Nottingham residents or anyone with family connections to Nottingham will, from 28 February 2015, be able to go online to access burial and cremation records held by Nottingham City Council.

Nottingham City Council, in partnership with Deceased Online has spent the last twelve months scanning and creating digital versions of burial and cremation records going back to the mid 19th century to enable individuals to search easily for family records. The information will be made available on a specialist family history website

The website, which already contains records for more than 100 UK councils and other archives, also enables users to search the database free of charge. Copies of records can be downloaded for a small fee per document. Prices start from £2 and the charge for each selected document will be clearly shown on screen as they are selected, giving the user a clear indication of the total cost before they choose to complete their purchase.

Until now, anyone searching for these records would have needed to contact Nottingham City Council to request access to the registers, with each search being carried out manually. The availability of the online records means that individuals will be able to search the records themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will improve accessibility for users and reduce the demand on council resources. The online records will also be available to global users and visiting tourists who have an interest in Nottingham or family connections with the city.

Under statutory legislation, burial and cremation records need to be managed and preserved by all local authorities. These improvements reflect the need to make records available to a growing number of online users and also ensure that Nottingham City Council can protect the records for future access.

The digital records will be introduced in two phases.  All records for the following locations are available immediately.
• Rock (aka Church) Cemetery, opened 1850
• Basford Cemetery, opened 1871
• High Wood Cemetery, opened 2006
• Northern Cemetery (Bulwell), opened 1903
• Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill), opened 1919
• Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill) Crematorium, opened 1931.

Records for the General Cemetery, Nottingham City’s oldest cemetery which opened in 1836, are expected to be available in the late spring of 2015.
Currently, records from the date each location opened up until 2011 will be available because there is a built-in delay of around three years before the records will be made available on the website. People searching the site will be able to find:

• Scans of original registers until the 1990s (dates vary by site)
• Digital records from the 1990s (dates vary by site)
• Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
• Maps indicating the section of a cemetery where graves are located.

When complete, the total number of online burials and cremation records available for Nottingham City will be approximately 560,000 and represent more than 1.5 million separate documents and data items.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dave Trimble, said: “Nottingham is the first major city council in the Midlands region to have embraced the use of digital technology to ensure these vital records are safeguarded and made easier to access. Searching for family history is growing in popularity and this project will provide local, national and even international researchers access to their own stories and the fascinating history of Nottingham at the click of a button from anywhere in the world.”

As the records are made available online for the first time, Nottingham City Council will be holding a free family history day where Nottingham residents and visitors will be able to connect with history and explore their past by searching the website for themselves. Burial and cremation records for nearby authorities including Newark, Corby and Kettering and other local councils will be adding their records to the website in the near future.

The family history day will take place on Saturday 28 February from 10am to 3pm in the Local Studies section and Floor One Exhibition area at Nottingham Central Library. Visitors to the event will also be able to explore the local history archives contained within Nottingham Central  Library. For more information visit our website.