Obituaries are useful genealogical sources because they often contain birth dates and places; names of parents, siblings, spouse, children, and other relatives; death information; and place of burial. Local genealogical and historical societies, public libraries, and some newspaper publishers maintain clipping files of obituaries. Printed abstracts of obituaries can also be found in various published sources such as genealogical periodicals. A bibliography of published obituaries for the U.S. is:
- Jarboe, Betty M. Obituaries: A Guide to Sources. 2nd ed. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989. (FHL book 973 V43j 1989). WorldCat entry. An appendix describes obituary indexes available at major libraries.
There are some searchable databases on the Internet for obituaries found in Jewish newspapers, such as an index to obituaries from the Boston Jewish Advocate from 1905 to November 1998 located at:
A cumulative index of obituaries of over 3,000 notable Jews published in various volumes of the American Jewish Year Book between 1948 and 1998 is located at:
The Family History Library has collected some obituaries and published lists of obituaries. Check for these under the topic "Obituaries" in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog for the town or county where an ancestor's death would be listed.