Monday, October 11, 2004

Obituaries can be a goldmind in family research!

Obituaries are very helpful in family history research.
We would hope that they would include full birth name and all married names.
Full names of parents (including mother's maiden name);
Children and siblings are usually listed in birth order.
Full names of brothers and sisters (siblings); (not just Mrs. John Brown, this tells us who she married, but not her name);
Full names of the children/grandchildren, usually done in order of birth.
If they are to be buried somewhere other than the family church cemetery in which the funeral is taking place, please tell the name of the church they were a member of and the name of the cemetery with city and state.
(buried at Ebenezer Cemetery...does not tell us what city or state).

I know newspapers charge for obituaries now, but please pay a little more and help your future descendants find more information about you and your family.

"Uncle John Brown's celebration of life will be March 8, with burial in the family cemetery"
This does not tell us where the family cemetery is, or what day that Uncle John died.
When someone starts to look for Uncle John it will be easier with a little more information.
Posted by Hello

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obituaries can be a “goldmine” and a major pitfall. Families often do not know what should be included or sometime misrepresent content. Although your comments are helpful, but I believe that funeral homes and families need more guidance on this issue. As a family history researcher, I would suggest they use the following structure:

(A) Full name (i.e., first, middle, maiden, last)
(B) Birth info (i.e., dates, parents, location)
(C) Formative development:
a. Religious: (i.e., church members)
b. Education (i.e., secondary education, vocational, college)
c. Community (i.e., community of origin)
(D) Adult development:
a. Marital or relational info: (i.e., spouse, special partner)
b. Occupational info: (i.e., last employer, work type, profession or occupation)
c. Social memberships: (i.e., lodge, mason, club, fraternity or sorority)
d. Military service (i.e., war or peace time, branch of service, last rank)
(E) List of children (i.e., living or deceased, natural or adopted, city of resident)
(F) List of siblings (i.e., living or deceased, natural or adoption, city of resident)
(G) List of in-laws (i.e., living or deceased, city of resident)
(H) List surviving grand parents and special relatives or friends
(I) Special Note: Name of the obituary information provider(s) (i.e., this could be a critical features)

I hope this is helpful -- Tony B. Lowe (a Hogansville native)