How to Make an Obituary Using Microsoft Word : Using MS Word

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By

Making an obituary using Microsoft Word is something that you can do with the help of the program’s built-in templates. Make an obituary using Microsoft Word with help from an experienced software professional in this free video clip.

Expert: Dan Davis
Bio: Dan Davis has training in Microsoft Office, Windows, and a variety of other software.
Filmmaker: Patrick Russell

Series Description: Microsoft Word remains one of the most versatile word processing programs for the Windows and Mac platforms in existence today. Get tips on Microsoft Word with help from an experienced software professional in this free video series.

How to Write an Obituary

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By

Losing a loved one is very painful, and though writing about their life can be an arduous task, it can also be a therapeutic and wonderful way to honor your loved one.

Step 1: Read other obituaries
Read other obituaries to get a feel for how obituaries are commonly formatted and what information is used. Use your local newspaper, for example.

Step 2: Determine the specifics
Determine your price range and deadline times by talking with your funeral director or with the local newspaper where it will run. Newspapers have strict deadlines and charge by column width, length, or word count. Once you’ve obtained that information, you can begin the creative process.

Step 3: Make a list
Make a list of the basic information about the deceased you’d like to include. Most obituaries include the full name, age, birth date, place of residence, partner’s name, and where and when the memorial service will take place.

Avoid identity theft by withholding sensitive information in the obituary. Thieves can use gaps in reporting the death to steal birth certificates, social security numbers, and financial information.

Step 4: Make a second list
Create a second list of additional information. Some obituaries include the deceased’s educational background, employment, birth place, parents, children and grandchildren, pets, hobbies, accomplishments, organization affiliations, military service, and where people can send contributions or flowers.

Mention in the obituary if your family is having donations sent to an organization important to the deceased in lieu of flowers.

Step 5: Begin writing
Write the obituary by following the examples in your local paper and putting the pieces together one-by-one. Focus on the deceased’s full and wonderful life, not their death.

Step 6: Revise
Revise your original draft once it’s completed. Make any necessary changes and try to tighten up your writing.

Step 7: Proofread
Proofread your obituary thoroughly. You’ve put a lot of work into honoring your loved one, and you wouldn’t want to ruin that work by misspelling one of their children’s names. Now you can relax knowing that you’ve honored your loved one’s life.

Did You Know?
The newspaper-obituary tradition began to flourish at the London Times under the editorship of John Thadeus Delane, who served at the British paper from 1841-1877.

Searching For Newspaper Obituaries

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By


Newspaper obituaries are an important part of any genealogical search. When you know only the name and date of death of an individual, a newspaper obituary can help you find other information about the person and his or her family. This additional information can then help shape the rest of your research.

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is a notice that announces the death of someone with a description of the person’s life and list of family members. Sometimes an obituary can be called a death notice. An obituary can be published in a newspaper, online or in the funeral program. There are subtle differences in the obituary based on where it will be published and when it was published.

Where to search for Newspaper Obituaries?

The best resources for obituaries are at the library but more and more newspaper obituaries are becoming available online as more and more newspapers upload their archives onto their websites. If you are searching for an obituary from before the year 2000, you’ll have to go to a library and view the newspaper on microfilm or purchase a subscription to an obituary repository. For a list of online Newspaper Obituaries. Visit to find newspaper obituaries from across the country.

When searching for obituaries it’s important to investigate all possible newspapers that the obituary might appear in. Start by locating the newspapers of the city or region that the person was born in, lived for several years and the city they died in. If the deceased lived in several cities or has surviving family living in a particular city, chances are that the obituary many appear in more than one newspaper. It is also likely that the obituary may have different information depending on where it is published. Sometimes the city in which the person lived the longest will have a longer more in depth write up of the life and family of the deceased. But to make sure you get all the details, be sure to find the newspapers from all the cities and townships that the person had any contact with.

What do I need to know before I search for a Newspaper Obituary?

First and foremost you will need to know the deceased’s full name and approximate date of death. Knowing the exact date of death is even better because then it narrows your search to the date of death and about one week after. You are usually safe not looking more than a week after the date of death because obituaries are usually published as a death notice that includes the funeral service information or as a death announcement as close to the date of death as possible.

In addition to the name and date of death, date of birth is important too. There can be several people in the same community with the same name so knowing how old the person is when they died can make identifying the write ancestor much easier.

Of course you will also need to know the location. Where the deceased was born, where they died and where they spent most of their lives. As mentioned before, knowing the places the deceased lived will help you find the right newspapers and can lead you to different versions of the obituary.

Why search Newspaper Obituaries?

Genealogists both professional and amateur come to rely on the information found in obituaries to guide them on to other research. An obituary is the last and sometimes only article every written about a person and it can contain important information about who the person was, their relationships and interests. In short, obituaries add color and details about a life that otherwise may not be known. Clues about the clubs the deceased attended, awards, military service and religious affiliation can all be discovered in a well-written obituary. Most genealogists begin their research with obituaries so they know where to research next. For example if you find an obituary that gives the names of military regiments, you can then research military records about the battles the deceased participated in. The possibilities for research are endless when you start with newspaper obituaries.

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