Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jumpstart Tip #8 - Reading Obituaries

Anna Orsatti Ditoto - Obituary
If you have a collection of family documents and photographs tucked away somewhere in your home, chances are good that there is at least one obituary or funeral notice for a member of your extended family. In the example shown at left, this clipping was given to me in 1991 along with other documents that had been saved by my maternal grandmother.

You can see that even a relatively brief obituary is rich with detail about family history. Even if you have read them in the past, you should take out any obituaries in your collection and carefully read them once again.

> Who are all the family members listed?
> What is their relationship to the deceased?
> Are there people missing that you thought would be listed?
> Are there other place names mentioned?
> Are ages or dates mentioned?
> What newspaper and date did the clipping come from?
> Is the name of a cemetery, Church or funeral home mentioned?
> Are Pall Bearers named and, if so, who are they?

You may be surprised how many more clues you can obtain by simply going back and reading obituaries that may have been tucked away for a few years. Each clue can lead to other family discoveries.

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