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Cunningham Funeral Home Records

Identifier: MSS 0563

Scope and Content

The Cunningham Funeral Home Records include funeral home burial records organized in bound volumes by number. These have all been digitized and can be found online via the University of Florida's digital collections. Besides burial records, the collection contains photographs, cemetery maps, funeral service programs, and minutes from the Florida Morticians Association Inc. - all of which form the legacy of the Cunningham Funeral Home Collection.

Part of the collection's significance is due to the fact that, until the 1970s, the only comprehensive listing of African-American communities in any Florida county is found in morticians' records. For instance, if a researcher wants to know where African-American churches and schools were located, that information can be found in the records. Morticians have been - and continue to be - the means of knowing what was happening in the community: they knew everyone, and they could give directions to houses in obscure locations. They were truly the heart of the community.

Recent additions to the collection include video documentation of the funeral service of Albert L. Cunningham Sr., co-founder of the Cunningham Funeral Home, as well as photographs documenting the funeral home, community members, and the Cunningham brothers at work in their day-to-day operations.


  • Creation: 1950 - 2006



The collection is open for research. Handle fragile photos with caution.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Cunningham Funeral Home Records in Ocala document the largest minority-owned business in Marion County, Florida. Brothers Albert and James Cunningham founded the company in 1955.

James Cunningham, who died in 1985, served as the first Black city commissioner in Marion County for ten years. The James Cunningham Highway in Ocala was named in his honor.


6 Linear Feet (21 boxes)

Language of Materials



Burial records, photographs, cemetery maps, funeral service programs, and minutes from the Florida Morticians Association Inc.


University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of selected items in the Cunningham Funeral Home Records are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

A Guide to the Cunningham Funeral Home Records
Finding aid created by Matt Kruse
March 2020 (updated August 2023)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America