Obituaries may provide information such as the age of the deceased, birth date and place, names of living relatives and their residences, maiden name, occupation, death date, cause of death, and place of burial. Deceased family members are frequently mentioned. Obituaries may also mention previous places of residence, immigration information, religion, and any social organizations or activities in which the deceased was involved.
Generally, the first step to obtaining an obituary is to find the death date of the person so that the obituary can be more easily found in a newspaper. Once a death date is known, the local library in the area where the person lived prior to death may be contacted to learn whether or not they have newspapers for the time period needed, and if someone is willing to look for an obituary in that newspaper. If the newspapers are not held at the library, the local newspaper office may also be contacted to learn where older editions of the newspaper are kept.
The Ohio Obituary Index was compiled from original newspapers by Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library staff and volunteers. Starting in 2001, other Ohio libraries started entering data into the Index, so it now extends beyond the holdings of the Hayes Presidential Library. As of this date, 50 libraries are partners in the Ohio Obituary Index and are indexing old and current newspaper entries, totaling more than 2.1million obituaries and death notices as well as some marriage notices from 1810-2011.
Patrons who utilize this index may order actual obituary copies through the Hayes Library and 50 partner libraries onlined from this site.
In the beginning, the Index covered complete indexing of newspapers from Sandusky County, but now includes indexing from almost every northwest Ohio county. Other Ohio counties with good coverage include Wayne, Washington, Auglaize, Ross, Gallia, Belmont, Highland, Franklin, Wood and Clark counties. See the map on the top page of the Hayes website for all the partner libraries
Besides newpaper obituaries, the Index also covers many other sources, especially in Sandusky and nearby counties, including wills and estates, funeral home records, local histories, some marriage announcements, and cemetery listings.
The Ohio Obituary Index became even more popular on January 7, 2010 when Ancestry.com merged the Index with its huge online database. Ancestry is a subscription-based genealogy research website with more than four billion records online, and more being added daily. The Obituary Index will remain on the Hayes website www.rbhayes.org/index and always will be free to the public despite the duplication on Ancestry.com which just expands its web presence.
Rebecca B. Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Fremont, OH 43420
November 6, 2011