Genealogy research can sometimes be maddening because of the lack of record keeping that was done – especially in rural areas – in decades past, but those residents in the Enterprise area looking to research their family trees may have an easier time now.
Members of the Pea River Historical Society recently discovered two large record books from Enterprise’s old Boyd’s Funeral Home that had been stored in a box of historical items donated to the historical society.
“It could really help when you’re researching genealogy stuff and even some historical things,” Pea River Historical Society volunteer Shirley Skinner said. “I found my husband’s infant brother that died before (my husband) was born. All we had was a name and we found his birth date, death date and where he was buried.”
The detailed records have those that were buried by Boyd Funeral Home’s full names, date of birth, Social Security Numbers, next of kin, date of death and in some cases even occupations, more relative names and manner of death.
Skinner said that the information contained in the books could be paramount for residents – and even family members of soldiers that died while living in Enterprise – as they do genealogy research.
“Getting things like middle names that no one knew – or even what their real names because a lot of the older generations just used nicknames, are something these books could help with,” Skinner said. “If you have say a great, great grandfather and all you have is a name, if you find something (in these books) it could potentially list the brothers, sisters, mother and father and where he was born and where he’s buried. There is a lot of the older generations that we don’t even know where they are buried or even what their legal names were.”
Boyd’s Funeral Home was located on Daleville Avenue and operated from the early 20th century through the 1960s. Unfortunately, the building it was located in has since burned down.
The record books that the Pea River Historical Society has uncovered are organized alphabetically and both books have an index that lists the names of each person that are listed in the books.
Most genealogy research is done online these days but almost all of that research is incomplete as records like the ones Pea River Historical Society discovered have either been lost to time or simply not digitized just yet. The Pea River Historical Society is currently in the process of trying to digitize its records but in the meantime, those that are doing genealogy research – or are just interested in family history or even Enterprise history – can do so at the Pea River Historical Society on Main Street in Enterprise.
The Pea River Historical Society is a completely volunteer-operated organization and Skinner said that they are always looking for more volunteers.
For more information, visit www.peariver.org or call (334) 393-2901.