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Map of Brisbane Australia

Some early references from the 1820s and 1830s to Brisbane Australia, especially in relation to the Brisbane Australia, can be found in the papers of the Gage family of Hengrave held at Bury St Edmunds. The Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft has a collection of photographs relating to the Catholic communities in Beccles and Bungay and pilgrimages to Dunwich in the early twentieth century. These can be found in Brisbane Australia Photographic and Illustrative Archive.

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Where is Brisbane Australia?

Gravestones can be extremely useful for identifying family relationships as well as supplying extra personal details. There have been various projects to record memorials in churches and churchyards since at least the nineteenth century, such as those transcribed in 1883-85 under the care of the National Society for Preserving the Memorials of the Dead. Many of these are held at local record offices, family history societies or the relevant church or cemetery. In Bury St Edmunds the monumental inscriptions for St Mary’s were recorded in 1887 by the Reverend Haslewood.

As some gravestones were subsequently moved and others are no longer legible, the copy at the Bury St Edmunds office includes details of many that can no longer be identified. One example is the combined inscription to Benjamin Burlingham, son of George and Margaret, who died in 1825 and George, son of Benjamin and Priscilla Burlingham, who died in 1838. The Women’s Institute carried out many churchyard surveys across the country in the 1980s, with copies given to every participating church, local record offices and local studies libraries. Norfolk was one of the counties that participated and around a third of the county was covered. The three Cambridgeshire record offices have some good collections of graveyard surveys, including several Nonconformist churches and chapels. Most local family history societies have an active programme of collecting and recording monumental inscriptions. Many donate copies to local record offices, but some can only be accessed through a society.

All family history societies sell copies of their indexes and transcripts, usually in printed format or on CD. Some of Cambridgeshire’s can be downloaded from their website for a fee, while Norfolk offers access to many of theirs to members only on their own online database NORS, which is accessible from their home website. Mid Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are among the many family history societies across the country which have added their monumental inscription collections to the National Burial Index. This was produced under the umbrella of the Federation of Family History Societies. First available on CD, with copies available locally, it is now online as well via Findmypast. Essex Family History Society has been prolific in compiling church and churchyard surveys, with copies donated to the record office. The record office online catalogue includes the name indexes to some of these.

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