The UK based Society of Genealogists (SOG) has opened an online collection of Memorial Cards for the first time.

Memorial cards are often used to give to mourners at funerals as a small keepsake and memorial for the deceased. They can also contain genealogical information such as dates of birth, marriage and death. They were particularly fashionable during the Victorian period in Britain and continued in use well into the 20th century (and are still used in some families). They were often passed out to funeral attendees or sent to distant family and friends not able to attend the funeral. They ranged from very simple designs to the more elaborately decorative and would often contain thoughtful quotes, bible verses and prayers.

The SOG Memorial Card Collection, comprising around 4,500 cards and 8,500 digital images, was donated to the society in 2016 and 2019 by Phillip Jones, who had been acquiring the cards from collectors and antique fairs since the early 1990s.

The Memorial Card Collection will eventually be a part of the resources on the SOG’s new digital content system due to go live later in the 2022 and this interim database enables users to view this interesting collection sooner.

The full information from each card is currently only viewable by members, but you can view the many and varied front page sides of the cards here: