Buried in Cumnor

Identifying Graves

Whilst the new graveyard has few unreadable graves, the old graveyard is littered with them. The approach for partial and illegible are fundamentally different.

When there was nothing readable, it became easier after neighbouring graves are resolved by using a process of elimination combined with throwing technology at the problem.

By identifying and plotting all the graves and crossmatching to the 1986 churchyard survey created by members of the Cumnor History Society, it was possible to draw a map of graves neighbouring illegible graves and reviewing numerous photos.

Some graves were next to impossible to work out without the technology.

Partials can be narrowed down if you have the year, by using a digitised burial index (we also created) and FreeBMD. i.e. you may have 8 people who died in the year that the grave is for and having eliminated some already, reducing the potential people it might relate to.

The 1986 Cumnor history society church survey is as impressive as it is invaluable, and no doubt took a huge amount of time & effort. A minor concern is the fact the map is slightly distorted which means the coordinates are then unlikely to be accurate.

1986 Churchyard Map:
Thumbnail sized copy of the 1986 churchyard survey map.
  Corrected Map:
Thumbnail sized map based on satellite imaging.

Traced from the Google satellite map.

They presumably captured what they saw, without having the burial & civil registration records available to confirm names and dates. There are a few instances of graves that are labelled as legible, yet the names or dates were not captured. There are even a few where the name is the spouse because it appears not to be read in context (xxx wife of yyy).

Nevertheless, regardless of the occasional error, without it some of our digitisation of the old graveyard would not have been possible.

There are even a few transcription errors in the OFHS burial index, but significantly less than expected given the complexity of reading old documents - another amazing job!

We’ve tried to be meticulous, but mistakes are inevitable. If your eagle eyes spot something, please let us know by emailing dataerrors@buriedincumnor.co.uk