Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Look for Recent Obituaries in Google, Tributes and Legacy

This week's Tuesday Tip seems obvious:  Look for recent obituaries in a Google search, on Legacy.com and Tributes.com.

The back story:  One of my tasks as Research/Queries Chair fro the Chula Vista Genealogical society is to respond to queries sent to CVGS asking for obituary lookups, cemetery grave photos, vital record certificates, local history book lookups, CVGS member name lists, etc.

We received one last week from a queryist wanting information about two persons who died in 2005 and 2009 in San Diego County.  I have access to the San Diego Union-Tribune digital archives that go back to 1983, to GenealogyBank's "Recent Obituaries" collection, and the NewspaperARCHIVE's collection on Ancestry.com.

I quickly found one of the obituaries in the GenealogyBank collection, but did not find an obituary for the second person.  I emailed the queryist providing the one obituary and apologizing for not being able to find a second one, noting that one may have been published in a newspaper that I could not access, or that one was not published for whatever reason.

I quickly received an email back saying "I found the second one by doing a simple Google search!"

Huh?  Why didn't I think of that?  Talk about feeling stupid...so I did the Google search too and saw:

The first two results are for listings for the person on www.Legacy.com and www.Tributes.com.

I tried the same search for the second person, and while there were apparent links, they did not show the obituary.

The lesson learned here is to search on Google for results, which may lead to websites like Legacy.com and Tributes com for recent obituaries.  Then search the subscription sites, and then  search local newspapers on microfilm at a repository.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Wonderland Girl said...

Thanks for the reminder. With so many newspapers charging and arm & a leg to print obituaries in their paper, most funeral homes do that at no extra charge.

bgwiehle said...

In my obituary searches, I also use GoogleNewsArchives and Find-a-Grave. I might check the Obituary Daily Times (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/) for date and newspaper name. I often check and compare the funeral home obit, especially if the newspaper version is only a death notice.
Google will also find obituaries archived at GenWeb and other personal websites.
I tend to ignore Tributes.com. Unless they've changed recently, their entries are ssdi names, dates and locations presented in sentence form.