“The venerable John Adams, late President of the United States, one of the ablest and most efficient advocates and supporters of the Revolution, an original signer of the Declaration of Independence, a patriot and statesman, whose career was full of honor, whose life, services, talents, and virtues were the pride and glory of the nation, expired at his residence in Quincy, Mass. on the 4th day of July, at the advanced age of 92.”
This famous opening to the obituary of John Adams in the New-York Statesman captures the life, accomplishments, and spirit of an American Founding Father. His status as a patriot who served his nation is celebrated, his impact on history canonized.
Obituaries often eloquently summarize the lives and times of those who pass, the words serving as testament to how people are remembered by family and friends.
In addition to memorializing the spirit of ancestors, obituaries are fertile sources of genealogical information. A simple obituary search in FamilySearch collections such as BillionGraves, Find A Grave, GenealogyBank, etc. can yield important clues that illuminate the lives of kin.
We asked genealogists for the most powerful ways they expand their family trees. They told us obituaries are one of the most significant resources to discover new genealogical lines and fill in details about little-known ancestors.
Use their suggestions to help power your family tree and collect richer family histories!
Open up new branches of your family tree