Uncovering Roots: Exploring Family Histories

Our dedicated volunteers play a vital role in the restoration and maintenance of the old Folkestone cemetery. Their efforts encompass a wide range of tasks, including clearing weeds and brambles around headstones, uncovering hidden headstones and kerbstones sometimes buried under layers of leaf-mold and earth and other such physical tasks.

Another aspect of our work is conducting research on family histories and individual backgrounds. The information gleaned from this research is then meticulously added to various websites, contributing to the preservation and dissemination of the cemetery’s rich history.

Our researchers (in particular Carole and Karl, although we all do occasional research) invest countless hours in public libraries and online, delving into a variety of news sources and databases. Among the plethora of resources, two platforms stand out as the most frequently utilised: Ancestry.com and Findagrave.com. These invaluable tools aid our team in uncovering and documenting the intricate details of family histories and memorial information, further enriching our understanding of the past.

We’ve also accomplished the creation of a virtual Google map that meticulously marks every burial and grave within the expansive grounds of the old Folkestone cemetery. This endeavor was no small feat, considering the vastness of the cemetery, which hosts around 27,000 burials distributed across 15,000 plots (Thank You to James, our technical member, who made this possible) – you can check out the virtual maps here: virtual-cemetery-plans/ (you will need to be logged into Google).

While Ancestry.com requires a small annual fee, many families find it worthwhile to chart their family history on this database (and if you keep a look out you may find Ancestry occasionally offers a free trial period). On the other hand, Findagrave.com offers a free-of-charge service; all that is required is a simple registration process. For individuals engaged in family history research, we highly recommend exploring the resources available on Findagrave.com for valuable insights and information.

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