Answering the Call to Help
Our volunteers all have two very important things in common. They answered a call for help to save a cemetery from being developed AND they are committed to giving their energy, passion, their precious time and even money to research and write the stories that you see here on our website. They are doing this voluntarily to help protect Horton Cemetery from development in perpetuity.
We have no full-time professional researchers; quite the opposite we are all amateurs. The volunteers range in age from the 20s to the 80s. Their level of research skills, writing skills and technical skills range from beginner to advanced and their level of education from GCSE to master’s degrees.
Most live around the Epsom area but others are dotted around the UK and even overseas. They work remotely from each other. Some have never met more than one or two of their colleagues on this project but there have been occasions when social gatherings have been arranged.
The team of volunteers work collaboratively, learning from each other and developing our knowledge and skills to make sure that the lives of the people who are buried in the cemetery and their families are represented as well as we are able. As a team, we support each other and respecting each other’s research and writing.
Our stories are written from the heart with each researcher being encouraged to use their own writing style. They are displaying great courage putting the results of their research, written in their own words, “out there” for all the world to see.
If, after visiting the website, you would like to join the team, please do make contact. There are volunteers who will support you as you gain confidence with your research and writing,
Access to the Archives
Up until relatively recently the researchers had next to no direct access to physical archives. This meant that currently nearly all of the stories were created using online resources such as commercial genealogy sites like Find My Past and Ancestry and other resources such as the UK General Register Office, Family Search, Free Births, Marriages and Deaths and the invaluable British Newspaper Archive.
More recently, volunteers have been able to access national, county, and local archives more readily which has been invaluable, particularly from the London Metropolitan Archives and Surrey History Centre. This is enabling us to enhance our stories and fill gaps.
As our stories are read by more and more people we hope to be contacted by relatives of these unfortunate and unintended Epsom residents. We have already been able to add more information to the stories through communication with some relatives.