Greenberry Rayl

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This is a photo of Greenberry Rayl, great grandfather of Rebecca Rayl Griffis. Greenberry was born Oct. 20, 1845 Switzerland County, Indiana. Died on his 75th birthday Oct. 20, 1920 in Tipton County, Indiana.
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Oct 20, 1845 - Oct 20, 1920
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Updated Jul 18, 2018

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Comments

Ancient Faces
447 favorites
Although some people now take "coffin photos", they aren't as common as they were in the past.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Laura Bentley
I actually love them and collect the ones I can find that are affordable.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Dona Winkle Maul
I have such a photo of my maternal great grandmother.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Kristi Jackson
I have a several coffin photos of my fathers family. It was the “norm” for family members to take photos of their dearly departed. I grew up never thinking of it as odd. But now that I am an adult, I have learned that most of my friends don’t have photos of their dead family members in their photo albums. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Oh well, got to love them “southern” traditions.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
AncientFaces
Oh! Is it a Southern tradition? My gr grandmother was from Kentucky but died in Washington - I didn't associate the practice with a particular area. But maybe it is??
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Joan Pasquarelli
I to grew up in the south and thought nothing of it because it was something that was done .I also have pictures
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Kristi Jackson
My fathers family (for generations) was from Georgia, and it was something they all done. I have found through research that it was a common practice for southerners. But perhaps it was common for other areas as well. 🤷🏼‍♀️
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Michelle Walker
I have one of my grandmother who lived in Alabama. It was the only photo I had of her for a long time. Then discovered one other. I think in some cases it was because no other pictures existed, and they wanted something to remember them by.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Michelle Jolley
AncientFaces No my family also continues the practice of taking these photos and we're from Connecticut. I have a few of my relatives coffin photos as well as one of my granddaughter on her bier. Sometimes it's the only thing you have to remember and hold on to those you love.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Kristi Jackson
Michelle Walker the only photo I have ever seen of my grandmother is her coffin photo. She died a couple years before I was born.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Linda Haydell
For some families it was probably the only photo of the deceased they had. I too remember.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Debbie Wakefield Shull
My family is very southern, and never did this, as far as I know. .Never run across this in my very large family tree. My ancestors are from GA, NC, SC and VA.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Tina Cox
Michelle Walker That is what I thought also, better than no pictures. I grew up in Tennessee and didn't think bad of coffin pictures
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Kristine Shafer
Grew up on the northern plains and after a hundred years, our family still takes a final picture of loved ones in their casket. It's a way of honoring their whole life.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Karron Lundy
Why do you think this is a southern tradition. I'm a southerner and I don't like it. And only an idiot northerner would make such a wicked comment! Turd!!!!!
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Karron Lundy
No
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Kristi Jackson
Karron Lundy I am the one that mentioned “southern tradition” and I was born & raised in Florida. That’s pretty darn southern. 😉And no one said you had to like the practice of post mortem photography. Calm down.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Debbie Blunt-Reed
Karron Lundy from your page...🤷‍♀️
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Susana M Frushour
We have one of my husband’s aunt in her coffin at the gravesite. Hispanic/Native American.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Karron Lundy
But that is so sad.
Jul 19, 2018 ·
Kelly Shoemaker Mohr
I think Photos were a rarity so people only took them on meaningful moments - coffin photos were just a way to always remember loved ones. We can not take the meaning behind them out of the time or context - death was normal and part of everyday life - moderne westerners think of it as a horrible fate when in reality, most cultures revere or celebrate it. I also have many Family coffin photos.
