California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Gotoarrow.png California Gotoarrow.pngFresno County
United States Gotoarrow.png California Gotoarrow.pngNapa County

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California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
California flag.png
Flag of California
US Locator California.png
Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Obituaries
Collection years 1974-1997
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection will include records from 1974-1997. It contains an index and images of obituaries from Fresno and Napa Counties.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually include the following:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Occupation and residence
  • Names of surviving family members
  • Cause of death
  • Date, place and time of funeral services or burial

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • The name of your deceased ancestor
  • The date of death
  • The residence at the time of death
  • The names of relatives and known associates

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Surname Range" which takes you to the images

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s obituary, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These records are often brief so it can be easy to confuse individuals. Compare what information is given with what you already know about your ancestor to make sure it is the correct person.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date or year to search for birth records.
  • Use the birth date along with relative’s names to find the family in census records.
  • Use the locality and relative’s names to locate church and land records.
  • Information in these records is brief so it is easy to confuse individuals.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have been buried in the same cemetery or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby cemeteries.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

“California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997.” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Napa Valley Genealogical and Biographical Society, Napa, and Fresno County Public Library, Fresno.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.