Frequently Asked Questions

1 I have found a burial for Locksbrook St Swithin’s but there is no grave reference. Why is this?

Only the index to the burial registers is available to volunteers not the burial registers themselves. For most of the indexes there are no burial locations, abodes or even the ages – just the names and year. Burial locations only exist in the index from 1960 to 1998.

Some memorials have masons’ inscriptions giving the location and others have been deduced. Names on memorials have been found for 1,583 (5%) of the burial entries. Locations have been established for only about 600 (2%) of the >29,000 burial entries.

2 The index does not indicate that there is a memorial for a grave in the St Swithin’s section of Locksbrook but it exists. Why is this?

An attempt has been made a surveying the cemetery. This has yielded the general arrangement of the surviving memorials. However, a full survey would need the grave numbers from the burial registers and access to those registers is restricted under an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act regarding personal information. Where there is no memorial, it is only the burial register that would allow the grave’s location to be established.

3 Some burials for Locksbrook St Saviour’s have locations which don’t appear on the map. Which map should I be using?

It would seem that St Saviour’s carried out some burials in the St Swithin’s section of Locksbrook cemetery. Section letters other than A, B, C and D indicate that the Swithin’s map should be used. For example, a burial in the St Saviour’s index has the location as L.GG.197 and this is actually in the St Swithin’s section L.

4 Why are some ages missing?

Prior to 1813, when statutory burial registers were introduced and ages entered, it depended on the parish whether or not the age was put in the burial entry. For municipal cemeteries the indexes supplied didn’t have ages and these have had to be added by reference to the corresponding General Register Office death registration index. It is not always possible to make an unequivocal match and in such cases the age cannot be determined.

5 For Perrymead cemetery why do some entries indicate a burial but there is no location?

The information for this cemetery comes from a series of burial registers, a surname index and a grave index. There are entries in the burial registers stating that the burial occurred at Perrymead but the name does not occur in the grave index. Also the surname index has burials without a location being specified.

6 Why do burials for Swainswick only have an indication of whether the old or new burial ground?

The numbering scheme for the two burial grounds has yet to be determined. The burial registers for the new burial ground use two different conventions and it is not possible to assign numbers to all the plots. For the old burial ground a detailed map is needed.

7 For Lyncombe & Widcombe and St James Cemetery a memorial used to exist but I can’t find it on the map. Is it still there?

A survey which was carried out in the 1980s indicated more memorials than have been found. In the intervening decades it would seem that some memorials have been overwhelmed by grass. A trial was done on an area where the previous survey indicated that a memorial should be present and a slab was found under 10cm of turf. It is quite possible that other slabs are similarly buried.

8 Is Bath the only English city with such a comprehensive set of burial records available online without a charge?

It would seem so.

From searching the websites for 51 English cities, none have records for Anglican, non-Anglican and municipal cemeteries all in one place. Those that have online facilities are typically for municipal cemeteries not the church-based ones (eg Manchester). Many require a paper submission of an application form to locate a grave for which a charge is made. The charges per name vary: Salisbury £30, Salford £16, Plymouth £10, Leicester £32. Others (eg Birmingham, Lancaster, Preston) require a personal visit to consult the registers. A small number of cities (eg Bradford, Cambridge, Chester) make use of an online facility at for their records (usually municipal cemeteries only), for which there is a charge for a detailed record and other charges for maps.

As reported in various newspaper articles in early 2020, the Church of England intends to use laser-scanning to map burial grounds and make them free to search online via the ‘Church Heritage Record’. A trial was conducted for two parishes in Yorkshire in the Leeds diocese. By May 2020 there were 16,000 records on church buildings and an unknown number of burial records.

9 On some maps why is the name on the plot is followed by ‘etc’.

For some cemeteries many graves are ‘common’ ones with maybe four or more unrelated individuals buried in the same grave. It is not possible to list all the surnames on the map and, in such cases, the first surname is given followed by 'etc'. For example, for Lyncombe & Widcombe and St James, 80% of burials do not have a memorial and many are common graves.

