An extensive compository charting the final resting place of hundreds of Newtownforbes’ past forefathers is now available to the wider public.
Clonguish Memorial and Burial Records 1696-2016 provides a comprehensive insight into the mid Longford parish’s human geographical past.
A joint project spearheaded by members from St Paul’s Church and Newtownforbes Tidy Towns, the finished product accompanied by a fully functioning website has been the best part of 18 months in the making.
“We had initially wanted to record all of the headstones,” said one of the book’s co-author’s Doreen McHugh.
“Every gravestone had to be photographed with a GPS camera and with the reading and recording that was involved it took three months to complete.”
“Then, we sat down and decided to trace all (of St Paul’s graveyard’s) burial records to facilitate mistakes which was where the book came from.”
The occasion was marked with a well attended memorial service just over two weeks ago, led by Reverend Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Canon Catterall and Fr Ciaran McGovern.
Despite its Church of Ireland heritage, the 19th century church also houses several Catholic descendants.
An information board showing the close to 300 burial plots is likewise on display inside its grounds to assist members of the public.
Doreen, together with her fellow author Desmond Mooney and parishioners hope the collection of records will aid researchers, genealogists and families alike while also providing encouragement for the protection and conservation of similar graveyards into the future.