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Where to Find Obituaries Online

Many people are confused about where to find obituaries online. More and more newspapers are no longer publishing them. People are left wondering where to find recent newspaper obituaries as well as old obituaries archives.

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is a notice that announces the death of someone with a description of the person’s life and list of family members. An obituary is a valuable tool for genealogists and family tree researchers because it contains clues about the deceased and the deceased’s family. The obituary is often written by the funeral home or mortuary, but many people choose to write an obituary for their loved one that is published in the newspaper and included in the funeral program.

Online Obituary Search

Genealogists prefer online obituary search for family tree and ancestry search when they have no previous knowledge of the deceased. If they don’t know where to begin, the large databases available online can help to narrow the search down to specific geographic locations or archives. You can find what you need, but it will take some time. Many obituaries and death notices from state vital records have not been uploaded online yet so you may have to continue your search through traditional means, including libraries, city archives, and public records.

Online Obituaries Search of databases

If you are researching obituaries for genealogy and family tree research, a good place to start your search for obituaries is on the Internet. There are several free and commercial databases where you can find death records and newspaper obituaries. Most of the commercial databases have reasonable fees that cover costs of security, and reliability.

Where to begin your search for Newspaper Obituaries Online?

Even though obituaries seem to be disappearing from your local newspaper, the best place to start your online obituary research is in Newspaper Obituaries. Many newspapers publish obituaries online but not in their paper editions. They have online databases of recent, current and archived obituaries. In some cases you have to have a membership, but most of them are free, you just have to sign up.

Free Databases of Old Archived Obituaries

There are several databases out there dedicated to keeping genealogy free. They are hard to find and are often not the first place people look. They are archived newspaper obituaries and death notices, and old newspaper obituaries, and old obituaries archives. Many of these archives are free to search and have been accumulating data for years. If you have a little bit of information about where to look and the family name you’ll have access to a huge free database.

What you need for searching Newspaper Obituaries Online?

You will have the most success if you know a bit of information about the person or people you are researching. Online searches can bring up thousands of search results if you enter information that is too vague or incomplete. This will make your job much more time consuming to have to go through all these records to find the one that you need. If it’s possible, before you start your search find as much of the following as you can:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • City and state where deceased lived
  • Birth Year

Free Archive Obituaries and Death Notices and Ancestry Search Advice

Many public records and obituaries databases charge a fee to search their archives. You have to buy a membership that lasts for a certain length of time. But the same information is often available for free; you just have to know where to look for it. To sort through some of the confusion, start your search at ObituariesHelp.org. This website offers advice and help identifying what you are looking for and if you really need to purchase a membership or if you can find the obituaries you need for free.

Melanie Walters

  1. eveofdefeat
    March 22nd, 2011 at 07:05 | #1

    Where can you find obituaries online where you dont have to pay to view them.?
    I’m trying to find my mothers obituary and I’m not able to find it. I found half of it but in order to get the other half it asked me to pay 30 dollars which is outragous. Anyone know where I can find something?
    I’m trying to find my mothers obituary and I’m not able to find it. I found half of it but in order to get the other half it asked me to pay 30 dollars which is outragous. Anyone know where I can find something?

    I’ve tried all of the answers already here and none of them have worked. The funeral home site where her service was held was no help, i’ve googled my brains out, i went to that link that was provided http://www.obitcentral.com/ and it just gave me more links that i ended up having to pay for. i really need to find it please someone help me.

  2. M. A
    March 22nd, 2011 at 12:07 | #2

    The best idea is to google it. If it is a recent death (which I am so sorry for) you can probably look it up on the newspapers website. Just search for the local newspaper in which the obituary would originally appear. Most newspapers now days have an online site where you can look at all of their articles for free. If it is an old obit, maybe doing a search of your mother’s name in quotes might turn something up. For instance "Jane Doe" or "Benjamin Franklin" (your mothers name in place of the made up names). Usually, if a website is trying to get you to pay to see something that is public record, they are going to rip you off and give you something that only has your mothers name filled into a common obit. Be very careful. Goodluck to you.
    References :

  3. adjoadjo
    March 22nd, 2011 at 12:09 | #3

    absolutely free.
    References :

  4. princess
    March 22nd, 2011 at 12:11 | #4

    Did you try the funeral home she used? they sometimes have them online. The local paper may have a copy. If it is something you really, go ahead and pay the $30. You won’t regreat it later.
    References :

  5. Sydmom
    March 22nd, 2011 at 12:13 | #5

    Try looking up the website of the funeral home to which she was taken..They had my Dad’s on there… picture and all…
    References :

  6. jim d
    March 22nd, 2011 at 12:15 | #6

    Pull up the local news paper that ran the obit .They can probably send you a copy .If it is an older obit you’re trying to find, the library may have it on file .
    References :

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