Alan Crosby

Learns more about the Jew­ellery Quar­ter Re­search Trust which has cre­ated an es­sen­tial re­source for Birm­ing­ham buri­als

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - YOUR PORJECT -

The Jew­ellery Quar­ter Re­search Trust ( JQRT) was founded as a re­search group in 2010 to fo­cus at­ten­tion on this fas­ci­nat­ing area northwest of Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre. The pri­or­ity was to in­ves­ti­gate the Birm­ing­ham Gen­eral Ceme­tery at Key Hill (opened in 1836 by non­con­formist min­is­ters who were be­ing de­nied ac­cess to Angli­can churches for fu­neral ser­vices) and the Church of Eng­land ceme­tery at War­stone Lane.

The Gen­eral Ceme­tery was land­scaped, in­clud­ing an old quarry adapted as cat­a­combs or burial vaults, but even­tu­ally it was aban­doned by its own­ers and boug­ght by the city coun­cil. It was then ‘ti­died up’ to cut main­te­nance costs and re­duce van­dal­ism. The mor­tu­ary chapels were de­mol­ished and many head­stones laid flat or buried to fa­cil­i­tate grass cut­ting. res­i­dents but or­di­nary peo­ple, who died be­tween 1886 and 1971. The re­search draws upon civil reg­is­tra­tion, di­rec­to­ries and census records to fill in de­tail about those who would oth­er­wise just be fad­ing names on grave slabs.

But there are some more fa­mous in­di­vid­u­als. As the main bury­ing place of the city’s non­con­formists – a very in­flu­en­tial el­e­ment in Birm­ing­ham so­ci­ety in the Vic­to­rian pe­riod – many of the great and good lie there. I was in­trigued that among them are

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