I started transcribing the microfiche for the Balmain Cemetery’s internment book and then saw that a more thorough transcription needed to be undertaken. The internment book contains two pages with both the standard data recorded for internments (e.g. name, dates buried etc.) and some additional information. In the beginning (2003) I started transcribing just the left hand side page of the internment book (the standard data) and got as far as 1883 (last internment year 1912). At this point the proverbial ‘light bulb’ struck and I realised that the right hand page of the internment book contained information able to provide a far better insight into not only the individual people but the families that are interred in what has become know to me as ‘my cemetery’. This is because the right hand side of the book contains cross referencing material between family members. I say it is ‘my cemetery’, because as I continue to transcribe this information I feel as though all 10,608 people interred there are becoming more and more like family members.
I intend to continue with my transcriptions and cross referencing to link family members within the register. My database of people interred in Balmain Cemetery continues to grow and when I have completed the transcriptions I will advertise the work that I am doing so I can build a biography of as many people and families as possible who were interred there. This website has been created now as I am receiving more and more enquiries and feel it necessary that my work be published.
Another member of the team, Felicity Barry has been involved in searching relevant information at the Mitchell Library, especially relating to the legal and historical context of the cemetery. Particularly relating to what happened once the cemetery was opened and then after 1872 when movements amongst Leichhardt residents began to call for its closure and pressures on burials throughout the cemetery’s life. Some people may be aware there were several parliamentary debates and papers relating to health issues at both this cemetery and with the former Camperdown Cemetery (now also a memorial park). Details of these events and how they affected the Balmain Cemetery will be included in the eventual book/CD.Clearly this project is quite time consuming and will be a long process, through this website I will now be able to keep you informed of its progress.I would like to apologize now if I am unable to reply straight away I am expecting a large influx of emails once people find my website. I do promise that I will answer your emails as soon as I can.Happy family research and do not forget if you have any information or questions please do not hesitate to contact me.