I chose Cessnock Cemetery, which is the resting place of quite a few of my ancestors.
A 250-word maximum reflective statement was part of the assessment:
My intention was to honour my ancestors with a visual representation of their burial places. I chose Cessnock Cemetery at Nulkaba, because many generations of our family are buried there, the earliest being my great-great-grandfather, John Cruckshank, in 1912. My father’s parents, great-grandparents, and four of his eight great-grandparents are all at Nulkaba.
To annotate this map I included photographs, funeral notices and headstone photos to add visual interest and personalise the plan.
As children visiting the cemetery we were aware of the differences between the religious sections - that people wanted to stay with their own faith, even after death. Being from a Catholic family it felt strange to be visiting the Anglican section, although we have two sets of ancestors buried there. One couple and their 12-year-old daughter (after whom my grandmother was named) were staunch Anglicans, the other couple were buried together even though she was Irish Catholic and he was Anglican.
There were several challenges. The plot numbers aren’t visible, and I had to rely on memory and previous photos to help me locate the sites. Some of the burials are more recent than Trove, so I was unable to obtain funeral notices for these people. Also, Google Earth wouldn’t print with enough detail so I used SIX maps for the base map of the cemetery. Another challenge was that Cessnock City Council’s cemetery maps are not consistent sizes, so when joined together they don’t properly represent the actual layout of the plots within the cemetery.
Results should be in within a couple of weeks. If nothing else I got to enjoy another trip to my favourite cemetery.