Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at

What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of an index to obituaries and death notices from Index records will be published as they become available. The first newspapers indexed are the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Pennsylvania Reading Times, the San Bernardino Daily Sun and the Scranton Republican.

Collection Contents

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
  • Mortuary or undertaker

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

To browse by image:
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 each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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.

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. 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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, Now What?

  • 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.

Related Websites Home Page

Related Wiki Articles

United States Obituaries

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.

Citing this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation

“ Obituaries, 1880-1950.” Database. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Lindon, Utah.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.