The following announcement was written by Deceased Online:
- Bolton Council, Overdale Crematorium, Overdale Drive, Chorley New Road, Bolton, Lancashire, BL1 5BU.
- All burial and cremation records for Bolton Council in the county of Lancashire, North West England are being made available online. There are seven cemeteries and one crematorium.
- Astley Bridge Cemetery, opened 1884 Blackrod Cemetery, opened 1887
- Farnworth Cemetery, opened 1876
- Heaton Cemetery, opened 1879
- Horwich (Ridgemont) Cemetery, opened 1928 Tonge Cemetery, opened 1856
- Westhaughton Cemetery, opened 1858 Overdale Crematorium, opened 1954
Data for Tonge Cemetery is available immediately with data for all the other cemeteries and the crematorium to follow over the next few weeks during November and December 2012.
Tonge Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Bolton – Lancashire BL2 6AG.
Tonge Cemetery was the first municipal cemetery in Bolton when it opened on New Years Eve 1856 and was known simply as Bolton cemetery. In 2002, English Heritage considered Tonge cemetery to be of sufficient historical interest to be placed on the Register of Parks and Gardens as a Grade II listed site. Its architect and landscape designer William Henderson also designed Corporation Park in Blackburn, Alexandra park in Oldham and Bolton’s Queens park.
Tonge Cemetery has many impressive old memorials featuring prominent industrialists and other citizens from the area. However, perhaps the most famous burial is that of Fred Dibnah, the steeplejack who became a cult TV personality with his programmes, made in the 1980s and 1990s, on industrial heritage and engineering mostly from the industrial revolution. Dibnah died in 2004 and his memorial, together with over 4,000 others, is available in the data on the website.
Another tragic but curious burial record is that for Thomas McCarte (aka MacCarte) who died in 1872. The unfortunate Mr McCarte was a lion tamer with the visiting ‘Manders Menagerie’ and he had already lost an arm working in his chosen profession with Bell and Myers’ Circus at Liverpool. On January 3rd, 1872, Mr McCarte, billed as ‘Massarti the Lion Tamer’, commenced what was to be his final performance in Bolton. You can read a rather gruesome and detailed account of his confrontation with an ‘Asian Lion’ in a New York Times archive at: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40617FC3C5D1A7493C2AB178AD85 F468784F9.
In total, there are records for over 116,600 burials, dating from opening on 31 December 1856 to November 2010. The data available comprises:
- burial register scans with 20 entries per scanned page
- grave details providing information on all those buried in the grave as well as the grave reference
- photographs of 4,000 memorials and headstones which include approximately 20,000 names of those buried in the cemetery
- cemetery maps showing the section where the grave is located.
It should also be noted that in the 1860’s a fire destroyed many of the original burial maps. Consequently it may not be possible to accurately locate a small number of plots especially if the deceased was buried in an early communal grave by the river where the graves are unmarked and there are very few headstones.
Bolton Council have requested that the addresses of the deceased not be shown in burial register records for the last 15 years.
Viewers will not be able to view the most recent data until it is 3 years old to allow the families of the deceased time to inform their relatives.