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In response to some of our early training events, (most specifically the Graveyard Survey Training in August 2016) many of those attending asked if they could volunteer with the Trust, to undertake both an accurate ground plan of the cemetery and a biographical study, to create a genealogical resource.
Members participate in all aspects of research but for administrative purposes manage their study as two key strands:
Cemetery Survey: A physical examination of the cemetery site, using recognised archaeological fieldwork techniques to plot, record and photograph standing graves.
Biography: Manual investigation using online genealogical websites and/or local archives to populate a deceased person’s biography.
The group held its inaugural meeting on 29th September 2016.
With contributions from members and particularly Member Co-ordinator (Biographical Research) Linden Secker, who kindly donated his own extensive record of 10 years to the Trust, the group has made an immediate start.
In addition, with permission of Holbeach Parish Council, members will soon be seen in the cemetery undertaking a base-line survey of the graves.
Information will be shared with the wider community through the project newsletter, Facebook page and South Holland Life.
In time the group aspires to assisting the Trust with fundraising, cemetery trails, reminiscence days; training for volunteers; community events and open days and updating guides on the Holbeach Cemetery Chapels.
“I read the information about the project and was quite intrigued. I decided to volunteer because the idea of learning how to do a survey appealed to me as it was something I hadn’t done before. I was interested in learning how to do it and also the activity would be outdoors. A couple of years ago I researched my own family tree and was amazed by everything I discovered. Taking a photographic record of the gravestones and then researching the lives of some of the people in the cemetery would be a challenge that I could enjoy and undertake during the dark winter months.” – Patrick Halford