Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Undertaker’s record book and other resources now available from New Bern-Craven County Public Library

Undertaker's Record Book, page 15

Undertaker’s Record Book, page 15

Thanks to our partner, the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, DigitalNC is happy to publish several new items that could be extremely useful for our users.

Researchers may find use in the Undertaker’s Record Book, a unique source that documents the business and financial interactions of Merritt Whitley & Sons funeral home. The funeral home was an African American owned family operation which appeared in town records as early as 1890. The owner, Merritt Whitley, was also appointed as the County Undertaker in 1897. His sons, William O. Whitley and Hugh L. Whitley operated the funeral after their father’s death in 1910.

The record book offers a variety of unique data, documenting the years 1923-1925. In addition to the products and pricing of funeral items, such as caskets, burial clothes, embalming fluid, and cemetery transportation, the ledger also social and demographic information about the deceased. Including everything from family relations and presiding clergy to cause of death and grave location, this resource could be a wealth of information for genealogists or historical researchers.

At the links below, you can view all the new additions to DigitalNC from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, including the multiple impressive sources from the Female Benevolent Society of New Bern:

To access more resources and manuscript items like this, please visit the North Carolina Memory Collection. To learn more about the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please visit their contributor page or check out the website.

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