5 Ways To Find Someone’s Obituary Online or Offline

How to find an obituary for a specific person?

Obituaries are online and offline. One of the most obvious ways to locate an obituary is to search for it in the local newspaper where the person has lived. The data will be updated until the final date of publication or until somebody writes a new article with the same name. In addition, if you don’t feel comfortable searching for your relative’s obituary in a printed newspaper, there are various other ways to look for an obituary that might be very helpful.   

Here is what you can do in such cases: investigate online obituaries and public records, use accessible obituary databases such as Legacy.com (and others), turn to social media, verify massive databases of death notices, and finally, search for alternative records such as death certificates. This will help you to find an obituary for a specific person.

How to Locate an Obituary for a Specific Person?

To formally announce the death of a loved one, an obituary is published in newspapers—both online and in print. Before searching for an obituary online, you must collect crucial information about the person that will aid you in your search. This includes the following:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Death Date
  • Place of Death

 Once you have the information above, you can search for the obituary using various methods, beginning with any prominent search engine.

Here are 5 Ways In Which One Can Find an Obituary for a Specific person Online

1. Make use of a search engine

A search engine is an online program that processes and indexes all of the information on the internet. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo can be used to find obituaries.  

To do so, type the person’s name, date of birth, or place inside quote marks in various combinations. For example, if you’re looking for an obituary for someone named Matt from Atlanta, go to your search engine and type “Matt” “Atlanta” obituary.  

If an obituary for Matt were indeed published on the internet, the search engine would return a relevant result. You can narrow your search even further by including the last name, and your search phrases will then be “Matt Rodney” obituary “Atlanta.” This is how one can find an obituary for a specific person.

2. Legacy.com

Legacy.com hosts obituaries for about 70% of all deaths in the United States. Furthermore, it offers a database of obituaries from newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post and publications from a variety of nations such as Australia, New Zealand, England, and others.

To find an obituary for a specific individual on Legacy.com, enter their first and last name and press the Search button. You can further narrow your Search by providing other information such as the person’s country, state, and year of death. To do so, select the More Options link, enter the necessary information, and then continue with the Search.

3. Ancestry.com

Ancestory.com is a genealogy and historical records database. To find an obituary on Ancestory.com, you must join up for a free trial or buy a subscription. The subscription starts at $24.99 per month, so joining up is only worthwhile if you intend to use the platform frequently to search for genealogy information and obituaries.

4. Genealogy Bank

GenealogyBank is one of the most significant digitized newspaper collections dating back to the 1690s and beyond. You can search the records of these newspapers for individual obituaries. To do so, go to the website and enter the person’s first name, last name, and location, then click Search. The website will next search its database for the appropriate match.

5. Online Cemeteries

Checking out internet cemetery sites can also help you, as obituaries are frequently posted by persons there. Find A Grave and Billion Graves are the two most popular cemetery websites.

Simply visit either website, enter the person’s details, and scan the results for a match.

Offline Sources To Find An Obituary For A Specific Person

If you don’t find an obituary online, try these offline resources.

  1. The Public Library

    Check your local library if you reside in the same area as the individual whose obituary you are looking for. Libraries subscribe to local and regional newspapers, and hard copies are kept for several weeks or more—request assistance from a librarian in searching through back issues of newspapers. The older pieces are available on microfilm and can be read while in the library.

  2. The Mormon Church Family History Library

    The Mormon Church Family History Library is a collection of family histories from the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church has amassed extensive obituaries for genealogical research purposes. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, has information available. It houses the world’s most comprehensive genealogical library, which includes:

  • Nearly 2 million microfilm rolls, 742,000 microfiche documents, 310,000 books, and hundreds of electronic records.
  • If you can’t make it to Salt Lake City, look for a Family History Center in your area.

Notices of Death

An obituary is used to notify people when someone has died. Obituaries memorialize a person’s life and tell the public where and when services will be performed. Writing an obituary is difficult because you are writing objectively.

It is usually preferable to let the obituary reflect the personality that made your loved one special. Give the world a peek at how amazing they were and how they positively impacted the lives of others around them.


As you can see, it’s simple to begin your research to find an obituary for a specific person. Finding an obituary online or offline can be a big help in starting your research. It’s not easy to decide to visit someone’s grave, but seeing their name in the newspapers or on a grave marker can bring a sense of closure to a family member looking for information.