FamilySearch indexing Sydney Cemetery Inscriptions

I am an occasional indexer for FamilySearch, about which I have written before. There is an enormous number of projects to be indexed from all over the world. You can see the current list here.

One of the projects currently available for indexing is the Sydney Cemetery Inscriptions, a collection of index cards for cemeteries including Rookwood, the largest cemetery in Sydney and probably Australia. Name, age, date of death and cemetery name is the minimum information that I have so far seen, although there is capacity for birth date,  parents’ names and spouse’s name.

FamilySearch indexing is the easiest to use indexing software I’ve ever seen. The screen is split between a digital image of the document being indexed and the form to be filled in. Many fields give a list of common names, placenames, etc, which help enormously if the entry is hard to read. There is a lot of help available, on the screen and on the website. The biggest advantage is that each batch is indexed twice, with a third person to adjudicate if there are any discrepancies, so you do not have the pressure of getting it perfect.

A batch consists of a variable number of entries to be indexed, depending on the document. These cemetery batches only have 12 or 15 cards to a batch that I have seen so far, so you can whip through one quickly. I used to index Irish Civil Registration indexes and they had 375 names to a page!

The sooner we get this indexed the sooner it will be available to all of us. For more information or to sign up click here.

Recent Updates from ScotlandsPeople

If you haven’t visited ScotlandsPeople, the official government website for Scottish Genealogical data, recently you may have missed some of the more recent developments:

OPR Deaths and Burials

Old Parochial Registers (OPRs) of baptisms and marriages have been available on ScotlandsPeople for a long time. They allow searching of indexes by names and places and parents names and the downloading to you computer of an image of the relevant page in the register. Burials are now included in this collection for the first time.

Scottish churches were not especially enthusiastic about recording burials. Even where burials were recorded registers were subsequently lost or destroyed through neglect. Do not be surprised if your ancestor’s death does not appear.

Even if an entry does appear it may reflect the date of payment for hire of the mortcloth (draped over the coffin or the body for the funeral) rather than the date of the death or the date of the burial, with no indication of which date is recorded. 

More information about this collection can be found here.

1881 Census

Up until recently the 1881 Census of Scotland was represented by an index only – the index created by the LDS Church. The 1881 Census has been re-indexed and digitised in the same manner as the other censuses. There is now two versions of the 1881 Census of Scotland on ScotlandsPeople. 

More information can be found here.


ScotlandsPeople. Website.

Free access to Irish Times Digital Archive until 5th April

The Irish Times is celebrating 150 years of publication by allowing free access to its digital archive until the 5th March 2009. The first edition of the Irish Times was first published on 29th March 1869, and you can see it and read it for yourself. The website allows browing by date or searching for specific words (or parts of words) within a range of dates or across the whole 150 years.

You can search the Irish Times Digital Archive for the next few days at

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