A homegoing (or home-going) service is an African-American Christian funeral tradition marking the going home of the deceased to the Lord or to heaven, and is a vibrant part of African American history and culture. Although there may be sadness at a parting, it is also a celebration of a life and the end of suffering in the mortal realm. These observations often include prayers, hymns, scripture, and eulogies, and a program is often printed so attendees can follow the service or to keep as a remembrance. Several groups in our area have been collecting the programs of their communities for inclusion in our databases, and we have recently added new memorials to each of these collections.

Genealogy Tracers of Cleveland, Ohio, whose members are Alfreda Spratlen Barnes, Clancy Ware-Simpson, David Simpson, Carmine Vaughn Stewart, Gwendolyn Wynne Strayhan, and Henrietta English-West, have recently added 478 new memorials, containing 2597 new images. This collection also includes the Finney Memorial Collection, which have contributed an additional 33 memorials.

And, here in Fort Wayne, Roberta Ridley, founding chairwomen of the African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne, contributed an additional nine memorial cards to the Marsha Smiley Collection, which also added an additional 63.

These programs consist of wonderful personal and community histories, and we encourage anyone with a small, or large, collection to provide scans for inclusion in our collection, or contact us about having our volunteers scan them for you.