32 Reasons Why Searching for Obituaries is Like Finding Gold

OK – you won’t get rich when you find an obituary, but your genealogy research will benefit, and your family history research will get richer.

We have a tendency as researchers to underappreciate the value of the documents or articles that we already have acquired, and spend our time looking for new “stuff.” There are so many “facts” and clues that can be retrieved from these artifacts if we just pay attention. And they are just sitting there staring at us. This is especially true for obituaries, in which you need to study every word for clues.

To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference of what information to look for, you can download it by clicking on 32 Reasons Why Searching Obituaries

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Join the Conversation


  1. On the Marks example – were the sisters deceased as well? I read the late as pertaining to the list of names that followed. Now I’m wondering if I’ve made errors in my obituary extractions. Thanks!

    1. Good question, Stacey. Actually they were not. They were very much alive. It is tricky to write that properly. Thanks for visiting and thanks for your comment.

      1. re: Doris’s suggestion to list the living relatives first: absolutely correct from a grammatical standpoint. Then “the late” would apply to all names following it. But often, as was true in this case, males could be listed first and then females, or siblings could be in birth order.

  2. It was through an obituary that I discovered my daughter and my son’s best friend since he was 2 years old are 3rd cousins. We always considered Arthur a member of our family…and by golly, he really is family! LOL

    1. 31, Helen! Thanks for bringing that up. As I was writing this article, that occurred to me (that the photo was there) and it totally slipped my mind. Great comment. Thanks.

  3. Ok I’m having a real bear of a time my mom and step dad died in zapata texas barrera esate I’m only living son and a maria teresa vargas trustee thief stole my inharintence eception need help finding ptiginalwiill probate bound anfraud deceit and d

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *