Posted by Ancestry Team on October 28, 2019 in Website

For more than three decades, Ancestry has been a pioneer in family history research, developing innovative research tools and adding new content to our unparalleled historical record collections that enable people around the world to uncover their unique family story.

Today, we are proud to announce the launch of our new Newspapers.com Obituary Collection, as well as an upgrade to our U.S. Obituary Collection, adding to what is now the world’s largest, searchable digital archive of over 262 million worldwide obituaries and death announcements, containing almost 1 billion searchable family members.

Obituaries are one of the best, and in some cases the only, “biographical sketch” that was ever devoted to an individual. It can provide details about someone’s personal life, personality, hobbies, or family nuances. Obituaries can also include place of birth, marriage, occupation, residence, and family members, and may even suggest other documentation of an individual’s death, such as burial site location or the name of the officiating minister present during the burial. These rich details can help break down major brick walls and open up new research avenues.

Often overlooked as an important document, an obituary can serve as a ‘starter kit’ for discovering your family history.

New Newspapers.com Obituary Collection: Newspapers.com is the largest online newspaper archive, with over 525+ million pages of historical newspapers, including obituaries, from thousands of printed newspapers across the United States and beyond. We leveraged powerful, new machine learning algorithms to locate the obituaries found within these Newspapers.com pages and extract key facts including names of the deceased and family members, relationships, important dates, and locations. This indexed collection includes extracted facts from nearly 200 million Newspapers.com obituaries.

This new searchable collection is available on Ancestry to all subscribers and the original obituary images are hosted on Newspapers.com. Members with an Ancestry All Access or Newspapers.com Basic subscription have a 1-click option to view the full obituary on Newspapers.com. Some images may require a Publisher Extra subscription as certain newspapers require additional licenses to view their content.

Upgraded U.S. Obituary Collection: Our U.S. Obituary Collection contains obituaries from 1930 to present day. We regularly scour the Internet for obituaries posted online, then we extract key details from the obituary including the name of the deceased, important dates, and location information into a searchable database to help members discover them. Today, our advanced machine learning algorithms now pull the names of all referenced family members listed in these online obituaries and their relationships to each other (in addition to the name of the deceased). This crucial and significant advancement expands our growing collection of over 40 million obituaries, to now include four times more searchable family members. Thanks to this sophisticated technology upgrade, our members are likely to receive more search results and record hints while exploring our U.S. Obituaries Collection. And, this new upgrade makes it simpler for members to add multiple people to family trees from the discovery of just one obituary.

How to Get Started Searching for an Obituary

  • First, from any page on Ancestry, click on the “Search” tab (located at the top of the page) and select “Birth, Marriage & Death” from the drop down menu.
  • Then, on the right side of the “Birth, Marriage & Death” page, under “Narrow by Category,” click on “Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries.”
  • Begin your search by entering a name, preferably a parent or grandparent born before 1940.
  • Add any additional details you may have available about the deceased individual, such as birth date, the year they passed away, gender, etc. Every detail increases the likelihood of finding the correct obituary.
  • Hit “Search” and review the records that appear.
  • If you find a record relevant to your family, hit “Save” and add the record to someone in your tree.
  • Even if you’ve searched for family members in our obituaries collection before, we’re always adding more records to our site, and we encourage you to search again, as you may notice a new record waiting to be explored.

We hope that our new Newspapers.com Obituary Collection and our upgraded U.S. Obituary Collection will empower and inspire you to make new discoveries that you can leverage to continue building your tree, continuing your journey of self-discovery.

You can begin searching our Newspapers.com Obituary Collection here:

https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/newspaperobits/

To begin searching our upgraded U.S. Obituary Collection, please visit: https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/web-obituary/

34 Comments

  1. Nicholas Family

    I purchased the ‘ALL Access’ account to include a basic subscription to Newspapers.com only to find I have NO access to Newspapers.com without paying an additional $30/6mo. To me this term ‘ALL Access’ is being used as a bait and switch trick. ALL means just that ALL. This truly leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Ancestry.com has become a money hungry site. I will be weaning myself off Ancestry in the very near future.

  2. Cindy Beam

    I am having the same problem. I have had the full-access subscription to Ancestry.com for decades, but I cannot access the newspaper that I need.

