David Sanford Butler’s Funeral Book – Treasure Chest Thursday

by Tonia Kendrick on May 31, 2012 in And More,Evidence

I got a new item for my Treasure Chest last week.  My uncle found a memory book from the funeral of David Sanford Butler.  Dave was my grandmother’s grandfather and since I’m the keeper of the family history, my uncle brought the book to me (yay!).

I’ve never seen anything quite like this.  It’s cardboard, with pages inside, and ties like the filing wallets you can get at office supply stores.   The cover is engraved  “Precious Memories,” and it was provided by Love Funeral Home in Dalton, Georgia.  It’s like a guest book, but so much more.

There are poems scattered throughout, and pages for different kinds of entries.  The first entry page is an “In Memory Of” that list’s Dave’s name, place of birth, birth date, death date, and age.

Then there is page about the funeral services, telling where and when they were held and who officiated (four ministers!).  The service was held at Mt. Pisgah in Ramhurst, Georgia at 3 o’clock P. M. on May 19, 1938.  This is the church my grandparents attended for many years.  I didn’t know that it was family church for so many generations.


Next is a page for the music.  The songs were “Farther Along,” “The Uncloudy Day,” and “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” performed by the Chronic Quartett [sic] from Dalton, Ga.

The Pallbearers are also listed:

Honorary Bearers are listed by last name only:  Southers, Warmack, Hill, Keown, Goad, Roe, Mathis, Goad, Calloway.

And then. . .there’s a family record.  It shows Dave and his wife, M. J. Hemphill Butler, their parents and their children. Furthermore, it specifies which children were deceased  and which were still living.  How awesome is this?!


After this are two sign-in pages for relatives attending.  I don’t know who some of these people are, so I’ll have to do some research.  Then, the traditional guest-book pages of “Friends Who Called.” I just love how it is broken down between relatives and friends.  It’s like this book was designed by a genealogist.

At the end is a listing of the people who sent flowers and it even tells what kind of arrangement (red roses, carnations & larkspur, garden flowers, etc.)

Taped into the front of the book are newspaper clippings of the death notice and obituary.  A funeral bill is even stapled in the front, but based on the date of the bill (Dec 1933), I believe it is for Dave’s wife’s funeral.

This book is truly a treasure and I am so fortunate that it came into my possession.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bret Petersen May 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm

How very cool! I have never seen anything like that. Too bad they aren’t more prevalent.
Bret Petersen´s last blog post ..Nifty Knots from the Navy


Tonia Kendrick May 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I know, Bret! Wouldn’t it be great if we had one for each ancestor?


Elizabeth Saunders May 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Yay! What a great treasure, Tonia!
Elizabeth Saunders´s last blog post ..Learning about Ireland in the 17th century


Tonia Kendrick May 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm



Shelley Bishop June 2, 2012 at 12:26 am

What an amazing treasure! I’ve never seen anything like that before. The lists of pallbearers and guests will give you lots of names to research. How wonderful that your uncle found it and gave it to you!
Shelley Bishop´s last blog post ..Honoring Civil War Veterans at The Ridges


Tonia Kendrick June 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thanks Shelley! Yes, there are definitely a lot of clues to pursue!


Susan D June 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

What a marvellous find, Tonia, and a great source for further family history stories. You must be very proud to have it.


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