Have you ever thought about when a cemetery becomes "old", or when a cemetery becomes "new", or when a cemetery becomes "the" cemetery or the "general" cemetery?
Obviously there can't be a new cemetery unless there is an old one, and conversely there can't be an old one unless there is a new one, but are there more and is the "old" cemetery the first cemetery?
If you searched the GSV Catalogue for Melbourne Cemet* you would get too many results that may not be relevant but if you searched for Melbourne General Cemetery you would miss some important entries.
It really doesn't matter if we're talking about the city of Melbourne or a small country town, it is so important to read about the history of the place and understand if there were multiple cemeteries that you might need to search for your ancestor.
If we were looking at the earliest Melbourne burials you need to consider Flagstaff Hill, [Old] Melbourne Cemetery located under the Queen Victoria Markets car park, and Melbourne General Cemetery. Between 1920 and 1922 many bodies were exhumed and headstones moved from the Old Melbourne Cemetery. These ended up in the Pioneers Section of Fawkner Cemetery and also at Melbourne General Cemetery, Boroondara [Kew] Cemetery, St Kilda Cemetery and Cheltenham Cemetery.
These are just some of the resources in the GSV Library that relate to the Old Melbourne Cemetery, it's predecessor and the Melbourne General Cemetery:
- Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne (Pioneer section) monumental inscriptions 4/2/1819 - 30/12/1890 (incomplete) [GSV Library: V 929.5945 FAWK FAW]
- The first settlers in Melbourne buried on Flagstaff Hill [article] in The Victorian genealogist 2:4 (Jun 1962) p. 141 [GSV Library: 994.5005 ANC]
- Flagstaff Hill old cemetery headstones 1836-9 (incomplete) [GSV Library: V 929.5945 MELB FLA]
- Melbourne General Cemetery memorial transcriptions [to 1989] [GSV Library: COMPUTER LINX AUS & GIN] also available for purchase [CD] in the GSV Online Shop [if you're a member don't forget to sign in to get your members' discount]
- The old cemetery and Soldiers' Memorial Union: index to memorial graves [GSV Library: V 929.5945 MELB OLD]
- The Old Melbourne cemetery alphabetical burial register 1866-1917 and plans 1873 [GSV Library: Microfiche B VIC CEM 11]
- The Melbourne General Cemetery by Don Chambers [GSV Library: 929.5945 MELB CHA]
- Early church records of burials at the old Melbourne cemetery, Franklin St (Victoria Market site): [extracted from the NSW Archives Resources Kit] Presbyterian burials 1838-1843, Anglican 1837-1847, Wesleyan 1840-1844, Independent 1841-1843 and Roman Catholic 1842 by Bernard Charles Grayden [GSV Library: 929.5945 MELB GRA]
- The old Melbourne cemetery 1837-1922 by Marjorie Jean Morgan [GSV Library: 929.5945 MELB MOR]
- Melbourne General Cemetery alphabetical register listing, 31 December 1995 [GSV Library: Microfiche (B VIC CEM) in folder via the Information Desk]
- Melbourne General cemetery burial register by location, pub 1987 [GSV Library: Microfiche (B VIC CEM) in folder via the Information Desk]
- The old pioneers' memorial history of Melbourne: from the discovery of Port Phillip down to the World War by Isaac Selby [GSV Location: GC 994.51 MELB SEL]
- The literature of the epitaph and a record of the graves [photocopy: Chapter 11 of "The old pioneers' memorial history of Melbourne from the discovery of Port Phillip down to the World War" which includes maps and description of Old Melbourne Cemetery and index to memorial graves] by Isaac Selby [GSV Location: 929.5945 MELB SEL]
- Monumental inscriptions in Australia, Victoria: West Melbourne and Selby's index and plan by George P Townsend [GSV Library: 929.5945 BELB TOW]