Online, they allowed me to search for Family name, enabling me to find family names of which I was hitherto unaware. I printed the coordinates at home, plus a schematic diagram of the cemetery. However, this sort of diagram is rarely enough. The complexity of cemeteries is immense, and rarely are they pegged and explained on the ground. I realise that numbering can appear impersonal, but it is essential for research.
Many cemeteries leave it at that, and expect the researcher to call into the office and request a more detailed 'map'. However, at Kew they are more advanced. Outside the main office, just inside the main gate, there is a computer cubicle, reminiscent of an ATM. This reproduces the online information BUT ALSO prints off two more detailed slips to aid the translation of the map into reality. Which was absolutely essential. Kew Cemetery is jam-packed. I include the two slips here.
Using these two slips, the coordinates AND the occasional metal peg in the ground (which I showed last week), we found the graves of my ancestors quite quickly. BTW, I am now in the process of organising a 'wake' to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of my Great-Great-Grandfather, John Dunstan Tonkin, on 4th December 2012. We will plant-up the plot (plus that of his oldest son nearby) and drink champagne in remembrance.
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