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During the first half 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. It was the first funeral home in Florida to have a chapel, and housed the first crematorium built south of Cincinnati and Washington, DC, serving most of the southeastern states.
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. The company has been in continual operation since 1890, currently known as the Carey Hand and Cox-Parker Funeral Homes.
The University of Central Florida Special Collections holds the Funeral Home Records from 1891-1955. The records are used extensively for genealogical and historical research on Central Florida. The collection includes Undertaker's Memoranda, Funeral Registers, Cremation Records, records for the Palm and Greenwood Cemeteries, as well as other materials relating to the generations of the Orlando mortuary business. For more information, visit the Carey Hand exhibit or the Carey Hand finding aid.
Selected Undertaker's Memoranda and Funeral Registers have been digitized and are available for users on Central Florida Memory. Enhanced metadata allows users to search the collection by name, gender, race, date of death, cause of death, parents' names, and burial place.