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Obituaries are a cornerstone of genealogy research because they contains so much family information. Fortunately, many new and old obituaries have been placed online. You can begin by searching obituaries online
Many obituaries are in databases that must be searched individually:
Search Legacy for newspaper obituaries from 1930 to present day. Most current obituaries from the United States are included as well as many from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, New Zealand, Norther Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and Scotland.
Obituary Daily Times Rootsweb has over 16 million user-contributed obituaries from all around the world.
Libraries generally have archives of local newspapers and will do a lookup for a nominal fee.
What Can You Learn from an Obituary?
Obituaries vary greatly in size. Obits can range from a few words announcing burial date to a very long life history.
Here are some of the things that might be mentioned in an obituary:
Cause of death
Place of Burial
Children's names and their spouse's names
Grandchildren's names and their spouses
Sibling's names and their spouse
Occupation and places worked
Interests and Hobbies
Not only can an obituary tell the life story of the person, it gives many clues for additional research. Because many newspapers charge to print an obituary at the time of death, the length of the obit can vary according to the family's means.
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