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