Tip 03: Obituary Problems
Ancestry lets you assume that all newspapers are on Newspapers.com. However, not all newspapers are on Newspapers.com There are other sites to check.
. When you believe you have the town where someone lived when they died, the best thing to do is google the town name and newspaper and find out which one you need. Some towns may have more than one over the years. Then search for the name of the newspaper plus name in the obituary. Google will mostly tell you where to find it. You can also BROWSE each site for the town and the newspaper and the date.
Google the name and date and place. Often Google will give it to you.
The primary sites are Newspapers.com Newspaperarchive.com FamilySearch.org which has a lot of information from GenealogyBank. It is supposed to have 1980 to current dates.
These are older sites that are seldom mentioned. But they have a lot of information:
This site includes international newspapers.
For Early Newspapers see
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ is from the Library of Congress.
I think this is indexed on https://elephind.com/ https://guides.library.harvard.edu/news/us .
Don’t forget that sources of extracted obituaries are on DeathIndexes.com At the bottom of the first page on Deathindexes.com there is a link to Obituaries which is a guide to finding them. .
The hardest ones to find are those in the middle years before newspapers.com etc and after Chronicling America.
Billiongraves.com and findagrave.com often have obituaries on the site. .
A couple of decades ago, the Library of Congress issued grants to state archives to collect and microfilm old newspapers. So check the state archives where you are searching.
If worst comes to worst and what you need is not on line, google genealogy library for the county. Or find out the largest library. Call them on the phone and find out where in the county to get a copy of an obituary. Some libraries will have copies of newspapers. Depending on where you are, they may have an index to local papers. If not, you need to know the exact date of death.
If you need this from a large city like New York, that will not work. The NY City public library wants way too much money because they don’t want to do it. Other places like Mid Continent Library in Independence, MO (part of Kansas City) have been clipping obits for a hundred years and have them in big books. They will scan them and send it in an email for a small donation. If they mention a donation, please send one. We need these libraries to continue their good work.
If you discover that an obit is in a site that you do not subscribe to, please post the query to our Google group. If you need a lot of obits, you should subscribe but if you just need a couple, someone will be happy to look it up for you.
Remember to include, full name, date and place of death, name of newspaper, repository for that newspaper, like Newspaperarchive.com
— June Byrne