New York State Funeral Directors Association

Portrait of African American Union Soldier with Family

Henry Bell was among more than 600,000 Americans who died during the dark days of the U.S. Civil War.

Bell was a freed slave who agreed to fight for his liberty with the Union Army.

Today, citizen volunteers can play an important role in the goal of keeping the memory of earlier Americans alive.

Years ago, you would have to know someone personally – or read through their diary – to get a good understanding of what kind of person they were.

Today, you can learn quite a bit about someone by what they post on Facebook. And thanks to its digital format, people can capture all of the information they’ve shared with just a few clicks.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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