Have you ever found yourself searching for someone? Have you tried to find someone that hasn’t been a part of your life for a very long time, perhaps a lost relative, college friend, or trying to trace back your family tree? Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find someone who you haven’t seen for awhile, you should prepare yourself for the possibility that they are no longer alive. What many people find, however, is that they don’t know if the person is alive or not. While entire databases exist to be able to search public death records, not many people know exactly where these are and how they can access them…
There are basically two ways you can search for deceased people. The first one is by using death records. These records are an official recording of a person’s death and can contain some very important information, especially if you are performing some research and trying to find out who a person is. This includes the names of the surviving kin, the name of their spouse, date and time of birth, and the official cause of death. It will also contain their last official address, something that can help you find the next most important record of the person’s death.
An obituary is something that is completely unofficial. It is typically a recount of the person’s life and is written by someone who is very close to the person who passed away, typically a close friend or family member. In some circumstances, particularly with people who have been sick for a very long time, the deceased person will actually write their own obituary. It can be an incredible resource if you want to take a look into the person’s personal life. You’ll learn who they are and what they’ve accomplished throughout their life. They’ll also provide a list of surviving relatives, some of whom may be left off of the official death record due to divorce or other legal circumstances.
As you may imagine, there is no specific place that is designated for obituaries. They are typically published in the local newspaper, but which one is variable. Sometimes they are published in the paper where the person was born and in others they publish it in the paper that is local to where the person lived last. Either way, it is near impossible to say for sure where it will be published.
Luckily, there are sites that keep a record of both of these types of records and you can search them for free.