Cemetery records and family history
What information can I find through cemetery records?
Cemetery records allow researchers to trace ancestors to a particular area and time and may provide links to other members of the family buried in the same cemetery.
Published cemetery records vary with the amount of information supplied. They may contain:
- name of deceased
- age of person at time of death
- date of death and/or burial
- transcription of monumental inscription on the grave
- portion, plot and grave number within the cemetery
- names of others buried in the same grave.
What cemetery records can I find at the State Library of Queensland?
SLQ holds a large number of published indexes for Australia and New Zealand. Check the One Search online catalogue for our holdings.
We also hold lists of cemetery records available in microform, print, CD-ROM and on the internet. One list covers Queensland and the other interstate. Ask at the Desk in the Micrographics area on Level 3.
Some of our most popular indexes are listed below.
AGCI: Australasian Genealogical Computer Index(series 5) vol. 1 [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.394 2004)
A compilation of names from a large variety of resources that includes cemetery inscriptions (especially for New South Wales). An earlier edition (series 4) is available on microfiche.
AGCI: Australasian genealogical computer index Vol 3 [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.394 2008)
This CD-ROM contains over 2.5 million names indexed from the collections of the Society of Australian Genealogists as well as other family history societies and libraries [in Australia and New Zealand], and includes 605,000 death and burial references. Data on this CD is new and does not replace data already published on AGCI Vols 1 and 2.
Dern index Queensland: monumental inscriptions of 250 cemeteries [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.509943 1999)
This CD-ROM contains inscriptions from around Queensland (many in rural areas).
Queensland cemetery records series (FAMHIS 929.5)
This published series has a wide coverage of Queensland cemeteries. The State Library's catalogue indicates which cemeteries have been included in this series. The books are shelved in the reading room on Level 3.
Queensland Family History Society cemetery index [microfilm] (MFL 016.9293943)
This index is spread over four series of microfilm. Each series is arranged alphabetically by surname and contains a large compilation of various cemeteries from around Queensland. These microfilm series are shelved in the Micrographics area on Level 3.
New South Wales
Dern index New South Wales [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.509944 2005)
This CD-ROM contains monumental inscriptions and some burials from 319 New South Wales country cemeteries.
AIGS cemetery transcriptions index [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.5 2002)
This CD-ROM contains monumental inscriptions from over 240 Victorian cemeteries and approximately 15 cemeteries from New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.
Tombstone and memorial inscriptions of Tasmania (TAMIOT) [microfiche] (MFC 929.509946 1999)
This microfiche series lists 110 000 names and covers a large number of cemeteries around Tasmania.
South Australian cemetery records [microfiche] (MFCB 929.50994231 1986)
This microfiche series contains the following cemeteries:
- Dudley Park
- West Terrace
Western Australia cemeteries index [microfiche] (MFCB 929.3941 1986)
The index contains large number of cemeteries in town and country areas. A guide lists the cemeteries covered in the microfiche. The guide to the microfiche is held at the Desk in the Micrographics area.
England and Wales (United Kingdom)
National burial index for England and Wales [CD-ROM] (QCFS 929.30942 2004), contains approximately 13 million burial records from 1538 onwards.
New Zealand cemetery records : a list of holdings / compiled by June Springer [microfiche] (MFC 929.393 1993)
This series covers a large number of cemetery records from around New Zealand. It is important to consult the guide to the series as it lists the names of the cemeteries and where to locate the information on the microfiche. Ask for the guide (MFA 929.393 1993) at the Desk in the Micrographics area on level 3.
New Zealand burial locator [CD-ROM] (QCFS 919.50995 2006)
The index contains 1.3 million names from approximately 890 cemeteries and includes some deaths that occurred overseas. Search by surname or given name.
Cemetery records via the Internet
Many local councils have released their records via the Internet. A compilation of these sites can be found on Cora Num's Websites for Genealogists.
These are the major three Queensland cemetery sites:
- Brisbane City Council Grave location search
- Nudgee Cemetery: Brisbane Catholic Cemetery
- Bundaberg Regional Cemeteries Burial List
Check our useful family history links page for a comprehensive list of cemetery websites.
If you are unsure where your ancestor died, try looking at electoral rolls just prior to his/her death. This should provide you with an address making it easier to establish the cemetery in which s/he may have been buried.
Newspapers are another useful source. Funeral notices will often state the final resting place of the recently deceased.
Remember not all of our ancestors are interred in public cemeteries. In some cases, family members buried their dead on their rural properties. Some churchyards also contain small cemeteries.