Genealogy Made Easy - Finding Obituaries
- View SourceGenealogists have long made use of obituaries, or death notices, to assist them with researching and development of ancestral history. Obituaries are an invaluable tool, because they go far beyond a simple state-issued death certificate.
Often, researchers can obtain information on parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins through an obituary search. When researching in periods before the advent of a uniform public record system, obituaries can also provide a wealth of useful information, including previous marriages, major life events, business affiliations, military service, fraternal membership, city of birth, and church affiliation. This information is not always readily available outside of an obituary in periods where record keeping and media were not organized and ubiquitous.
In the past, genealogists often had to spend a great deal of time traveling to libraries, contacting record keepers, and hunting down what were often very obscure records. Fortunately, some of today's Web-based resources can often eliminate much of this hassle, and have made obituaries more accessible to researchers. Both professional and amateur genealogists can benefit from such resources, which include:
Obituary Links Page. This free, popular, and comprehensive site provides information for all 50 states, as well as Canada. Links and references are organized by county or region.
AncestorHunt.com. This site offers a free obituary search and directory of third party obituary search engines. Also allows searches of death records.
ObituaryDatabase.com. Similar to Obituary Links Page, though not as comprehensive. Offers links to obituary resources categorized by state.
By taking advantage of these and the many other resources now available online, you can obtain a great deal of information in a shorter time than ever was possible before.