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Tower Museum to unveil massive trawl of Burial Register

06 December 2016

Members of the public interested in tracing their family roots will have a first opportunity to access a massive trawl of the Derry City Cemetery Burial Register when the Tower Museum hosts the latest in its series of Tower Talks this Thursday December 8th.

The talk will explore the importance of the City Cemetery and how the burial records help to tell the story of Derry~Londonderry.

The vast database of records were compiled after a successful call out by the Tower Museum in May of this year for help to preserve and transcribe over 36,000 entries from the records that date from 1853 until 1916.

Over 40 volunteers responded and offered their services and Derry City and Strabane District Council are now working on creating an online, searchable database that will be accessible to the public.

A burial register will be on display on the night, and the archive team will discuss the process behind the volunteer project, and some of the interesting research and statistics that have come to light. 
Welcoming the news, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the database will prove a valuable resource to anyone interested in learning more about their genealogical routes.

“It is remarkable that so many people volunteered to become part of the Cemetery Burial Registers project and it shows how much interest there is locally in these records,” she said.
“The detailed nature of these records mean they will provide a fascinating insight into our City and District’s past not just now but for generations to come.

“They will create an insightful resource for local people and anyone interested in tracing their roots back to our area won’t want to miss Thursday’s event at the Tower Museum.”

The records detail not only the names of those buried in the cemetery, but also their age, place of birth and who their parents were, amongst other valuable genealogical information.

Most importantly for those trying to trace their ancestry, they reveal the location of the grave within the large cemetery site.

Education Officer at the Tower Museum, Ronan McConnell, explained that by taking part in the project local people have literally become a part of history in the making:

“We were overwhelmed by the amount of interest in the project and the number of volunteers who wanted to help,” he said. “The Cemetery Burial Registers project has become one of the largest volunteer projects the Tower Museum has ever run.

“Without the volunteers, this project would have taken years to complete, so we’re incredibly grateful for all their help and support over the last 7 months.”

Join the Archive team and the projects volunteers to hear more about this fascinating project on Thursday 8th Dec at 7.30pm in the Tower Museum.