07 February 2014

Funeral Programs ... another neat family history research resource

It’s amazing how you read a FB post or e-mail or just playing around on a website and all of a sudden it makes you think of a resource you’ve never used or rarely think of using!

This just happened to me yesterday.  I was visiting the ever-growing Digital NC site (which has a completely different and fun interface now) which has a great collection of directories, yearbooks, newspapers, and more, when I “stumbled” across Chatham County Funeral Programs, described as:

The Chatham County Funeral Programs exhibit documents the lives and deaths of several generations of African American Chatham County residents. The collection was established with the donation of nearly 800 programs to the Chatham County Historical Association by Ms. Annie Ruth Burnette in 2011. 

These are just really neat and give you information that you might not find elsewhere, not even in an obituary, assuming one was published.

As you can imagine, it got me wondering if there are other collections of Funeral Programs available to researchers?  There are many collections, many of which are offline. 

  1. Obituary and Funeral Program Collection, 1962-2010 - The Black ... (the blackarchives.org, South Florida – not online)
  2. African American Funeral Programs of San Antonio: About this ... (The Portal to Texas History – online)
  3. AAHGS Funeral Programs (index online)
  4. African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia ... (online)
  5. Obituary and Funeral Program Collection - BMRC Color Curtain ... (Chicago -- finding aid online)
  6. African-American Funeral Programs (Durham, NC – index online)
  7. Funeral program collection offers insight into community (Augusta GA – article)
  8. African American Funeral Program Collections (post by Ancestor Callings – mentions various collections)

The first entries discovered were ALL collections of African-American Funeral Programs.  This makes me curious?  Is it different traditions amongst those of differing ethnicities and faiths?  Or, just an artifact of where effort has been put into creating such collections?

Do you know of a Funeral Program Collection?

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