For those searching for information on Jewish burials, the lack of a central database recording details of some 88,000 Jews who now lie buried under Australian soil has posed a significant challenge.
There are 300 burial sites ranging from single graves in lonely outposts to over 21,000 graves at Rookwood NSW.
Australian Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) has taken on the task of consolidating as much information as possible in one large searchable database.
The basis of this database has been the work carried out over a period of 28 years in the late 20th Century, by Beverley Davis OAM and previously available at bd-bd.info.
Beverley, with the support of Society members, built an invaluable online resource the Beverley Davis Burial Data Collection known as the BD-BD. Beverley transcribed over 40,000 Jewish headstones and burial records from cemeteries in Australia and New Zealand, plus Australian War graves overseas. Today this collection is over 72,000 records and is still growing.
Sometimes, there are discrepancies between the information provided by Chevrei Kadisha and the family’s inscription on the headstone. In this case, both are recorded.
Given the vast amount of information, we have created some different viewing options to suit different search requirements.
‘Quick Reference’ view minimises the number of columns and therefore scrolling. It’s ideal for searching for basic information about an individual. Each record also has a ‘View’ button which enables you to see all the information extracted from the table about a single entry on one screen.
‘Inscription’ view where you can easily see and search through the inscriptions on headstones where available.
‘Mobile Reference” view is for users of personal electronic devices with limited screen space and just shows name and cemetery. Again using the ‘View’ button takes you to the full information on that burial
‘Detailed’ view presents all the information in a table format providing the extensive search options on all fields.
We welcome corrections and additional information and will incorporate these in subsequent updates.
Please click on the headings below for more information pertaining to some of the columns, to assist in your understanding of the logic used to develop the database and help with your research.
The database may be sorted on any of field. Each field is text searchable using ‘magnifying glass’ filters at the top of each column.
Full Names are displayed in the format Surname, (Honorific), Given Name, (Post Nominal)
e.g. JOEL, The Hon Sir Asher KBE AO
Generally these are maiden names which have appeared on headstones.
When other names or spellings are available, these are shown in the field also known as or aka
Transcriptions include Hebrew names in Roman text, relevant dates and genealogical information. We have attempted to be as accurate as possible, but many older headstones are faded or damaged and inscriptions may be incomplete or incorrectly transcribed. Sometimes, there are discrepancies between the information provided by Chevrei Kadisha and the family’s inscription on the headstone. In this case, both are recorded.
Gender has been specified either where known or where gender can be deduced from the English given name e.g. David and Michael are assumed male; Susan and Edith are assumed female. Hebrew names are gender specific i.e. ben indicates son e.g. Shmuel ben Moshe is male; or batindicates daughter e.g. Rivka bat Avraham is female.
In cases where the given name is unknown or not commonly in use in English, we have left the field blank.
Similarly many names today are not definitively male or female e.g. Alex. These have also been left blank if there is no other indication of gender such as an inscription on the headstone referring to husband of.
We have gathered information from multiple sources. In many cases, the information about a burial is a composite from multiple sources.
e.g. BD is from the original Beverley Davis Burials Database (BD-BD)
SCK is Sydney Chevra Kadisha
SCK201812 is extracted from Sydney Chevra Kadisha Dec 2018.
Source abbreviations are:
Adelaide Cemetery Authority
Brisbane Chevra Kadisha
Brisbane & Gold Coast Chevra
Beverley Davis Burial Database (BD-BD)
Barry Stephenson, Goulburn
Jewish Online World Burial Registry
Jeff Schneider, Hobart
Melbourne Chevra Kadisha
Perth Chevra Kadisha
Sydney Chevra Kadisha
Springvale Botanical Cemetery
Terry Newman, Sydney
WA Metropolitan Cemeteries Board
AJHS appreciates the contributions of many Chevrei Kadisha and individuals in providing burial information.
In many cases, we have only partial dates. So that researchers can specify a date range for searches and rather than create dummy dates e.g. 1-Jan-1904 when only the year 1904 is known, key dates are also given in reverse form to facilitate searches where only the year or year and month are available i.e. 29-Sept-1994 is displayed as 19940929.
Cemetery Naming, Cemetery Code and Cemetery Group
We have tried to standardise on naming cemeteries first by city/suburb and state and then by common name
e.g. Centennial Park in Adelaide is listed as Adelaide SA, Centennial Park
Often there are multiple cemeteries with different names within a commonly used name for a cemetery area
e.g. N08 Raphaels Ground
N11 Rookwood Old
N12 Rookwood Jewish
are all consolidated into the Cemetery Group N11 Rookwood
Overseas Cemeteries & Repatriated to
While this database focuses on burials in Australia, on occasion Australian Chevrei Kadisha prepare remains for interment overseas. As these records may be included in the information provided, we have incorporated this data where available. The country where known appears in the field Repatriated to
This data has been extracted from the inscription on the headstone.
e.g. Daughter of Lewis & Selah [Celia] (nee Beer), Wife of Benjamin Ernest
Transfer To, Transfer Notes and Applicant
When early grave sites have been relocated e.g. Devonshire St Cemetery in Sydney to Bunnerong or Raphaels Ground Rookwood, Notes on the Transfer and who made the application have been included.
For internal administrative purposes only.
This is a unique identifier which is a composite of the first two letters of surname plus first letter of given name plus date of death or date of funeral if date of death is unavailable. The date are in reverse format (YYYYMMDD).
An optional A or B is appended if there have been multiple interments.
e.g. AAJ18651204A for Aarons, Joseph who died on 4-Apr-1865 and was reinterred from Devonshire St to Raphaels Ground.
If you have some additional information (including any images or documents you wish to submit) or would like to suggest some edits to an existing entry, please complete the details below.