Obituaries are a good source of biographical information. They can include religion, birth, marriage, and death information, names of parents, siblings, children, and extended family. For further information on national newspaper sources for obituaries see United States Obituaries.
Indexes for Utah
There are a few indexes to obituaries for Utah newspapers in the Family History Library. Some newspapers have indexes on-line through the Internet. Utah Newspapers describes available newspaper resources.
There is a combined obituary index for the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune covering 1850 to 1970. This index also includes names from other early publications of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that recorded deaths. It is alphabetical by name of the deceased. The cards give the birth year of the deceased, the date and page of the obituary, and the newspaper(s) in which the obituary appears. It is in:
Obituary Index File to The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News as of 31 December 1970. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church Historians Office, 1971. (Family History Library films 821636–99.) This index is also available at the Salt Lake Public Library, the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Utah State Historical Society.
A similar index is available for the Ogden Standard Examiner in:
Ogden Branch Genealogical Library. Obituary Index to Ogden Standard Examiner, 1888 to 1910. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974. (Family History Library films 934251–57.)
Brigham Young University provides the on-line Utah County Obituary Index. The index covers from the 1870s to the present.
Local genealogical and historical societies and public libraries maintain clip files of obituaries. Some individuals keep scrapbooks of obituaries and then donate them to the Family History Library. Check the Family History Library Catalog in the Place Search for other indexes or clippings from the newspapers under:
UTAH - OBITUARIES
UTAH, [COUNTY] - OBITUARIES
UTAH, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - OBITUARIES
If you find a reference to an obituary, look at Utah Newspapers for information on obtaining a copy the newspaper. Also, you may want to search the newspaper for the time of death.
Early Digital Newspapers
To search for old obituaries you may find the Utah Digital Newspapers helpful. They currently have searchable newspapers up to about 1900 and later depending on the newspaper.