In the narrative below, you can find a list of church graveyards in the district, with a date range of burials, and sometimes with the name of the deceased in the first burial.
There are reports of the first public cemeteries etc., and contact details for public cemeteries in the district.
St. Mary’s Church, Oldham was originally built as a Chapel of Ease for St Mary’s, Prestwich. The original church is long gone and no records survive from that church. Many of the parish churches listed below all started as Chapels of Ease. St Chad’s Saddleworth is a Chapel of Ease from the Rochdale Parish.
Please note that these are the earliest records found during this search although earlier burials may have taken place.
The majority of the following 'Burials' are searchable, for register details, by name, date etc., in the 'Miscellaneous Database' which is accessed in the Members' Area.
Bethesda Methodist New Connexion, Wellington Street (later Dukinfield Methodist): Dukinfield
Caroline Street Wesleyan: Stalybridge
Christ Church: Ashton
Christ Church, Denshaw
Burials 1864 - 1920
First burial found was on 3rd of April 1864 of Joseph Booth of Wham aged 15.
Dob Lane Unitarian, Failsworth
Burials 1691 - 1807
First burial found was in 1691
Building opened in 1785
First burial found was of Sarah wife of Robert Winterbottom 7th May 1784, she was a spinner in the parish of Saddlewoth.
Heyside Friends Meeting House (Quakers).
First burial found was on 17 August 1665 ,Sylvanus Sykes, son of James.
"Although the Quakers did not have a purpose-built Meeting House for the first 120 years, they did have a burial ground, given by one of the Meeting's founder members, James Sykes in 1665. As a dissenter, he was unable to bury his son, Sylvanus in consecrated ground, so he buried him in land of his own at the top of Turf Lane called Furthe New Field. From that time until the 1930s, this was the Quaker burial ground for the Oldham area. The first Meeting House built for the purpose was constructed next to the burial ground in 1794."
(From The National Archives)
Holy Trinity, Bardsley
Holy Trinity, Dobcross.
Burials 1787- 1999.
First burial found was 12th May, 1790, Elizabeth Lawton wife of Benjamin Lawton of Dobcross.
Holy Trinity, Bardsley
Holy Trinity, Shaw
Burials 1704 -1995
First burial found was on 20th November 1704 John Wilde Clarke.
Holy Trinity, Waterhead.
Burials 1847- 1928
First burial found was on 9th September 1847 Miles Cocker of Waterhead.
Hope Independent, Oldham,
Burials 1828 -1837
First burial found was 1828
Market Place Methodist New Connexion: Mossley
New St George: Stalybridge
Old Chapel Presbyterian, Dukinfield
Burials 1676 -1838
Providence Independent: Dukinfield
St Anne, Lydgate
First burial found was on 25th May 1790 John Buckley, son of Isaac Buckley and Sarah Hanson of Quickmere.
St. Chad, Saddleworth
First burial found was of the wife of Oliver Broadbent, buried 30th day of May 1613.
(This record was extracted from diocesan records)
St James Barry St, Oldham
Burials 1830 - 1950
First burial found was in 1830
St James, East Crompton
St John the Evangelist, Hurst, Ashton under Lyne
St John, Failsworth
First burial found was on 6th December 1846 Ellen Priscilla Schofield of Failsworth.
St John the Baptist, Hey, Lees
Burials 1744 - 1887
First burial found was on 18th December 1744 of Betty Wright daughter of John Wright from Ashton.
St Leonard, Middleton
Burials Transcript 1541-1752
St Margaret, Hollinwood,
Burials (Still Born)- 1861-1908
Burials Tr. -1769-1837
First burial found was on 20th August 1769 Betty Mills, Daughter of Henry and Alice of Hollingwood.
St Mary (Roman Catholic) Dukinfield
St Mary, Oldham Parish Church
Burials 1558 - 1932
Transcripts 1558 - 1825
First burial found was on 6th January 1558 of James Wilkinson.
St Mathew (Chadderton Church) Chadderton
Burials 1857 - 1947
First burial found was on 4th December 1857 Samuel Duckworth of Lyon Dam, Oldham.
St Michael and All Angels, Ashton
Burials Transcript 1597-1720
St Michael, Tonge
St Paul, Royton.
Burials 1757 - 1938
First burial found was on 21st February 1757 John Chadderton, the son of James an engineer and Mary his wife of Royton.
St Peter, Ashton
Burials Transcript 1825-1837
St Peter, Oldham.
Burials 1768 - 1876
First burial found was on 17th October 1768 Catharon Jackson, daughter of Johnathon and Sarah.
St Stephen and All Martyrs, Lower Moor, Oldham
No burial register recorded
St Thomas, Ashton
Burials Transcript 1746-1844
St Thomas, Friarmere (Heights Chapel).
Burials 1769 - 1992
First known burial was on 5th May 1769 of Sarah Davies.
St Thomas, Leesfield
First known burial was on 21st November 1848 of Ogden Halliwell of Nether Lees.
St Thomas, Moorside
Burials 1873 - 1948
First known burial was on 4th July 1873 James Brook of Sholver Lane.
St Thomas, Newhey
Stamford Street Methodist New Connexion, Ashton
Stamford Street Wesleyan, Ashton
Union Street (Ebenezer) Methodist New Connexion, Oldham
More information and details can be found at at Manchester Archives & Local Studies.
