Burials Database

Over a period of 50 years a legion of committed volunteers and professional researchers have combined their efforts to create a database of the burials that took place at East Perth Cemeteries from 1829. A partnership between the National Trust of Western Australia and the Friends of the Battye Library Inc has made this work accessible to the community with the generous support of Lotterywest.

Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland, as members of and in conjunction with the Friends of Battye Library Inc, have been the driving force behind the creation of the current invaluable database resource. Together they started by collating a single database from the numerous existing datasets and then painstakingly checked all the details against the original source data. Discrepancies were then corrected or notations made to highlight any variations.
Primary historical sources have been consulted, including newspapers (via TROVE), government records held by the State Records Office, private archives at the State Library of Western Australia, Royal Perth Hospital Admissions Registers and private archives to enable the most comprehensive biographical database on the inhabitants of “Cemetery Hill”. The database is fully sourced and acknowledges previous researchers who have contributed to the result.

It has been estimated there were over 10,000 people are buried within the grounds of the East Perth Cemeteries. Research has identified over 9,100 burials within the East Perth Cemeteries: 64% are male, 36% are female and 53 of unknown sex. Further 32% are infants, 6.7% are children (a child being defined as aged between 18 months and 12 years), 55% are adults and 214 without any age noted, most likely to be adults. The average age at death of individuals who are buried at the East Perth Cemeteries is 29 years 10 months. This is very young but not unusual in communities where unfamiliar and harsh environments can take a severe toll.

No burial register was kept by either the Church Wardens or the caretakers of the various cemeteries so it is unlikely the exact number will ever be known with any accuracy. Records from all government departments have been interegated from statistical data held within the Registrar Generals files; correspondence within Police Registers; State Gardens Board review documents, which contained many letters from families wishing to be buried alongside their loved ones; Perth Gaol Occurrence Books; Convict General Registers and Department of Lands records. Research from Chipper Funeral Directors have been used, which contain information pertaining to previous internments and addresses of next of Kin. The Uniting Church Archives provided two fabulous maps of the Wesleyan Cemetery. Joy Reindl provided her collection which she had collected during her time as a volunteer at the Cemeteries. Colin Caughey, a current volunteer also provided his records. An extremely valuable set of records is from the Colonial Hospital Admission Registers.

As with all research projects, this can never be considered complete but rather a work in progress. Additions to the database are always welcomed and it is hoped that people will share their own research findings and discoveries. Please share by clicking on CONNECT.

Brought to you by:

National Trust of Western Australia


Friends of the Battye Library (Inc)

  • East Perth Cemeteries

    Bronte St
    East Perth WA 6004

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