Writing Effective Obituaries
Let’s face it – no one wants to write an obituary. But if you ever have to, here are some general guidelines to help get it right.
Since death notices are meant for providing useful information about the deceased, they should be written carefully. Many people look for death records of their ancestors in newspapers and online databases. Effective obituaries help to convey the information instantly without any confusion and misunderstanding.
Death announcements should be made in a clear manner, with praise of the deceased along with other useful information about his/her past. Essential information like date and location of death should be present in an obituary. Some people also write the cause of death, which can be helpful.
You will want to include names of the deceased’s family and friends. Many times, such information will help those who may be searching for the death record online.
An obituary may also contain a personal note or a poem for the deceased that reflects your true feelings and grief at their passing.
Death notices often contain information about the place of funeral and other related details. This is because these notices are published in newspapers for the purpose of informing distant relatives, friends, and acquaintances about the death.
When writing an obituary, you can search for obituaries of deceased family as a source of information. Online databases contain obituaries collected from different newspapers. Searching these databases is not an easy task, and you may have to spend several hours to find death records you are looking for.
Because of the sheer amount of obituaries available, many websites now provide easy-to-use search features to save time. There are paid as well as free online databases where obituaries can be found.
Some obituary may not be available online yet. You can visit sites like Obituary Links Page to learn how to locate hard copies in the appropriate state.
Alex Johnson is an occasional family researcher whose job has been made much easier by the Web. He recommends Obituary Links Page as a resource for those overwhelmed with the task of tracking down obscure death notices.