Locating Obituaries for Female Relatives

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Because of maiden names, and what could be numerous married names, it can be difficult to locate an obituary on a female relative. The following are some suggestions to help in the search.

A common practice in more recent years is for families to place a free obituary write-up with the funeral home online rather than a paid newspaper obituary. So do a check with the funeral homes in the county the person lived in.

Don’t be surprised that nothing was placed with a funeral home listing or a newspaper obituary, some people made their wishes known beforehand, that nothing was to be written or printed about their passing.

Check other locations not just the person’s hometown and home county. They could have been out-of-state for some reason and died in another location. With that idea also check the person’s hometown newspapers even if they have not lived there for decades. Some families do have an obituary listing in a family hometown for those who knew the family.  

Research older obituaries using the ‘Mrs’ with her husband’s full name such as “Mrs. Ralph Williamson” with using her own given birth name.

For those females who had several marriages and you don’t know which name was used, if any children are known, even if their surname is different, search that way. 

Try not use first given names for females, but their middle name which they might have used more or even nicknames. Some examples: Beth is a nickname for Elizabeth, Maggie for Margaret or Katie for Katherine.

Keep trying different methods.

Photos: Elinor Blevins 1915; Lady of the 1890s; and Henrietta Edwards in 1930s.

Related Familytree.com blogs:

Those Maiden Names of Females

Beauty Secrets of our Female Ancestors

Finding Female Ancestors

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