The following are some suggested sources for locating details of -- in this case mostly European -- ancestors who lived or worked in Shanghai. NEW (December 2010): PDFs of scanned extracts from old directories have added
Note: some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader
British government registers, Church registers, Shanghai Municipal Council registers.
- Bubbling Well Cemetery (Jing'an), opened 1898, closed 1951, total burials c.5,500, total cremations, c.1,350. In the winter of 1953-54 the cemetery was reclaimed for redevelopment. If families were able to make arrangements, graves were removed to the 'Dazang' cemetery (Dachang cemetery, in Baoshan). The authorities in fact gave very little notice of these developments, however, and few will have been transferred. The Dachang cemetery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution period, and various factories were built on the site. There were 43 British naval and 13 British military graves at Bubbling Well. In the process of removal of the military graves the Chinese authorities deliberately obliterated all details other than names (see PRO file FO 369/5018, 1954). The present Jing'an Park occupies the site.
- Columbia Road Cemetery
- Holy Trinity Cathedral (PDF, 194Kb), between 1937 and 1952, but mostly during the Pacific War and after, a number of interments were made in the Cathedral.
- Hungjao Cemetery (Hongqiao), opened 1926. In autumn 1966 the cemetery was attacked by 'Red Guards' as part of the Cultural Revolution onslaught against the 'Four Olds' and legacies of foreign imperialism in China. Other foreign cemeteries in China were similarly desecrated. By early October 1966 all standing gravestones in the cemetery were reported by British diplomats to have been destroyed, with any remaining memorials having been defaced. An attempt was later made to reconstruct what could be re-created from the debris. A number of inscriptions were placed on new stones. Graham Earnshaw has placed online photographs of these surviving inscriptions from stones at Hongqqiao which were recreated in the Song Qingling (Soong Ching Ling) Memorial park. They can be found here on his Tales of Old China site. The park was formerly the site of the New International Cemetery.
- International Cemetery (Wanguo)
- Jewish burials, follow this link to Dvir Bar-Gal's project to locate and restore to cemeteries Jewish gravestones removed when Shanghai cemeteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. This includes a searchable database of the headstones located so far.
- Pahsienjao Cemetery, opened 1869. Generally known as the 'New Cemetery'. It was still in use in 1946, 'though practically full up'.
- Parsee Cemetery, opened 1854.
- Pootung Sailors Cemetery, opened 1859, closed 1904, total burials 1,783., some details are in Elliston's booklet, Shantung Road Cemetery, pp. 37-43
- Shantung Road Cemetery (Shandong lu), opened 1841, closed 1871, total burials 469. For a history, and a list of burials see E.S. Elliston's booklet Shantung Road Cemetery (PDF, 2mb)..
- Soldiers' Cemetery, opened 1862, closed 1865, total burials 305: Here lie the remains of British soldiers who died in the Taiping rebellion when military reinforcements were stationed in the settlement. Some details are in Elliston's booklet, Shantung Road Cemetery, on page 44.
The SMC carried out five-yearly censuses from 1865 to 1935 but no personal data survives. The exception is the 1942 wartime census. Registers of part of this are in the US National Archives, RG263, Records of the Shanghai Municipal Police, File No. SMP N1437.
Scanned extracts from various published business and resident directories are being added to this new page on the site. Most of these focus on, or include, Shanghai.
Lists of allied civilian internees at selected camps in Shanghai (1943-45). These lists were developed by Chinese researchers at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and concentrate on camps west of the Huangpu river, and there are some mis-transcriptions: Chapei Camp, Great Western Road Camp part 1, Great Western Road Camp part 2, Lincoln Avenue Camp, Lunghwa Camp part 1, Lunghwa Camp part 2, Lunghwa Camp part 3, Yu Yuen Road Camp, Zikawei Camp.
The North China Herald contains shipping lists, obituaries, articles on retirements, notes on weddings and inquests, as well as birth, marriage and death notices. Copies of this newspaper (which was indexed on a quarterly basis) are available at the following libraries: University of Cambridge; Bodleian Oxford University; School of Oriental and African Studies; British Library; Library of Congress.
The North China Daily News which usually survives in libraries in the form of its indexed, weekly edition the North China Herald - contains many obituaries, wedding reports, birth, marriage and death notices etc. See newspapers.
Shanghai Municipal Council, Shanghai Municipal Police.