City Cemetery Records Project
Derry City Cemetery was opened in 1853 and for the following hundred years, until the early 1960s, it was the main burial place for both Protestants and Catholics in the city. This community burial plot tells the story of Derry.
Within its grounds lies the story of unmarked pauper graves, the 19th century Cholera outbreaks, the maritime heritage of the city though its 19th century merchant class, the First World War, The Second World War, the Troubles as well as the general community of the city. Furthermore, a search for a burial plot, whether marked by a headstone or not, is central to the quest of many people tracing their roots.
In 2016, the Tower Museum called on members of the public to help preserve and record the valuable burial registers of the City Cemetery by contributing to an exciting new database holding the historic burial records.
Since the project began in May 2016, over 40 volunteers have helped to transcribe and verify over 45,000 entries from the Cemetery’s Burial Registers. Following dedicated training, the volunteers were able to complete the work from their own homes. All the records have been now been transcribed and are now searchable here. This is a project by the people, for the people.
The cemetery records, which date from 1853, chart the information of all those buried in the cemetery up until 1961. The records detail not only the names of those buried in the cemetery, but also their age, their place of birth and who their parents were, amongst other valuable genealogical information. Most importantly for those trying to trace their ancestry, they also reveal the location of the grave within the large cemetery site.
This project has been supported by North of Ireland Family History Society (Foyle Branch), U3A and Guildhall Press.
1) Try different variations of surnames when searching or removing the patronymic e.g. Donnell rather than O'Donnell, Arthur rather than McArther.
2) Other records from the city and the surrounding area can be found on the Roots Ireland Website. Click ‘more info’ on your record on the database to find out more.
3)The war graves listed are from 1940-46. The records were entered differently and include other information including where entered service no. and regiment or ship served on. These entries will appear in cells dedicated for other information e.g. ‘regiment’ in place of ‘place of residence.’
4) Click here to view a map of the cemetery with plot areas which correspond to the database.
5) If you notice an error please contact [email protected] with the details and we will follow up on the query as soon as possible.
6) If you would like a tour of the cemetery, or to find out more about its history, you can also contact Friends of Derry City Cemetery.
7) A new project photographing headstones at the cemetery is currently underway, find out more at Memorials at the Derry City Cemetery.