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New Obituary Collections Coming to FamilySearch.org


As I was searching the new and improved FamilySearch Wiki (a powerful research tool) this evening, I discovered something exciting that I know our Genealogy Just Ask members will go wild about. FamilySearch Historical Collections on FamilySearch.org will soon include indexed obituaries for Newspapers.com along with other newspaper subscription sites:

Newspapers.com Obituaries (FamilySearch Historical Records) - "This collection consists of an index to obituaries and death notices from Newspapers.com. Index records will be published as they become available. The first newspapers indexed are the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Pennsylvania Reading Times, the San Bernardino Daily Sun and the Scranton Republican." (FamilySearch Wiki)

Newspaper Archives and Newsbank are among the other companies with obituaries being indexed, and United States, GenealogyBank Newspaper Obituaries, 1980-2014 is already accessible. One way to keep track of obituary collections is to search the collection titles from the search field entitled "Find a Collection" on this page.

I quickly scooted over to FamilySearch Indexing where I discovered projects that you can volunteer to help with. I just entered "obituaries" in the search field under "Projects." Indexing is a great way to give back and help yourself and other people discover records on FamilySearch.org.

As these obituary indexes become available, it will take the guess work out of which subscription sites are likely to have obituaries for your ancestor. Finding an obituary on a newspaper site depends on if the collections from the subscription site carries the historical newspapers for the time period and locality where your ancestor lived. It is best to do your homework before you make your pruchase. If you need assistance in figuring out what site carries the newspapers you need, just post your question in the Genealogy Just Ask Facebook Group.

Even though you may not find your ancestor's obituary, search for the names of other people who may have lived in the area near your ancestor. Purchase a subscription to the newspaper site that gives you the most results. Next, take the time to search for articles on the following topics:

  • churches

  • cemeteries

  • organizations

  • military drafts

  • probate notices

  • taxes

  • land transactions

The following Notice of Sale appeared in the February 20, 1970 issue of the Index-Journal. From the information included, I was able to find the probate record for Ed Perrin, the deed cited, and the plat map.

20 Feb 1970, Propety on Sodom Street

You never know what you may discover that will help you learn more about your ancestor. I have found great success doing this, and as we often remind you, Jan and I used Newspapers.com to document over hundreds graves in a cemetery where my family is buried. Most of the graves had no headstone to identify who was buried there, so if it where not for death certificates and obituaries the total count for people interred would have remained close to 200 instead of over 800.

Keep helping with indexing the Freedmen's Bureau Records if you are doing so because the project deadline in June 19th, and the progress meter today shows 67%.

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