Discover monumental inscriptions for England and Wales

5-6 minute read

By Daisy Goddard | April 7, 2023

With the addition of over 200,000 records, it's never been easier to connect with the stories of your ancestors.

This week, we've added over 13,000 records to our monumental inscription collections for Middlesex and Montgomeryshire. But that's not all - we've also updated our Essex Baptisms set.

Montgomeryshire Monumental Inscriptions

We've added 7,413 new records to this set, which hail from 16 chapels, churches, and cemeteries in the county.

While standard burial records tell us when and where a person was buried, monumental inscriptions provide richer detail, as we can see what exactly is written on a person's headstone or urn. This gives us an unrivalled insight into how a person was remembered after their death by those that lived on.

You can view both the image and transcription - so be sure to scour both to make sure you don't miss any key details.

A dig into these new records revealed a few notable people.

We can find John Ceiriog Hughes, the poet and folk-tune collector known as the 'Robert Burns of Wales'. Hughes was laid to rest in Llanwnog in April 1887.

John Ceiriog Hughes

John Ceiriog Hughes, c.1860.

The record tells us that his monument is a cross made from sandstone, with an urn and chain fence. His inscription, written in Welsh, refers to him as 'the celebrated Welsh bard'.

But that's not the only famous name in this collection. You can also explore the monumental inscription of Gary Holton, the musician and actor known for portraying Wayne in the comedy series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

gary holton

Gary Holton performing in 1974. Image credit: Tim Duncan.

After he died in 1985 aged just 33, Holton's ashes were placed on his grandparents' grave in Maeswastad Cemetery in Welshpool. The inscription added to his grandparents' headstone reads 'A star in heaven', while the exterior of his urn is carved with the words 'Mum Dad / Gary / Luv (sic) you / Oct. 25. 1985'.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions

We've also added monumental inscription records for Middlesex this week. The 6,233 new additions are from Hounslow Cemetery, between the years 1839 and 2022.

A meaningful glimpse into your ancestors' lives can be gained from these records. Take the inscription of Ronald John Brown, for example. Ronald was a Private with the Royal Norfolk Regiment during the Second World War.

Ronald John Brown

The grave of Ronald John Brown.

He died in July 1943, aged just 19. His family chose this moving inscription for his military headstone: 'In life a beautiful memory / In absence a silent grief'.

Essex Baptisms

We've also added 122,464 records to our Essex Baptisms collection. These transcriptions span from 1638 to 1922 and come from 154 churches across the county.

Among the new records is that of famous lawyer Sir Nicholas Tindal, who defended Caroline of Brunswick when she was tried for adultery in 1820. Nicholas was responsible for adding the verdict of 'not guilty by reason of insanity' into English law.

Nicholas Tindal

Painting of Sir Nicholas Tindal by Thomas Phillips, 1840.

Born in Chelmsford in 1776, Tindal was baptised on 26 July 1777. From his record, we can learn that his father was also in the legal profession - perhaps Sir Nicholas' sense of justice ran in his blood.

There are also plenty of less-than-law-abiding figures to be found in this week's new baptism records.

We found the record of William Westwood, who was born in 1820 and baptised at St. Mary the Virgin church in Manuden.

As this Essex Standard article in our newspaper collection reveals, William was found guilty of stealing a coat in 1836. The punishment he received was transportation to the penal colony of New South Wales, Australia.

He managed to escape his forced employment by 1840, and went on to become a notorious bushranger - nicknamed 'Jackey Jackey'. He was executed for his crimes in 1846, aged just 26.

What will you discover among this week's new releases? Exciting discoveries await within the Essex Baptisms and beyond.

From South Wales to Stratford-upon-Avon

It's been yet another busy week for our newspaper publishing. We added 288,457 brand-new pages to our collection, with titles from across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Among the five new titles added is the Welsh Flint & Holywell Chronicle, which provides us with a glimpse into life in the market town of Holywell in North Wales just before the turn of the century.

Another exciting new addition is the Statford-upon-Avon Herald, for which we've added intermittent years between 1881 and 1999.

With such a broad date range available, the history of this historic town is accessible like never before. These pages are a must-read for anyone seeking a glimpse into the birthplace of The Bard himself.

We've also updated 46 of our existing titles. These additions are from across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and include a mix of modern and historical pages. From 19th-century Huddersfield to Gwent in the 1980s, there's so much new material to discover.

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What discoveries have you made? From finding unknown ancestors to answering those family mysteries, we'd love to hear about your research. You can tell us directly, by filling out this form.

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