70,000 Limerick burial records to go online next month

25 Jul 2013

An online, searchable database containing the names, ages, addresses, dates of death, and the position of the graves of 70,000 people buried at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick will be launched on 20 August.

The records even include the cause of death of some of the individuals buried in the 164-year-old cemetery.

Jacqui Hayes, Limerick City archivist, Limerick City Council, said the database will be an invaluable resource for anyone conducting genealogical research on the Limerick area.

“The records also offer a unique tool for those conducting research into the social history of Limerick and mortality rates for all ages in Limerick City and its environs for over a century and a half,” said Hayes.

The online database has come together through the work of staff from Limerick City Archives and the History Department of Mary Immaculate College of Education. For the past two years, they have been manually transcribing thousands of handwritten records of those buried at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery between 1855 and 2008.

In that time period, according to the cemetery’s burial register, more than more than 70,000 people have been interred at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery, though the actual number is believed to be higher, Hayes said.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin, described the online records as an important step in Limerick City’s preparations to become Ireland’s first National City of Culture in 2014.

She added that “there are few people in Limerick City and surrounding parts, including southeast Clare and Co Limerick, who do not know somebody or do not have a relative who is buried at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery”.

Online map of plots at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery

Hayes also confirmed work is under way by staff at Limerick City Archives and students and academics from the geography and history departments of Mary Immaculate College to develop an online map of all burial plots at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery. That map will be available to the public.

“This project represents the next phase of our online records project, and involves pinpointing each plot with global positioning system technology,” Hayes said.

“By April of next year, members of the public will be able to click onto a person’s name and learn where their burial plot is located. The new system will also enable people to click onto a point on a map and discover who is buried there.”

Limerick image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic