How to Search Obituaries Free By Name? (2024) | Genetics Ancestry

Do you know what an obituary is?  How to search obituaries for free? This post will take you to some ways to search a person’s obituary by name at free of cost.

I. Introduction

  • Concept of Obituary

    An obituary is a written form of announcing somebody’s death in a public forum. It is a way to describe a deceased person’s life to the public and pay respect to the person and their families. It is also a means through which additional information is shared to the public regarding celebrations of a person’s funeral, memorial and so on. In the present time you can search obituaries free by name.

  • Importance of Obituary

    Obituaries are important as a way to notify about a person’s death to family, friends, colleagues and the general public. Moreover, an obituary is useful to know about the details of a person’s life. Further there are many genealogists and researchers who can extract some information present in these articles to build family trees. All this can be done without spending any money. While writing an obituary one may keep the following details in it.

    1. Basic biographical information of the deceased person
    2. Information about the family of the deceased person
    3. Details about the deceased person’s life
    4. Information about the death

II. The Need of An Obituary

  • Paying tribute to the deceased person

Obituaries are a unique way to pay tribute to a person who has died. It is a way to tell the society about a person’s life. A common obituary can consist of age, date of birth, date of death, hobbies, sports, work and other information about the person.

  • Expressing your sorrow and loss to your community

You can express the loss and sorrow of a person’s death to your loved ones through obituaries. The community can convey their condolences, prayers and help to your family.

  • Leaving a trace in the history for future generations

Publishing an obituary can leave a trace in the history of a person’s life. This may help the future generations to know about their ancestors and find obituaries for free.

III. Sources to search obituaries free by name

Here are a few sources you can opt to search for an obituary by name, and for free.

  • Dignity Memorial

Dignity memorial keeps a direct association with the funeral homes and cemeteries and helps the people as per their need. One important feature of their service is to host online memorials and this includes obituaries which are written or published by the family members or close friends of the dead person. 

The Dignity Memorial site promotes and manages the content of funeral websites that host the actual obituaries. This implies that one can use the Dignity Memorial site as a source to find an obituary for a specific person free throughout the country without even knowing the name of the funeral home or the place where the disease person lived.
dignity memorial find an obituary for free

  • Family Search

Family Search is really a very useful source to find one’s obituary completely free by name. It is a genealogy website that has some limited collection of auditories and indexes to obituary that can help you to search online by name.  An obituary index is very useful as it will list out the name of the person of the obituary along with the publication that displays the original death notice. In family search presently there are 37 obituary collections in count.

These obituary collections range from British newspaper archives to some individual state to country obituary archives. Few of these collections which are grouped according to their date of formation shows that some obituaries belong to 1820. There are very easy steps to find obituaries by last name for free in Family Search.

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  • is useful for finding obituary of a person from the era of 20s and later on years. How do I find obituaries in the US by name? is the exact place to do so. It  has around 70% obituaries and death notices for people who died mainly in the United States but it also includes other international obituaries. One can find obituaries mainly from Europe and other English speaking countries in this source.

Most importantly it is completely free to search an obituary in without any prior registration or having an account. It is easy to search for an obituary with little information about the person.

  • Local Public Library

There are many such local public libraries in the United States that provide free access to a few websites such as or Fold3 to those who have a library card. These sites can be used to find an obituary completely for free. One can also access these services completely free from the comfort of their home just by using the library card. But to get information through the computer one needs to go to the library. find obituary free

The use of such sources through libraries implies having access to millions of records on Ancestry just for free, whereas most people have to pay for the subscription. There is a simple procedure for accessing this source. First you need to actually visit the library. Then call the local librarian to find out whether this option is available or not. And if available, you need to know what kind of genealogy resources the library offers that can be accessed through a computer. Additionally you can ask the librarian if they offer Ancestry Library Edition to find obituaries by name and how to access that feature.

  • Find-a-Grave

Find-a-Grave is a website that is usually known to search for burial locations. But there are many people who use this website to add published obituaries and as well as individual memorial pages. The above two sources are mainly used for checking the obituaries but if the sources fail to do so you can completely opt for Find-a-Grave. If you fail to get the relatives’ obituaries search by name on this site you can get the information of their burial place. This can be valuable information that helps you to find their obituary from some other sources.

One aspect of this source is that in usual situations obituaries are added in the memorials by the family members or close relatives, but in Find-a-Grave most of the memorials are created by the volunteers of this site. Therefore this site can not present obituaries of the people who recently passed away.

  • Online Newspaper Collection

How do you find an obituary completely free through offline sources? Other than online resources there are many offline resources such as local newspapers that have the traces of obituaries published in past years. There are many obituaries which are published in the local newspapers in earlier times, specially the time before 2000.

As due to lack of online resources at that time newspapers were the only source where most of the obituaries and death notice were published. But this can come with one disadvantage as finding an individual’s obituary from old local newspapers can be a very tough job. Additionally we may be unaware of the exact local newspaper which contains the obituary of our relatives. But no need to worry as a big effort has been made to digitalize the local newspapers and make them free for the public on the websites of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is a good source to search obituaries free by name.


Rootsweb Obituary Database Search is the oldest but free genealogy resource website to find obituaries free. One of the important databases on the site that is being searched is the obituary index. Obituary index is a collection of obituaries that is  collected, published and completely maintained by a group of volunteers.

Obituary of Walter George Bruhl, Jr..

IV. Tips for search obituaries free by name and other ways

Here a few tips are shared to search obituaries free.

  • Search by name of person and place “[First Name Last Name] Obituary [City or state of death]”
  • Search by familial names and the places “[First Name Last Name of Family Member of the Deceased] Obituary [City or State]”
  • Search by parents name and the place of living “[Parent First Name Parent Last Name] Obituary [City or State]”

Search by name of high school, college, profession or hobbies of the dead person

V. Conclusion

As we come to the end of the blog, we can conclude a few things. Obituaries are a way to describe a deceased person’s life to the public and pay respect to the person and their families. It is useful for genealogists who can extract some information present in these articles to build family trees. There are few ways to search obituaries free by name and others.

This may include old newspapers such as, genealogy websites such as Family Search,, specific funeral home such as tribute archive, online memorial websites, death indexes and so on.



How can I search for obituaries for free by name?

Utilize online resources like local newspaper websites, genealogy databases, and government archives.

What information do I need to search for an obituary by name?

You typically need the full name of the deceased, along with details such as date of death and location if available.

Are all obituaries searchable for free?

Many obituaries can be accessed for free, but access may vary depending on the source and its policies.

Can I search for obituaries from specific time periods or regions?

Yes, many online databases allow you to filter searches by date range, location, and other criteria.

Are there limitations to free obituary searches?

Some databases may only offer limited access or require registration for full access to obituaries.

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