10 Since the launch on 1-Nov-2016 what has changed?

  1. Addition of Corston (Dec-2016)
  2. Addition of Saltford (Mar-2017)
  3. Addition of Hinton Charterhouse (Apr-2017)
  4. Extension of the range of years for St Swithin’s so that records start from 1711 rather than 1801 (Apr-2017)
  5. Addition of details for records for Weston since 1970, addition of a map and a list of inscriptions provided by the church (Apr-2017)
  6. Addition of records from 1813 for Langridge (May-2017)
  7. Addition of St Luke's memorials (May-2017)
  8. Addition of map showing sections for Batheaston (May-2017)
  9. Addition of Englishcombe (Jun-2017)
  10. Addition of document of St Mary Magdalen burials (Jul-2017)
  11. Updated version of Baptist Burial Ground document which now includes Manvers St Church MIs (Sep 2017)
  12. Addition of Stanton Prior (Oct-2017)
  13. Addition of documentation of inscriptions and a map for St Catherine (Nov 2017)
  14. Addition of documentation of inscriptions and a map for Englishcombe (Nov 2017)
  15. Addition of section maps for Batheaston (Dec 2017)
  16. Addition of index documents for Bath Abbey (Jan 2018)
  17. Addition of Combe Hay (Jan 2018)
  18. Updated documents on Sections 1, 2, 4 & Garden for Bath Abbey Cemetery (Jan 2018)
  19. Addition of maps of cremations plots at Weston (Feb 2018)
  20. Addition of North Stoke (May 2018)
  21. Addition of map showing wall memorial sections for the Abbey (May 2018)
  22. Addition of records for Dunkerton (May 2018)
  23. Addition of draft maps for Sections P & Q of Locksbrook (May 2018)
  24. Addition of records for Chew Stoke (May 2018)
  25. Addition of map and document for North Stoke (Jun 2018)
  26. Addition of records for Marksbury (Jun 2018)
  27. Addition of records for Tellisford (Jun 2018)
  28. Addition of Laverton (Jun 2018)
  29. Addition of Woolverton (Jul 2018)
  30. Updated memorial document for Englishcombe (Jul 2018)
  31. Addition of map for St Michael's, Twerton (Aug 2018)
  32. Addition of records for Farleigh Hungerford (Aug 2018)
  33. Addition of document and map for Farleigh Hungerford (Sep 2018)
  34. Addition of document for Tellisford (Dec 2018)
  35. Addition of document for Marksbury (Dec 2018)
  36. Addition of Hemington (Dec 2018)
  37. Addition of records for Lullington (Mar 2019)
  38. Addition of records for Orchardleigh (Mar 2019)
  39. Addition of records for Berkley (Apr 2019)
  40. Addition of records for Keynsham (Anglican) (May 2019)
  41. Addition of records for Keynsham Cemetery (May 2019)
  42. Addition of Withyditch Baptist Chapel (Jul 2019)
  43. Addtion of records for Paulton Cemetery (Jul 2019)
  44. Addition of Chelwood (Feb 2020, loaded Nov 2020) 
  45. Addition of Cameley (Feb 2020, loaded Nov 2020) 
  46. Addition of Beckington (Feb 2020, loaded Nov 2020) 
  47. Addition of Compton Dando (Jun 2020, loaded Nov 2020)
  48. Addition of draft document on memorials at Woolverton (May 2020)
  49. Addition of draft document on memorials at Chew Stoke (Jul 2020)
  50. Addition of draft document on memorials at St Saviour's (Aug 2020)
  51. Update to St Michael's Lwr Weston document on consecrated section (Sep 2020)
  52. Addition of draft document on St Swithin's mausoleum (Mar 2021)
  53. Additon of document on memorials at Wellow & Shoscombe Cemetery (Apr 2021)
  54. Addition of draft document on memorials at Dunkerton (Jun 2021)
  55. Addition of draft document on memorials at Freshford (Jul 2021)
  56. Addition of draft document on memorials at Swainswick (Aug 2021)
  57. Addition of images for Dunkerton (Nov 2021)
  58. Addition of Burnett (Nov 2021)
  59. Addition of Priston (Nov 2021)

11 For dates before 1752 are they old or new style?

All are old style, ie Julian, as given in the register.

12 For the places of birth, what are the three-character codes?

For countries they are the ISO codes (see, for counties, the Chapman codes (see

13 Why are some of the burial records annotated with a ‘P’?

Taxes on parish register entries were levied in the period 1695-1706 and again in 1783-1794 when a duty of 3d was imposed on every register entry. For the latter period, the poor were exempt and an annotation of ‘P’ made against the entry to indicate this. In some registers it is more explicit with ‘poor’.

14 Why is the Bath Burial Index different from the photographic surveys that have been undertaken?

Photographic surveys have been conducted by a couple of projects and the results put online. This approach captures the names on memorials. The major limitation is that it is limited to the memorials and doesn’t take into account those without memorials. For Bath and the surrounding area only about 20% of those buried have names on memorials. Comparison between entries from photographic surveys with burial register entries has identified cases of 1) names on memorials for people not buried there (mainly spouses buried elsewhere) and 2) mis-readings of years.

As an example of the dangers of relying solely on names on memorials, a memorial has ‘Frederick Emery and his daughter Gladys’. In fact, his daughter was married and her name was ‘Sybil Gladys Kingman’ and not ‘Gladys Emery’. Moreover, the two years of birth on the memorial are incorrect

The approach for the Bath Burial Index is to use the burial register entries as the basis to which additional information from memorials is added.

15 Some maps are slow to load into a browser, what can I do?

Use the 'save as' function in the browser to save the file(s) to your computer and then use your conventional image display or pdf application to view the map.  Browsers are not always adept at zooming in and out smoothly whereas image display and pdf viewing applications are usually better.

16 Why are the measurements on the maps in feet?

The people building the churches and laying out the graveyards operated in feet and, usually, dimensions are simple multiples of feet. Thus, many graves are 7 feet by 3 feet with a 1 foot gap and double graves are 7 feet by 7 feet. The work of the Metrication Board (1968-1980) has not affected these historical layouts.

17 The maps have indications of the shape of the memorials. What do the symbols mean?

The most common ones are:

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Kerbstones with a feature at the head, usually a cross on three plinths.

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Pitched 4 ways.

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Pitched 2 ways.

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Pitched in the form of a cross.

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Headstone with kerbstones.

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Headstone without kerbstones.

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A slab or an altar/chest tomb.

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Kerbstones with a freestanding plaque.

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Kerbstones with a plaque in the form of an open book.

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Edging with an integral plaque at the foot and an integral square vase at the head.

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Kerbstones with a cross resting on a rock.

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A slab or altar /chest tomb with a raised cross on the upper surface.

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Headstone on a base with an integral round vase in the base.

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.

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