Records relating to burials

Burial records are an invaluable source of information not only for family history but also for demographic and social studies. Hull History Centre holds the records of Hull’s Municipal Cemeteries along with the monumental inscriptions of several Anglican burial grounds.

Cemetery Records
Before the 1850’s the vast majority of burials were recorded in the registers of Anglican parish churches, although some non-conformist chapels had their own burial grounds. An Act of Parliament in 1853 enabled local authorities or private companies to purchase and use land for the purpose of burial. 

There are 5 main Cemeteries within Hull’s boundaries. Hull General Cemetery was privately run by the Hull General Cemetery Company until 1972 when it closed for burials and the council took over its maintenance. The remaining four were created as municipal cemeteries and are still run by Hull City Council. We hold Burial Registers on microfilm for each of them. The dates they cover are:

Cemetery name Dates
 Western (old), Spring Bank West  1861 – 1994
 Western (new), Chanterlands Ave   1889 – 1994
 Hedon Road (old)     1875 – 1994
 Hedon Road (new)   1897 – 1994
 Northern Cemetery, Chanterlands Ave   1915 – 1994
 Eastern Cemetery, Preston Road 1931 – 1994
 General Cemetery, Spring Bank West       1847 – 1972

Should you wish to view these records, we ask that you contact us in advance to book a microfilm reader.

For dates outside the above spans, please contact Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium (see below), where the originals are held.

Useful background information that will help your research into burials
Before 1850 the most likely place of burial would be a parish churchyard. Later burials may be much harder to trace since there are over 40 churchyards and cemeteries inside the City’s boundary. It is therefore helpful if you have an idea about where and when the person died. If the death took place after 1st July 1837 (the beginning of civil registration), you should find this information on their death certificate. It can be useful to consult maps of the area where they lived to find out which cemeteries and churchyards were situated closest to the person’s home address. Hull History Centre has copies of old Ordnance Survey maps that are available for you to look at. If the person left a will, this can help you to identify their place of death or residence. Newspaper obituaries and death notices can also be helpful. Local newspapers are also available on microfilm at the Hull History Centre.

Information that can be found in our burial registers
Register entries are in date order of burial, not name order. For each cemetery there is an alphabetical index which provides a burial number. The alphabetical index should therefore be your starting point unless you have an exact date of death. The burial registers themselves then give a detailed entry for each burial. The information found in the burial registers includes the grave and compartment numbers, the name and age of the deceased, address where the death occurred, the person who acted as informer and occasionally includes the occupation and cause of death of the deceased.  

The grave and compartment numbers are important tools for discovering the physical whereabouts of a grave within one of the municipal cemeteries. We can provide a compartment plan for most of the cemeteries listed above. This often shows if the compartment was privately or publicly owned. If it was privately owned the burial numbers of others buried in the grave will be given and this may help you further your research.

As well as the indexes and actual burial registers of the Hull General Cemetery Company, we also hold administrative and financial records (C DBC). In addition, when the cemetery closed in 1972 an indexed survey of the monumental inscriptions was undertaken and the results given to Hull City Archives. Such inscriptions often give invaluable biographical details of the deceased. Please ask a member of staff how to use this valuable resource.

The original records of the 4 municipal cemeteries are held at the Crematorium on Chanterlands Avenue. You must book an appointment in advance should you wish to view the records held there. Their contact details are at the end of this leaflet.

Church Burial Registers
The Parish registers for the Church of England burial grounds in Hull are held at the East Riding Archives Service in Beverley.  Hull City Archives has some monumental inscriptions for these. They include the Drypool Burial ground on Hedon Road and St Peters and St Mary’s. We also have all of the East Yorkshire Family History Society’s published monumental inscriptions for Hull and the East Riding. The information given in these printed documents is limited but can be useful if you wish to pursue further information at the East Riding Archives Service in Beverley.Some non-conformist churches had their own burial grounds for a short period of time in the 1840’s. We hold some of their burial registers (C DC), however, the bodies were later exhumed and, in most cases, transferred to the General Cemetery. Details of these can be found in the records of the General Cemetery Company (C DBC).

Most Roman Catholic records for Hull are held at the Diocesan Archives in Middlesbrough. Contact details can be found at the end of this leaflet.

The Jewish cemetery on Delhi Street, Hedon Road opened in June 1858 and is still in use today. An alphabetical list of burials at the cemetery was produced in 2000 and is available to view in our search room at C SRL/R/51 in C SRL/R/Box 6.

An alphabetical list of burials at the German Church on Nile Street 1848-1872 has also been produced and is available to view in our search room at C SRL/T/37 or on microfilm in the Library area.

Until 1885 cremation was illegal in this country. Hull Crematorium on Hedon Road was opened 1901. A further crematorium was opened at the Northern Cemetery on Chanterlands Avenue in 1961. Records for both are held by the Crematorium on Chanterlands Avenue.

Bereavement Services
Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium
Chanterlands Avenue, Hull, HU5 4EF
Tel. 01482 614975

East Riding of Yorkshire Archives Service
East Riding of Yorkshire Archives and Local Studies
County Hall, 
Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA
Tel. 01482 392790

Catholic Diocesan Archives
Curial Office, 50a The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, TS5 6QT