from Maureen Taylor
You know the expression about death and taxes, but did you know that leaving a paper trail is also one of lifeâ€™s certainties? Disposable paper items known as ephemera often exist to trace a personâ€™s life from birth (baby announcements) to death (memorial/funeral cards).
A memorial/funeral card announces the death of an individual, includes information on their lives and usually a prayer or quote. The content varies by time period. Today families often present mourners with these cards as remembrances, but in the past, relatives distributed them as funeral invitations. George Washingtonâ€™s funeral at Mount Vernon was a public event but until the twentieth century they were private affairs attended by family and a few close friends. These cards are genealogical gems–evidence of a death and very collectible. Two websites make searching for these cards easier.
Ancestors at Rest
This website is a free online database of funeral and memorial cards.
This site has a searchable database of close to 20,000 funeral cards.