Gravestone: Joseph Dundas Miller
1847,Funchal, Madeira

gravestone of Joseph Dundas Miller, Madeira

gravestone location of Joseph Dundas Miller, Madeira

Wall of tombstones inside the British Cemetery, Funchal, Madeira

Joseph Dundas Miller, 1792-1847, son of William Miller and Mary Spurstow of Liverpool was buried in the British (or English) Cemetery in Funchal, located on the Rua da Carreira, just a short ways from the English Church. When Joseph was buried in 1847 the Rua da Carreira did not exist and he was buried in the area where the road is now.

In 1890 his bones, along with the bones of others marked with tombstones, were interred in one of the many walls in the cemetery and his tombstone was hung on the wall, as were all the others who were reinterred. Those in unmarked graves were buried together in a mass grave with a monument marking the spot. Although the story handed down in the family was that there was a grave but no gravestone, the story was wrong.

His tombstone, seen at top left in the center of the photo, right behind a black marker, is near the bottom of the wall and stained by dirt. It appears to be made of marble and is in excellent condition considering its age.

There are several sections to the cemetery and each section is surrounded by walls. These walls are covered with tombstones. From the top photo it would appear that the landscaping is very barren, but most of the cemetery is like a garden, with numerous trees, shrubs and flowers.

Rua da Carreira, Madeira, outside the British Cemetery   

Before the early 1770s, non-Catholics were not allowed to be buried in Madeira. Their bodies were taken by cart up to a high cliff north and east of Funchal, the headland known as Ponta do Garajau, where they were tossed into the ocean. Although it is called the British Cemetery, other non-Catholics were buried there. The caretaker at the cemetery was a goldmine of information. Using his records and indexes, he was able to take us right to the tombstone.

The parish registers at the English Church, down the Rua da Carreira and up a small street, Holy Trinity Church, were able to provide the information of his burial. The previous and current administrators at the church were extremely helpful in tracking down Joseph's burial. The registers were in very good condition and the handwriting was very legible. Joseph was a member of the Church of England but whether or not he went to the English Church in Funchal is not known. At left is the Rua da Carreira, originally a part of the cemetery.

Related Links
Joseph Dundas Miller & Elizabeth Tomlinson
Color portrait of Joseph Dundas Miller
Cemetery where Joseph Dundas Miller is buried
Burial record: Joseph Dundas Miller

Photograph of the tombstone taken by Lucie Field; photographs taken of the cemetery and Rua da Carreira taken by the author during a visit to Funchal, Madeira, in June 2013.

Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
Photographs and web page content, Copyright 2002- , Anne Field, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to link to my web page. Please do not copy and paste my images onto other webpages. For permission to use any pictures or content on my web pages, please email me at

2 July 2013

[home|joseph dundas miller|miller family]