The CRHR and its members actively pursue research and engage in projects related to Nacogdoches and the communities in East Texas. These activities are extensive and draw upon resources and practices from numerous academic disciplines, including history, archaeology and anthropology.
City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Survey
The City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Survey includes recent information on historic structures found in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Regional Resources Map
Several maps have been created by the CRHR, including a Regional Resources Map for East Texas History.
Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Records Database
The Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home was established in 1893 in Nacogdoches, Texas by the Cason and Monk families. The funeral home was incorporated in 1906 as Cason Monk & Co. It acquired the Branch Patton Funeral Home in 1946, and later in 1986 merged with the Oakley Metcalf Funeral Home. Currently known as Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, it is now operated by Dignity Memorial.
The funeral home’s records from 1900 through 1957 are available as a digital collection through the East Texas Research Center. It was the purpose of this project to compile information from these records into a database to facilitate research.
From 1900 through 1927 the staff recorded intake and billing information in funeral registers. These volumes contain sparse information but do include: The name of the deceased; The name of the person (or company) who ordered the funeral; Age of the deceased; Cause of death; Date of death; Date of burial; Race of the deceased (if not white); Cost associated with the funeral and items purchased.
Beginning in 1928 a new intake form was introduced which greatly supplemented the information previously collected through the funeral home, including: The name of the deceased; Filial relationships (husband, wife, widow, son, or daughter); Race of the deceased; Place of birth of the deceased; Who the funeral is charged to [paid for]; Address of the person (or company) paying for the funeral; Funeral ordered by; Method of securing [payment or credit]; Date of funeral; Residence of the deceased; Place of death; Location & time of funeral services; Name of clergyman presiding; Certifying physician; Residence of physician; Number of burial certificate; Cause of death (primary and secondary); Date of death; Occupation of the deceased; Marital status; Religion; Date of birth; Age (years, months, days); Birthplace of the deceased; Name of mother; Birthplace of mother; Name of father; Birthplace of father; Body to be shipped to; Size & style of casket or coffin; Manufacturer; Place of interment (Cemetery, lot number, grave number, location); Costs associated with funeral including an itemized list of services and items purchased; Total bill; Amount paid in advance; Names of pall bearers; Names of Lodges; Lodge Insurance (amount); Other insurance (amount); Names of near relatives.
Although the information above would provide a very complete picture of the deceased and their funeral, it should be noted that in many (if not most) cases, the records are incomplete.
Assembling the Database
Using the funeral registers from 1900 through 1957, nineteen categories of data were selected for compilation into a database formatted as an Excel spreadsheet. The categories included in the database are as follows: Name of the deceased; Funeral ordered by; Total cost of funeral; Age of the deceased (month, day, year); Cause of death (as reported); Cause of death (primary and secondary causes, coded); Date of death (month, day, year); Race (as reported); Race (coded); Place of death (city, state, country); Occupation of the deceased (as reported); Date of birth (month, day, year); Birthplace of the deceased (city, state, country); Marital status of the deceased (coded); Residence at time of death (street address, city, state); Religion (as reported); Filial relationship (husband, wife, son, daughter of, as reported); Place of burial (cemetery, city, state); Cenotaph (cemetery, city, state).
In addition to collecting the above information, every effort was made to locate the place of burial using Find-A-Grave. Through this task we were able to confirm the place of burial, or if the place of burial was not listed on the original intake form, locate the deceased. Using information from Find-A-Grave and the funeral registers, a supplemental database was compiled listing the cemeteries and their locations identified in the records.
Among the items included in the database, three categories were assigned numeric codes to facilitate analysis: Cause of death (primary and secondary); Race; Marital status.
The coding sheets for these items are included as separate pages within the database. Finally, missing data is recorded as NR or Not Recorded. Note, the categories of data added after 1928 are left blank in the 1900-1928 records because they were not available.
Working with historic data presents its own problems, the first of which is legibility. All of the records used to compile the database were originally handwritten in ink or pencil. While every effort was made to interpret the handwriting of the various recorders, in some cases this proved to be impossible, thus data may be reported (or coded) as “illegible.” Second, regarding causes of death, in order to interpret the causes of death and assign codes, it was necessary (particularly when working with the early records) to research the historic names of diseases and medical conditions to identify their modern equivalents. Diseases and medical conditions compiled into the various coding categories are listed on the coding form included with the database. Third, in some cases we discovered discrepancies between the funeral home records and information included in Find-A-Grave entries. While we believe we have successfully located many of the deceased, when we encountered problems we noted the conflict in the database. Finally, on occasion Find-A-Grave entries included obituaries and links to death certificates, potentially providing missing data or clarifying data in the funeral records. On rare occasion, external information was added to the database, but a note is included citing where the information was obtained, thus preserving the historic integrity of the original source.
Submissions from 2015
The Nacogdoches Statue Trail (Map), Kelley A. Snowden
Cason Monk Funeral Records Database, Kelley Snowden and Katie Swann