California, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index File (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Joaquin County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991 .
This article describes a collection of records at
San Joaquin, California, United States
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Location of San Joaquin, California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Obituaries
Collection years 1850-1991
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of images of index cards located at the San Joaquin County Public Library in Stockton, California. The index cards contain clippings of obituaries from various San Joaquin County and Stockton city newspapers. The collection covers the years 1850 to 1991.

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 it is helpful to know the following:

  • The person’s name
  • The approximate death date
  • The person’s last known residence

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 the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "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.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

  • These records are often brief so it can be easy to confuse individuals.
  • 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 video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

What Do I Do Next?

Once you have located your ancestor’s obituary, look at the pieces of information given in the obituary for new information. Add any new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

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.
  • 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.
  • These records are often brief so it can be easy to confuse individuals.

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 cemeteries.
  • 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 with the same family number.

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, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991" Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed Citing County Public Library, Stockton.

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, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991.

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, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991.

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.