California Newspaper Obituaries (1865 - Current)
Enter your ancestor's name below and we'll search obituaries to help you learn more.
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California Online Obituary Archive of Local Death Notices
Searching for California obituaries online enables you to delve into history and uncover long lost ancestors.
Whether you want to find extended family or conduct extensive genealogy research, California obituary archives can help you achieve your goals.
Before the internet, obituaries were published in both local and state newspapers archives. However, manually searching the archives is time-consuming and complex. Our online database enables you to bring up results from your family tree in seconds.
Some of the beneficial reasons to look up California local newspaper obituaries included:
- Discover all the branches of your family tree.
- Uncover extended family members.
- Find out what happened to those long-lost family members.
Explore your ancestry with access to more than 13,000 newspapers across 330 years of U.S. history in seconds by conducting a simple California obituary search. Plus, 95% of the newspaper records available via GenealogyBank cannot be found anywhere else.
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How to Perform a California Obituary Search
Look up California obituaries with ease, whether you’re new to genealogy or a veteran researcher.
It’s as simple as entering your relative’s last name and clicking “Search.” This basic search is an excellent option for securing a starting point for further surname meaning research.
You can also download our free guide on “Tips for Searching Newspapers” to find out more.
If you already have additional information on the relative you’re searching for, follow these steps to perform an advanced search of the California obits for the last 330 years
- Step One - Enter the first and last name of your relative. Our search will also bring up close match obituaries.
- Step Two - Include a keyword. This could include the name of a specific town or a school.
- Step Three - Exclude a keyword. If you want to exclude certain cities and towns, you can enter the terms into this field.
- Step Four – Include a year range. If you already have some dates or time-specific information for a relative, you can narrow your search results this way.
- Step Five – Dictate which results are shown first, such as oldest, newest, or best matches.
Tips for Searching Tips for Searching California Obituary Archives
If your relative had a commonly used name, it could be difficult to find the result you want. The challenge of discovering your ancestry is building a family tree that’s relevant to you.
It’s not uncommon to choose the wrong relative with a similar name. So, how do you find those elusive ancestors by searching the California obituary archives?
The majority of old obituaries include some basic family information. This information can fill in the gaps in your knowledge and enable you to fact-check those old obituaries later.
Our top tips for searching California obituary archives online include:
- Use the information from more recent ancestors to find the correct obituary.
- Search by initials. Older obituaries often mentioned the deceased by their initials.
- Search for husband names when looking for a wife.
- Search by date range and first/last name only to find California obituaries that may have been misheard or misspelled.
Using these techniques can help you to uncover ancestors that are difficult to find.
How can you find death notices in California
Death notices were typically published in newspapers at the time. They are dictated by the family members of those who were present at the time; therefore, the chances are they provide accurate information.
These tips can help when searching death notices for potential relatives:
- Use advanced search techniques, including proximity and Boolean operators.
- After performing a search, jump between collections.
- Double-check multiple newspapers to ensure you have the right relative.
- Look up the family members named in the death notice to confirm an ancestor.
Death notices and obituaries are both incredibly useful ways of uncovering your familial origins. However, no resource should ever be taken individually at face value.
Other Useful Collections To Try
- US Newspapers Archives
- Government Publications
- Social Security Death Index
- US Cultural Archives
Once you’ve overcome the joy of finding out your family history, make sure you seek other resources to trace your lineage before adding them to your family tree.
Download our free “Tips for Searching Newspapers” guide to learn more about uncovering California obits and more.