I attended our society meeting this month and our speeker was a man from the only owned and operated black funeral home in our city. He was very informative and we found out that many of our funeral homes in the city r now owned by 'white companies' but the funeral home name is the same. We also found out that when the company bought the business, the records were no kept. No one knows what happens to them. There is no law in my State, Missouri, that says there is a rule about 'funeral records' must be safeguarded for a certain length of time. I don't understand that. The medical examiners records r safeguarded. Always.
I had always wondered why funeral homes in any state, didnt seem to answer any of my request for information about deceased family, that should be in their records. That's cause after so many years they were destroyed to make room.
So I would like to suggest and remind all who read this, afrigeneas has a death database. I have not used it as yet so I can't say what r what it does not have, but all funeral programs you can collect, need to be scanned front and back, no matter how old and posted here. There r people who collect these as a hobby. Ask at your church, your family, your clubs r whoever u know to allow you to scan and post them. This is a gold mine of information for afro americans. ALSO there r some genealogy societies and, libraries in other states that have dedicated shelf space on their genealogy shelves for Afro American Studies. It can be a project for a VOLUNTEER to catalogue and make sure it is well organized and placed there. Then posted it on Afrigenes and/or post this information on any genealogy state facebook page you can. Let us know where. Get the word out. Someone may see something in one of those programs. I remember visiting MS and a deacon told me he had copies of every funeral that had been held in his church. That was so long ago, before I was this deep in genealogy. Wish I could find him. We all can take Baby Steps to safeguard at least one church funeral programs, one funeral homes FUNERAL PROGRAMS for 1 year. Then someone else can VOLUNTEER to do it the next year. Just keep it going.