Skip to main content

Tampa funeral home records

 Collection
Identifier: F48

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 222 ledgers from multiple funeral homes.

Dates

  • Created: 1908-1991
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1923-1991
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1998

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The contents of this collection may be subject to copyright.  Visit the United States Copyright Office's website at http://www.copyright.gov/for more information.

Biographical or Historical Information

F. T. Blount Funeral Home Records. March, 1924 to October, 1991. From March, 1924 to February, 1967, Blount used large, hard-bound volumes of pre-printed forms to record funeral information.  The information on each funeral was entered by hand in the blanks provided on the form.  As a volume was filled, another was begun, so years are usually split between more than one volume.  Each record consists of one page, and provides a variety of information, including marital status and spouse's name, date and place of birth, date, place and cause of death, occupation, place of residence, place of interment, and the names and birthplaces of the deceased's parents. Also present is information about the funeral arrangements and charges.  The record does not include information about survivors, except for the spouse's name and the name of the person giving the order for the funeral arrangements.  At the front of each volume is an alphabetical surname index covering the individuals in that volume. There is no cumulative surname index covering all the volumes, so it is necessary to know the year of death to find an individual record. In 1967, Blount ceased using the bound volumes and introduced loose-leaf, two-part forms. When completed, the forms were filed in binders by case number, with the most recent at the front.  Each funeral record consists of two forms, a large one and a smaller one.  The forms include much the same information as the entries in the bound volumes, plus additional information not previously collected, such as names of pall bearers, names and addresses of survivors, membership in churches and other organizations, and sometimes (though infrequently) additional biographical data about the deceased.  The large form, which has information on the verso as well as the front, contains information about the deceased and general information about the funeral.  The small form deals with funeral costs and related information. Unlike the bound volumes, the individual binders have no integral surname indexes.  Access is through a separate cumulative index in two notebooks covering the period 1967 to 1991, with surnames grouped by initial letter, then by case number.  Case numbers start with the final two digits of the person's death year (i.e., 67-364).  A person named Alvarez who died in 1967, for example, will be listed in the "A" section of the index in a group with all the other "A" clients who died in 1967.  If the year of death is known, one need only browse names in the group with the correct case number year prefix to locate the person being sought.  This seldom involves browsing more than a page or two of names.  Once the person's case number is obtained, finding the record in the form binders is a simple matter.      A. P. Boza Funeral Home Records. January, 1929 to October, 1991. Beginning in 1929 and for many years thereafter, Boza was a leading funeral home for Tampa's Latin community and handled final arrangements for many Ybor City and West Tampa residents.  From January, 1929 to February, 1986 Boza recorded funeral information in the same type of bound volumes that Blount used, with similar information about the deceased. As with Blount's, the Boza volumes each had a name index at the front. In addition to the individual volume indexes, there are also two separate cumulative surname indexes covering the bound Boza volumes. The first index is labeled "A. P. Boza Funeral Home Master Index," and indexes book 1 (1929) through book 22 (1967). The names indexed are grouped by the initial letter of the surname, then by the number of the book in which the record appears. The second index has "Colon" written on its spine and is an index to clients Boza buried in Tampa's Colon Cemetery. It covers books 1 (1929) through 20 (1965) and is arranged in the same manner as the "Master Index." In 1985, the bound volumes were replaced by the same two-part form used by Blount. The forms are filed in binders and cover the period from December, 1985 to October, 1991. During 1985 and the first two months of 1986, Boza continued to record funeral information in the last of the bound volumes as well as on the loose forms. The binders have no surname indexes, so the death date is required to find the record for a specific person. The forms are not always filed by the exact death date, so it is often necessary to scan through records immediately following the death date until the correct name is located. In addition to the main Boza records, the collection also contains binders with forms generated by Boza's Riverside and Town & Country branch chapels. These binders cover the period from June, 1987 to October, 1989.  As they have no indexes, they also require that the date of death be known to locate a specific record. Lord & Fernandez Funeral Home Records. May, 1947 to May, 1951; January, 1959 to March, 1976. As with A. P. Boza, Lord & Fernandez Funeral Home's primary client base was Tampa's Latin community. Lord & Fernandez recorded funeral information on pre-printed forms with blanks for much of the same sort of information as on the forms used by Blount and Boza. The forms are in binders in chronological order by death date. There is no surname index, so here again it is necessary to have the death date to find a particular record. Garden of Memories Records. February, 1984 to January, 1989. Garden of Memories used the same two-part loose-leaf forms as Blount. The forms are filed in binders by service numbers, which approximate the deceased's death date. There is no surname index, and the death date must be known in order to find an individual record.