Jul 19, 2018 ·
Michelle Mccormick
No,thank goodness my family didn’t do that,I know I wouldn’t do that,I can’t even stand taking or looking at photos of babies and children asleep
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Tiffany Zerwin Colson
My grandma still takes photos of people in their coffins. I had to organize her photos and I made one album just for funeral photos. I understand why it was done but its really not necessary nowadays.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Debbie J Anderson
I took pictures of my Grandpa in his casket without anyone knowing. A few months later I told my Grandma I had the pictures. She was happy that I took them and said she couldn't remember what the casket looked like because of her grief. She also said he was worth the money she spent on laying him to rest.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Brenda Thorne Veazey
We have coffin photos of several family members. My mother asks if it's okay for us to do so at every funeral.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Linda Klein
Except for heads of state, I don't think they should be taken. It is in bad taste.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Sharon Burns
It depends on the person. If you don't like them you don't have to have them. It's the last image you'll ever have of someone you love, looking peaceful and not in pain. At the very least it's a memory of a major event you may be in too much grief to remember. It's only bad taste if it's disrespectful.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Linda Klein
To me it is disrespectful just to take the photo of them showing how they look dead. It is disregard for their right to privacy. When they are dead they are unable to stop you. I know I would not want anyone to take my picture. Take as many pictures as possible when the person is alive. Look at them often and remember them at their best. This is my feeling. I was asked to express it and I did so. Other people feel differently and they have a right to express that also. Even viewing of the body should be limited. I remember two horrible supervisors I had at work, who attended an employee's funeral and made fun of the way he looked in his coffin and even laughed out loud when they got back to work.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Lee Ann Forester Train
Sharon Burns dead isn’t peaceful it’s just dead.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Dwayne Panzeter
I wouldn't do it myself, but as a custom it's definitely subjective. If someone took a post-mortem of you or me, it might be a violation, while if it's a family tradition, the person would probably expect this to happen to them and give consent. Different strokes.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Dwayne Panzeter
And Lee Ann, dead can also be relatively peaceful if the departed has been fighting illness for some time. Let people grieve in their own way.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Jessica Estevis
Post mortem pictures are huge in the Hispanic culture. Although it gives me chills, we see it as treasuring their last physical presence with us. So I grew very accustomed to seeing this.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Patsy Clymer
How do you put a picture on here.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
AncientFaces
You can share a photo on "visitor posts". :)
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Patsy Clymer
AncientFaces thanks
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Patsy Clymer
Where's the visitors post section ?
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Pat Burden
6 favorites
Go to their website, click on Share your memories. AncientFaces
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Patsy Clymer
Pat Burden thanks.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Nancy Thompson
I'd rather see a "coffin" photo than one of a dead person propped up and sitting with the rest of the family.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Alana Doss
Right??
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Alana Doss
For some it may have been one of the only photos taken of them. The family wanted to remember their loved one, and there's no harm in that.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Jenny Mclarney
What a shame then that they could afford to have a picture taken of them in death but not when they were alive .
Jul 20, 2018 ·
Anna Gardner
I have these photos of a few relatives. I think it’s sad that they are the only photos I have of these family members.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Melissa Oxendine-Campos
I took photos of my father after his death. It was the last time I would ever see his physical body & wanted to remember that. I'm not sure why there's such a stigma surrounding them.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Connie Taylor Cason
I took a picture of my 17 year old brother in his coffin in 2001.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Kathryn Donahue
I've collected some of these. However, I think these days we have so many photos of our loved ones ALIVE to remember them by that we perhaps don't feel the need to capture them in death.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Lynden Mcdonald
My crazy mother in law wanted the undertaker to take photos of my deceased husband which I refused due the gruesome circumstances of his death..but she was a hillbilly and still pretty common in the hills of Appalachia
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Deedra Winey
It was a different time and usually they had no photo of the person alive.I found a 'dead baby' picture from my family many years ago at a local antique shop.It fascinates me,saddens me,etc.That baby is remembered though because of that picture.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Sue Wilks
It's fine, and better than the alternative. I discovered a merchant seaman ancestor. Every time a close relative died, there was a service, but the burial wasn't held until the ship came in. Sometimes it was a month later!
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Nola Rains
3 favorites
Personal choice. If you like it, do it. If not, then dont.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Sandra Patterson
I have two photos of my mother’s 5-yr-old brother who died during the 1918 flu epidemic. Never thought that I would take pictures at a funeral but when my Aunt died my children were unable to attend her funeral so I took pictures to be able to show them.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Anna Hunter
Nope!!
