A family history life as seen thru funerals, wakes and memorials. Yes this is an excellent time to be researching ancestry.
While condoling with the spouse and children, you might have the funeral card in your hand and it reads: John Henry Smith. Mention that you did not know that was Uncle Harry's full name. The party you are speaking with may be able to enlighten you as to why he chose to be called Harry. Also mention this to others that you speak with and who may have an idea why he chose the name Harry. Move around and visit with relatives and friends.
You are in the lounge talking with other relatives and getting an update about their families.
Bring into the conversation the fact you are researching ancestry information. You need to ask for information on one or two of their siblings.
This is a good place to use a small notepad or index cards so you do not appear uncaring or rude.
This is not the time to take pictures, unless you can do so outside the building. Ask if he or she may have picture's of Uncle Harry when he was younger as a child, young adult, middle age etc. Any and all pictures would be appreciated. Also state you would have copies made and return the originals to your relative. Today's technology you may ask if you can use your digital camera or your cell phone or smart phone.
Stay for any memorial services, here you could learn the lodges (American Legion,Veterans of Foreign Wars, Moose Lodge, Kiwanis) that he/she may have belonged to. Learn about military service, college fraternities and societies. You can learn more about your relative at this time than any other.
Attend the luncheon or dinner. Everyone will be socializing. People who could not be at the wake may be at the lunch. Have notepad handy, should any one appear interested in seeing the work you all ready have done, be prepared. Have a brief case in the car with work to show.
Should someone not want to talk at this time, ask if you may have a private conversation at another time. Last but not least remember this life for this person was your relative.