Sunday, April 29, 2007

Funeral home research

One of the repositories that I have not done any research in is Funeral Homes or Mortuaries. I've thought about going down to the local place to see what their policies are about genealogist access, or if they have old records that our society might abstract, etc.

The Advanced Research mailing list has had some interesting discussions about Funeral Home research, and there are several very interesting posts.

JoAnn provides a summary of her experience in this post, and provides a sample letter of request.

Arlene wrote another post that provides a link to the "National Yellow Book of Funeral Directors" here. The Yellow Book contains a "directory of names, addresses, and phone numbers of every funeral home in the United States and Canada known to Nomis." The listings are not online - you have to order a copy of the Yellow Book (the 5 x 7 version is available for $65 + $8 S&H).

Arlene also provided a link to an article on the Tennessee GenWeb in this post. The article, titled "Researching Funeral Home Records, A Genealogical Tool" by Mark Barker, is at http://www.tngenweb.org/misc/funeralhomes.htm. This is very informative and should be must reading for anyone just starting to search this type of record.

The Rootsweb mailing lists have many nuggets of information, and sometimes they blossom into long threads of excellent discussion with great advice and experience.

UPDATE: Miriam made an excellent comment (thank you!):

"Rather than purchasing a Yellow Book, I prefer to go to www.funeralhomes.com. I have had a ton of success cold calling funeral homes. I've gotten plenty of information and numerous ones have freely mailed me copies of obituaries, addresses of cemeteries, and even copies of death certificates!I have a form I use whenever I call a funeral home. You can access it here."

2 comments:

Miriam said...

Rather than purchasing a Yellow Book, I prefer to go to www.funeralhomes.com. I have had a ton of success cold calling funeral homes. I've gotten plenty of information and numerous ones have freely mailed me copies of obituaries, addresses of cemeteries, and even copies of death certificates!

I have a form I use whenever I call a funeral home. You can access it here.

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