Have you ever read an old obituary? Most of them read much more like a
biography of a person, then an obituary. The older the obituary, most
times the better that they are in content. You must however, really read
these old obits to glean all the possible info from them. Listed below
are the items that you can, if lucky find in an obituary.
Name of the deceased (of course)
Date of death and date of birth
Location of birth and death
Name of parents
Name of siblings
Surname of the person that siblings married
Name of the children of deceased
Occupation of the deceased
Organizations they belonged to
Spouse of deceased
Marriage date and place
Place of residence
Name of Funeral Home
Name of Church Affiliation
Name of Cemetery
If you are very lucky you get a brief summary of their lives, such as where
they may have migrated from or to. Which of the above mentioned items
could you really pass by the information on? I can't think of one of those
categories that I wouldn't want to have on an ancestor. When looking for
an old obituary in the microfilms at your library, it may be tedious..
(they didn't have "sections" for obits) they were placed where ever there
was room. Some of the type is also small. But the data you gain is well worth
the price. The obit is almost a "window" to the past as to just how your ancestor
may have lived his life. Always remember though in searching for obituaries, they
didn't always appear with the same regularity after a death. I have found them
appearing in the paper the same day...and up to 2 weeks later.

It is important to remember though that there can be some errors in the information contained in the old obituaries, but the data gained is worth the effort.