The main cemeteries administered by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board are Karrakatta, Pinnaroo, Midland, Guildford and Fremantle. You can search online for names in these cemeteries in the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website.
East Perth CemeteryEast Perth Cemetery was the first burial ground in Perth with interments commencing in 1830. Early settlers and pioneers were buried there until 1899 when Karrakatta Cemetery opened. Burials of descendants of these early pioneers continued until the mid 1920s.
A three volume work about this site, East Perth Cemetery: resting place of Western Australian pioneers, by James A Richardson (Q 929.5 RIC) provides useful details of the cemetery and people buried there.There is also a microfiche index of East Perth burials which was compiled by members of the Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS).
Karrakatta, Fremantle, Pinnaroo, Guildford & Midland CemeteriesThe first burial at Karrakatta Cemetery was in 1899 although there are some burials for exhumations from the East Perth Cemetery for people who died earlier. The earliest burial in Guildford Cemetery was in 1892, in Midland Cemetery in 1904 and in Fremantle’s Carrington Street Cemetery in 1898.
In Fremantle there were also cemeteries in Alma and Skinner Streets which were used from 1856-1910. An index to these cemeteries and to the current Carrington Street Cemetery is in Series 10 of the Western Australian Cemeteries Index produced by the Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS) in 1989.
It is possible to search online for names on tombstones in the East Perth Cemetery on the website of the Dead Persons Society. This site details the history of the cemetery - scroll down to the centre of the page and click on the red ‘Burial Register’ button to search the names.
Country CemeteriesThere are a number of methods of locating country cemetery records. You can search by keyword in the on-line catalogue. Type in keywords such as cemeteries-electronic-[place name] e.g. cemeteries electronic Harvey. Click from the catalogue record to the cemetery listing.
- The Western Australian Cemeteries Index on microfiche contains headstone and burial register records for many Western Australian country cemeteries.
- Western Australian Biographical Index Material. This is a microfilm collection of material used in the compilation of the Western Australian Biographical Dictionaries. (A listing of subjects can be found in MN 1217) The original card index with annotations and corrections may also be useful.
- Record of deaths and tombstone inscriptions gathered from Western Australian graveyards and cemeteries compiled by Jan Young (PR 2640) - this is a series of eight volumes arranged alphabetically by cemetery, plus a separate index volume.
- Ken Stewart's Burials in the Mid-West of Western Australia, 1851-1896 (microfiche) - this is a microfiche index arranged alphabetically by surname.
- Tess Thomson’s Cemetery records of the Eastern Goldfields - this is a card index arranged alphabetically by surname.
- Yvonne E. Coate’s Lonely graves of Western Australia & burials at sea (B/994 COA) and More lonely graves of Western Australia (B/994 COA) provide details on many people buried in isolated sites in Western Australia.
Burial RecordsChurch records showing burials for some churches are held in the Private Archives Collection. Listings of State Library holdings can be found in the Manuscript Notes (MNs) as follows:
- Anglican Church (MN 614)
- Congregational Church (MN 257)
- Methodist Church (MN 172)
- Presbyterian Church (MN 713)
- Uniting Church (MN 659 and 930)
- Roman Catholic Church – A few records are held (MN 812) but the majority of Catholic records are held either by the Catholic Archives or retained by the churches.
Some miscellaneous church records are listed in MN 1217.
Page last updated: Wednesday 31 August 2011