Oamaru, New Zealand graves searchable online, 2013.

Cemetery database makes family searches easier

A new Oamaru cemeteries database has the potential to provide insight into the past, a supporter of the initiative says.

The database is available through the Waitaki District Council website and allows users to search for people buried in the Oamaru Old and Lawn Cemeteries by surname and/or first name, and shows information such as the age of the deceased and what block and plot they are buried in.

North Otago Museum archives curator Eva Garbutt says tracing family history is becoming a popular pastime, with more people than ever wanting to unearth their roots.

“In the past year the demand for putting our cemetery database online has increased as more and more people are getting into doing their family history.

“Now people will be able to search for their ancestors buried in the Oamaru cemeteries thanks to the wonderful

efforts of our volunteers, who have spent many hours putting the information from the original burial registers into a digital and searchable format.”

Waitaki District councillor and historian Helen Stead is a huge supporter of the database and says she is delighted it is up and running.

“I think it places us in the research and genealogical world, because people can look at the database that relates to Oamaru from anywhere in the world.”

Mrs Stead also believes the database could unlock dozens of stories about Oamaru’s past that have been lost with time.

[For the entire article from The Timaru Herald, click the link below:

Cemetery database makes family searches easier]