Burials at St Luke's Church and churchyard

Lower Norwood, Surrey

(now West Norwood, London)

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The parish register records everyone buried at St Luke’s, the first burial being on 3 October 1825 and the final one on 7 September 1894. The majority were interred in the churchyard. However, some coffins were deposited in vaults within the crypt beneath the church building itself and are now stacked behind a wall at the southern end of that area. The churchyard has been legally closed, so no further burials may take place there apart from cremated remains. 

 

At first, the only other burial ground in the neighbourhood was at the Independent (later Congregationalist) chapel in Chapel Road. However, from 1837 onwards burials also took place the South Metropolitan Cemetery, which is situated on the opposite side of Norwood High Street to St Luke’s. 

 

The registers have been transcribed from a microfilm of the original book. Each page has space for eight burials, the information being set out in columns with these printed headings:

    Number

    Name

    Abode

    When buried

    Age

    By whom the ceremony was performed.

 

The final burial has the printed serial number 1386. However, only 1,383 burials are actually recorded. This is because:

    An extra entry on page 10 results in there being two burials with the number   81, so the second of them is transcribed as number 81.1

    Entry 1122 includes the burial of two people on 12 January 1862 - Lucy Frost and her infant child

    For an unknown reason, the spaces allocated on page 168 for numbers 1340 to 1344 inclusive were not used.

 

The handwriting is of very variable quality, with inkblots in some places to add to the confusion. Entries that were hard to read have been checked, where possible, with one or both of these sources:

  • Civil registration death indexes are available online for most of the period from July 1837 to December 1979 at FreeBMD. Doubtful entries in the burial register during that period have been checked there and are noted as “checked with FreeBMD”. In some cases that have been checked in that way, details such as the exact age are different in that source to that in the parish register - such discrepancies are noted in the transcript.
  • Bishop’s transcripts. These contemporary annual copies of the register cover the years 1825-1844. They are kept at the London Metropolitan Archives (microfilm reference X014/063).

 

Editorial method

 

The information has been arranged into this order:

  • Number – sequence as shown in the register itself
  • Forename
  • Surname
  • Abode
  • Date – day and month of burial
  • Year
  • Age – this is always shown as whole years. Where the original record was more precise (e.g. “3 days” or “1 year 5 months”), that information is included in the Notes column
  • Notes – these include my explanations and also details taken from the register itself.

 

All legible information is included, apart from details of the clergymen who officiated.

Names and abodes are shown as written in the originals, even if spellings are wrong or inconsistent. However, christian names that were clearly abbreviated (such as “Thos.” for “Thomas”) are extended to their full versions.

 

In a few cases, the surname was written in front of the christian name. These names have been rearranged in the usual order in the transcript.

 

The burials of “William Henry Quintan or Quintin” on 12 March 1848 and of “Hannah Johnson or White” on 25 August 1849 both appear twice in the transcript – once for each of the alternative surnames recorded in the register.

 

Age at death

 

 

 

 

The mean age of those buried at St Luke’s was about 28 years, reflecting the large number of infant burials.

 

224 of those buried (16.2% of the total) were less than one year old. A further 379 (27.4%) were in the 1 to 7 age-range. Half of the people buried were aged 18 years or less.

 

How to consult the original records

 

As with every index, there may be errors or alternative plausible readings. It would therefore be wise to check entries of interest with a microfilm or scanned image of the original records. These can be seen at:

 

Scanned images of the St Luke’s burial registers can be consulted at and downloaded from the Ancestry website. Unless you visit that site at a library with a subscription allowing free access for its readers or have your own subscription, there will be a charge to see the information there.