Family History- searching for a grave-plot. Here at Friends of Holbeck Cemetery we often get asked to locate a family plot. Sometimes people have a plot number but more often they only have a name and/or date of their ancestor’s death,
The Friends do have a small database taken from some old receipt books which were discovered in the 1990s. But this database gives the purchaser of the plot, not the ancestor that people are searching for and some of the names and addresses are not always easy to decipher. These books start in 1857.
We also possess two large ‘maps’ of the Consecrated and the General sections detailing the plots. However these were drawn up before the paths were constructed in the cemetery in 1857.so we have had to plot where we think some of the paths go, but the biggest problem in locating graves on the plans as the sizes- each plot is 1cm and the plans are pretty big as you can see by the photo. Anyone visiting the cemetery will know that the numbering is also a bit odd too. No clear lines like you can get in other cemeteries and we even suspect that some are incorrectly painted un .
So you can imagine how difficult it is to tell anyone where exactly their plot is, especially as we get many requests from people who live many miles from Leeds and in many parts of the world. The Friends will try and search for them but it is very time-consuming and often there is no memorial stone there to help us either.
Leeds Cemetery and Crematoriums do have a complete set of records but it is not always easy to contact them .The Family History section in Leeds Central Library should have the complete file but you do need to have a rough timescale of when you are searching and it does mean coming to Leeds (not possible when you live in the USA or Australia, although some relatives have managed it!!)
Finally let me reassure people that FOHC are always willing to have a look for family connections and working with the family member ,we have discovered a great many fascinating stories . We have connected families in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Holland and many, many places in England too, we have learned wonderful stories about their ancestors which all add to the rich history that is Holbeck Cemetery.