Ready to find an obituary? While there’s no all-inclusive online obituary search resource, trying a few new search strategies can help.
+ Start with Ancestry.com for historic newspapers and obituaries. Remember, a tree posted by another branch of the family could include a scanned obituary for your relative.
+ Next, search the websites of newspapers that were considered local to the community in which your ancestor lived. Be sure to check newspapers in the hometown, birth town, and town of death, if different. And realize that small town residents may have considered a larger city’s newspaper to be local, too.
+ Newspaper not online and no longer in business? Inquire at a local library to see if it has a historical collection (they may even help you locate the obituary).
+ Cast your net wider with Internet searches. Omit the words obituary, obituaries, and memorial at first. Enter the person’s name, place of death, and year, if known.
+ Narrow your search by enclosing names in quotation marks to make an exact phrase. If that doesn’t yield any results, enclose both the name and the word “obituary” in quotes. Search using all forms of the name, such as “W. C. Weatherly,” “Walton C. Weatherly,” and “W. Carey Weatherly.”
+ Visit sites where you can search for older obituaries and death notices, including Ancestor Hunt, which combs through resources held by libraries and other institutions in the United States.
+ Want to add an old obituary to an online collection? You can build free obituaries or memorials at GoneTooSoon.org, the Eternal Portal, and ObituariesFree.com. Since these sites’ contents are not included in search engine results, to locate obituaries other people posted on those sites, you’ll need to conduct searches of each individual site yourself.
+ And lastly, review archives of message boards and mailing lists. You never know what you’ll find there.
The article continues with even more information.