East Perth Cemeteries – FAQs

East Perth Cemeteries – FAQs

East Perth Cemeteries Records
  • General ettiquette

    Climbing, leaning or sitting on graves and monuments is disrespectful and may cause irreversible damage to the memorial. There is also a risk that you could be hurt. Please watch over children to ensure their safety.

    Please do not attempt to undertake any repairs, cleaning or restoration. This is a fragile heritage site on the State Register of Heritage Places and therefore protected under the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990. Please contact the National Trust to discuss conservation works or join our team of volunteers.

    Never remove anything from a gravesite even if it’s an arrangement of flowers that has dried up and wilted weeks before you even got there.

  • Are burials still permitted?

    Unfortunately, no. The Cemeteries have been closed to burials since 1899 and the Cemeteries Act 1986 does not allow burial on land that is not a gazetted cemetery.

  • How about ashes?

    Yes and no. This is a fragile archaeological heritage site so we do not permit the burial of ashes. The scattering of ashes is a great way to continue family connections. A time for an intimate family ceremony can be booked by appointment. To do so please contact the National Trust on 9321 6088 or trust@ntwa.com.au.

  • Can I have a wedding or funeral in St Bartholomew's Church?

    As it is a consecrated Anglican Church all weddings and funerals must be performed by an Anglican priest and follow an Anglican order of service.

    Please contact your local Anglican priest for further advice and assistance.

    Then please view information on Venue Hire and contact the National Trust to discuss hire fees and availability on 9321 6088 or trust@ntwa.com.au

  • How can I arrange for a monument to be clearned or repaired?

    Please contact the National Trust of Western Australia. For more details see this article.

  • Can I install a new memorial or plaque?

    To ensure the integrity and authenticity of Cemeteries as a heritage place such installations are not supported. While the occasional plaque or memorial may not have a major impact on the place, there is potential for a proliferation of new memorials to adversely affect the Cemeteries’ heritage values over time. Similarly, the addition of plaques to existing memorials may be physically damaging and have an adverse effect on these precious artefacts.

    It is recognised there are people for whom the Cemeteries has special associations and meanings, generally through an ancestral or other connection. There are several memorial options available that are compatible with the needs of families and caring for the Cemeteries on behalf of the broader community. Please read this for further information.

  • Is filming and photography permitted?

    Filming and photography in the Cemeteries for private and personal use by family members and visitors is welcomed. Filming and photography by news media, professional and commercial film‐makers and photographers, educational institutions and students require the prior approval of the National Trust and fees may apply. See here for more information.

  • Is it wheelchair accesible?

    St Bartholomew’s Church is readily accessible and there are two sealed paths that intersect the site. Overall the grounds are very sandy and not well suited to wheelchair access. There is a toilet suitable for visitors with limited mobility.

  • Do you have toilets?

    Yes, we have toilets, including one for visitors with limited mobility.

  • Can I bring my dog?

    Guide and assistance dogs are of course very welcome. Companion animals will have to stay home on the couch

  • Why does the grass look overgrown?

    There are both historic and practical reasons for this. See “Reading the Landscape” for the historical context.

    As for the practical reasons it comes down to cost and conservation. Covering an area over 4 hectares the Cemeteries are costly to mow as it’s slow work mowing in between the graves. Line trimmers cannot be used as the line causes irreversible damage to the monuments.

    The high salt content in weed-killing chemicals is highly damaging to the delicate grave furniture (and not the best for people either) so weeds are not sprayed. This approach also helps maintain the biodiversity within the Cemeteries which is rare in the city.

    A dedicated team of volunteers is continually hand weeding to help ensure the grave markers will not be damaged by chemicals or mechanical means. More volunteers are always needed to help with the grounds maintenance so please contact the National Trust if you would like to join the team. You can help make a difference.

  • Can you help me find my ancestors?

    When you visit our volunteers will be happy to assist you in locating a known gravesite. They are also extremely knowledgeable about many of the people buried at East Perth Cemeteries.

    More specialist assistance is available from the Western Australian Genealogical Society or through private researchers.

  • I'd like to share stories and photos of my ancestors who are buried at East Perth Cemeteries.

    We would love to know more about everyone buried here and to share their stories.

    National Trust of Western Australia

    The Old Observatory
    4 Havelock Street
    WEST PERTH  WA  6005

    PO Box 1162
    WEST PERTH  WA  6872

    TELEPHONE      (08) 9321 6088
    EMAIL                trust@ntwa.com.au

    Friends of the Battye Library (Inc)

    ATTN: The Secretary
    PO Box 216

  • Data sources?


    Forms for instructions for burials 1896-1924.


