When someone passes, it’s customary for the family to publish a notice of their loved one’s death in what we know as obituaries. Initially, families published obituaries in local newspapers to publicly announce a death. If you want to find an old obituary, sometimes it can become challenging to do so. Locating old newspapers might seem like an impossible task, and requesting death certificates or records can become costly.
Obituaries are more than an immediate announcement of a person’s death. Many people look at obituaries as a link to the past since they can help fill in the gaps in their family history. It’s also a significant way to express the legacy of a loved one. Regardless of your purpose in searching for an obituary, keep reading to find easy ways to locate an obituary.
Finding an Obituary Online
Nowadays, there are many online resources for finding free obituaries. In most cases, what you need the most is time and the willingness to sign up for some websites under a free trial version. From newspapers to new DNA and ancestry websites, there is a high chance you will find anyone’s archived obituary online.
Search Local Newspapers
Most local newspapers nowadays have digital versions of all printed editions, as well as online obituaries on their websites. However, this will most likely work for recent deaths only, as most newspapers only save such records for about six months. A quick search of the local newspapers will most likely give you the obituary you’re looking for.
Search Obituary Websites
With digital advances, obituaries started moving away from local newspapers and finding their way into websites dedicated to hosting databases of dozens of historical documents, including obituaries. If you’re trying to find an old obituary, try one of these websites:
A quick Google search can help you pin down an obituary as well. If you don’t want to use an obituary website or are not sure where to start looking, you can always use a search engine to help you kick start your search. Type “(Full name) obituary” into the search engine and most likely, you’ll get a sea of helpful results to begin your quest.
Finding an Obituary Offline
If your online search takes you nowhere, you can use the old-fashioned way of looking for documents and reports. If you live close to the same area as the person whose obituary you’re searching for, you can stop by the local library. Most libraries have a subscription to local and regional newspapers and tend to keep hard copies.
Ask the librarian to help you search through back issues of newspapers, some libraries might have the issues archived on microfilm. However, keep in mind these records cannot be removed from the library, so make sure to bring a pen and paper to record your findings.
It’s important to have as much information as possible about the deceased to help you narrow your search. Ideally, you should be able to have their:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of death
- Schools attended
- Degrees received
- Family members’ information
- Cemetery where buried
This information is particularly helpful when searching for an obituary of familiar names. For example, can you imagine how many John Smith’s have died in the past decade alone? Searching for the obituary for John Smith, born in Florida, who died in 1998 is an easier search than a broader search.
The Gardens of Boca Raton Obituaries
At The Gardens of Boca Raton, we offer various digital services to announce a loved one’s passing. In our events calendar, family members and friends can quickly find funeral and burial announcements.
In addition, we’ve just launched our Legacy Books as a key element of our digital funeral services. Through Legacy Books, family members and friends will be able to write their loved ones’ obituary, as well as share photos, and keep their loved one’s memories alive in a beautiful online funeral book that will live on for generations.
If you need help searching for an obituary, reach out to one of our funeral specialists. We’re here to answer all your questions and guide you in the process of finding the information you’re looking for to the best of our capabilities.