Finding obituaries on the internet

I need to know if there’s a way to search for an obituary on the internet. My in-laws heard that a guy I went to grade school with died about six months ago. It’s a long story, but they heard it from some people at church who had heard through friends of the family. Yes, I know that a story from a friend-of-a-friend isn’t always likely to be true, but I would really like to find out. I could probably find out how to contact his family, but I hate to just ask a question like that. Is there any way to find an obituary from that long ago? My husband tried the Chicago Sun-Times website, but he needed a password to log in. I’d be grateful for any help at all. Thanks!

Obituaries, for the non-famous, are not easy to find online. Most of the time, the newspapers in major metro areas don’t keep the obituaries online for a long period of time because they are considered advertising matter and not editorial content.

If the person passed away in a smaller town, you might want to check to see if a local paper out in that burg is online. They are more likely to keep more obituaries online because it’s more likely that the obituary was staff-written and not paid.

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, we’re in Chicago, which doesn’t quite qualify as a small town. Sigh…I guess I may have to wait and see if someone can find out more information. I haven’t seen this guy in about four years, but this “news” has hit me hard. Maybe I’ll try poking around online some more.

You could just take a trip over to the Cook County Recorder’s Office and see if the person has a death certificate on file. If you die, it’s a public record.

You might want to look at . That’s where I monitor the non-departure’s of this year’s celebrity deathpool list.

In another life, I will return as a moderator and edit out that apostrophe.


Try a search just for “Chicago Sun Times” not the website, from there ask for classified, then obituaries, then name of your friend etc. It will search the records they have for this name in obits. I had to do the same in our city paper last week and managed to find the one I was looking for from a year ago. Good Luck With It.

The password is only for their e-mail offering.

I clicked on Obituaries in the column on the left, then clicked on Death Notices when the Obits came up and got to Sun Time Death Notices.
Death Notices are considered a form of classified ad (family pays to notify world of death whereas an obituary is a miniature column written by the paper to comment on the passing of a “notable” figure).
Therefore, if the 250+ death notices don’t go back far enough to find a hit from four months ago, try calling their classified desk and ask them if they could find the notice. (I have no idea what the protocol would be, for doing that.)

The Chicago Tribune Death Notices only go back 30 days, so you may have trouble finding anything from four months ago on-line.

Try searching for Chicago’s legal news where they publish death notices as part of probate and related stuff. *I have no idea what the name of that paper would be in Chicago or whether they have on-line access, but the Death Notice editor at the Sun Times or Tribune might be able to tell you.

[Sun Time Death Notices]( ss%3Alist=DEATH+NOTICES&searchterm%3Alist=&Search.x=84&Search.y=26)

If all you want to do is find if the person is dead or not try the Social Security Death Index. I access it thru

Type the name in and boom find your ancestors. If they are dead the site brings you to the death index and if they are dead they should be there.

It includes rr employees too. I found the dates of birth and death to be off in some cases but those were people born in the early part of the 1900 or late 1800s

Okay, I looked here and I didn’t find his name. I am going to hope that means he’s still alive. A lot of the places I looked up only had info on people if someone had posted it. This looks like it includes everyone.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that his name isn’t in there…

Thank you all for your help and suggestions!

Unfortunately, the Social Security Death Index is not comprehensive. It’s actually not run by the government. The SSA sells their info to private vendors who then organize. It tends to have lots of typos and not everyone gets listed because not everybody tells the SSA of a death.

However, everybody tells the county recorder’s office of a death.