This cemetery is an old, now relatively unknown cemetery located in Separation Street, Northcote, Victoria. It is currently under the control of The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust that also looks after the Preston Cemetery. The cemetery is located between two houses on each side (north side of street) with a park at the back. The front (on Separation Street) has a brick fence and gate that is usually locked. You need to contact the Cemetery Officer at the Preston Cemetery in Kingsbury to gain entrance.
Northcote is a suburb about 8 km north, north east of Melbourne and mainly residential and light industrial. Separation Street is not a wide street and you cannot park in it. You need to park in one of the side streets. You can view the cemetery through the front fence. Early Northcote was sold at a government land sale in October, 1839, in lots up to 115ha. Two of the original purchasers of the land have had their names kept as place names in the area – Ruckers Hill and Penders Grove.
There are a number of references for the cemetery that include:
* the Headstones (1863-1952) as well as a map of the cemetery noting the graves, that were transcribed by Neil. Hansen and Peggy Whitehead on the 16 February and the 11 April, 1952, and located in the vertical file.
* A CD of the cemetery by Sandra McClure (1855-2003) that includes headstone transcriptions and photos of all headstones in the cemetery.
* An article on the cemetery in an early edition of the GSV's journal by its earlier name – “The Australian Genealogist”, 1954.
The GSV has these in their library.
The cemetery was established on the 8th May, 1861 on approximately one acre of land and there have been approximately 200 burials in the cemetery. A note in the Dept of Human Services Archives File on the cemetery notes that the cemetery closed in 1908 except to holders of the “rights to bury”; with the last burial in a family grave in 1971. The cemetery was in normal use up until 1940.
Back in 1954 when the transcriptions were being completed the cemetery was very neglected, but the Northcote Council (now the Darebin Council) took control of the cemetery and has undertaken a great deal of work to clear it up and make it easier to move around the graves. It is believed that the records of initial burial are not available. The earliest receipt book for burial fees still available is marked as No. 2 and commences on the 10 February, 1899.
One of the large industries in the area was the Northcote Brickworks (since closed) and the manager of the brickworks, Thomas Weatherall, who died on the 19 August, 1898, Aged: 62 years, is buried in the cemetery along with his wife, Elizabeth, who died on the 1 June, 1901, aged 55 years. There is a large monument erected over his grave paid for by the shareholders and workers. You can also find a number of the German families who had settled in the area, buried in the cemetery.
Some of the other family names buried in the cemetery are:
Angior, Blower, Brockie, Buttler, Clancy, Clappison, Cursanscky, Dinwoodie, Hellwig, Kupsch, Lydster, Muller, Fritsch, Mc Diarmid, McIntosh, Quenault, Preston, Rouse, Schosnick, Smith, Tinkham, Tomkins, and Watson.
The Plan of the Northcote Cemetery showing the graves and the names, is an excellent reference for the cemetery. If you have access to the CD on the cemetery in 2003 by Sandra McClure, I would recommend that you view it. As well, it has photos of the monuments still in the cemetery along with the transcriptions. The CD is also available for sale. The Council currently has a program of upgrading and maintenance for the cemetery.
There was one memorial in the cemetery, badly weathered that only noted : “-, Ethel, Died 23 March, 1868, Born 6 September, 1867”. The family name has been worn off. It is believed that this could be Ethel Isabel Johnson, daughter of Samuel and Mary Johnson, aged 6months, who died in Northcote.
This cemetery is one of the five noted in the Victorian cemeteries legislation (later amendments to the 1954 Cemeteries Act) as being part of the Pioneer Park Cemeteries concept to be set up. This first three of these cemeteries have been converted to pioneer parks, but the remaining two – Northcote and Coburg, have not been converted to date. It is hoped that they will not be converted in the future.
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia