Thursday, June 26, 2008

Family History and the Cemetery

One of the other things that has been recently distracting me has been family history.
Part of puttting the pieces together is either going to the cemetery or looking at the records.

Wandering around the graveyard and praying that your relative is not the one burried under the unreadable headstone, wondering if you will be able to find it at all and secretly hoping the headstone says a litttle more than just the date of death is all part of the process.

Time consuming, fascinating and frustratitng as the procedure can be, I accept all of this as part of the search.

What I didn't like was when I went to search for a relative in the Cheltenham Cemetary here in Adelaide, was that there are no searchable records accessable to the public.

No link via the council pages.

No nothing.

The way to access information for this particular cemetery is to contact their admin office, put your request in writing along with a fee and wait four weeks for a reply.

I have to say this disgusts me.

I have been able to search every other cemetery for free. I haven't come accross this before and it has totally thrown me.

What happens to those who have travelled to search for relatives? They don't have four weeks to wait for a reply.

What if the relative isn't burried in that particular cemetery? Is it fair to be charged for this?

What if? What if?

The records are obviously there. Why are they not available to the public?

I really feel that this information should be freely given.

What say you?


Chrisknits said...

It should be public. If they are charging a fee because they have to work to find it, I'd say, I am happy to search through the records myself. Death records are a public record, they cannot be held hostage.

Life's little stuff said...

I'm finally back on the computer so had to come and visit. And I totally agree with you . I have rellies in that cemetery but I often get lost ( no sense of direction) so I thought I'd check the plot number with the council a few weeks ago , and was pretty disgusted that they wanted to charge for that info.
It's a pretty low way to make money.
cheers Tina

amanda j said...

I completely agree. That is just plain ridiculous!

Family history can become an obsession very easily. We go through stages of searching and adding to our trees and then BANG hit a wall!!