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Re: funeral homes

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  • sabinov@webtv.net
    My godparents run a funeral home in Bridgeport CT, so I ve kind of been on the fringes of this business all my life. Nowadays, most funeral homes are owned
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 26, 2001
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      My godparents run a funeral home in Bridgeport CT, so I've kind of been
      "on the fringes" of this business all my life. Nowadays, most funeral
      homes are owned by large conglomerates - the "family parlor" as such is
      almost unknown anymore.

      If you contact a funeral home that is now run by a large corporation,
      it's likely that you will not get much in terms of record keeping. They
      may or may not have the obit in the records, more than likely not. Also,
      many of the conglomerates have been known to destroy the old records
      when they buy out a family-run parlor.

      Older family run funeral homes usually still keep more detailed books
      with info and are more likely to send you what they have. Many of these
      are now being filmed by the LDS church or otherwise transcribed by local
      genealogy socities, as they can be a great help to genealogists (the
      local Escambia County genealogy society in Pensacola is doing all the
      books of the local family funeral home there).
      Personally I've been trying to talk my godmother into letting me arrange
      to have their books filmed as their business started in Bridgeport in
      1895. Most of these books will list the costs involved, who paid the
      bill, and if military honors were involved as you have to submit proof
      of that for a bugler etc at funerals.
      Sometimes they list cause of death or any unusual circumstances. It's
      also a help if the person had died there, but was buried somewhere else
      like in another state.

      But try.... my experience (both personal and advice from my aunt) is
      that you will have better luck with a phone call than a letter. And much
      depends on the person you get to talk to you... I called a funeral home
      in Stamford CT because there was no cemetery existing as it was listed
      on my gr/grandparents death certs... and the gentleman was very kind and
      explained it had changed names... and it ended up that he went to the
      cemetery and took a polaroid of the headstone for me.

      So my advice is to try... but realize much depends on the circumstances
      of the funeral home and who you deal with.

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      Maura Petzolt Mobile Alabama USA
      sabinov@...
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