Genealogists are the researchers of the family tree who are looking for clues pertaining to the life of an ancestor. Obituaries are one of the most important sources of information that genealogists seek in these types of cases. In a manner that dates back to around 59 BC, the practice of announcing when deaths have taken place.
You may need to find the obituary of a specific person as part of your genealogy (family tree) and ancestry research. You will have a list of useful resources that will help you find the obituary of a specific person.
Here you will know how to find an obituary for a specific person:
What is an obituary?
Acta Diurna (Daily Events) is known as the Roman newspaper that was imprinted on metal or stone. It would be posted at important points around some parts of Rome.
The important people of the city and gossip regarding them would be featured in notable births and deaths.
With the advent of newspapers in 1439, the practice of announcing notable deaths continued with the invention of the printing press.
Although those who have been mentioned should no longer have to be rich or famous to get obituaries. This is something that has persisted and also remains a common practice even today.
Where to find Obituary for Someone?
Nowadays, several resources are available for finding and publishing an obituary online for a person. Online resources, directories, and funeral websites have made this possible. Whatever the source you dig into, you can find accurate information about the person’s life and death from that very source.
I have compiled here the best resources to discover the obituary of a person:
This is the best place to start with the obituary search. If you know where the person lived or died and the newspapers published in that town, you can easily find the obituary there. Most papers have digital archives where they save obituaries. Obituaries. You can contact those newspapers to find older and newer obituaries.
The website has a massive online obituary database of millions of obituaries. The database has obituaries dating back two decades and from numerous countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australi, etc.
On the website, you can run an obituary search online based on different demographic parameters such as country, state or province, city or town, name of newspaper, keyword, and date range.
The website is the largest genealogy resource where you can access obituaries and plentiful information about the life, death, and previous generations of an individual. Unfortunately, this is a paid service that comes with different subscription plans.
You can signup for the services with its free trial that lasts for two weeks. Once the free trial comes to an end, you have to buy its paid subscription to continue using its service.
To search for an obituary, go to its Search menu. Here you can select “Birth, Marriage & Death” and then click on “Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries”. You can further narrow down your search by location and date range.
This is another renowned Genealogy site. MyHeritage.com hosts extensive genealogical records that include obituaries for specific individuals as well. You can use this website for free with its 14-day free trial. After that, you have to subscribe to its paid plans to continue using its services.
AfriGeneas.com is the topmost resource for African American genealogy. To find an obituary, head on to the Search page. Find search under “Death Records” to find obituaries and death certificates for black Americans. You can narrow down the search by running the search using filters name, year, city, and state.
Besides using the above resources, you can run a simple Google search to find obituary information. To do so, just input the person’s full name plus the word “obituary” in the search box on the Google search page. It will show up a wide selection of results from different resources worldwide.
A public library in the city where the person lived or died might be a great resource for an obituary for someone specific. These libraries subscribe to local newspapers and save obituaries digitally so that they could be accessed by others later. These libraries can help you narrow down your search and find the obituary.
Importance of Obituaries for Specific Persons:-
To Family and Friends–
You would have noticed your grandparent may have sitting and reading the local newspaper. They might be looking to see if anyone they know has died recently. That is because a morbid fascination with your own mortality takes over you as you get older.
And by extension with those, you know who is close to your age and their current status.
It is the chance for a family to announce to people who may not already know that one of their loved ones has passed away.
It allows the chance for old friends to attend and give their condolences at the person’s funeral. Because it often allows the family let people know when the funeral is taking place.
To the Genealogists–
Technically, it is not considered strong proof of documenting death. But still, these obituaries hold great importance to a genealogist even though they are not sturdy proof.
You may find out important information regarding them by searching through obituaries for ancestors such as:
- A Close family member.
- Their Religion and church affiliations.
- The Date and place of their birth.
- The Date and place of their death.
- Their Former profession.
- Their Important biographical information.
In an obituary, the information about the family history can be found. It can be really beneficial in distinguishing two people with the same name in an official record. If you know the names of siblings and parents can help you in recognizing the correct census record for an individual and it is much easier.
You should always remember that obituaries can be inexact sometimes. And the information within the obituary should be viewed as a clue if it leads to finding better-documented proof.
Obituary for people
Not everyone has an obituary because they are not like death certificates. It is used because they are something that a family member creates for a person. Rather than an official record of death, it is used to let people know about the death of their loved ones.
If no one chooses to make the death announcement, then there will be nothing for people to find about the death. Otherwise, you do not automatically get an obituary to know about a person’s death.
Different Ways to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person:-
If you are gathering as much information about the person in your question, Then the obituary is the important place to start. Especially when it comes to seeking a specific person.
To find a person’s obituary, you might need their full name. You may also find the other names they may have used. Additionally, you should gather the approximate date of birth, place of birth, and likely place of death.
You may have many options as to where someone may have died. So, you may be searching several places for the information.
In those cases, you should remember that sometimes an obituary may be posted in an area. It will consist of the fact that someone was born as well as where they died.
You need to determine the publications that are in circulation in your targeted areas around the time the person might have passed away. It is best to try and check them all because your notice may only have run in one newspaper.
Use The Library
You can use the local library in a town where your ancestor may have passed away might be an invaluable source for finding their obituary. You can search the death notification sections which may have full collections of local newspapers. You can view it online to save you the trip that some libraries may also have digitized versions of the obituaries.
Find it Online
There are so many good free sources to research obituaries online. Those sites allow you to search for specific people. You can find them by using the location and approximate obituary date of that particular person.
It may also take multiple searches and the use of variations on your information. With all that effort, you will be able to locate an obituary.
However, it is certainly worth trying this site because it might give you all the information that is needed instantly. With a filled-out tree, you may also you happen to have an Ancestry membership from time to time if receive hints that lead you to Newspapers.
Other family announcements, including weddings, births, and deaths, have been located with this in the past.
With more and more people posting online rather than in print, Funeral homes have become a great source for more recent obituaries.
You can search online for that area in particular if you know your region of focus for the obituary. You may also find dedicated sites that can lead the way for efficient obituaries.
Summing it up:
It all started in ancient Rome, and today it has become a very common practice these days. You will find information regarding one of your ancestors.
And sometimes, an obituary may be only a piece of information that contains within, which can help you find out more details about the person you loved with all your heart.