Archival Adventures in Small Repositories

A morbidly useful collection at the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society

Tuesday, 12/4/12
Topics: Genealogy


Tags: genealogy


It only makes sense, but isn't it somewhat ironic that the owner of a funeral home was buried by his own business?

That was the case with James K. Kimes, owner of Kimes and Nelson's Funeral Service that was located in the Spring-Ford area of Montgomery County, Pa. Below is Kimes' own funeral register entry from May 23, 1935.

Many of the small repositories that have been surveyed for the HCI-PSAR project have had a significant amount of genealogy-related collections or genealogy materials. The Spring-Ford Area Historical Society is no exception. One of the collections Celia and I surveyed, hidden amongst the Society's local subject files, was the Kimes and Nelson funeral registers.

Servicing Spring City (Chester County, Pa.) and Royersford (Montgomery County, Pa.), James K. Kimes started Kimes' Funeral Home in 1884. The name changed to Kimes and Nelson's Funeral Service when Ellis Earle Nelson joined the practice. After Kimes' death in 1935, the name of the business changed again to Nelson's Funeral Service. Nelson sold the business before his death in 1974.

The registers, beginning with the first volume from 1884, span 50 years--the last register includes entries from 1936. Having been recently rebound, the registers are in excellent condition. And very conveniently, they are also indexed.

The Kimes and Nelson funeral registers can serve as a great resource for genealogists. Each entry includes a significant amount of information about decedents, including occupation, birth place, parents' names, and cause of death.


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