Old Calton Burial ground in Edinburgh

Churchyards and Monumental Inscriptions, Burial and headstone information

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donna petrie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:07 am

Old Calton Burial ground in Edinburgh

Post by donna petrie » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:36 pm

Hello everyone:
I found a death entry for my 3x great grandmother. The heading is Leith South. The writing at the top of the page reads " 1853, April, Record of Mortality kept in the Calton Burial Grounds".

I tried to upload a photo of the entry here, but got a message that it was too big. Any smaller and the entry would be cut off so can't do it.

she is at the bottom of the page " Jane Main or Smith , spouse of John Smith, a tailor in Boswell Court" , and all it says is " received in the old ground". Disappointing because if you went in the new ground they gave pretty detailed instructions where to find you. she was only 36, but had five children less than a year apart Her COD was " decline:!

I emailed the Mortonhill Crematorium, but they said they had no record of her burial. I thought these entries came from actual church records and if on ScotlandsPeople would also be available to the records office in Edinburgh. I went to Edinburgh and thought I was in the right burial ground but didn't realize until much later there was another part , cut off by Waterloo Place. I searched through posts here which I thought may relate to my query, so I would not be wasting anyone's time .


My question- will there be any record as to a location of her burial? Should I be guessing as to a specific church, and go see if they have records, or is there a place in Edinburgh which will hold burial records ? Her son who died in 1857 is buried in Saint Cuthberts, but , again, would I find the actual spots?

Thank you for reading this long rambling post, and for any help I may receive

Donna
Fisher Slimman Murray Dow Dickson Liverance Scoular, Duncan Mclaughlin Hunter Buchanan, Petrie, Millar Wallace Foote Henderson LIndsay
Smith, Mains, Huldberg Wilkes Morris Islay Ponter Murray Miller Whitten Irvine

AndrewP
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Re: Old Calton Burial ground in Edinburgh

Post by AndrewP » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:51 am

Hi Donna,

The records held at Mortonhall Crematorium are "lair records" - records of the burial plots and who is buried in each plot. According to the Council website, the records held for Old Calton Cemetery date back to 1857. Old Calton Cemetery is significantly older than that. Wikipedia advises that the cemetery dates back to 1718, and that burials ceased there in 1869. The cemetery was owned by the Society of the Incorporated Trades of Calton until 1888, when it was transferred to the Town Council of Edinburgh. One way or another, the City of Edinburgh Council say that they don't hold any records for older than 1857 in their cemetery records at Mortonhall.

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_r ... ial_ground

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Calton_Burial_Ground

It may be that the records of South Leith Parish Church, whose parish included as far south as Calton, only held records for burials conducted by their ministers. Their records would be a more likely be a record of their ministers conducting burial services, primarily for their parishioners. As the burial ground did not belong to the Church, they probably wouldn't record details such as the lair number (burial plot number).

As you have now found out, there is a small section to the north of Waterloo Place. That came about by the road being built across the cemetery between 1815 and 1819. The Wikipedia article noted above tells that bodies were carefully removed from the path of the new road and taken to New Calton Cemetery for re-burial. That results in the unusual situation of some headstones in New Calton Cemetery being older than the new cemetery. As the burial you are seeking is from the 1850s, it is not amongst the re-burials transported along the road.

The map reached by the link below is from the 1850s and shows Calton Old Burial Ground in a detached part of South Leith Parish, and a short distance to the east, Calton New Burial Ground in a detached part of St Cuthberts Parish.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/74415446

For you to access the small piece of Old Calton Burial Ground to the north of Waterloo Place, you go in from the narrow street "Calton Hill" which runs round the back of the cemetery towards Leith Street. Whichever portion of the cemetery your 3 x g-grandmother is buried in, there is nothing to say whether or not there was ever a headstone, or if there was that it has survived the years. Should hers have been a "pauper's burial" like many of the time, there would not have been a headstone, she would be in "common ground". Even if it was not a pauper's burial, it was sometimes the case that the family could not afford a headstone, so the plot was never formally marked.

See also:
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/do ... und_survey

All the best,

AndrewP

donna petrie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:07 am

Re: Old Calton Burial ground in Edinburgh

Post by donna petrie » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:20 am

Thank you so much for all the information. I’ll keep working in it

Donna
Fisher Slimman Murray Dow Dickson Liverance Scoular, Duncan Mclaughlin Hunter Buchanan, Petrie, Millar Wallace Foote Henderson LIndsay
Smith, Mains, Huldberg Wilkes Morris Islay Ponter Murray Miller Whitten Irvine

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