Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Metal Funeral Home Markers

Mrs. Linda A. Patterson, who died on November 9, 2002, is buried in Carr Cemetery, near Ethel, Mississippi. Born on December 26, 1953, Patterson, at 48 years old, was still young when she died. I do not know the reason for her death. Her grave site is marked by a simple aluminum "funeral home" marker that shows her name, date of birth, age, and date of death. It also shows that Myrick's Funeral Homes, in Kosciusko and Carthage, MS, handled the arrangements for her burial. This type of marker is shaped like a stake at the bottom and is planted in the ground to mark a grave site where no gravestone yet exists.

The top part of funeral home markers contain windows made of clear, hard plastic, intended to be weatherproof in an effort to protect the information contained in it. The "window" of older funeral home markers was often made of flexible clear plastic. These markers almost always show the name of the funeral home, a bit of information that can sometimes yield more vital information to a family researcher who makes a contact there. Mrs. Patterson's funeral home marker still appears to be in good condition, although it has been in the ground at her grave site since 2002. Many markers, similar to this one, although not all in good condition, can still be seen in the rural cemeteries in Attala County. Some of the markers have been in place since the Depression, when the cost of a tombstone was likely prohibitive to many. During the past several decades, however, descendants of a few of these individuals buried in graves marked with funeral home markers have honored their ancestors by replacing the markers with conventional grave stones.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed more and more of these funeral home markers, Janice. Maybe the ones I've been seeing are from the era during and after the Depression and the families couldn't afford a gravestone.