Burial Lair and Cremation Registers

Find the final resting place of your ancestors by using burial, lair and cremation registers.

​What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out: 

  • name of the person 

  • date of death 

  • last known address 

  • religion

What records can I find in The Mitchell: Glasgow City Archives, Special Collections and the Registrars?

 

Please watch out for an announcement as to when these original records will be publicly available. 

 

Local authorities have been responsible for opening new cemeteries since the late 19th century and have also acquired the responsibility for earlier burial grounds. 

 

Glasgow City Archives holds the records of those cemeteries and crematoria run by Glasgow City Council up to 1995, as well as records for other cemeteries which have never been under local authority control.  The records mainly consist of burial, lair and crematoria registers:

 

  • Burial registers are arranged by the date of burial so you need to know when a person died in order to start looking through them.  If you do not know the date of death, you should obtain a copy of the death certificate.  The registers vary in the amount of detail but will always include the name of the deceased and the lair number.  Special Collections hold microfilm copies of the burial registers for many of the Glasgow cemeteries.

  • Lair registers will generally give the name and address of the lair owner as well as details of all the interments.  Once you have obtained a lair number, you can use the lair registers to find out who else is buried in the lair.  Please note that there may be restrictions on access to the lair registers under the Data Protection Act (1988).

  • Cremation registers are arranged by the date of cremation and will show if the ashes have been dispersed or interred in the crematoria grounds, or if they were returned to the family.

  • Old Parish Registers (for pre-1855 burials) and church records can give details of those interred in churchyards, although these records do not always survive.  The Old Parish Registers are among the many resources available as part of the ScotlandsPeople network which you can access in the Registrars on payment of a daily fee.

 

If you are unsure where to start looking, you may find clues in newspapers' death notices and obituaries or you may find a monumental inscription, which are often indexed, in Special Collections.

​What records can I see online?

The burial records in the Old Parish Registers and the records of St. Peter’s Dalbeth Cemetery in Glasgow and Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh can be searched on the ScotlandsPeople website.  Discounted vouchers for this website can be purchased in person at Special Collections.

​What records can I see elsewhere?

For burials or cremations that have taken place since 1995, you should contact Glasgow City Council’s Bereavement Services and explain that you are looking for a recent burial or cremation. 
 

Glasgow Crematorium, located at the Western Necropolis, has been in operation since 1895 and is run by the Scottish Cremation Society Ltd.  They can be contacted c/o Scott Moncrieff, 25 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 6NL Phone: 0141 567 4500.

 

St. Peter's Dalbeth Roman Catholic Cemetery, unlike St. Kentigern's Cemetery, is still the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.  For burial records after 1955 and for information on earlier lair registers, you should contact Sharon Scullion at Archdiocese of Glasgow, 196 Clyde Street, Glasgow G1 4JY Phone: 0141 226 5898.

 

Records of cemeteries run by other local authorities will be held either by the relevant local authority department, or by a local archive or library.  Please contact us for advice if you are not sure who to contact.​

What other resources will help me find information?

Books

June A. Willing and J. Scott Fairlie, “Burial grounds in Glasgow: a brief guide for genealogists” (1997)

John MacCreadie, "Lair Holders of Certain Burying Grounds of Glasgow" (2011)

 

Cemetery Maps

There are cemetery maps at Lambhill, St. Kentigern's, Western Necropolis and Sandymount cemeteries to help you locate a particular grave.  Glasgow City Council's Bereavement Services will provide a courtesy on-site service to assist in the locating of a grave at any of their cemeteries, but you will need to provide the details of the cemetery, section and lair number.