Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Funeral Cards

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Genealogy tip for today: Funeral Cards

Funeral cards go back many years and were originally started by the Catholic Church. These were called Holy Cards and weren't originally used for funerals. Instead they were used as general religious cards to pass out to parishioners and were the size of bookmarks or playing cards.

As printing improved over the years, it made printing cheaper. The Roman Catholic Church would print the Bible scenes and verses on one side with a prayer or promise of indulgences on the other side. These were often decorated with embossed lace, or embellished with various borders. They were called Holy cards, Prayer Cards or Religious Cards.

Over time, they began to use them for funerals. When the process of photography improved, photos began to be popular on cards for funerals. Originally the more elaborate funerals would have these but eventually, it became more and more feasible for the common people to have them for funerals. During the late 19th century this became popular with both Catholic and Protestant churches.

Today, funeral homes have funeral cards that are partly premade. They provide choices of poems or prayers and the like. Given the need for immediacy all that is needed is information about the loved one who has passed away.

Finding them may be the trick. There are sites beginning to come up where folks have submitted funerals cards so they are available for anyone. For the most part you are more apt to find them in old bibles, scrapbooks, or collections of family memorabilia. The only one I have, I came across when going through an old family bible.

The value of these is the dates, name and other genealogical data found on them. Given that they are published at the time of the event, the information is apt to be more correct. That is not to say printers never make mistakes. But these will give you date of death, and place. It may also give you the name of the funeral home and the cemetery where they were to be buried. Sometimes you might even find a short biography of the deceased.

When you come across these they are a valuable source of information. The catch is finding them. If you find yourself going through a loved one's possession these cards could be found in unlikely places. So, the suggestion here is: be sure and look before you throw things out. We find tidbits of information in all sorts of places.


“History – it’s who we are; Genealogy – it’s who I am” sg


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Mississippi is admitted as the 20th state.
Kentucky is admitted to the Confederate States of America.
The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill creating the state of West Virginia.
Governor John Campbell signs the bill that grants women in Wyoming Territory the right to vote as well as hold public office.
The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris, ceding Spanish possessions, including the Philippines, to the United States.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the International Red Cross.
U.S. troops are called to guard Berlin as a coup is feared.
Captain Ross Smith becomes the first person to fly 11,500 miles from England to Australia.
Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American-born divorcee.
Japanese troops invade the Philippine island of Luzon.
The siege of Tobruk in North Africa is raised.
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill that postpones a draft of pre-Pearl Harbor fathers.
Allied forces bomb Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
150,000 French troops mass at the border in Vietnam to prevent a Chinese invasion.
Dr. Ralph J. Bunche becomes the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
On UN Human Rights Day, the Soviet Union places 20 prominent dissidents under house arrest, cutting off telephones and threatening to break up a planned silent demonstration in Moscow's Pushkin Square. Soviet newspapers decry human rights violations elsewhere in the world.
President of Egypt Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Democracy restored to Argentina with the assumption of Raul Alfonsin.
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia's democratic movement that changes the second oldest communist country into a democracy.
The Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland, East England, closes, marking the end of the County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, American poet of more than 1,000 poems, seven published in her lifetime.
Melvil Dewey, American librarian who created the Dewey Decimal System.
Viscount Alexander of Tunis, British soldier who took his title from his part in the Allied victories in North Africa.
Nelly Sachs, Nobel Prize-winning poet.
Mary Norton, English children's author (Bedknobs and Broomsticks).
Rumor Godden, English novelist (Black Narcissus).
Oliver Messian, French composer (Quartet for the End of Time).
Chester "Chet" Huntley, American broadcast journalist.
Dorothy Lamour, actress, best remembered for co-starring with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in their "Road to" movie series.
Agnes Nixon, writer, producer; creator of long-running TV soap operas (One Life to Live, All My Children).
Howard Martin Temin, geneticist; shared 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Chad Stuart, singer, musician; half of the Chad & Jeremy folk rock duo.
Abu Abbas (Muhammad Zaidan, Muhammad Abbas), a founder of the Palestine Liberation Front; led terrorist hijacking of cruise ship Achille Lauro.
Rod Blagojevich, 40th Governor of Illinois; arrested on federal charges of trying to sell the US Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama.







1. Easily perceived; obvious.
2. Capable of being touched or felt; tangible.
3. Capable of being discerned by touching (as an illness or a disease).



From Latin palapare (to touch, caress), from palpus (palm, stroke, caress). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pal- (to touch, feel, or shake), which also gave us palpate, palpitate, feel, and sprachgefuhl. Earliest documented use: 1395.



"And with that peace has come a palpable prosperity: last year GDP grew by over 7%."
Not Quite the Usual Walkover; The Economist (London, UK); Jul 13, 2013.

Quote for the Day
Learning is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily. -Chinese proverb



Today’s Recipe

Holiday Cooking





4 cups milk
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups light rum
4 cups light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.





Now You Know!