Covering the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, the New England Historical Society, which you can join for free, has fascinating articles on all kinds of topics like this one about early colonial burial practices titled Seven Strange Facts About Colonial Funerals. Apparently drinking, gloves, and rings were important, but not sermons.
"Many of today’s traditions, such as giving right of way to a funeral procession, stem from the earliest days of America. Other traditions from Colonial Funerals have died away or been altered over time. Here are seven strange funeral practices that have been done away with in modern times."
[Mourning ring, 1683; Private Collection; d: 11/16" Engraved E:Dudley:Obit:1:feb:82/3
This ring, apparently the earliest known dated piece of marked American gold, commemorates the death on February 1, 1683, of Edward Dudley, the twelve-year-old son of Joseph Dudley. Source: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~silversmiths/makers/silversmiths/27090.htm]
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