Mine of information for genealogists made available online by University of Leeds

LYRIC: Circus owner Pablo Fanque, who is buried in Leeds, is mentioned in a Beatles song on Sgt Pepper.
LYRIC: Circus owner Pablo Fanque, who is buried in Leeds, is mentioned in a Beatles song on Sgt Pepper.
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A mine of information for genealogists has been made available online by the University of Leeds.

The burial registers of Leeds General Cemetery are now available for public use thanks to painstaking work by the University’s Special Collections.

The 25 registers contain entries relating to the 97,146 people buried there. These have been transcribed, digitised and made available through the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index.

Leeds General Cemetery opened in 1835 as a public burial ground. The University of Leeds acquired the company in 1956 and the final burial took place there in 1969.

Among the famous Victorian era names in the graveyard are artist John Atkinson Grimshaw, newspaper proprietors and politicians Edward Baines and his son Sir Edward. Circus owner Pablo Fanque, who is also immortalised in The Beatles’ Song ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, was also laid to rest there.

Today the site is a public park and its name has reverted to the original – St George’s Fields.

Dr Stella Butler, University librarian and keeper of the Brotherton Collection, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this online resource to give greater access to our collections.

“This vast archive is a vital resource for family history researchers, the university community, and the wider academic world.”

Dr Laura King, from the School of History, said: “The registers record information such as name, age, gender, date of death and burial, cause of death, occupation, and parents’ details. It is possible to browse a full list of all the recorded causes of death and occupations and view charts of key statistics from the data.”

See the special collection at goo.gl/Lg3Imq.

Gary Barlow

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