Southern Cemetery and Crematorium (Wilford Hill),
Nottingham was apparently originally documented as Snotengaham, "the settlement of Snot's people" during the 9th century Anglo-Saxon period, and recorded "Snotingeham" and "Snotingham" in the Domesday Book of 1086.
As the area grew, it became inexorably linked with the industrial revolution and in particular textiles during the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite its prosperity, it was notorious for slums in the early 19th century resulting in rioting particularly directed at the owner of Nottingham Castle, the Duke of Newcastle. Later and famous modern industries in the area included the Raleigh Bicycle Company and Boots the Chemist.
Nottingham was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 , and at that time consisted of the parishes of Nottingham St Mary, Nottingham St Nicholas and Nottingham St Peter. It was expanded in 1877 by adding the parishes of Bashford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton and Wilford.
The Nottingham General Cemetery Company was set up by an act of parliament on 19th May 1836. It was originally 12 acres, and was extended in 1845 to 18 acres to provide a new entrance lodge and chapel for dissenters. The Nottingham General Cemetery Company was a very successful company to begin with, maximising profits by burying people as close together as possible. However by 1923 the Medical Officer for Health raised concerns about dangers to public health if burials continued, and a bill was passed in parliament which effectively stopped further new burials apart from those of close relatives. Due to escalating running costs the company then went into voluntary liquidation in 1955 and the cemetery reverted to the crown. In 1956 Nottingham Corporation purchased the freehold for one shilling. Over the ensuing years a team of people worked very hard with scythes, sickles and even flame guns to clear the undergrowth that had taken over during the war years. The lower lodge and both chapels were too delapidated to save and were demolished. The Cemetery was listed grade II for its for its special historic interest in 2001.
The six cemeteries and one crematorium managed by Nottingham City Council now have all available records on Deceased Online and these are listed below together with the opening or earliest record date.
The oldest is the General Cemetery which is one of three historic and closed cemeteries, the others being Basford and Rock/Church. Many of the earlier registers available online have excellent detail including occupations/trades and researchers will find these very interesting.
Records for the following sites are currently available on Deceased Online:
- Rock aka Church Cemetery, opened 1850
- Basford Cemetery, opened 1970
- General Cemetery, opened 1838
- High Wood Cemetery, opened 2006
- Northern Cemetery (Bulwell), opened 1903
- Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill), opened 1919
- Wilford Hill Crematorium, opened 1931
All records are available from the opening years of each of the above and up until 2011. However, details of cremation applicants and addresses of the deceased are masked up until 15 years after date of cremation or burial.
The records available comprise the following:
- Scans of the original registers (until the 1990's when replaced by computerised records, dates vary by site)
- Computerised register records (from the 1990's, dates vary by site)
- Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
- Maps indicating the section of a cemetery where graves are located
- Maps for General Cemetery feature more details with the exact location of each grave
- Maps indicating scattering locations of ashes in the crematorium
In the locations above there are approximated 350,000 burials and over 220,000 cremations and the total number of items across all records is approximately 1.2 million.
Wikipedia history of Nottingham: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nottingham
Nottingham City Council cemeteries: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/article/21822/Cemeteries-crematoriums-and-burial-grounds
Nottingham Hidden History: https://nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/a-visit-to-the-local-cemetery/
Article on Rock/Church Cemetery: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mystery-sadness-city-s-Rock-Cemetery/story-23023361-detail/story.html
Nottinghamshire Family History Society: http://www.nottsfhs.org.uk/
Deceased Online blog: http://deceasedonlineblog.blogspot.co.uk/