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Sandra Melton Horne
I think some families didn't have photos, so these funeral photos were often the only ones ever taken of their loved ones. Those times have past, so I agree with you, nope.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Patsy Clymer
I just wanted to put a picture on here of my Mom Alive to celebrate her birthday.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Connie Connie
I have a coffin photo of my great grandfather (d. 1957) and my grandfather (d.1975).
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Gidget Nelson
I personally don't care for them, but to each there own. My family don't do this so its a little strange to me.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Annie Sweeney
I really cannot even bear to see open coffin wakes anymore...
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Annie Sweeney
These days we probably have photos/videos of the deceased when alive. I cannot understand why anyone would want a post mortem photo. NO judgement. Read an article on embalming written by a mortician that might put you right off the practice.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Kristine Shafer
My family does this as a way to acknowledge the entire life process of a family member, plus, my dad looked really nice in his casket and we loved him so very much! Thanks for your perspective.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Debra Sipes
I knew a woman once that had pictures and she said alot of times when family couldn’t come a long way for a funeral, that people took pictures to show others what a nice service their loved one had -
Jul 19, 2018 ·
David Becken
6 favorites
I say it is better to have it and not want it, than to want it and not have it.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Darlene Eldredge
If family can't see me while I'm here, you won't dare take photos of me deceased! I'll be back every dark and stormy night........
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Lena Gargano-Reddy
In Italy where I was born they did this to when grandfather died they sent a photo to my mum in his coffin
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Marilyn Short Dauw
it was quite common years ago and for some families the one time they could afford to pay for a photographer
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
David Maroney
‘ dust to dust: let the rest of us get to Montana before a tragedy befalls us’
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Ria Peice
I have no problem with it.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Dawne Zotz
They still do it in some Europe countries. We can choose to do the same.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Heather Dominguez
Death photography is common in my family.
When my 2 year old nephew passed away, my sister made every decision regarding his funeral and burial, but I had to communicate with the funeral home and execute her wishes because her grief was crippling. This was 6 years ago, and she has no memory of the week between his death and funeral. We were fortunate to have the funeral service live streamed by the funeral home, and they gave us a copy. I took photos of everything before they opened the doors, including our sweet boy. She just last week finally asked if she could see the photos, and they helped calm her.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Carolyne Jackson
15 favorites
Yeah..but I don't like them.. and I don't want anyone to look upon me in death.. that way they will only have the memory of me alive..not the death imagine anywhere in their minds .
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Rebecca Rued
I feel the same way. I have viewed loved ones after they have passed, and I always feel as though I am looking at a shell...with the impression that they are not present. I prefer to have memories of them alive and vibrant.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Judy Madsen
Rebecca Rued I agree remember them living
Jul 19, 2018 ·
Jackie Lobenthal
Totally! No one is going to look at me.
Jul 21, 2018 ·
Breanne Bennett
Too creepy nowadays. They just did this kind of stuff back then because photographs were a lot more scarce.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Karron Lundy
I don't like it! Although my sister took pictures of our mother. It's too sad to look at those pictures!
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Clinton Getzinger
The “old time” open coffin photos appeared more on my paternal German side of the family. Other than a couple of infants on my maternal side there really aren’t any. My German side lived in SD, ND, and WA.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Terry Hunt Korell
Yes the only pictures I’ve ever seen of people in coffins was a German family.
Jul 18, 2018 ·
Mary K Hartman
No! Prefer to remember them while alive.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Jo Davis
Some of my family in Utah took photos when someone died but I find it to be disturbing really. Most of the time they don’t even look like the person and I sure wouldn’t like my photo taken when I am dead.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Karron Lundy
I'm 68 years old and I'm from the south but I have never seen a picture of a deceased person until today! My sister took pictures of my mother and I was appaulled and I've never looked at those pictures. When my daddy passed I touched his hand and it was cold and hard, it turned off my grief. Like a light switch. Only Lazarus and a small girl was raised from the dead according to the Bible. By Jesus. Pictures cannot bring back the dead. And it seems morbid to take pictures of the dead. My personal opinion and it is not open for discussion.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Joy Midkiff Alba
My father always took coffin pictures. I dont. No one looks like they did in life in a coffin. I'd rather remember them that way but I understand that back in the day, heck even before digital photography, people just didn't take as many photos.
