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Carey Hand Funeral Home Records

Identifier: SC-041

Scope and Contents

The Carey Hand Funeral Home Records include a variety of records created during the course of work at the Funeral Home, including Undertakers' Memoranda, documentation of the deceased that moved through the undertaker, Funeral Registers that included payment information and next of kin, Cremation Records, records for the Palm and Greenwood Cemeteries, as well as other materials relating to the operations of the Orlando mortuary business. The collection is particularly useful in Central Florida genealogy as one of the main funeral homes in the area.

Series 1: Undertakers' Memoranda. 182 Volumes. June 1891-December 1946. Records are not indexed and arranged in imperfect, but general chronological order as recorded by the undertaker. Information relating to the death and burial of the deceased individual is recorded.

Series 2: Greenwood and Palm Cemetery Records: Circa 1900-1944. 2 Volumes. These volumes contain the records of plots sold in the Greenwood and Palm Cemeteries. Records are indexed and arranged by plot. One volume includes a Greenwood Cemetery plat book.

Series 3: Funeral Registers. 34 Volumes. January 1919-December 1952. Each volume is indexed and in chronological order. Records detail death, burial and payment information for services provided through the Carey Hand Funeral Home.

Series 4: Bills. 4 Volumes. 1920-1932. Financial Records detailing payments received on various accounts. Volumes titled Local Bills, Out-of-Town Bills, and Bills.

Series 5: Cremation Records. 4 Volumes. 1926-1949. These volumes contain the records of the cremation service operated by Carey Hand. The first crematorium to be located south of Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, DC, it began operating in 1925. The records are in chronological order, with the first volume serving as an index. In addition, there is a folder with records of cremations stored in the vaults and those whose ashes were scattered.

Series 6: Ambulance Records. 10 Volumes. January 1934-May 1955. These volumes contain the records of the ambulance service operated by Carey Hand. In addition to paid services, free ambulance service was offered to new mothers and babies from the hospital to their homes. One volume titled Veteran's Ambulance, 1948.

Series 7: Storage Vault Records. 1 Volume. October 1935-October 1947. Records document individuals stored in Carey Hand storage vaults, listing the amount of time stored and payments on accounts.

Series 8: Veteran's and Orlando Air Base Records. 1 Volume. January 1938-March 1952. Records are not indexed but are arranged in chronological order. These records contain death, burial and military service information for Central Florida Veteran's and Orlando Air Base Serviceman.

Series 9: Miscellanea. 6 Folders. 1927-1947, 2003, Undated. Materials relating to the Carey Hand Funeral Home including brochures, disposition of ashes, newsclippings, miscellaneous ephemera, mule pendant, and samples of original wall coverings.


  • Created: 1891-1955


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished records are protected by copyright. Permission to publish quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Carey Hand mortuary business began when Elijah Hand moved to Orlando, Florida from Indiana in 1885. Hand was the young city's first embalmer. Hand formed a partnership with E. A. Richards, the city's first undertaker. Richards & Hand combined Richards's furniture business and Hand's embalming. When Richards left the partnership in 1890, the business was renamed Elijah Hand's furniture, undertaking and livery stable. The business was located on Pine Street in downtown Orlando.

In 1907 Hand's son Carey, a trained embalmer, moved to Orlando and joined his father's business, buying out his father in 1914. He continued to run the business until his death in 1946. His wife sold the business the following year, and subsequent owners have kept the Carey Hand name. In 1969 the Carey Hand and Cox-Parker Funeral Homes merged. The company is still in operation. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Carey Hand funeral home was the largest in Central Florida, serving a five-county area, including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Polk and Hillsborough. The modernized funeral home built by the company in 1918 now houses the University of Central Florida's Downtown Campus located at 39 West Pine Street. It was the first funeral home in Florida to have a chapel, and housed the first crematorium built south of Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.


22 Linear Feet (9 Boxes, 1 Flat File, and 34 Funeral Registers)

Language of Materials



Contains records and ledgers on services provided at the Carey Hand Funeral Home. Materials include memoranda regarding the death and burial of deceased individuals, registers of the death, burial and payment information, plots in the Greenwood and Palm cemeteries, financial records, cremation records, ambulance service records, vault storage records, and Central Florida Veterans and Orlando Airbase Servicemen's death, burial, and military information. The records are particularly useful in historical and genealogical research on the Orlando and Central Florida area from 1891 to 1955.

Method of Acquisition

Carey Hand Funeral Home Records have been held in the UCF Library Special Collections since 1978. The records were donated to Department by the Carey Hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home in 2003 (CFM2003_01).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Nadine Helm; finding aid created by Nadine Helm. Courtney Toelle edited finding aid in January 2019. Minimal preservation work was necessary; records are bound in books, and were properly housed in archival boxes or storage.

Carey Hand Funeral Home Records
Nadine Helm
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Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576