Thursday, April 22, 2021

2021 #AtoZChallenge S is for ...Sydney cemeteries : a field guide

I've been researching my family history for over thirty years. Along this genealogy journey I have been supported by hundreds of books, many of which I have listed on my Librarything page. 

During the 2021 #AtoZChallenge I will be writing about two of my passions, books and family history. I'll be taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting some of those books that have enriched my genealogy experience.

I know several of the fourteen other people who have Sydney cemeteries : a field guide by Sydney historian Lisa Murray listed on their Librarything accounts.

This 399 page paperback guide to resting places around Sydney published by the University of NSW is generously endowed with colour photographs. Its relatively small format makes it suitable to tuck into a bag for a cemetery tour or to take to bed for some bedtime reading!

The contents begin with an introduction followed by lists of cemeteries arranged in nine geographical regions thence by date of commencement. One nice design feature is that each geographical area has a colour code that is visible on the spine making it easy to dig into cemeteries in a particular area.

Clever coloured sections on spine

The glossary, bibliography and index all assist with access to the content and provide guidance for further reading. Each cemetery entry consists of a history and description, a list of notable burials and more information and photographs, some entries have maps and added Tips. 

I found the placing of  general cemetery related articles in between the geographical regions confusing. I think these essays would have been better placed together in their own section. 
One of the quirky features I found interesting is the Top Five lists at the end of each section were the Top 5 lists eg Top Five Churchyards, Top Five Oldest (Undisturbed) Cemeteries. 

This book appeals to me for several reasons. I am a Sydney girl and booklover with an interest in good books, my home town and cemeteries. I have many dead relatives including all my parents and grandparents who are resting in Sydney cemeteries and I'm interested in their environments. Finally, as Mr GeniAus and I have a nice plot with a view chosen in a Sydney Cemetery it was good to be able to read about our future home and neighbours. 

As a bonus I'm adding links to two other four star death related books I enjoyed.


Alex Daw said...

Dear Jill Oh you do make me laugh. Only a genealogist could suggest that a book about cemeteries would be a nice read to take to bed! But it does sound like a very interesting book and I must see if I can get my hands on it.

Molly's Canopy said...

My goodness, I wish someone here would publish a cemetery guide like that one! I laughed at Alex's comment -- fully realizing that yes, a book on cemeteries would be a great bedtime read :-)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I really need to have a look at that book. I have branches of the family who lived, and died, in Sydney and it’s taken quite a while to start to wrap my head around the cemeteries.


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