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How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person

If you’re looking for ways to find an obituary for someone for free, you’ll be pleased to know that the internet has made this search a lot easier. Finding an obituary for a specific person may feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but if you have some basic information, you should be able to find out where the obituary was posted. Before you get started, it helps to have at least some of the following information:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • City of residence

If you don’t know the specifics on some of the above information, you can search the Social Security Death Index to help narrow down the dates.

Use online search engines

If an obituary has been posted online, there’s a good chance you can find it by entering in the name of the individual into Google, or another search engine. Here are some search terms that might help you narrow down the results, just replace the placeholders with the information you have on hand:

  • [First Last] obituary
  • [First Middle Last] obituary
  • [First Last] obituary [location]
  • [First Last] obituary [location]
  • [date of birth] - [date of death]

Browse newspaper archives

Obituaries were historically posted in the newspaper so that members of the local community could be alerted of the death and read about the life of the deceased. While many families may lean towards posting the obituary online, older obituaries were likely to be published in a print newspaper. You can find the top publications of the area the person you’re looking for lived in by doing an online search. Most newspaper websites have an obituaries section that you can browse through online. If they do not, they may have an obituary department that you can contact with questions.

Search memorial & online obituary websites

If you know the obituary was posted on a specific obituary or online memorial website, like Ever Loved, you can find it by using the website’s search function. Use the search function and enter the first and last name of the person you’re searching for. On Ever Loved, you can find a search box at the very top of the website and on the obituary search page.

Browse social media

When someone passes away, next of kin and other family members can sometimes gain access to their social media accounts. If they were able to do so, they might post an obituary or a notice to the account that the person has passed away. If the obituary isn’t posted on the account of the deceased, you may be able to find related content by looking through the comments section or the about section of the page you’re looking at. Family members may link to the obituary or mention where the obituary is posted in the comments, so be sure to keep an eye out for those. If there aren’t any comments referencing an obituary, consider posting a comment and asking for more information on where you can find the obituary.

Visit your local library

Local libraries often have copies of local media, especially of local newspapers. You can also find archived versions of local newspapers that contain older obituaries. Visit your local library and ask to browse their archives to locate an older obituary. Knowing the date of death will be immensely helpful here, since you’ll be going through archived documents.

Visit the funeral home’s website

If you know the name of the funeral home that handled or is handling the services, there may be an obituary posted on their website. Some funeral homes offer online obituary posting as a service and will list the obituary on their website. While there might not be a search tool available, you can usually browse recently published obituaries in their obituaries section.

If you’ve been unable to locate the obituary for a loved one or believe there hasn’t been one posted, consider writing your own. Obituaries are usually posted by a family member or someone close to the family, but anyone can write one. You can easily draft an obituary using one of Ever Loved’s obituary templates and publish the obituary online for free.

Publish an obituary

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Last updated January 7, 2021
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