to it. Perhaps one day I'll be able to organise that. 

The problem with Thomas' wife Sarah not being there (it would have been really convenient if she was) is that I can't actually find her death date. She must have died between the 1861 Census and the 1871 Census, but that's as much as I've been able to narrow it down. And if she's not buried with her husband, who IS she buried with? Her parents? Her daughter? I'll have to keep looking.

1 comment:

  1. That was a good discovery...now you "just" have to find Sarah.