Genealogy Research@SCDL: Obituaries

Welcome to this week’s SCDL Tree Talk Tuesdays. This week we continue our  journey about Genealogy Research @ SCDL. Each month we are taking a look at the specific records that are available within our collection to help you with your research. Today we will look at obituaries.

What Information is Found in an Obituary


Earlier obituaries contained less information than the ones we typically see today.  An obituary from the early 1800s may only note an individual’s name and date of death. Deaths_1854-03-08_pg3_col2

Over time, obituaries have become more detailed.  In addition to including the individual’s name and date of death, they may also include:

  • Date/Place of BirthDeath_1912-12-13_pg15
  • Names of Parents
  • Names of Siblings
  • Marriage Date
  • Name of Spouse
  • Name of Children
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Residence at time of Death
  • Cause of Death
  • Date of Funeral
  • Name of Funeral Home
  • Name of Cemetery

Occasionally, obituaries may include a picture of the deceased.

Locating Obituaries

The SCDL Genealogy Department has indexed the obituaries that have appeared in The Canton Repository from 1815 to present. Many of the indexes are available on our Stark County Online Index Files page here, but all years are available as hardcopies in the Genealogy Department.  After finding an entry in the index, you can look up the obituary in our microfilmed copies of The Canton Repository.  We have every year of the paper since it began in 1815.

If you can’t make it to the library, don’t worry!  You can request a copy of a Canton Repository obituary be sent to you either by email or US mail. Just complete the request form here.

So, what if you are looking for an obituary from another Stark County newspaper?

  • Our Genealogy Links for Local Sources page links you to many other area newspaper indexes including the Alliance Review, the Louisville Herald, the Massillon Independent and more.  The SCDL Genealogy Department does not have these papers in our holdings, but the indexes can at least point you to other libraries to contact.
  • Ancestry Library Edition includes several obituary collections for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and other locations.
  • Many individuals add obituaries to
  • You can search collections of historical newspapers, like Chronicling America.
  • Try
  • Or, read the FamilySearch wiki post for even more suggestions!

Author: Lauren Kuntzman


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