Obituary Lookup Volunteers - General Obituary Information

General Obituary Information


If you are a beginner, please read the Beginner's Information section first.

Information Contained in Obituaries

Obituaries can give the genealogy researcher some very crucial and interesting facts.  Many times when all other avenues have been exhausted, an obituary can give you some of the following information if you are lucky:

  • Burial Location and Date
  • Family - Spouse, Parents, Siblings and Children
  • Birthplace and Birth Date
  • Marriage Date (and possibly location)
  • Religious Affiliation
  • Military Service
  • Organization Membership (Masons, Lodges, etc.)
  • Occupational Information
  • Education

Many Obituaries are very short and some are just death notices that contain very few clues.  It's likely that big city newspapers will have short obituaries unless the person is well known.  Newspapers in smaller towns will generally have a larger write up.

Suggestions for Locating Obituaries

  • Obituaries are usually published in a daily newspaper 1-3 days after the death date.  It is rare to find one more than a week after the date of death.  If the newspaper is published weekly you may have to look in the next 2 issues.
  • Obituaries are often published in more than one newspaper.  If you can't find it in one, check to see if there was another newspaper during that time period.
  • Many obituaries will be found in the place a person lived for most of their lives instead of the location where they died.
  • Check to see if there is a library in the area you are searching that might have an on-line web site with information or even an obituary index.  Please contact us with any such links and they will be added to the state pages.
  • If you are at a distance from the location of the obituary, send a lookup request to a listed volunteer or, if no one is listed for the location, to our mailing list.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS - Please consider volunteering
for your area, even on a limited basis, because every lookup
helps someone. 
Becoming a Volunteer has 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