Around 420,000 burial and cremation records for the borough of Bolton will soon be available online.
Bolton Council is understood to be the first authority in Greater Manchester and Lancashire to make records and documents available digitally in this way.
More than 211,000 records from Tonge and Heaton Cemetery dating back to 1856 have already been put on deceasedonline.com, with the town’s other five cemeteries and Overdale Crematorium soon to follow.
The move to offering an online record register is the latest in a list of improvements to Bolton’s burial and cremation services.
Overdale Crematorium’s West Chapel has recently undergone a £171,000 refurbishment and the council has also installed new environmentally friendly cremator equipment at Overdale Crematorium to comply with legislation set by the government to control emission levels.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, said: “We’ve completely refurbished the West Chapel, including the reception areas. We’ve put in new windows, carpets, and lighting and the waiting room has also been renovated and toilet facilities improved.
“We have also listened to what the public want and when we carried out a survey in 2011, 89 per cent of those consulted were in favour of accessing burial and cremation records online.”
The new service allows people to view grave details, digital scans of registers, detailed cemetery maps showing where gravestones are and photographs of some memorials.
The service costs £1.50 to access burial and cremation records and from £2.50 for more detailed information.
Data for Astley Bridge; Blackrod; Farnworth; Horwich; Westhoughton and Overdale Crematorium will be uploaded over the next few months.
Richard Gray from Deceased Online said: “We are delighted that Bolton is the first council in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire area to join Deceased Online in becoming part of a growing national database for these records.
“Keen family historians and those tracing their ancestry can now access the data easily and we have registered users in 75 countries worldwide.”