History of cemeteries

Lake Macquarie City Council took over management of nine cemeteries within the City in approximately 1974. Up until this time, local parishes and church trustees conducted burials. Council has documented burials from church, funeral directors and gravediggers, however many records are incomplete and all of Lake Macquarie City Council cemeteries have "unknown" and "unmarked" graves.

Council can help locate sites of deceased relatives who are interred/memorialised in our cemeteries.

As long as you can provide a surname, our Customer Service Centre, can carry out a search on our database (subject to the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998).

If you require historic information on several family members, please email or send in a letter with as much detail as you have, and we can conduct a search and reply.

Our older records are incomplete and often we can locate a historical burial, however the actual site may be unclear or there will be no record of a headstone. Historically, mortality rates were higher in the past (particularly for infants and children), and it was common that only the wealthy could afford the erection of headstones.

If you can obtain a death certificate, it will identify the cemetery/parish/religious section for the burial, however will not locate the actual burial plot/site.

Alternatively, Speers Point Library has an extensive Family History Research section that you can visit in branch.

Belmont Cemetery

Located on Green Street, Belmont Cemetery is a traditional urban cemetery with both monumental and lawn graves.

The monumental areas of the cemetery contain monuments dating from 1879. Sections are set aside in General, Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Uniting and Presbyterian Rows.

The dedicated community members of "The Friends of Belmont Cemetery" assist in maintaining the grounds and gardens in the cemetery. They conduct an annual clean-up day in December to prepare the cemetery for Christmas visitors. Volunteers are always welcome and if you would like to be involved please contact the Cemetery Officer on 02 4921 0333.

Catherine Hill Bay Cemetery

Located on Northwood Road (off Flowers Drive) at Catherine Hill Bay, visitors can walk through the cemetery grounds to the edge of the sea for majestic views. The cemetery has an eclectic setting with a mixture of monumental and lawn gravesites.

The oldest existing monument in the cemetery for Anne Dodds (aged 34 years) is located in the bush on the edge of the sand dunes dated 1896.

Sections are set aside in General, Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and Presbyterian rows.

Johnston Family Cemetery

This small family cemetery of the Johnston family and its descendants was acquired by Lake Macquarie City Council in the 1990's.

Set in between urban properties in the suburb of Barnsley, the cemetery is only available for existing reservations and has no religious denominations.

Morisset Cemetery

Set in an isolated bushland site, Morisset Cemetery is a peaceful location for quiet reflection.

This cemetery has an unusual small structure in the old Anglican section known historically as a "lych-gate." The word "lych-gate" refers to a covered area at the entrance to a cemetery where the casket awaits the clergy before proceeding into the cemetery for proper burial. The oldest existing headstone in the cemetery is dated 1911.

Older sections of the cemetery are set aside in General, Catholic, Anglican, and Uniting (Presbyterian/Methodist) rows. There are many unmarked graves of patients from the Morisset Hospital buried throughout the eastern side of the cemetery.

A granite memorial wall is located in the cemetery to memorialise former Morisset Hospital patients, who are buried in unmarked graves.

Martinsville Pioneer Cemetery

Situated directly off Martinsville Road and adjacent to farming land, this rural cemetery is set amongst many gum trees.

The oldest existing and very weathered headstone for Sarah Ann Barnes is located at the front of the cemetery and is dated 1896, reflecting the pioneer days of the area.

Most of the burials in the cemetery are monumental due to the natural environment, lack of water and isolated location.

Historically, sections are set aside in General, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic Rows.

Toronto Cemetery

Located on Awaba Road in West Toronto near the industrial area, this urban styled cemetery has a mix of older monumental burials and lawn gravesites.

The oldest existing headstone is for members of the Fennell family with the first interment (burial) for Olive Fennell a 14-month-old infant in 1898. This white marble heritage headstone is an example of turn of the century masonry and is located in the Old Anglican section of the cemetery.

West Wallsend Cemetery

Established in 1890, facing Mt Sugarloaf, and set amongst native bushland, this cemetery is very popular with family historians and was the first established general cemetery in the Lake Macquarie area (having no specific religious denominations).

It has many examples of marble and granite heritage headstones from the late 1800's to this day. Generations of pioneer West Wallsend Colliery families are buried in the cemetery.

On the left side of the cemetery as you walk through the gate, you will find a memorial for the burials of the unmarked gravesites for local infants and babies.

Whitebridge Cemetery

Dedicated in 1893 Whitebridge Cemetery (formerly known as Charlestown Cemetery) is located in urban surroundings adjacent to playing and sporting fields on Dudley Road.

Many victims from the 1898 Dudley Colliery explosion are buried in this cemetery. The cemetery was originally planned like an English formal garden with graves located in circles and semi circles dotted around the cemetery.

Wyee Cemetery

Located off Summerhayes Road, Wyee Cemetery is located in a small isolated rural setting with both monumental, and lawn graves set out in general and non-denominational rows.

The oldest existing headstone is from the Freeman pioneer family for James and Soriano dated 1910.

Page last updated: 24 October 2015