Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Manly Cemetery

Manly Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Sydney, so we get lots of enquiries about people buried in the cemetery. The cemetery is divided into three sections, namely Church of England, Roman Catholic and General (i.e. other denominations). It was consecrated as a burial ground in 1865, and although burials now only take place in plots purchased years ago, ashes may still be placed in the Columbarium, which was built in 2000. It was set apart officially by the Government in 1872 although some of the burials pre-date this time. Soon after Trustees were appointed to manage the cemetery and did so until 1969 when the administration was passed to Manly Council.

The original Burial Registers for the three sections of the Cemetery are held in Manly Council’s strong-room, and a microfilm version may be consulted in Manly Library Local Studies. Luckily for you the researcher, the names recorded in the handwritten Burial Registers have been transcribed, sometimes with difficulty, particularly in the case of the Church of England volume which is in places almost indecipherable. This makes searching for ancestors a lot easier.

Electronic copies of the transcribed files and maps of the cemetery are now available on the Manly Council website. For the Roman Catholic and General sections, information given may include some or all of: plot number, name and address of person who purchased the plot, name and last address of person buried, age, and date of burial (not date of death). For the Church of England section, less information is given: date of burial, plot number, name of person.

Terry Metherell of the Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Historical Society, with assistance from members of the Ivanhoe Park Precinct Committee and the Local Studies Librarian, has compiled two Cemetery Walks, one for adults and one for children, which highlight some of the most interesting graves. These are also available online.

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