My eldest is 18. I couldn't afford to take as many pictures of her as I wanted when she was little. Now, with digital I'll take 50 pictures of my newborn just to get the 1 take I like. It's completely different now.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Lisa Davis
I feel pictures see our souls; all the moments in one's life, a death photo is a part of the ones that are left behind. They are all memories.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Thomas MacDonald
This is a casket (a beautiful one at that) rather than a coffin, which are anthropoidal in shape.
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Laura Aynes Blanton
I have my grandparents in their coffins...its sad. It's the very last photo of them. :(
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Karin McCauley
Growing up in Europe we don’t have viewings or open caskets ever. I was shocked the first time I went to a funeral here. The person that passed didn’t look at all like she looked when she was alive. Hair was totally wrong, funky makeup and I know she would have hated it. I thought I was at the wrong funeral🤮🤮🤮
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Shirley K. Brown
I have a picture of my sister in her coffin and since I have no fear of death because I know I’m going to heaven the picture is precious to me
Jul 18, 2018 · Reply
Sherry Hollett
Such amazing pic’s
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Nina Foster
We have some of my mom at her funeral in 2000. At the time I didn’t know the tradition and thought it was weird that someone would want to take her picture but now I’m glad because it was the last time I would see her face. Ever.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Patricia Vincent
Post mortem pictures were taken well before 1920. A way to memorialize the dead.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Fred Schiller
Death is as much a part of life as birth is ,
Embracing both is a memorial event,
I see nothing wrong with it,
In many cases
The person looks in a resting state, You know the person better the the attendant preparing your loved one
Do their hair and makeup your self, share the experience
I have many times
NEVER REGRETTING IT ,
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Sophie Hurlet
I find those pics quite normal. In Belgium it was a tradition til the mid eighties. Now coffins are always closed.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Sharon Kay McNamara
My aunt lost 2 babies back in the 30s. I have pictures of both in their coffins.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Tawny McElroy
All shut my bath to computer
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Tawny McElroy
Ignore that last comment.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Sharon Kay McNamara
Are you drunk again, Tawny? 😉😉😉
Jul 19, 2018 ·
Carmiel Aldred
Families didn’t have lots of pictures of their loved ones.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Susan W. Milam
I took pictures of my mother in her coffin because she looked so beautiful and at peace. I never had them developed. I didn’t take any when my son died and now I wish I had. I did take a couple of my MIL in her coffin with my phone, so have them. It just doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Lone Vissing
In Denmark we don't take pictures of dead people, normally we don't keep the coffin open
Jul 19, 2018 · Reply
Judy Simonds Shafer
This was how things were done then. It may seem different but things we do now would seem different to them. Just take time & look back at family history & pictures. You will learn a lot about your family.
Jul 20, 2018 · Reply
Debby Sprouse Abad
I dont really want to be sifting thru photos of my relatives and come across them in a coffin. I was so tempted to take one of my dad. He looked like he was sleeping peace fully and his coffin was surrounded by beautiful red poinsettias. But i said to myself, I’ll just keep him in my memory.
Jul 20, 2018 · Reply
Brin Ash
My mother's side of the family took coffin photos but each photo remained in that family and was not reproduced. My aunt took a photo of my mother, but I didn't want one. I had done my mother's hair, her makeup and polished her finger nails. Picked out her favorite clothes to wear.
Aug 12, 2018 · Reply
Charlene Kowalski
When my grandfather's brother died of the influenza in 1918 or 1919, they took a picture of him out in front of the church in his coffin. In Europe it is much more common, I believe as our Polish relatives have, in the past, asked for photos of relatives in their caskets.
Aug 21, 2018 · Reply
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