Points of interest

Unmarked and
unidentified graves

We know from several reports during the 19th century that the Burial Ground was under constant pressure for space.

No burial records have survived but it seems reasonable to assume that the spaces between the graves as we see them today were also filled. In the early section of the burial ground our careful excavations have revealed eleven broken headstones and seven presumed plots between headstones. There may be more as very recently we uncovered a small child’s grave that have been totally concealed under grass and vegetation. There are also some gaps which are a mystery.

We hope that in the future we might be able to interest a university to undertake a survey using the latest ground penetrating radar techniques that will identify the location of all the graves.

Our research is gradually identifying who might be buried in the graves with broken or delaminated headstones or the presumed plots in the earliest section of the Burial Ground. Research is not straightforward as there are no death certificates before 1837, but published wills and newspaper reports have so far enabled us to identify eleven possibilities.

One strong possibility is Betsy Durlacher who died in Bath in 1818. She was a chiropodist who attended to ‘ladies only: for the eradication of corns, treatment of nails grown into the flesh, removal of bunions, speedy relief of chilblains and toothache instantly cured’.

Another is Nathan Nathan, a Curiosity Dealer who died at 2 Walks in October 1838 aged 62. Solomon Wolfe was present at his death.

We also know of five unmarked graves. Henry Harris who died in 1885 and whose death is recorded in the one surviving Synagogue minute book; Mordecai Rosenberg whose death in 1891 is recorded in the Synagogue Cash Book; and Eva Jablonski who committed suicide in 1917.

A surviving descendant has also reported that Annie Somers was buried in 1915 and her husband Reuben Somers, a very long standing member of the Jewish Community is also buried here.

For the sake of convenience we have for the moment placed all unmarked graves together in an area near the tree. There is no evidence to show that graves existed (or indeed did not exist) in this area.