It’s Like Google For Dead People

It’s Like Google For Dead People

by Kerry Scott on 19 October 2010

I’m not sure when this happened, but it seems like nearly every online newspaper I check lately, no matter how big or small, uses one site to host its obituaries:  This means that if you go to a newspaper’s website, find the obituary section, and search for a name, it’s probably that actually handles your search and spits out the results.  It’s almost like one-stop shopping for finding the recently-deceased.

This is good to know, because it turns out you can actually go directly to and search the entire United States (and Canada) for a particular person.  If you don’t know exactly when or where a person died, this is a great resource.  If you find an obit, you can either view it for free or pay a small fee ($2.95), depending on how old it is.  Most of these only go back into the early-to-mid 2000s (depending on the newspaper), but it’s still a handy tool.

Obituaries are a great resource if you’re looking to connect with descendants…and a lot of these modern ones even have pictures and online guest books you can view.  If you’re not using this site, check it out.

Note: I have no connection at all to  In fact, I’ve spent a fair amount of money with them recently.  Hopefully they’ll see this and offer me some free obituaries.  That’s how you know you’re a real genealogy geek:  when you’re shilling in hopes of free obits.

Photo by Tim Green

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Goodrum October 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thank you so much for this tip! I just obtained both of my sisters-in-laws obituaries and guest book entries. At the time I never thought to keep a copy. Too much pain at the time but I am very happy to have copies now and the fond memories that go with them.


Cynthia Shenette October 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Okay, so I just got a major giggle from the “note.” Maybe that can be the title for the second part of your post – Part Two: Shilling for Obits. It’s kind of catchy. Reminds me of the old TV show, Dialing for Dollars…

Great information by the way. Thanks for the interesting post.


Susan Tiners October 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Kerry, that danger sign is too funny!


Liz Hubbard November 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

Thanks for this post — I found several (date already known) obituaries at this site but also discovered some recent deaths in distant branches of the family, that I had not known about — ones where I would like to send a card.


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