United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Obituaries
Collection years 1980-2014
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
GenealogyBank


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of an index to obituaries from thousands of newspapers throughout the United States beginning with the year 1980. Images of some of the indexed records are being published as they become available. This collection is created in partnership with GenealogyBank


Collection Content

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

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the names in the list to what you already know about your relatives to determine if you've found the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your relative.

Searching the collection by name will display text from obituaries.

To begin your search it would be helpful if you knew:

  • Name of deceased

It will also help you find the specific person you are looking for in either the Search list or the browse listings if you know:

  • Age of deceased
  • Death date
  • Place of death
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Name of spouse
  • Name of parents
  • Mortuary or undertaker
  • Name of Newspaper

Images of some of the indexed obituaries are available by browsing the collection.

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 "State of Publication" category
⇒Select the "Publication Title" category
⇒Select the “Year" category 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.

With either search 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.

Over 23 million records in this collection were transcribed by computer. There may be errors with names or relationships. Once you select a person a message appears at the top of the details page that begins with "This record was indexed by a computer; there may be errors". The link reading "the form on this page" opens the "Errors?" link at the lower left corner of the page. Please help us fix these records by reporting errors using the form that appears in the "Errors?" link. Options will appear allowing for the description of the problem. Reported errors will be reviewed and revised as necessary.


The wiki article United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries Collection Errors lists specific information about types of errors in this collection.

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.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • 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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem.

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:

“United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014.” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing GenealogyBank, Naples, Florida.

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 United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014.

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 United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014.

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.