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You can now search historic General Cemetery
1.3 million Nottingham City records available

The Nottingham General Cemetery (also known as Canning Circus), opened in the 1830s and listed as Grade II historic park and garden in 2001, is available to search on There are seven key sites managed by Nottingham City Council, comprising over 1.3 million records, exclusively available through the Deceased Online website.

General Cemetery

Earlier registers for General Cemetery include excellent detail such as trade or profession, and the 1841 example below indicates how lace making and knitting were important to Nottingham at that time. There are also wonderful details on the relationship of the deceased to other key family members (spouse, daughter, son etc).

Register Page

Cemetery maps for General Cemetery available on the website indicate the exact location of most of the graves within the cemetery as well as providing outline maps and the grave reference.

Grave Location Plan

Nottingham's General Cemetery has some famous pioneers from the mid 19th century from very contrasting trades. John Player, founder of cigarette manufacturer John Player & Sons, and John Boot, founder of Boots the Chemist, recorded in the burial register below as a 'Medical Botanist', have lent their names to world-famous brands.

John Boot

This cemetery is also particularly notable for the stories of two military men buried within it, both of whom were awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross. In 1855 Robert Humpston, with fellow soldier Private Bradshaw, attacked and captured a Russian gun pit near Sebastopol; a victory which held major importance. In 1858 in India, Samuel Morley, with the help of a farrier, saved the life of an adjutant of the Sikh cavalry by shielding the wounded man's body until help arrived.

Above: Robert Humpston's headstone, showing two others interred with him.

Daft Smith Churchill, a merchant born in 1793 and one of the original directors of the General Cemetery, was buried here after being drowned off the Scottish coast by the sinking of the steamship Forfarshire in 1838. The nearby lighthouseman and his daughter, William and Grace Darling, were awarded medals for bravery after rowing out in the intense storm and rescuing nine passengers. Grace Darling died of tuberculosis four years later.

John Cadd, notable member of the town council who died in 1856, has a monument erected by the Lacemakers of Nottingham, in praise of “an honest and upright man… and a true philanthropist” due to his regard for the welfare of those employed under him.

Daft Smith Churchill
John Cadd
Above left: Daft Smith Churchill's obelisk. Above right: the Lacemakers' memorial in honour of John Cadd.

Genealogist and writer Emma Jolly has a full insight into the records and history of the General Cemetery in her latest blog.

There are now nearly 700,000 burial and cremations with over 1.5 m records for 13 cemeteries and crematoria in Nottinghamshire, available on with collections from Newark Town Council and The National Archives which features Mansfield and other areas. Simply use 'Advance search'; select 'East Midlands for region; then Nottinghamshire for county; then select either 'contributor' or 'cemetery or crematorium' to see what's available.

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