Obituaries are a very important source of family history. They are in the best case a short biography of the individual full of names, places and dates. In the worst case they list a date of death or a place of burial. In either case a few clues of further research.
The following pages will have the obituaries I have collected over the years. In general they are of the people in my genealogies. At the present time (August 2007) there are about 500 of them. Some people have more than one obituary. Some times two slightly different obituaries are in a newspaper. One when they died and the other one when they were buried. On numerous occasions there are two or more newspapers that run the obituaries. This happens when there are more than one newspaper in a town (not as common now days), the towns are close together, the second town has relatives of the deceased or the other town was of significant's in the deceased's life.
It's also easier to collect obituaries now days. There are web sites devoted to them. There are also sites specializing in newspapers. Either the papers are transcribed or they have the papers in their original form in pdf files. The transcribed papers are generally from the 1990's or later. The pdf files are generally more interesting to me as they are in their original form. They are scanned from microfilmed papers. They are indexed by Optical Character Recognition or OCR software. This can be very good or very bad. OCR does a good job in most cases probably 90% of the time but it does make mistakes. If the paper was poorly photographed or the original paper was in poor condition or poorly printed you have to search it page by page and hope for the best.
When I started this collection in the 1980's you had to have at least a month and year of death. Some grave stones were nice enough to have the exact date of birth and death on them. You could go to the court house and look up death certificates and then go to the local library and search for the obituary. And hope the person had an obituary that was worth all that trouble. I've spent many an hour in local libraries either hitting a jackpot or on wild goose chases. In Wisconsin I have been lucky to have an Area Research Center nearby, the Kenosha and Racine public libraries and a very good State Historical Society in Madison. Now days I am pleased to see that many libraries will have local death indexes and are willing to send copies of obituaries at a reasonable fee. Many local genealogical societies will also do the same. In the future I presume this will improve.
Below is a link to an index of names in the obituary pages and also a list of pages if you preferred to brows.
INDEX OF NAMES
Page 1 A-F
Page 2 G-H
Page 3 J-O
Page 4 P-R
Page 5 S-T
Page 6 U-V
Page 7 W-Z