    Collection of family histories and death certificates donated to him and compiled whilst a volunteer at East Perth Cemeteries.


    Jewish burials in Western Australia.


    Inquests derived from the Police Gazettes

    Memorial Inscriptions

    Registrar Generals Office Index 1896-1916

    Databases of information obtained from State Library sources including:-

    1. State Library of Western Australia –
      1. Acc 2467A/8
      2. Acc 2467A/9
      3. Acc 2467A/10
      4. Acc 2467A/11
      5. Acc 2467A/44


    Members of the public who kindly donated their family histories they had compiled on ancestors who are buried at the East Perth Cemeteries.


    Memorial Inscriptions compiled as Archivist of Church of England Western Australia.


    Many databases compiled as an historian.


    Collection of Burials compiled by Joy Reindl whilst a volunteer at the East Perth Cemeteries.


    Trove Digitised Newspapers 1803-1995.


    Collection of information on individual monuments and memorial inscriptions collated by East Perth Cemeteries volunteers since 1976.


    Collection of materials compiled by Ron Bodycoat in his role as a heritage advisor.


    Colonial Hospital Admission Register 1876-1920


    Mrs Ray Oldham Collection.

    Archived Photographs of Headstones.

    East Perth Cemetery: Resting place of Western Australian Pioneers 3 Volumes by Richardson and Davies Family Histories.

    Citations from the Annual Pioneer Memorial Service celebrated on the Sunday of the Western Australia (Foundation) Day long weekend.


    • 282.9411 WES – The West Australian Catholic Record
    • 355.31 BRO – The Veterans: A history of the Enrolled Pensioner Force in Western Australia 1850-1880
    • 365.7 WES – Annual Reports on the Convict Establishments at Western Australia and Tasmania
    • 360 POL – The Police Gazettes of Western Australia
    • Acc 2467A – St George’s Cathedral (Perth) – Anglican Church of Australia
    • Acc 2992A – Congregational Church Union of Western Australia
    • Acc 6809A – Western Australian Records
    • AJCP CO18/10 – Register No 26 Early Deaths and Burials in Western Australia
    • PR2640 – Henderson and Doncaster Indexes, Records of deaths and tombstone inscriptions
    • Q929.5 RIC East Perth Cemetery: Resting place of Western Australian Pioneers 3 Volumes by Richardson and Davies, including Wesleyan Burials 1862-1885.


    • Acc 1156 – Convict Establishment Records
    • Acc 1156 V24 – Miscellaneous 1882 – 1897 Deaths Registered 1895 – 1900
    • Acc 1157 – Lists of Persons Naturalised previous to 1871
    • Acc 2799 – Colonial Surgeon Register of Deaths 1875-1884
    • Acc 3436 – Grants of Probate
    • Acc 36 – Colonial Secretary’s Office Correspondence Inwards 1828-1878
    • Acc 703 – Registrar General’s Office Births, Deaths and Marriages 1829-1841
    • Cons 430 – Western Australian Police Department General Files
    • Cons 527 – Colonial Secretary’s Office post 1883 Correspondence files
    • Cons 541 item 1900/11897 V2 – Burials in East Perth Cemetery
    • Cons 3403 – Grants of Probate
    • Cons 3431 – Bankruptcy Records
    • Cons 3458 – Applications for Grants of Letters of Administration


    Map of Wesleyan Cemetery at East Perth
  • Who contributed to the burial database?


    Donald John Chipper established this business in Perth in 1889 and it continues today. The Chipper burial forms are the earliest known surviving funeral records for Perth and copies can be found through the Church of Latter Day Saints or through Chippers direct.

    103 Norma Road, Myaree Western Australia 6154.


    Father Ted has a keen interest in Western Australia’s past and as an early example of his skill in researching and analysing information in 1951 he compiled a detailed index to names on more than 1,000 graves in the Church of England portion of East Perth Cemeteries. For almost sixty years Father Ted has researched and written on the histories of many of Western Australia’s Church of England and Anglican parishes, biographies of key figures in the Church as well as many other related topics. At last count the State Library of Western Australia holds 32 of his published and unpublished works written from 1950 to 2008.


    Graham is the immediate past president of the Western Australian Genealogical Society. His membership extends for over 30 years and he has been actively involved in the Society’s Special Interest Group Swan River Pioneers 1828-1839. As research officer for this group he has transcribed and indexed many documents relating to the early years of the Colony. He is also a committee member of the Friends of Battye Library.


    Joy was a member of the then Friends of East Perth Cemeteries in the 1990s and during this time produced a comprehensive set of records on the burials in the Cemeteries. She kindly donated these records for use in this project.


    The National Trust has been the custodian of East Perth Cemeteries on behalf of the community and government of Western Australia since 1976.

