The Churchyard is joined to the much bigger (municipal) Buckingham Road Cemetery (also known as Great Ilford Cemetery) and often burials recorded as being at St Mary's are actually in that cemetery. Cemetery records are held on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge by the Westerleigh Group at Forest Park Cemetery. Please confirm the approximate date of death before approaching Westerleigh, as they are not able to undertake extensive searches. You should be given a section letter and a plot number as plot numbers 1-500 are duplicated in the cemetery.
The Churchyard is now closed to new burials. Our volunteer archivist is building a record of churchyard graves and their locations. This is a work in progress, but reference information is offered below. It may answer your questions at least in part, so please check it before contacting us.
The Burial Registers are in burial date order, and record burials both in the Churchyard and in the adjoining Cemetery. They do not locate the burial plot, except cemetery burials have a marginal note 'Cmty' until about 1912 and thereafter churchyard burials have a marginal note 'Chyd', the remainder being presumed to be cemetery burials.
Registers for 1833-1926 and 1 June 1931 - 19 May 1937 are at the Essex Record Office. They are online at http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/ParishRegisters.aspx (a fee is payable); look under G for “Great Ilford St Mary”. Burial Registers 1926-1931, 1937 - March 1947 and July 1951 - date are held at St Mary’s. April 1947 – June 1951 is missing.
Locating a grave in the churchyard
Unfortunately the Burial Register gives no indication of where a person was buried. We have a list dating from about 1920 detailing the surnames associated with each grave plot. Permission was sought in about 1980 to landscape the land immediately in front of the church, which included what we denote as plot C and a part of plot E (see key plan), but before this happened a record was made of all the monuments in this area of the churchyard. Some headstones were recorded as unreadable and only a selection of the best preserved headstones were retained. They were not necessarily left in their original position.
Local stonemasons may have a record of inscriptions in their order-book.
Churchyard key plan (not to scale) showing location of plots A-H relative to the church building.
Tables showing surnames of grave owners, plot by plot, row by row
A - B - C - D (7-15) - D (16-24) - E - F - G -H
The sections shaded yellow in these tables have been surveyed and the monuments indexed; the sections shaded blue indicate that the corresponding page of the register is missing.
Can't find relevant information?
We are willing to try and help you locate a churchyard grave, and usually in the first instance this will be free of charge though we welcome donations using the Total Giving box at the bottom of the page.
If your enquiry requires more than a basic search of our records we reserve the right to charge the Statutory Fee at the level set by the Church of England.
All graveyard enquiries are dealt with by a volunteer. We cannot assist with enquiries by phone or in person. Please contact us by email giving as much detail as possible.