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Newspapers at the Archives & Library of the Ohio History Connection

Obituary Research

Locating an obituary in a newspaper typically requires searching the paper of record (a newspaper that published public notices) for several days after the date of death. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to find death notices from the early to mid-19th century. They were often scattered throughout the paper (not in a specific section) and they could be published several days after the event, if they were published at all.

It is our staff policy that we do not research newspaper articles without a direct citation. A direct citation would include the title of the newspaper, the date that the item appeared in the paper and a page number. The time needed to scan through issues of a paper is generally beyond the time limit we are able to spend answering a question.

Make an appointment to visit our library to research our newspaper collection.

We can interlibrary loan rolls of newspaper microfilm.

Or, you may consider hiring a private researcher

Some public libraries have obituary indexes or offer obituary searching of local newspapers as part of their local history and genealogy services. You can find public libraries in Ohio using OPLIN's Find a Library.

Obituary Citation

A good citation will allow new researchers to recreate your search and rediscover your sources. Elements of your citation could include: the title of the article, the title of the newspaper, the date of publication, the page number and column number.

You may also want to include the name of the library or archives where the newspaper lives. For newspapers in our collections, please include Ohio History Connection.

For example: "James Henry Miller," obituary, Hocking Valley Republican (Logan, OH), 22 October, 1849, p. 3, col. 2. Ohio History Connection.

For online newspaper sources, you will also want to include the name of the database or website, its url, and the date of access.