    The collection of information and support with the management of the Cemeteries has been with the support of the following volunteers: Mary Andrews, Brian Anderson, Ron Barratt, Mavis Bailey, Shirley Babis, Kylie Bacon, Jan Barker, Pat Bentley, John Bissett, Ronice Blair, John Breedveld, Ross Callaway, Pat Campbell, Francis Carson, Helen Carter, Colin Caughey, Jenny Cocks, Phil Cooper, Robin Creswell, Don Cruden, Carolyn Denham-Shade, Graeme Gerrans, Ros Golding, Murray Hewett, Val Hilton, Val Hogan, John James, Thelma Jones, Pat Keillor, Heather Leaney, Barbara Lee, Jeannie Lofts, Rhonda Meloncelli, Flora Mcdonald, Wendy Mcdonnell, Sheryl Milentis, Barbara Miller, Pauline Miller, Lyall Page, Lynda Pettit, Edna Pritchard, Joy Reindl, Phil Rennie, Bev Roseveare, Carol Sharp, Pat Spirek, Beryl Stuart, Eric Stuart, Gillian Stephens and Shirley Yates.

    Special thanks to Jennifer Muir, Sandra Stock, Brian Anderson, Colin Caughey, Jan Barker, Val Hogan and Shirley Babis.

    The Old Observatory
    PO Box 1162
    West Perth WA 6872
    Phone: (08) 9321 6088
    Email: trust@ntwa.com.au
    Web: www.nationaltrust.org.au/wa


    Royal Perth Hospital Museum was formerly established in 1989 for the preservation and display of items associated with the Hospital’s historic past. The Museum houses a variety of medical instruments, equipment, historical archives and photographs. These historic items are available for research to the public and general interest. Selected items are displayed in the Victoria Square entrances, to encourage public interest, communication and education. The museum staff continue to collect the Hospital’s vast social and medical history, particularly as new medical innovations occur and old equipment is decommissioned.

    M Block Level 2
    Murray Street Perth 6001
    Phone: 9224 3433
    Office Hours: Monday –Thursday 9am – 2pm
    Open: Wednesday and Thursday 9am – 2pm


    Specialist in conservation works, adaptation, heritage assessments, conservation plans and expert opinions.

    Suite 17, 10 Johnston Street Cottesloe WA 6011
    Phone: (08) 9384 6166
    Fax: (08) 9385 2341
    Email: ronaldbodycoatarchitect@iinet.net.au


    The Royal Western Australian Historical Society (Inc) was formed in 1926 to give present and future generations access to the history of Western Australia. In just over 80 years the Society has grown from a small group of people interested in preserving the history of Western Australia to one with a royal charter, the home of a fascinating museum with a unique art collection, an extensive reference library, a boutique bookshop and a photographic collection.

    Its mission is to: foster interest in and enjoyment of Western Australian history, foster and promote research, writing and publication about all aspects of Western Australian history, recognise outstanding achievement in Western Australian historical research, education and publication, be recognised as a leader in the promotion of the history of Western Australia, cooperate with all others in the field in the study and promotion of the history of Western Australia, be a recognised resource for Western Australian history to complement State collections, be recognised as an advocate in the conservation and promotion of the State’s cultural heritage, encourage and support local affiliated societies throughout the State.

    Stirling House
    49 Broadway, Nedlands WA 6009
    Phone 08 9386 3841
    Fax 08 9386 3309
    Email: admin@histwest.org.au


    Opening times 10am to 4pm weekdays


    The State Library of Western Australia is a research, reference and public lending library. It is a portfolio agency of the Western Australia Department of Culture and the Arts, and controlled by the Library Board of Western Australia.

    The State Library has particular responsibility for collecting and preserving Western Australia’s documentary heritage. The J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History is the section of the library dedicated to West Australiana.

    Alexander Library Building
    James Street West Entrance
    Perth Cultural Centre
    Perth WA 6000
    Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 8.00pm
    Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm
    Saturday – Sunday 10.00am – 5.30pm
    Email: info@slwa.wa.gov.au


    The State Records Office of Western Australia is the Western Australian public records authority with responsibility for managing, preserving and providing access to the State’s records. The State Records Office operates as an independent Government agency within the Department of Culture and the Arts. The State Records Office of Western Australia is responsible for: providing records management and archival services to government agencies; preserving archival records; providing reference services for researchers.

    The State Records Office delivers records management and archival services to State and Local Government agencies and the general public. Training, consultancy advice and standards development are provided to improve the quality of records management practices throughout government. Policies, guidelines and instructional publications are produced to promote and implement a government-wide approach to best practice recordkeeping in the two jurisdictions. Furthermore, the State Records Office ensures that the public has access to State archives through the provision of a purpose built Search Room in the Alexander Library Building.

