Minnesota, Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota, Obituaries, 1873-2003 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Minnesota, United States
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Flag of Minnesota
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Location of Minnesota
Record Description
Record Type Obituaries
Collection years 1873-2003
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

These records include an index and images of newspaper obituary files filmed by FamilySearch at the historical societies in Minnesota. Indexed records and additional images will be added to this collection as they become available. The collection covers the years 1960 to 2003.

Collection Content

Sample Image

Obituaries usually contain:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Age
  • Death date
  • Names of parents, spouse, children, siblings or other relatives
  • Name of newspaper, date and place of publication
  • Birth date and place
  • Other details such as military service

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • Name of deceased
  • Identifying formation such as death date

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page: Fill in your ancestor’s name in 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. If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.

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

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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. For example:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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:

“Minnesota, Southwest Minnesota Historical Center Newspaper Obituaries Collection, 1873-2003.” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Local historical societies and universities, Minnesota.

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 Minnesota, Obituaries, 1873-2003.

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 Minnesota, Obituaries, 1873-2003.

How You Can Contribute

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.