Digital access to ancestral records in Bath and North East Somerset

Residents, or those with family or historic ancestral connections to the area, are now able to go online to access burial and cremation records managed and held by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The Council, in partnership with Deceased Online,, has scanned and created digital versions of all burial and cremation records going back to the early 1850s to enable easy and fast searching for family and ancestors’ records.

Under statutory legislation, burial and cremation records need to be managed and preserved by all local authorities. Until now, anyone searching for these records would have needed to apply to the Council or visit the Bereavement Services offices. The availability of the online records means that individuals are able to search the data themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will improve accessibility for the users, reduce the demand on Council resources and provide far easier and faster access to the records by the public. The online records will also be available to global users and visiting tourists who have an interest in the region and local family connections .

Deceased Online already has records for 150+ UK councils and other archives in its database; users can search the website free of charge and digital copies of records can be downloaded for a small fee per document.
Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are embracing digital technology to ensure these vital records are safeguarded and made easier to access and at a lower cost than before. This project will also provide local, national and even international researchers access to the fascinating history of the area at the click of a button from anywhere in the world.”

The digital records available are as follows:

  • Bathwick Cemetery, 1862-1998
  • Harptree Cemetery, 1884-2011
  • Haycombe Cemetery, 1937-1990
  • Locksbrook Cemetery, 1864-2010
  • St James’s Cemetery (formerly Lyn Wid & St James), 1861-2011
  • St Michael’s Cemetery, 1851-2008
  • Twerton/Bellots Road Cemetery, 1882-2003
  • Haycombe Crematorium, 1961-1996

People searching the website will be able to find:

  • Scans of original registers
  • Grave details indicating all those buried within each grave
  • Maps indicating the section within the cemeteries where each grave is located (available for Haycombe, St James’s and Twerton cemeteries only)

Housing needed for Syrian refugees

Back in July and September of last year, B&NES Council discussed the Syrian refugee crisis and explored avenues through which it might be able to help in resettling individuals and families who have been forced to flee their homes. As a result of this 25 individuals have now been resettled here, which represents half of the figure of 50 that Citizens UK has asked all Local Authorities to welcome as a minimum.

B&NES Council have now hit a very real stumbling block in the path towards bringing more refugees to safety, in that there is no housing available in which they can accommodate any more families. The council has done some brilliant work in supporting the existing families to resettle and rebuild their lives, but they cannot hope to bring more people to safety unless we overcome the problem of where to house them.

Perhaps you know landlords in the area already, or people who know landlords, or are one yourself.

In order to help, landlords must:

* Own a family-sized rental property
* Be willing to rent out their property for the Local Housing Allowance Rate. The first 12 months of the rent will be paid for by the EU via a scheme for placing vulnerable refugees and subsequent months either through housing benefit or the family’s own earnings
* Be prepared to offer their property as a home for a Syrian refugee family
* Be able to offer a 2 year tenancy (ideally, or 14 months as an absolute minimum) to enable the family to have some stability when they arrive in the UK

If they (or you) have queries or would like further information, please contact @BathRefugees’ on Twitter or ‘@Bath Welcomes Refugees’ on Facebook. Alternatively, email B&NES councillor Alison Millar.