How to Find an Old Obituary for Free

Finding an old obituary is for free is relatively easy and doesn’t require much effort. Obituaries are commonly published and archived in a number of places such as newspaper websites and public library newspaper archives, making them very easy to access.


1. Make sure you have the correct spelling of the person’s full name. Any spelling errors can easily prevent you from obtaining the obituary that you’re looking for.

2. Visit your local library and search through the newspaper archives for the week that the person died. If you don’t know the exact day that to obituary was published, searching approximately one week after their passing should cover any possibly obituary publications.

3. Find your local newspaper’s website and search through their obituary archives. Often times, newspapers have extensive archives that are accessible through their websites.

4. Contact funeral homes in your area (if you don’t know the exact home that arranged their service) and see if they can help you find the obituary you’re looking for. Funeral homes generally arrange the publishing of obituaries, so they can be a good contact point when you’re trying to find an old obituary.

5. Use an internet search engine to perform a quoted search for “the person’s name + obituary.” Internet search engines log huge amounts of data, and in some cases the search results will show a listing for the person’s obituary when it can’t be found in other places.


People don’t always publish an obituary when a family member dies, so despite all of your efforts an obituary may not exist. Keep this in mind if you’ve exhausted all means of searching and still can’t turn anything up.

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Filed in: Family & Relationships

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