Home | Census Records | Vital Stats | Land Records | Immigration Records | Military Records | Site Map | Genealogy Guide - Help for Beginners
|The Genealogy Spot is the spot to find ancestors in Census Records, Vital Stats, Land Records, Immigration Records, Military Records, Family Bibles, Vital Stats, Death Records and more|
Find your ancestors with Free Access
ShipsLists-Online Free ships passenger lists now here on TheGenealogySpot.com!
Coffin PlatesThe history of Coffin Plates or casket plates is a long but not very well documented one. Generally made of a soft metal like pewter, silver, brass, copper or tin, coffin plates are decorative adornments attached to the coffin that contain information about the deceased. The oldest ones that I have seen date from the 17th century (1600~1699) and were reserved for people of some stature, in other words people who had money. As time went on more people were able to afford the luxury of a Coffin Plate and with the coming of the industrial revolution the cost of the plates went down so much that by the middle of the 19th century almost every family could afford them.
At the same time that coffin plates were increasing in popularity the practice of removing the plates from the coffin before burial increased. The coffin plates were often removed to be kept as mementos by the loved ones of the deceased. This practice peaked in the late 19th century (1880~1899).
In some more rare cases the plates are removed when the grave is disturbed for some reason like cemetery relocation. This is more common in Europe were space for graves is at a premium.
These plates are an overlooked free genealogical resource. They often contain the Birth date and Death date and can be used as a substitute for vital records. (Well technically they are not a substitute for vital records as the person giving the info might not have known for sure when the deceased was born or died. But it's a good place to start.) If you want to know more about what things qualify as a true Vital Records there is a good article at the Olive Tree. In some rare cases the plates can contain even more information like place of birth or the occupation of the deceased.
Unfortunately these valuable resources are scattered and there has not been a single repository for this valuable free genealogy resource until now. It is my intention to create a coffin plate database and a home for the unwanted plates themselves.
Index to Family Names & Coffin PlatesPlease see the list of names for Coffin Plates or Casket Plaques (with their birth and death information) This Data Base is an ongoing project and I have many more coffin plates to add so check back often.
olivetreegenealogyATgmail.com to contact TheGenealogySpot.com webmaster. [Replace AT with @]
All rights reserved
Copyright ©2004 - present