Tours bring cemetery history to life

National Family History week is being celebrated locally with tours of the West Kempsey Cemetery.

The tours have been organised by the Kempsey Family History Group and are being led by the group’s president Bruce Cain.

The first of the tours took place last Saturday with a dozen interested participants. Another visit to the cemetery is planned for today.

Mr Cain said he thought people learnt a lot from tours like this.

“It has often been said that you don’t know where you are going until you know where you have been,” he said.

“This is the first tour I have done for 10 years or so and I thought it would be a good way for people to learn about the history of Kempsey as well as that of the cemetery.”

Mr Cain said that he sometimes felt like a bit of a detective when he investigated the history of Kempsey’s cemeteries.

“Probably about a quarter of graves in all the cemeteries are unknown,” he said.

“And that goes for everybody, if your family didn’t have the money to put up a marker that would last, eventually over time the identity of the person would be lost.”

“In the time I have been investigating cemeteries I have identified more than 300 graves.

“I have even had family contact me to find a particular person’s grave.”

Mr Cain said he planned to conduct tours of other cemeteries in the Macleay Valley in future.

You can contact the Kempsey Family History Group on 6567 4496 or via email at

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