Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Gravestone Transcriptions and Translations: Ballarat Old Cemetery

Ballarat Old Cemetery Transcriptions of Gravestones (under development)  - Accompanying map

This listing describes the gravestones as they stood in 1988. Since that time there has been deterioration, and some listed gravestones are not in place.

Each gravestone has been numbered, with the number linking to the map on the following page. The scale has been reduced to the extent where measurements can only be approximate.

Rows of gravestones are recorded in South North order, or West East order for the Northern boundary .

There are five Chinese gravestones in the non Chinese sections of the Old Cemetery, four together close to the Eureka monument, and one on its own North of the Eureka monument.

Correlation has not been attempted with the burial records. The only certain match is that of Gravestone 117 with Record X15/60 in the Non Chinese Section, Area F2, Section 18, Grave 19 Row 1 - the grave of 'Ah Foo', Interpreter, who died in 1860.

Gravestones are in the named sections 9 to 14. There are no named rows 1 to 8, and, with such a large number of Chinese listed as being 'Location Not Known', the question arises as to what happened to those rows. The physical place where they would lie is cemetery open ground. For such a large number of burials there must have been gravestones. What has happened to these stones is an unanswered question.

In the time since these gravestones were recorded there has already been some deterioration. It is interesting to note that there has been some attention taken of the work we have been doing in the cemetery, with many local comments being made as to what happened to missing gravestones. A gravestone which we marked as broken and unreadable was 'mended' during our study, a missing slab being restored quietly to its matching base. We wonder how many other gravestones are lying forgotten in odd places, and hope that increasing awareness of the value of these stones will encourage more restoration.