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Cemeteries and Crematoria

Information about cemetery and crematorium records in Durham County Record Office and elsewhere.

Cemetery and crematorium records are on microfilm. Please Make an Appointment and book a microfilm reader to see these records.

About Cemeteries and Cemetery Records

Until the nineteenth century, the overwhelming majority of the population were buried in parish churchyards. The Society of Friends (Quakers) maintained their own burial grounds but few other non-conformists did so.

With the increase of population and the growth of large towns in the nineteenth century, the Church of England churchyards were no longer able to provide enough space and other provision had to be made. In the early part of the century many private cemeteries were opened by private act of parliament, but most cemeteries were opened under various Burial Acts from 1852 to 1906 and were run by local authorities, in most cases a burial board. Later acts allowed parish councils and district councils to take over the powers of the burial boards.

As many cemeteries opened in the latter part of the nineteenth century you will find many parish registers record few burials after that date. This is particularly noticeable in urban areas, but in a few cases burials may have continued in the churchyard until the present day.

In most cases, registers of burials and registers of grave spaces in municipal and other cemeteries are still in the custody of either the district or the parish council by which they are run.

Some of the records have been microfilmed and are made available in the Record Office. There is a guide to Cemetery and crematorium registers in the Guides to Records section of our Information Leaflets. If you are unable to find details of the relevant cemetery or crematorium please contact us.

Durham County Council's Cemeteries information includes details of who to contact about cemeteries in County Durham. 

Cemetery Registers Online

You can search some cemetery and crematorium registers online.

Chester-le-Street
Please see the following index to the Ropery Lane Cemetery records:

PDF IconChester-le-Street Burial Register.pdf (535 pages, 1524kb)

Durham Crematorium
The Durham Crematorium website includes an online search facility.

Ferryhill
You can search the Duncombe Cemetery records on the Ferryhill Town Council website.

Lumley
Please see the following index to the Lumley Cemetery records:

PDF IconLumley Burial Register.pdf (7 pages, 34kb)

Pelton
Please see the following index to the Pelton Cemetery records:

PDF IconPelton Burial Register.pdf (310 pages, 897kb)

Sacriston
Please see the following index to the Sacriston Cemetery records:

PDF IconSacriston burial register.pdf (102 pages, 319kb)

Spennymoor
There is an index on the Spennymoor Town Council cemeteries website.

Tudhoe
There is an index on the Spennymoor Town Council cemeteries website.