In 1981, the National Trust of Australia (NSW) set a goal to record all known burial sites in NSW. Our aim was to identify, document and assess the significance of over 4000 burial places and to understand and record their historical and cultural value for the community, indeed for the nation, and to promote their conservation.
Approximately 2500 records later, the project reflects the efforts of National Trust staff and volunteers, and the help of countless members of the community. As a not for profit, non-government funded, community based heritage organisation, the Trust makes many significant contributions to New South Wales. The Master List is just one such result. The project is approximately 50% complete, but the Master List includes the great majority of General and Church cemeteries in the State.
The National Trust of Australia (NSW) Cemeteries Master List is a database of New South Wales cemeteries which are accessible to the public, including general cemeteries and church cemeteries. The Master List does not contain family cemeteries or lone graves as these are generally found on private property. Information about family cemeteries and lone graves can be received by contacting the National Trust on (02) 9258 0123.
Information about all burial sites located by the National Trust is held in our archives at the National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill, Sydney, and can be accessed by appointment (a research fee applies click here for details). Copies of Classification Cards and other information about burial sites the National Trust has compiled, can also be posted out for the fees listed below.
Copies of Classification Cards are available from the National Trust (NSW) for a fee:
Non-National Trust members - $25
National Trust members - $12.50
Data on sites which have been surveyed by the Cemeteries Committee but are not classified may also be made available for a copying fee.
The money raised from the sale of these classification cards helps the National Trust to continue conserving our natural, built and cultural heritage.
The Master List is continually evolving and will be updated on a regular basis, with more information, including addresses, being added in the future. As a charity, the National Trust has limited resources. The majority of our cemetery records are paper based and compiling information electronically from these sources can take time. We thank you for your patience.
The Cemeteries Master List is a database which can be searched but not altered.
The fields represented are:
- Local Government Area (LGA) – This may have been the LGA the cemetery was in when it was listed. LGA boundaries and names change on a regular basis and we may not have updated the LGA name at the time of your search. A key of the LGA abbreviations is included on this website.
- Locality - The suburb/ village/town/area near where it is located. The name is a place recognized by the NSW Geographical Names Board and may differ from the cemetery or place name.
- Item – The name of the cemetery. Some cemeteries have been known by more than one name during its history. If you cannot find the cemetery by its name, try searching under address or locality.
- Region – The National Trust has divided NSW into regions – Sydney Metropolitan, North Coast, Hunter, Illawarra, South East, New England, Central West, Orana, Riverina, Murray, and Far West. This gives a general idea of what area of NSW the cemetery is located in.
- Cemetery Type – This explains what type of cemetery it is.
General Cemeteries are areas of land set aside by government bodies for the use as burial grounds. They are divided into areas for different religions. Church Cemeteries is the term used for any cemetery for a specific religion, whether it is located near a place of worship or not. Converted cemeteries have had monuments moved, often completely removed from the site, or with selected headstones placed in rows or built into walls. Cemeteries were sometimes converted into parks. Revoked means that this was land set aside to be used as a cemetery, and later had its reservation as a cemetery revoked. While some cemeteries have been used for many years before being revoked, in some cases the land may never have been used for burials.
To search the Master List click the link below and follow the prompts.
Search the Cemeteries Master List click here.
Staff and volunteers of The National Trust (NSW) undertake field trips to record information about the cemeteries there. This is called a cemetery survey.
Surveys involve many kinds of burial places across the state of New South Wales and range in topography, age and size e.g. the large Rookwood Necropolis to a lone grave on a country property.
Each survey involves:
- Gathering evidence found on site with photographs, drawings, maps and text. This includes looking at the materials, relics, vegetation, epitaphs, landform, topographic setting, threats to site, condition of site, monument forms, fences, access and the general layout;
- Analysis of historic parish maps, photos and other historical sources;
- Interpretation of the existing cultural and natural landscape in relation to historic documents, maps and oral histories;
- Liaison with members of the local community, especially historical and family history societies and owners of cemeteries;
- Assessing the heritage significance of each cemetery;
- Preparing a comprehensive index card of the cemetery for archiving and/or prepare a classification card for inclusion on the National Trust Register.
The survey information includes cemetery management advice and recommendations and is available to local governments and the public.
If you would like to become a member of our Cemeteries Committee or be involved in our cemetery surveys, download the information pamphlet in the cemeteries section of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) website.
The National Trust is always pleased to know of cemeteries which they have not yet identified. It is important to us to locate all cemeteries within NSW and have records of them on our register. If you know of a cemetery which is not on our list you can send us the basic information about the site –
- Name – including past names the cemetery was known by.
- Address – the street address of the cemetery, or a description of how to find it from a landmark in the nearest town/village. Sometimes a sketch or a map can help us locate it on future surveys.
- Locality – the name of the nearest town/ suburb/ village.
- The Local Government Area (LGA)
- Region – The area of NSW the cemetery is located in, this can help avoid confusion with localities of the same name in different areas of the state.
- Type – What kind of cemetery is it? General, Church, Family, Lone Grave, etc.
Or if you have more information about the cemetery you can fill out a Draft Cemetery Index Card. Blank Draft Cemetery Index cards, and information on how to fill them out, can be downloaded from the cemeteries section of this website.
The Master List does not include family cemeteries and lone graves, although the National Trust has information on many or most of these. If you have information on one or more such sites, please call us on (02) 9258 0123. Filling of the gaps in our information is largely dependant on the assistance of interested people throughout NSW.
The National Trust has limited time and resources to carry out cemetery surveys, so some areas have not yet been visited by the survey teams. Missing coverage is mainly in remote or rural areas which are more difficult for our Sydney based survey teams to visit.
If you have information about one or more of the cemeteries on the Master List which have not surveyed, you can help us by filling out a Draft Cemetery Index Card for each site. To find out if more information is needed about a cemetery you can contact the National Trust (NSW) on (02) 9258 0123.
ALBY - Albury
MCLN - Maclean
* NOTE: The National Trust recognises that some of the LGA’s above may no longer exist under the stated name. As a charity, our resources are limited, and updating details in what is still predominantly a paper based filing system, can be extremely time consuming. We thank you for your patience.
All information and enquiries regarding cemetery related matters can be directed to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) attention the Cemeteries Officer.
Phone: (02) 9258 0123
Fax: (02) 9252 1264
Postal Address: National Trust of Australia (NSW)
GPO Box 518
Sydney NSW 2001