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Genealogy 2018, 2(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy2030031

Robertson at the City: Portrait of a Cemetery Superintendent

Independent Researcher, London WC1N 3HB, UK
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)
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Abstract

Since the nineteenth century the management of burial grounds has been the function of the cemetery superintendent. Responsible as he or she is for maintenance of the site, grave preparation, burial procedures, administration and staffing, the superintendent’s remit has gained complexity in the twentieth century through bureaucratization, legislation and more recently from ‘customer focus’. The shifting preference towards cremation has further widened the scope of the work. Little, however, has been written about the occupation. Focusing on the career of John Robertson, superintendent of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium between 1913 and 1936, this paper draws from his contributions to The Undertakers’ Journal (TUJ), and in particular a series of articles concerning the design and management of cemeteries that forms the largest collection of literature on the subject published in the twentieth century. The paper also examines his involvement with the National Association of Cemetery Superintendents (NACS), an organization founded to support the occupation’s quest for professional recognition. From a genealogical perspective this article underlines the importance of surveying a wide range of sources when conducting genealogical researching. View Full-Text
Keywords: cemetery management; cemetery superintendent; cemetery design; cremation; National Association of Cemetery (and Crematorium) Management (NACCS) cemetery management; cemetery superintendent; cemetery design; cremation; National Association of Cemetery (and Crematorium) Management (NACCS)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Parsons, B. Robertson at the City: Portrait of a Cemetery Superintendent. Genealogy 2018, 2, 31.

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