The following is a press release from the Christchurch City Council:
Genealogists received an early present for the Carter Group Heritage Week with the recent launch of the Christchurch City Council cemeteries database at Christchurch City Libraries.
The Heritage Week theme this year of People, Places and Pursuits, aligns well with the new cemeteries database.
Instead of hours spent looking through endless microfilms of transcripts of hand-written interment registers, people can now use the cemeteries database through any Council library computer. You simply enter a surname to find out immediately where people of that name are buried across all Council cemeteries.
Information starting from the first plots of some of the city’s oldest cemeteries, long since closed, are recorded. This includes Addington and Sydenham cemeteries. Interments at Addington, Avonhead Park, Belfast, Bromley, Linwood, Memorial Park, Ruru Lawn, Sydenham, Waimairi, Woolston, and Yaldhurst cemeteries are part of the database.
Information technology librarian Paul Sutherland says the database is updated fortnightly so it includes the names of people that may have died two weeks ago. The Council has made the database available through Christchurch City Libraries because Council staff were fielding increasing numbers of genealogy requests, when it was not their core business, Mr Sutherland says.
During the next few years, the Christchurch City Council will eventually make the information available on the internet.
For now, however, people can only access the site by visiting City Libraries. Inquiries from outside the region will have to be made through library staff, which is free for the first 15 minutes after which, a research fee will apply. This is the case for any research inquiry, Mr Sutherland says.