9,925 Free Online Obituary and Obituary Index Collection Links from the U.S.

Over the past few decades, thanks to volunteers, librarians, and archivists, a great number of indexes to obituary information and transcriptions of obituaries from newspapers have been provided for free online. These searchable indexes provide the location in old newspapers where the obituary can be found. Sometimes the scanned newspaper clipping is included.

And remember you can always find online historical newspapers to search for obituaries for free on this website (links at Newspaper Links).

Here are a few articles that may be helpful: 

Each entry below will be appended with one of the five types of obituaries: Transcriptions, Clippings, Index, Abstracts, or Online.

Obituary Genealogy Guide

Online entries present an obituary on a website that publishes online obituaries, generally, a phenomenon that occurs after the year 2000.

Indexes are just that, an index that at a minimum includes the deceased’s name and the name and date of the newspaper that the obituary appears in. Some indexes also include the date of death, so be careful if you are recording the date in your genealogy database. Make sure that it is the death date.

There are a total of 9,925 online database links that I have found for the U.S. in this update, which included new collections and fixing links that were changed or broken.

Here are alternative means to newspaper searching to find obituary information, listed by the link to each state’s list of free links. Please be aware that if you find a desired obituary in an index, the holder of the actual obituary (e.g., library or genealogical society) may charge a small fee to send you a copy of the obituary itself.

(Updated September 2022)

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Obituary Search Frequently Asked Questions

Many current obituaries can be found online via a Google search. These obituaries may be found on obituary archive sites, newspaper websites, or on funeral home websites. You may even find some obituaries by doing a search on social media. If it is someone who died many years ago, you should search newspapers, do a Google search, or look on local library websites.
Unless you visit a library with newspaper originals or access to a microfilm machine for newspapers that have been scanned, the easiest way is to search online newspapers. There are subscription newspaper databases and free historical newspaper collections. For free online collections, you should use The Ancestor Hunt’s lists of links to collections from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Access to links to over 75,000 titles can be achieved, by going to that site’s Newspaper Links Page.
If you are looking at the original local newspaper or a scanned copy, just go to the Obituary section in the few days following the death. If you are searching online, it is more difficult because the newspaper had to be scanned and the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process had to be applied. Depending on the quality of the original, you might need to be creative with your search criteria, especially if you do not have the date of death. Make sure that you are looking in the right location as well as making sure that the online newspaper collection has a date range that includes the date of death.
Fortunately, public libraries, some genealogy sites, and genealogy societies have transcribed millions of newspaper obituaries, and they also have created obituary indexes that specify the deceased’s name, the title of the newspaper that contains the obituary, and the date of publication. Using The Ancestor Hunt’s Obituary Page will lead you to obituary and obituary index collections for the U.S. and Canada. It has about 20,000 links to free transcription, index, and clipping collections.
Many libraries and genealogy societies have either transcribed obituaries in their local area or have created obituary indexes that list the deceased’s name, the title of the publication, as well as the date that the obituary was published. With this information, you can track down the newspaper that has the obituary in it. Often if you find the deceased in an index in a library or the library offers research services and the library has the newspaper, they may be able to send you a copy via email or postal mail.
Some of the most popular are Legacy.com’s Memorial websites, Forever Missed, and Ever Loved. To find a possible memorial site for someone who has passed away in recent years, look for these sites as well as complete a Google search.

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