Extent

132.00 Linear Feet

222 ledgers other_unmapped

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains burial home records from four funeral homes in the Tampa area, all acquired by Blount Funeral Home. Records list vital information concerning the deceased, including name, closest relative, race, place of birth, address, date of death, place of death, certifying physician, place of funeral, officiating clergy, parents, and specifics of funeral arrangements; some elements are missing from individual records.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into series, each covering a different funeral home. Records within each series are arranged chronologically. Each bound volume of the Blount and Boza records has its own integral surname index for the individuals included in that volume.  If the name and year of death are known, simply go to the appropriate volume and use the index to find the page number.  There is no cumulative surname index for the Blount volumes covering 1923-1967, so the person’s year of death is needed to know which volume to consult.  There is a cumulative surname index for the Boza volumes, labeled "A. P. Boza Funeral Home Master Index," covering book 1 (1929) through book 22 (1967).  The names indexed are grouped by the initial letter of the surname, then by the number of the book in which the record appears. There is a second index with "Colon" written on its spine which covers clients Boza buried in Tampa's Colon Cemetery.  It covers books 1 (1929) through 20 (1965), and is arranged in the same manner as the "Master Index."  The clients listed in the “Colon” index also appear in the “Master Index.” The Lord & Fernandez volumes have no surname indexes at all, so it is essential to know the person’s death or burial date to find the relevant record. Starting in 1967, Blount began using separate two-part forms filed by case number in loose-leaf binders, and in 1984 Boza adopted the same system.  Since the case numbers were assigned as orders were received, the forms are usually (but not always) filed in a sequence reflecting the client’s death date.  Indexing for records in the binders is provided by hand-written entries in a set of two large blue notebooks covering the period 1967 to 1991.  The index groups surnames by initial letter, then by case number.  Case numbers start with the final two digits of the person's death year, so 87-364 means 1987, case 364.  A man named Alvarez who died in 1987 will be listed in the "A" section of the index, grouped with all the other "A" surnamed clients who died that year.  Within the letter “A” section, clients will be listed in case number order, not alphabetically, so to find Mr. Alvarez one would browse all the “A” entries with 87 prefixes.  This seldom involves browsing more than a page or two of names. After Blount acquired A.P. Boza and Garden of Memories in 1984, the index notebooks began including entries for those funeral homes as well.  A two-digit prefix was added to the case numbers to indicate which funeral home handled the transaction, giving a three-part instead of a two-part case number.  As each funeral home has its own set of binders and case number sequences, the prefix tells which set to look in for the record being sought.  The prefixes are: 01 for Boza-Riverside, 02 for Boza-Town & Country, 03 for Garden of Memories, 04 for F. T. Blount, and 05 for the Lutz chapel.  For example, number 01-85-128 means Boza-Riverside, 1985, case 128. NOTE: Boza funerals after 1984 are supposed to be listed in the blue notebooks, but apparently some are not; if it is known for certain that the person was handled by Boza, the relevant notebook should be checked by date to be sure.

Source of Acquisition

Blount, Curry and Roel Funeral Homes

Method of Acquisition

Donation.

Related Materials

http://www.tampagov.net/dept_parks_and_recreation/information_resources/cemeteries/

Related Publications

Hillsborough County, Florida Cemeteries, 1840 – 1985 (Tampa: Florida Genealogical Society, c1986; Special Collections/Florida, F 317 H58 1986)

Processing Information

processed

Title
Tampa funeral home records
Author
Justin M. White
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the USF Libraries - Special Collections Repository

Contact:
4202 East Fowler Ave.
LIB122
Tampa FL 33620-5400 US
813-974-2731