  3. Angela Reed

    Are newspapers and/or obituaries from the UK, Scotland and Ireland, Channel Islands and Australia and New Zealand included?

  4. Catherine Christie

    Yes I also have ALL Access, and have the same problem. Should also have Fold3.
    Ancestry need to get their information to us straighten out.

  5. Rebecca

    Ancestry actually tells you nothing unless you pay more for everything. All I got was ethnicity and I’m not convinced it is correct. I then subscribed to more access for $49.95 and quickly realized I was getting absolutely nothing so I canceled. My niece was described as a cousin.

  6. krudolph

    I have “All Access” and have full access to Newspapers.com. Did you use your Ancestry.com login information? If that dosen’t work I would give support a call.

  7. Madeleine

    I was also fooled by the term ALL ACCESS until I investigated access to newspapers.com and to Fold3 and found I have to pay each organisation for access to their records. Quite inconvenient having three account when one should suffice! Deceased Online is another bugbear, that is not included in ALL ACCESS either.
    I will continue with my Ancestry sub because the alternative is not attractive.

  8. Vanessa

    Seems like they’re dishonest about the “all inclusive” stuff. We have full subscription and can’t access fold3 or newspapers without paying MORE

  9. Susan

    Rebecca- a subscription isn’t for them to tell you who your family is. You have to do that work yourself with their resources. Once you have a family tree built you can try to connect the DNA matches. This is a lot of work. Most of us have been researching for years.

  10. Denise

    I signed up for ancestry all access and was extremely disappointed every time I got a lead to newspapers.com it said I had to pay extra to actually view the item. My son has a masters degree in internet and cyber security and told me they make the algorithm so it gives erroneous results that you can see and hides the stuff you want to see so you have to pay for an upgrade. It is a strong arm sales tactic at best. When I called ancestry I was told I was the only one who ever had this issue and they couldn’t help. I see here by other’s comments they lied on top of their trickery! I still can’t get into Fold3 without jumping through hoops either!

  11. Karen Hoch

    I understand all the complaints about accessing the “extras” for Ancestry. I have not yet found a newspaper article that is usable. It always says I need a full subscription to see the article. I feel like I have been taken for a ride.

  12. Lee Testa

    It is very frustrated to pay a fee on ancestry and then find out you need to pay more. I have been moving away from ancestry and utilizing family search and other sites based on ancestry not being transparent and bundling their content into reasonable packages.

  13. Caith

    This year Ancestry rolled out a new feature, whereby one can search a dead-end person in the tree of a dna match, going upstream back in time. This is the greatest tool since sliced bread!

    Previously, in the top bar, “DNA” in the drop-down there was a category, “Last match visited.” One could search forever, going her and there, even going back to one’s own tree, and still get back to the original match because this was sticky until one exited from it.

    This sticky “last match visited” has now been deleted. There is no way to retrieve the “last match visited” without sometimes back-spacing 16 times and then being thrown out of Ancestry altogether. We need to get back to the matchand tree we were working with so we can look at the tree again, make notations and then process that match.

    Please hire just one programmer who has ever seriously worked a tree; only he will understand what I am talking about. He can teach the other programers.

    Thank you.

    Researching is tedious enough without your taking away user-friendly tools for expediency.

  14. Dale Reed

    My experience with the newspapers and military parts of ALL ACcESS were poor. The phones for questions are not answered. When with difficulty, I found a name which might be an ancestor in newspapers they , they were nearly always unreadable or in other cases I was refused access without paying for an upgrade. We have to face facts: Corporations are tasked with making money. Find-a-grave was always created by volunteers, now seems to be merged into this web-site too.

  15. Lois

    I had subscriptions to both Newspapers.com and Fold3 for the last 2 years. During that time I could not access either site. I didn’t want it the second year because of that, but it was a gift subscription and couldn’t cancel it. I did cancel it this year and won’t fall for that again.

  16. Mark

    I have all access Ancestry and have had no problems accessing Newspapers.com or fold3.com. Have found useful info at both sites. Yes the access to newspapers.com is the “basic” level though.

