Illinois, Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Illinois, United States
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Flag of Illinois
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Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type Obituries
Collection years 1959-1990
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of obituary collections organized by county or newspaper and then alphabetically. Extracted information as well as newspaper clippings are represented. The originals are housed in different libraries and repositories throughout Illinois. Some collections contain obituaries from other states. The collection include records for the years 1959 to 1990.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Collection Content

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually contain:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Age
  • Birth date and place
  • Death date and place
  • Names of parents, spouse or other relatives
  • Name of newspaper, date and place of publication

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • The name of the your deceased ancestor
  • The approximate date of death
  • The names of family members and their relationships


Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 "Locality/Newspaper/Collection" which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

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 wiki 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.

Next, 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.

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:

“Illinois Obituaries, ca. 1959-1990.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citinglibraries and repositories throughout Illinois.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

Image Citation:

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.

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.