ONTARIO-L ArchivesArchiver > ONTARIO > 2012-02 > 1330124131
From: "J. Brian Gilchrist" <>
Subject: [ONTARIO] Access to Ontario Cemetery records
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 17:55:32 -0500
Hello Ellen and everyone .... Ellen's statement below, about a cemetery not telling you who is buried in their property, causes me a little bit (actually a lot!) of concern - as that is illegal.
I speak with some authority on this as I am an Expert Witness in the Courts of Ontario on such matters and have testified at various times on a variety of inter-connected issues being cemeteries, genealogy, records and inheritence.
Please keep in mind, most cemeteries are very helpful and in fact provide us with more details that what they have to (they DO NOT have to provide place of birth, age, place of death and cause of death) and so let's not make waves.
But .... under no circumstances can you be refused information about who is buried in a cemetery and the date they were buried - IF the cemetery knows the details.
Further please keep in mind that record keeping has evolved over the years and so MOST cemeteries will NOT be able to tell you who was buried there in the 1800's or even the first half of the 20th century. Enforcement of record keeping is very recent, and therefore a cemetery can not provide you with details that they do not have.
I was recently commissioned to reconstitute a burial register for a small Church cemetery that had their records stolen. The Secretary had records of only about 900 burials, and I have brought the total up to almost 2100 and that is still not complete ...
Below I have copied the section dealing with records from Ontario Regulation 130 / 92, Section 38 which applies to the Ontario "Cemeteries Act (revised)" - Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, Chapter 4. The term "owner" translates easily into "The cemetery".
While these are the Regulations for the Legislation I know that many smaller Ontario cemeteries will NOT be in compliance - be they private and or Municipal. They simply may not have the information we are looking for ... so, please be patient and understanding as many smaller cemeteries are run by Boards composed of Volunteers - not paid staff - and to be sure most try to be as helpful as possible. MAny are often interested in knowing the results of our search for burials, as it might help them add to their own records.
With regard to cemetery transcriptions and records please remember to consult with (and join!) the local branch of The Ontario Genealogical Society where your research interests and or the cemetery of interest is ... you will be in excellent company of others who enjoy spending time in cemeteries ...
If you have any comments or concerns - or have an issue with one particular cemetery - please contact me privately, off-list as I would like to have a handle on how widespread this issue of non-disclosure really is.
J. Brian Gilchrist
Genealogist and Archivist
Researching since 1966 ...
Box 74503, 270 The Kingsway
TORONTO, ON M9A 5E2
"38. (1) The owner shall make available for inspection without charge a public register containing the following information:
1. The name and address of each interment rights holder and the location of the lot to which the rights pertain.
2. The name and address of each original purchaser of interment rights that have been transferred to another person and the date on which the rights were transferred.
3. The name of each person whose remains are interred in the cemetery, the location of the lot in which the remains are interred and the date on which the remains were interred.
4. The name of each person whose remains were cremated in the crematorium, if any, and the date on which the remains were cremated.
5. The particulars of each disinterment of remains, including the name of the person who requested the disinterment, the date on which the remains were disinterred and the location in which the remains were reinterred.
6. The particulars required under section 22. O. Reg. 130/92, s. 38 (1).
(2) The information shall be set out in the public register within five days after the applicable event takes place or after the owner becomes aware of the information, as the case may be. O. Reg. 130/92, s. 38 (2)."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ellen Murray" <>
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ONTARIO] McDowell Help
> Hi Stella, transcription comes from Stone, burial is difficult to get but
> where I can I do. Some Cemeteries have become very strict on info they give
> out, some will not even tell you if person buried there.
> Keep well
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