It is difficult to establish the last burial in Oldham’s churchyards as the registers often record burial services conducted either in the church or at the crematorium, (or both) they also record the interment of ashes in existing graves.
In 1851 due to the City of London’s churchyards becoming overcrowded and causing health problems for the population. Legislation was passed to prevent burial in churchyards and interment in Church Vaults. The Legislation also allowed the setting up of “Out of Town Burial Grounds”.
The legislation was extended to the rest of the country in 1853.
The first meeting of a group, to address the problem of burial of the dead in the County Borough of Oldham, was held at the Town Hall on January 11th 1854; those present were:-
Mr James Lees of Greenbank,
Mr. James Platt of Hartford House,
Mr. John Bentley of Rushbank,
Mr John Riley of Westhill,
Mr Josiah Radcliffe of Werneth Park,
Mr John Bentley of High St.,
Mr John Duncuft of Westwood,
Mr William Mason of Yorkshire St.,
Mr George Bailon of Greenhill
And Mr James Lees mayor of Oldham.
This was followed by a communication, to the Churchwardens of Oldham, dated the 11th January 1854 signed by the following:-
N. Worthington, Hollinwood,
John Earnshaw, Mumps,
William Bradley, Bank,
James Bailey, High St,
William Ascroft, Queens Rd.,
William Oakes, High St.,
William James, Falcon House
John Halliwell, Greaves St
John Schofield, Manchester St
Abraham Leach, Waterhead Mill
Abraham Clegg, Mumps
Joseph H Mellor, High St
William Henry Fletcher ,Back Chapel St
Henry Lister, Hargreaves High St
In August of 1857 the “Oldham Burial Board” opened two public cemeteries, Greenacres and Chadderton.
In the Oldham Chronicle, of August 1st 1857, a notice was placed by Oldham Burial Board, outlining the Opening for Interments of the burial grounds at Chadderton and Greenacres on Saturday 1st August 1857.
"The Registrars will be in attendance at their temporary offices near the respective burial grounds on and after Monday 27th of July from ten a.m. to six p.m. for the purpose of affording information, receiving applications for Grave Spaces and notices of interments."
By Order of the Board July 23rd 1857.
In the Oldham Chronicle, of August 1st 1857, a notice was placed by Oldham Burial Board giving notice that the ordinary hours of internment at the new Burial Grounds are appointed as follows:-
In the consecrated parts three p.m.
In the unconsecrated parts four p.m.
The hours are the same for Sundays and Week Days
By Order of the Board July 29th 1857
Also in the August 1st edition, notices were posted referring to the official opening of the two cemeteries. It appears that the Chapel, at Chadderton, was completed before these ceremonies as the notice mentions that the Greenacres service would be held in Greenacres Independent Chapel, in case of inclement weather.
Hollinwood cemetery was opened in August 1857, the first burial was of John Doran of Back Hargeaves St, St Mary’s, on 3rd August 1857. He died 1st August 1857.
Chadderton cemetery was also opened in August 1857. The first burial was of John Newton of George St, St Mary’s on the 5th August 1857; he died on the 1st August 1857.
Greenacres Cemetery ... John Doran, of Back Hargreaves St., St Mary’s, was buried there on the 3rd of August 1857, having died on the 1st of August 1857.
Chadderton’s first burial, on the 5th August 1857, was of John Newton, of George St., Oldham, having died on the 1st August 1857.
These were followed :
by Lees in 1879 (first burial on 11th January 1879 of Seth Connor),
by Royton in 1879 (first burial 4th October 1879 of Marth Fitton)
Failsworth in 1887 (first burial was 14th June 1887 of Robert Wright),
Hollinwood in1889 (first burial was 23rd November 1887 of Lewis Wrench 14th June 1887)
Crompton in 1891 (first burial was 14th October 1887 of Jabet Broadbent).
Oldham opened a Crematorium in 1953.
All the records for Oldham Cemeteries are kept at Hollinwood Cemetery
Details taken from Oldham Council website ...
The database of cemetery and crematorium records includes mainly recent burials and cremations. However historical records are being added on a continual basis.
The Cemetery Office
All cemeteries are open every day from dawn to dusk.
The Cemetery Office is open 9.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
Contact the office to join the Friends of Cemeteries Group or for help with researching grave records.
Middleton Road, Chadderton, Oldham, OL9 OJZ
Fraser Street, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 7SD
Size: 13.90 acres
Cemetery Road, Failsworth, Manchester, M35 ORS
Size: 8.99 acres
Greenacres Road, Greenacres, Oldham, OL4 3HT
Roman Road, Hollinwood, Oldham, OL8 3LU
Phone: 0161 681 1312
Size: 27.6 acres
Thomas Street, Lees, Oldham, OL4 5BT
Size: 6.92 acres
Hollinwood Cemetery, Roman Road, Hollinwood, Oldham, OL8 3LU
Cemetery Road. Royton, Oldham
Size: 7.99 acres
Visit the 'Family Search' website to search Oldham Cemetery Registers, from 1797 to 2004 for Hollinwood, Failsworth, Royton, Crompton, Chadderton, Lees, and Greenacres.
The information can include:
Age of deceased
Date and place where death occurred
Date and place of burial
Plot owner's name
Stillborn registers can include :
Names of the parents
Name of the person bringing the child and their residence
Date of the burial.
Original research by Rodney Melton; minor edits, May 2020 by Sheila Goodyear