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Family History

Cemetery Registers

Most of the cities and large towns in Devon now have public cemeteries and a few have crematoria. These are separate from the graveyards associated with parish churches in towns and rural parishes, which are called 'parochial graveyards or parochial cemeteries'. The earliest public cemeteries were opened in the first half of the 19th century, as parish churchyards filled up, and the urban populations grew.

Exwick Cemetery Graves

Exwick Cemetery, St. Thomas

These public cemeteries are generally known as 'non-parochial cemeteries', and are usually administered by the local City Council, Parish Council or District Council. Devon Heritage Centre and the two smaller record offices at Barnstaple and Plymouth do not hold the burial registers and graveyard plans for most of these public cemeteries and crematoria. Instead, the records are held by the local authority or organisation concerned.

Some of these have their own web-sites containing information on the location of cemeteries, and how to get in contact prior to a visit. A few websites also include an index to, or a transcription of their cemetery burial registers. The Devon Family History Society is also undertaking a digitizing programme for the burial registers of several public cemeteries.

Deceased Online is a relatively new website containing information from the burial records of an increasing number of public cemeteries and crematoria in Britain.  Digitised records on the site originate from local authorities and the National Archives.  The website includes a list of cemeteries and crematoria whose registers are part of the Deceased Online database.

As at July 2014, the only Devon cemetery records on Deceased Online are as follows:

  • Cullompton Cemetery (run by Cullompton Town Council)
  • National Archives records of removal of graves and tombstones from disused and closed Devon burial grounds and cemeteries, for:
    • Central Methodist Hall Graveyard, Plymouth (1802-1902)
    • Holy Trinity Church, Exeter (1831-1903)
    • Quaker Burial Ground, Plymouth (1762-1925)
    • St Mary Magdalene Churchyard, Barnstaple
    • St Peters Church, Stoke Fleming (1842-1856)

Cemetery registers and other records held at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter.  

Councils and other organisations holding cemetery registers - General contact details

Crematoria in Devon - General contact details

Devon’s public cemeteries - Follow the links to individual pages on these cemeteries