Other useful sources

A useful database of Birmingham council-run cemetery records covering the period from mid-19th century to the 20th century is available online. You can search under the name of your ancestor to see if they are included on the list. The index can help you identify which cemetery your ancestor was buried in, but there is a fee payable for accessing additional information.

If you are not able to locate a burial in a Birmingham church or cemetery, you could find some information recorded in the local newspapers. The “family announcements” columns in local newspapers are a good starting point for notices and also check these for obituaries and accounts of funerals. Some local newspapers are available to search online, for example 19th Century British Library Newspapers. The Library of Birmingham will provide access to local newspapers from the late 18th century onwards.

Monumental Inscriptions can be really helpful as they record what is written on headstones. There is an ongoing project by family/local history societies to transcribe these, however copies of all books that have been published for Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire are held by Birmingham Archives and Heritage. They mostly cover church burial grounds, but a few cemeteries have been included. It is worth noting that people who are recorded on the gravestone may not actually be buried in the grave - for example soldiers who died abroad.

The National Burial Index (NBI). This includes many Birmingham parishes. Published parish registers for other areas could help you to locate entries for people who were not buried in Birmingham. These generally cover the period up to about 1812, but some coverage finishes earlier.

National Wills and Letters of Administration. Although these will not tell you where a burial took place as standard, instructions may have been left in a will with regards to a location. They may provide useful information relating to family members who may have lived outside Birmingham and buried their loved ones close to them. We hold the National Probate Indexes from 1858 through to 1998.

Page last updated: 6 February 2024

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