Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hints for Searching Obituaries and Death Information in Newspapers - Tuesday's Tip

Observations from searching a 1915 newspaper on microfilm last week:
  • Obituaries in old newspapers may be under the title, "Death Call,"  "Death Roll," "Obituary," "Obituaries," or a variety of other names.
  • All of the above titles may be used in the same issue of the newspaper.
  • Obituaries may all be on the same page under one title, or
  • Obituaries may be in groups on several different pages throughout the newspaper.  This means that just because you found half a page of obituaries on page 4 (and your ancestor wasn't among them) doesn't necessarily mean you won't find more on page 7.
  • They may be published in varying sizes of print.  Reading the fine print on old newspapers on microfilm can be tedious but one doesn't want to miss anything.
  • Obituaries may be published as separate news articles without identifying them as such.  
  • Look for an obituary in all newspapers published in that location.  If the town has three different newspapers, search all of them.  If one newspaper didn't publish an obituary, one or two of the others may have.   And all newspapers may not have published identical obituaries.  The information omitted from one newspaper may be included in another.
  • Search through at least a month's publications after the death date.
  • If the person for whom you're searching died in an accident, search newspapers published before the death for information about the accident.
  • If the cause of death was other than illness or old age there may be a "Coroner's Inquests" or "Coroner's Report" in the newspaper which may list deaths in which a coroner ruled a cause of death.

Wishing you successful searches.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

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