Obituaries Research Guide - USA
Online Obituary Indexes, Death Notices, Memorials and Finding Aids
General Sources for Recent (and some older) Obituaries and Death Notices or Indexes|
Tips for Obtaining Copies of Newspaper and Funeral Home Obituaries
- Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current at Ancestry/requires payment; viewing the obituaries requires a fee-based subscription to Newspapers.com
- Obituaries Archive - ObitsArchive/Newsbank (fee-based) provides online copies of recent obituaries, some dating back to the 1980s - covers over 2500 newspapers - you can obtain copies of individual obituaries online for a fee
- Obituary Daily Times more than 16 million obituaries are indexed here (index only - no obituaries)
- Genealogy Bank (fee-based) includes America's Newspaper Obituaries 1977 to recent, and Historical Newspapers 1690-2010 (more than 11,000 newspapers) - requires subscription fee for full results
- Legacy.com (fee-based) has recent newspaper and funeral home obituaries
- This website has links to online obituary indexes for some cities and counties, listed by state. See the state directory at the bottom of this page.
Listings for Individual Religious and Ethnic Groups
- Newspaper Obituaries
- For recent newspaper obituaries (circa 1990s to present) you might try the online, fee-based Obituaries Archive - there you can obtain online copies of many individual obituaries for a fee.
- It helps to know the date of death or the date the newspaper carried the obituary. For help finding a date of death try this website's death indexes directory. Try the Social Security Death Index if the death occurred after about 1962. Or use the state links listed at the bottom of this page. Also try the obituary indexes listed just above.
- Some local public libraries will provide copies of obituaries by mail or email for a fee. To find a library in the area you need, you might try a Google search. Some libraries have obituary indexes on their websites. See the state links at the bottom of this webpage to help find some of those.
- For recent newspaper obituaries see the general listings above or check to see if the newspaper has an online edition. To find an online newspaper you might try a Google search.
- Funeral Homes
- Many current funeral homes list their recent (and sometimes older) obituaries online, including some that may not be in newspapers. Try a Google search to look for funeral homes in the area you are researching.
Memorials for Firefighters and Police Officers
Deceased Physician File
General Cemeteries Indexes
There are also many online obituary indexes available for individual counties and cities. To find some of these click on a state below...