Interestingly, the Nonconformist burial ground is one of the most common burial grounds in the UK but also one of the most overlooked.
Many of us have nonconformists in our family history but we are not always aware that they were conformist!
If you have a ‘lost’ relative then it is always worth looking at nonconformist records and that includes an investigation of the churchyards
- At the height of nonconformity, the total number of burials in Quaker, Baptist, Methodist and Congregational churchyards probably equalled that in the established church.
- These burial grounds quite often survive, tucked away somewhere, even though the chapel they belong to might have disappeared or changed use.
- The development of cemeteries was welcomed by the nonconformists as being independent of the church of England
- The first cemetery independent of the established church was Bunhill Fields in the City of London.
- During the C18th and C19th the Quakers insisted on simple burials with no monuments but this gradually changed and in many churchyards, Quakers monuments exist with simple initials and date of death.
- Memorials for other nonconformist groups were more elaborate
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