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July 9, 2009

Featured Genealogy Resource: Coffin Plates (a Death Record)

Today's featured set of little-known Genealogy resources is Coffin Plates. Yes - coffin plates, also known as Casket plates, coffin plaques and casket plaques.

The history of Coffin Plates or casket plates is a long but not very well documented one. Coffin plates are decorative adornments that contain free genealogical information such as the name and death date of the deceased.

Sometimes the coffin plate was attached to the coffin and removed before burial, then given to the family to take home as a remembrance token. Other times the coffin plate was placed on top of the coffin in a stand, then given to the loved ones after the funeral.

Brian Massey of has a very large collection of coffin plates online. There are over 500 individual coffin plates on Brian's website and they are all free for visitors to look for a Coffin Plate of an ancestor.

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