Obituaries are usually the best source of biographical information about an ancestor. They usually include religion, birth, marriage, and death information about the deceased and names of parents, children, and other relatives. There are a few indexes to obituaries for Utah newspapers at the library. Some newspapers have indexes on-line through the Internet. The "Newspapers" section of this outline describes availability of the newspapers.
A combined obituary index for the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune covers from 1850 to 1970. This index includes names from early publications of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that recorded deaths listed from many areas of Utah. It is alphabetical by name of the deceased. The cards give the birth year of the deceased, date of the obituary, newspaper, and page.
Obituary Index File to The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News as of 31 December 1970. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church Historians Office, 1971. (FHL films 821636–99.) This index is also available at the Salt Lake Public Library, the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Utah State Historical Society.
A similar index is available for the Ogden Standard Examiner:
Ogden Branch Genealogical Library. Obituary Index to Ogden Standard Examiner, 1888 to 1910. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974. (FHL films 934251–57.)
Local genealogical and historical societies and public libraries maintain clip files of obituaries. Some individuals keep scrapbooks of obituaries and then donate them to the Family History Library. Check the Family History Library Catalog in the Place Search for other indexes or clippings from the newspapers under:
UTAH - OBITUARIES
UTAH, [COUNTY] - OBITUARIES
UTAH, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - OBITUARIES
If you find a reference to an obituary, look at the "Newspapers" section of this outline for information on obtaining a copy the newspaper. Also, you may want to search the newspaper for the time of death.
Early Digital Newspapers
To search for old obituaries you may find the Utah Digital Newspapers to be an aid. They currently have searchable newspapers up to about 1900 and later depending on the specific newspaper.