How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person


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Thanks to the internet, looking for an obituary has never been easier. With just the right set of information, you can find an obituary for a specific person in no time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a deceased family member or someone you knew back in high school. With the rapidly growing digitization of our society, there’s a good chance that with just a few clicks, you’ll find all information you need.

Here, we’ll go over the best sites you can use to search for obituaries.

How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person

An obituary is published in newspapers—online and in print—to publicly announce the passing of a loved one. Before looking for an obituary online, it’s important that you first have a set of key information about the person that will help you in your search. This includes their:

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  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Death Date
  • Location

Once you have the above information, you can look for the obituary in multiple ways, starting with any popular search engine.

1. Use a Search Engine

Obituary listing on Bing

A search engine is a web tool that systematically processes and indexes all the information on the web. You can make use of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to search for obituaries.

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To do that, type the person’s name, date of birth, or location in different combinations inside quotation marks. For example, if you are looking for someone named Matt from Atlanta, go to your search engine, and type the following: “Matt” “Atlanta” obituary.

google search for a specific obituary

This way, if an obituary for Matt was indeed put out on the internet, the search engine will give you an appropriate result. To get more specific, you can also add the last name in your search. Your search terms will then become “Matt Rodney” “Atlanta” obituary.

Legacy obituary searches

Legacy.com hosts obituaries for almost 70 percent of the total deaths in the US. Moreover, it has a database for obituaries listed from newspapers, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, as well as from newspapers across a host of different countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, and more.

To find an obituary of a specific person on Legacy.com, type in their first name and last name, and hit the Search button.

You can also refine your search by entering additional details such as the person’s country, state, and year of passing. To do that, click on the More Options link, enter the relevant details, and go ahead with the search.

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Geneaology Bank website homepage

GenealogyBank is one of the largest repositories of digitized newspapers from the 1690s and beyond. You can look for specific obituaries through the records of these newspapers.

To do that, go to the site and simply enter the person’s first name, last name, and location, and hit Search. The website will then look through its database for the correct match.

ancestry.com homepage

Ancestory.com hosts a database for genealogy and historical records. To find an obituary from Ancestory.com, you’ll either have to sign up for a free trial or purchase a subscription.

The subscription starts at $24.99/month, so signing up would only be ideal if you plan on frequently using the platform to search for genealogical records, as well as obituaries.

5. Online Cemetery Websites

homepage of find a grave

Checking out online cemetery sites can also work in your favor, as a lot of times, you can find obituaries posted by individuals there. The two most popular cemetery websites are Find A Grave and Billion Graves.

Simply go to either website, enter the person’s information, and scan the results for a relevant match.

Looking for Obituaries Made Simple

Thanks to the internet, you no longer have to purchase a newspaper to look for obituaries. The above reliable sites will help you quickly find the obituary you are looking for.

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