Funeral CardsUncovering death information about an ancestor can frequently reveal details about his or her life and family that would be difficult to find in any other source. Obituaries frequently include birth, marriage, and death dates and places of the deceased, the maiden name of a wife, children names, parents’ names, occupations, places of residence, and highlights of his/her life.
Unfortunately, not every ancestor had an obituary published revealing these details for the benefit of descendants. Instead, some people discover printed memorial or funeral cards in collections of their parents or relatives. While these cards don’t give the range of detail often found in obituaries, they can still be of great value in furthering research.
Funeral cards are an overlooked free genealogical resource. They often contain both the birth and death date and should not be used as a substitute for vital records because the person giving the information might not have known for sure when the deceased was born or died. However, it's a good place to start.