  17. Tom Boyer

    I, too, think the newspaper and fold3 are gimmicks. Maybe the newspaper part works with large city obits who do not “require a Publisher Extra subscription” that “require additional licenses to view their content.” (Quotes from ancestry’s notes above.) Fold3 should just fold up. I cannot even get my own military info that I entered into the site. Nor does it return anything but wild guesses on names. Mostly I get returns on names that don’t even remotely match the name I’m searching. I keep these “all inclusive” subscriptions with the hopes that ancestry can get their subscriptions to match their advertising.

  18. Ed Howard

    I have been inundated with Newspaper.com hints. Very annoying since I am led to believe that new info is available. Some of these hints are blatantly incorrect, either with very bad dates or incorrect family. I HAVE found that the hints on the right side are sometimes a good place to look but I feel it is inappropriate to launch a new product that mostly touts hints that are frequently incorrect and only wastes our time.

    Market it in a different fashion!!!!

  19. Debora Jackson

    I’ve been a member of Ancestry.com since 2006. I’ve benefited greatly from my subscription through the years. Until just a year or so ago, we could access military records, military registration cards, obituaries, newspaper articles, various books, etc. included in our membership. Now, I’m expected to pay Fold3 for military records, incl. those cards! I used to view them w/ a basic membership, & now I can’t! Same with newspapers–they are supposed to be included, but I’d have to pay newspapers.com now! I’m paying $99 for 6 mos, but I expect this to cover what always was available before. Might as well drop out, & just use familysearch.org. It’s free for the same basic service. Now that we’re expected to pay extra for these newspaper obits, I’m not even getting death records–just offers for obits. Two of my 2nd cousins are listed as having an obit, but no death records surface for either one. I’m very disgruntled.

  20. rayanne

    Why are all my hints now behind a paywall? I used to enjoy using Ancestry, but now I just feel frustrated and taken for a ride.

  21. Bill Windsor

    I’ve just cancelled my Ancestry subscription. I only had the basic. In the last few weeks, the first 5-10 pages of hints have been linking to the newspapers.com subscription. I got tired of getting to a certain point in my search, only to find that I have to pay extra for everything they are giving hints on.

  22. Caith

    And so now we are no longer able to access Member Connect with a basic subscription? When changes are made, why do you not provide transparency?

  23. Mona Rosa (Wetstein) Leippi

    Having similar problems as others in these comments with the supposed find in an Obit which shows up hazy in the background and when wanting to take a look at it there is request for more money.

  24. Ann Marie Haase

    I want my money back. You hooked me with your two additional services. I feel cheated. I”ve been a member for over 10 years. Give me a reason to stay.

  25. I was hesitant to sign up for this site, afraid of being robbed. I too feel cheated. I have been an attorney for a long time and trying to find the loophole / jargon that duped me =(
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  26. Tom

    It does seem that information that used to be available in Ancestry is now an additional charge with the Newspapers.com and Fold3.com products. I think Ancestry has missed the boat with this sales strategy. It’s just more frustrating and appears to be a money grab. Really diminishing the main product.

  27. Louise Hanson

    For some years, I had an Ancestry All Access and had basic newspapers.com and Fold 3, both of which I had no problems accessing and using. I was able to find newspaper articles about several of my ancestors. Then, one day I went on Newspapers.com to research and began getting a notice that to access most articles I wanted, I had to pay an extra $11.98 a month to acceess those newspapers, which were in Publishers’ Extra. As I was already stretching my very limited income with my almost $45. per month World Access, there was no way I could afford the extra monthly payment, so I cancelled my newspapers.coom & Fold3, as it was not doing me any benefit to pay for them. It’s just so sad that this corporation and the Church that supports it, who so enthusiastcally encourage family history, feels the need to continue to price those trying to find their family roots out of being able to do so.

  28. Arlene MIles

    If I can’t have ALL ACCESS, I would like a refund. I paid extra but am limited to documents. I should be able to see all newspapers and Fold3.

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  31. Donna Libal

    I don’t think the comment made by Jesika Khanna on November 27, 2019 is appropriate for this site. Who peruses the content of the submissions. And Koka Queen – December 2, 2019 is questionable, too. Hardly relates to the ancestry subject being discussed.

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