Obituary Lookup Volunteers - Posting/Publishing Obituaries

Posting and Publishing
Obituaries on the Web


If you find an obituary in a library or receive a copy from a volunteer, please consider posting it on the RootsWeb message boards or publishing it on the USGenWeb Obituary Projects web pages.  It's a big help to other researchers, and it's another way for you to be contacted by those who are also researching your family lines.  If the page you copied contains other obituaries, think about taking the additional step of posting or publishing them, too, to help as many researchers as possible.

To abide by copyright laws, obituaries published in newspapers after December 31, 1922, must not be published on the Web unless you are the author, the obituary is for a family member, the newspaper gives you permission, or you provide only an abstract (such as name of deceased, date of death, newspaper that published the obituary, and the publication date).  Obituaries published before 1923 can be copied in their entirety.

Posting Obituaries on the
RootsWeb Message Boards

The United States and International RootsWeb Message Boards provide Localities boards for each county (USA) and region (other countries) where information and queries are posted.  Each board contains an Obituary category, along with others such as Cemetery, Death, Will, etc.

Below is a short outline of the steps needed to post an obituary:

  1. Display the message boards for the county (USA) or region (other countries).  The easiest way to do this is to use the RootsWeb Message Boards link (below the volunteer listings) on the volunteer page for the state or country, which will display the counties or regions index.  Another way is to display the RootsWeb Message Boards Localities page and follow the links until the counties or regions index is displayed.
  2. Select the county or region from the list of links.
  3. Check that the obituary isn't already there.  To list all the Obituary messages, select Obituary for View Message Type.  If there are many, you may want to search for the surname instead by entering it in the Search box.
  4. To post the obituary, first click on Login and enter your RootsWeb or Ancestry username and password.  If you don't have a RootsWeb or Ancestry profile, click on the Sign Up link on the Login page to register.  It doesn't cost anything to register, and your profile allows you to keep contact information, such as your e-mail address, up to date.
  5. Click on the Post New Message link.  If you did a search, you may have a page that doesn't have the Post New Message link.  In that case, use your browser's Back button or the Back link on the search results page to display the county or region page.
  6. Fill in the following information:
    • Subject - The name of the subject of the obituary
    • Message - Put the text of the obituary or abstract here, plus the name of the newspaper and the date the obituary was published
    • Surnames - List all the surnames, separated by commas, that are mentioned in the obituary
    • Classification - Select "Obituary"

  7. If you like, click on Preview Message to view the message before posting it.  You'll be able to correct it if necessary.  When the message is as you wish to post it, click on Post Message to post the message.

Publishing Obituaries on the
USGenWeb Obituary Project

The USGenWeb Obituary Project is particularly useful when you have a group of U.S. obituaries, such as one year of a newspaper or members of a family in one location, but it can accommodate single obituaries, too.  Since the obituaries are typically saved in a plain text file, it's possible to link to them from other places, such as a listing on one of our volunteer pages.

The Obituary Project home page contains a state index.  Your state's page may contain information about adding files, but if not, contact the state coordinator, whose e-mail address is on the page.



RootsWeb Message Boards Main Page
RootsWeb Message Boards United States Index
RootsWeb Message Boards International Index
USGenWeb Obituary Project

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS - Please consider volunteering
for your area, even on a limited basis, because every lookup
helps someone.  Becoming a Volunteer has more information.

To volunteer to do lookups in your area,
for questions about the mailing list,
for help with obit requests,
to report a broken link,
or for other comments or questions,
contact us.

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Last update 22 Sep 2010