Rookwood is an enormous and extremely old cemetery which has hundreds of thousands of memorials spread throughout it. The first burials took place in 1867 and since then older monuments were moved to Rookwood from earlier burial grounds resumed elsewhere in Sydney. There are now 640,000 burial and 230,000 cremations recorded at Rookwood. Cremations date from 1925 but did not become a significant proportion of the services held at Rookwood until around 1945.
With this many memorials, it can sometimes be confusing or overwhelming to find a specific memorial. If you are looking for a memorial and you don’t know where to start, here are some helpful steps to take.
It is useful to know:
- year of death
- whether the deceased was cremated or buried.
If you think the deceased was buried, it is useful if you know what denominational cemetery the deceased is most likely to have been interred.
Records of all burials and cremations are held in the respective offices. The offices located at Rookwood are:
- Anglican & General
- Roman Catholic
(Independent includes Uniting, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Wesleyan and Greek Orthodox)
- Rookwood Memorial Gardens
- Muslim and Jewish cemetery records are held off-site.
If you think the deceased may have been cremated, start enquiries at Rookwood Memorial Gardens if the death occurred after 1925, otherwise start your enquiry in the most likely denominational office.
Once you have found the correct office, the staff will be able to help you find the grave in the cemetery.
...Alternatively, if you know which denominational area the memorial is in, you could grab a map from the website
or a denominational office and go on an exploratory journey through the grounds of Rookwood...