Posted on Jun 7, 2011 in Genealogy, Web search
I want to find some old genealogical records — mainly obituaries and other records of death. Apart from my family’s records, where can I look online?
Fortunately, there is a wealth of information online now that can help you trace your genealogical roots, from birth to death. Here are some sources for the latter part of that search:
Social Security Death Index
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is generated from the U. S. Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. While a very valuable data source, it’s important to note that the SSDI’s 87 million records do not include death records for everyone who has been issued a Social Security Number, plus about 98 percent of the deaths in the database occurred between 1962 and today.
Legacy.com (and their affiliates) publish obituaries 2/3 of the people who die in the US, as well as have current government records for all American deaths. (Unfortunately, you must pay to access the full text of older records — but sometimes just an excerpt will be enough to send you on your way.)
We also recommend you check out the various scanned newspaper archives available online to search for obituaries, and, in some cases, pertinent news stories. See our answer to “Where can you search old newspapers for relatives?”
Funeral cards (aka memorial, mass, mourning or remembrance cards) were basically funeral invitations. The people at GenealogyToday have scanned and/or transcribed more than 23,000 of these cards, which were popular until the early 1900s.
ObituaryCentral will help you find research information, along with tools to search obituaries and cemeteries.
Find a Grave
FindAGrave.com offers a searchable database of more than 44 million grave records, cemeteries and mausoleums.
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