There’s nothing quite like a good obituary. In a concise and usually heartfelt manner, you get a wonderful overview of the highlights and accomplishments of a person’s life, their important relationships, information on schools and careers, and perhaps just a hint of some of the darker aspects of their time here on Earth.
There isn’t a single, comprehensive collection of obituaries anywhere, so you need to do some searching to find one, especially if you’re keen on getting a free obituary.
Start by pinning down the person’s date of death as closely as possible. This will help narrow down your obituary search and is especially important for someone with a fairly common name, for whom you might come across dozens or even hundreds of possible obituaries that are not relevant to your search.
For the same reason, it also helps to know where a person died so you can concentrate your search on local sources of information and readily confirm that you have the correct obituary.
Start your search for free obituaries at Google News Archives. Be sure to search on variations of a person’s name (Robert for Bob, Charles for Chuck…that sort of thing). If you’re overwhelmed with search results, use the advanced search page to narrow down results to a specific range of dates. You can also add other terms to your search, such as a spouse’s name, or the name of a college attended, to help fine-tune your search.
If you know the location where a person lived, visit Free Newspaper Archives for U.S. newspapers arranged by state, and XooxleAnswers, for a list of newspaper archives in Europe and other international news archives where you can search for obituaries at no cost.
Lastly, try a search of Obituary Records at sites like ObitsArchive.com and newspapers at Newspaperarchive.com. These are subscription services, but you can search them at no cost to at least see if articles are available that may be of interest to you.
Good luck in your searches.
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