    Ground Floor
    Alexander Library Building
    James Street West Entrance
    Perth Cultural Centre
    Perth WA 6000
    Opening Hours Mon – Fri: 9.30am – 4.30pm
    Phone: (08) 9427 3600
    Fax: (08) 9427 3638
    Email: sro@sro.wa.gov.au


    Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland have for the past thirty years (cumulative) been involved in researching and compiling family histories, this led to the beginning of Swan Genealogy in 2005.

    Cherie was previously the WAGS Bookshop Officer, Projects Officer and Vice President; Lorraine was previously the WAGS Treasurer, Awards Officer and Vice President and currently Convenor of the Western Australian Special Interest Group (WAGS).

    As Swan Genealogy, they have researched for Jacqueline O’Brien and Pamela Statham-Drew on both The Wittenoom Way and Court on Camera, Gwambygine heritage homestead, Shenton Family for June Shenton-Turner, Clarence Enigma for Ruth Marchant James and Pamela Statham-Drew. A number of heritage buildings for Ron Bodycoat Heritage Architect. They have produced for and on behalf of WAGS 12 CDs on various early pioneer databases.

    P.O. Box 1988
    Wangara DC 6947

    Email: research@swangenealogy.com.au
    Web: www.swangenealogy.com.au


    The Uniting Church Archives is responsible for the collection and preservation of historical records from the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and from the Uniting Church. These records are made available to the public, both at the Archives office and at the Battye Library, so that the people may understand the importance of the role of the Church, in its own right and in the context of Western Australian history. Archives are run by a dedicated team of volunteers co-ordinated by Sheena Hesse, Archivist.

    91 Edward Street, Perth WA 6000
    Email: archiveswa@amnet.net.au
    Opening Hours: Monday and Friday. 10.00am – 3.00pm.
    Please phone ahead.
    Phone: (08) 9227 6427 Fax: (08) 9227 6416


    The Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc. (now FamilyHistoryWA) is the largest society of its type in Western Australia. It has been incorporated to assist members in researching family history in Western Australia, as well as all corners of the world. The Society was formed on the 1st January 1979 with the aim to promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy.

    Its main objective encompasses many other secondary objectives, such as transcribing and indexing records and provides a forum for people with a common interest in family history. The Society has a large family history lending library which enables members to borrow books on their areas of interest and or research. The library enables members and visitors to conduct their own research using the facilities, which include books, CD-ROMs microfiche, microfilm, and connections to the Internet.

    The Society also conducts education courses, seminars, lectures and workshops of on a wide range of topics, to assist members in learning more about their areas of interest. It utilises the expertise of local, interstate and international speakers. Special Interest Groups have members who specialise in particular areas of interest, assist each other, and are there to help other members in overcoming difficulties that arise in research.

    6/48 May Street
    Phone: (08) 9271 4311
    Fax: (08) 9379 1572
    Email: secretary@fhwa.org.au

  • A special thank you to Friends of Battye Library Inc

    The information available on East Perth Cemeteries is the culmination of over 50 years of collective effort by a legion of committed volunteers and professional researchers. The National Trust of Australia (WA) in partnership with the Friends of Battye Library Inc. have brought together this work, and with the support of Lotterywest made it accessible to the public.

    The site for a burial ground was surveyed at East Perth in late 1829, and the first acknowledged burial was John Mitchell on 6 January 1830. The cemeteries within the grounds continued to be the main burial ground for the Perth area until April 1899 when burials commenced at Karrakatta Cemetery.

    The East Perth Cemeteries burial ground were closed for new burials in 1899, except for those in vaults or with the approval of the Governor. Burials at East Perth continued until 1916 when this practiced was ceased with a handful of exceptions.

    It is widely acknowledged that there are over 10,000 burials within the grounds of the East Perth Cemeteries. There was no burial register kept by either the Church Wardens or the caretakers of the Cemeteries. This led to researchers having to spend many hours compiling various histories and datasets on the East Perth Cemeteries and these have been produced in various formats.

    Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland as members of and in conjunction with the Friends of Battye Library Inc., collated a single database of the numerous existing datasets, once these datasets were combined and differences highlighted, they were then checked against the original source data, these discrepancies were then corrected or comments placed within the database to notate these variations.

    Research was then undertaken using TROVE newspapers, State Records Office governmental records, State Library of Western Australia Private Archives, Royal Perth Hospital Admissions Registers to enable the most comprehensive biographical database on the inhabitants of Cemetery Hill. This database is fully sourced and acknowledges previous researchers who contributed to the end result.

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