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A major six-year project has seen all the public records from Napier's six cemeteries - nearly 40,000 in all - digitised to a free public database.
Planning Started: 2007
Construction Started: January 2008
Napier City Council is making good progress on an extensive project aimed at auditing and simplifying public access to all records for the city's six cemeteries.
This large exercise is drawing together all the information lodged with or available to the Council. At the end of April 2014, 18,166 of 38,041 records had been completed and were accessible online. These records encompassed Wharerangi Cemetery, the Western Hills Cemetery and, most recently, Eskdale Cemetery.
Work is currently underway on Taradale Cemetery for which there are about 4000 records. Park Island and Napier Hill cemeteries will follow. While these records are still to be audited and loaded onto the database, the public can still access the information held by the Council.
Information being collated includes aerial photos of burial sites, cemetery records, photos of headstones and data sourced from funeral directors and monumental services. This information is being made available as a permanent record on the Council website, providing a valuable database and a resource for genealogical research.
Unfortunately, no Council records exist for the years 1857-1895 as this information was destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.
All the available information recorded in original cemetery registers is held in computer files. Council has a record of headstone information, including inscriptions, and a file listing names of some early arrivals in the Napier area, as recorded in newspapers of the period.
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