General collection information
This collection consists of registers from Edinburgh, Scotland, cemeteries dated between 1771 and 1935. Individual records include the deceased person's name, other family members, and important dates in their life.
Using this collection
The following information is included in the collection:
Cemetery records can provide a wealth of information about a deceased person's family. Learning the names of spouses and parents may lead to new branches on a family tree and can also lead to their burial records, which may reveal grandparent names.
Cemetery records that include a person's last place of residence and the cemetery where they were interred narrow down the geographic search for other records, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and wills.
Collection in context
Edinburgh has several historic cemeteries, and a trail system has been established by Edinburgh World Heritage to help promote and conserve the city's five most famous burial sites. Greyfriars Kirkyard was the first cemetery in Edinburgh. It was established in 1562 and predates its associated church by almost 60 years.
Some of the cemeteries have been affected by urban progress and overcrowding. Old Calton Burial Ground was founded in 1718 and the grounds were split in half by the building of Waterloo Place in 1817. When Old Calton became too crowded, New Calton Burial Ground was established between 1817 and 1820. The churchyard at the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert was uprooted when a railroad tunnel was constructed in 1841, and the cemetery was temporarily closed in 1863 due to overcrowding.
Chalmers, Tory. "The Most Historic Cemeteries To Explore In Edinburgh." Culture Trip. Accessed February 25, 2022. https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/scotland/articles/the-most-historic-cemeteries-to-explore-in-edinburgh/.
Edinburgh City Archives. "How to find records we hold." Accessed February 25, 2022. https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/archives/edinburgh-city-archives-1/3?documentId=12641&categoryId=20287.
Edinburgh World Heritage. "Graveyards: Buried stories…" Accessed February 25, 2022. https://ewh.org.uk/trails/graveyards/.
University of Southern California. "Research Guides: Evaluating Primary Sources." Accessed January 24, 2022. https://libguides.usc.edu/primarysources/evaluate.