Tuesday 14 December 2021

South West Cork Graveyards Database adds more burial grounds

Now I know Christmas is coming! Skibbereen Heritage Centre has just delivered a gift that will keep me busy throughout the festive holiday! I have a stoopid grin on my face, just thinking about it.

More than 10,500 more burial records have been added to the West Cork Graveyards Database. These are records from local authority burial registers, and the top-up means that 89 burial grounds are now covered. 

Kilkerranmore: Not a good place for a dainty ankle
The delight for me is that the small 'closed' graveyard of Kilkerranmore, where my paternal family are buried alongside the church ruins, is included. This graveyard is, in the main, a muddle of uninscribed stone markers – the type you stumble over into the long, usually wet, grass, and turn your ankle – and headstones crafted by skilled masons.

While some of my Santrys and extended families have inscribed headstones, most do not. Now, with the help of these new registers, I should be able to work out who is where because, very helpfully, the clerk has noted the type of marker, approximate place of marker, and, in some cases, the name of the newly-deceased's eternal neighbour.

I'm not just excited about Kilkerranmore. There are now 51 Santrys in the database, all in this fairly tight area of southwest Cork. For someone with such a rare name, it is incredibly exciting to see so much potential in just one record set.

The geographical area covered by the database has been significantly expanded by this latest update. Previously all the records were from southwest Cork, and within about 30 miles of Skibbereen. While some of the newest additions are also within that area, a good number reach slightly to the north and over towards the east of the region. All of them have been kindly made available to Skibbereen Heritage Centre by Cork County Council, who are now responsible for each of the sites.

For anyone with ancestors from this area, the West Cork Graveyards Database is a wonderful resource. And it is free.