Obituary Lookup Volunteers - Beginner's Information

Beginner's Information for Genealogy


If you are new to genealogy or obituary research, please read this page.

One of the biggest mistakes a beginner can make is expecting too much of the volunteers who offer to help. The Internet is a vast and powerful tool in the search for your roots but you must be willing to work. You cannot expect anyone else to spend time doing research for you and this is especially true for the volunteers on this web site.

You cannot expect a volunteer to find an obituary for you without the exact date of death (unless the listing states that an obituary index is available) and the location. There are many resources available to help you find this information, some of which are listed in the section on Making a Request. The volunteers are here to help you get an obituary from a location that would be difficult for you to visit yourself. They cannot be expected to search through more than one week's worth of daily newspapers to find an obituary. For more detailed information please read the section on General Obituary Information.

Web Sites for Beginners:

  • If you have access to AOL, go to Keyword: Roots, then click on Beginners.
  • Family Tree Maker has some good How To Articles; click on Family Tree Maker, and then choose Learning Center from the tabs at the top of the page.
  • has a Learning Center; click on Ancestry.Com, and then choose Learning Center from the tabs at the top of the page.
  • National Genealogical Society has information for beginners; click on National Genealogical Society, and then choose Suggestions for Beginners in the Research Help list.
  • HeritageQuest has an online tutorial for beginners click on HeritageQuest.

Genealogy Books for Beginners:

  • Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America - Everton Publishers, 9th Ed.
  • Genealogy Online for Dummies - Matthew L. Helm, April Leigh Helm

Rootsweb Mailing Lists for Beginners: Click on: Rootsweb General Lists

  • GEN-NEWBIE-L - general help for beginners
  • NewGen-L - how to's for genealogy, a mentor is assigned to you for help

Please Consider Volunteering For Your Area.
Becoming a Volunteer for more information.

To volunteer to do lookups in your area,
for questions about the mailing list,
for help with obit requests,
to report a broken link,
or for other comments or questions,
contact us.

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Last update 22 Sep 2010