Tracing LDS Ancestors Obituaries
Obituaries are short biographies published near the time of a person’s death. They often include information about a person’s birth date and place, date of immigration, marriage date, community service, and names and locations of surviving relatives. Search the newspaper’s index. If the person is not in the index, look through the paper for several days after he or she died. You may find articles about a person’s death anywhere in the paper, not just in the obituary section.
The obituaries from many early Church periodicals have been indexed in the Early Church Information File cited fully in LDS Biographies. For a combined obituary index of the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and some early Church publications from 1839 to 1970 see:
Obituary Index File to the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News as of 31 December 1970. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church Historian’s Office, 1971. (FHL films 821636–99). This index includes people from Utah and other areas. Some entries from Church newspapers and periodicals are included. This index is not complete.
An often overlooked reference to obituaries is:
Jenson, Andrew. Index to the Deseret News Weekly 1850–1900. Obituary references are found under "deaths" in this index. It is cited fully in Utah Newspapers.
Both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune can be searched online at Utah Digital Newspapers.
For more information on obituary indexes that include many Church members see Utah Newspapers and Utah Obituaries or Research Wiki articles for the state, province, or nation where your ancestor lived.