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Chicago Tribune Obituaries in Chicago, Illinois
Uncovering your family history can be difficult. Chicago Tribune obits are an excellent source of information about those long-lost family members in Chicago, Illinois.
With the Chicago Tribune obituary archives being one of the leading sources for uncovering your history in Illinois, it's important to know how to perform a Chicago Tribune obituary search to access this wealth of research from newspapers all across the country.
Our online database enables you to perform searches without the hassle of performing manual searches through old records.
Some of the most beneficial reasons to look into Chicago Tribune local obituaries include:
- Uncover the branches of your family tree.
- Connect with extended family members.
- Discover the stories of your ancestors.
Explore the comprehensive records in our online database, and you'll gain access to almost 150 years of local history.
Plus, 95% of GenealogyBank records cannot be found through any other online services.
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How to Search Chicago Tribune Obituary Archives
Looking up Chicago Tribune obituaries in Illinois doesn't have to be difficult. Whether you're trying to understand where you come from for the first time or you're looking to add some detail to a family tree, it couldn't be easier to perform a Chicago Tribune obituary search.
All you have to do to get started is enter the last name of a chosen relative and press the “Search” button. It’s an excellent launching point for further research into those elusive relatives.
You can also get some additional guidance by downloading the free “Tips for Searching Titles” guide.
If you’re trying to get more information on a specific relative, follow these steps to perform an advanced search of the Chicago Tribune obituary archives.
- Step One – Begin by entering the first and last names of your relative. You’ll get more accurate results if you also have a middle name. Our search results will present you with close match obituaries.
- Step Two – Add a keyword, such as a school or a town, to narrow your search results.
- Step Three – Exclude keywords to avoid uncovering obituaries unrelated to your family tree.
- Step Four – Include a year range. With almost 150 years of history, the chances are your ancestors share the same name as someone else’s ancestor.
- Step Five – Get different results by changing the sorting options. You can order your results by showing the best matches, newest entries, and oldest entries.
Tips for a Successful Chicago Tribune Obituary Search
Genealogy research can be challenging as many records are incomplete or filled with mistakes. For a successful Chicago Tribune obituary search, it’s good to have multiple strategies at your disposal to ensure you get the correct relative.
Most older obituaries will include some pieces of family information. Obituaries can be used to uncover information about other relatives or to confirm that you have the right person in Chicago, Illinois.
For a successful search of Chicago Tribune obituaries, follow these tips:
- Use information from more recent ancestors to find older relatives.
- Try searching by initials. Many old Chicago Tribune obits used initials instead of full names.
- Are you looking for a female relative? Try searching for their husband’s name.
- Perform searches by using common misspellings. TITLE editors often didn’t fact-check spellings in the past.
By implementing these strategies, you can go deeper with your research and uncover the ancestors you never knew you had. It’s also ideal for fact-checking, as many obituaries weren’t necessarily created with 100% accuracy.
Why are obituaries so valuable in genealogy?
Obituaries are a snapshot of a person’s life and death. As a result, they are invaluable for mapping out someone’s family tree. Obituaries are an important springboard for starting family research and can lead to rediscovering lost relatives, discovering vital medical information, and so on. Using the Chicago Tribune’s obituary resources via the GenealogyBank interface can help you get started on mapping out the historical journey of your family. This is easier than simply entering the phrase “obituaries Illinois” into a search and hoping for the best. Read More
Obituaries throughout history
The Obituaries that we are familiar with first started taking shape back in ancient Rome. In 59 BC, death notices were announced in papyrus broadsheets called Acta Diurna, or “daily events.” As time progressed, obituaries became a regular feature of newspapers, although numbers remained comparatively small compared to today. Obits for famous figures were, of course, the norm but it wasn’t until the invention of Linotype that obits for the masses became standard. Before then, obits were brief because paper supplies were low, and skilled typesetting labor was expensive.
As newspaper circulation figures increased, the obituaries section became a public space for grieving and coming to terms with death. This was especially important during the Civil War, as so many Americans lost their lives during that time period. By the 1930s, the four-part format that is used in Chicago obits today (announcement of death, bio, “survived by” and funeral information) is the standard. This standard format enables sites like Ancestry.com to parse scanned pages and fill out family trees with ease. Another development is that as time has passed, more and more families have been willing to be honest about things like the cause of death, instead of using coded language such as “died at home in their sleep.” This is immensely important in constructing generational health histories that can track and prevent things like cancers and various congenital conditions. This trend is found in Chicago Tribune death notices as well as in other nationwide papers.
How to search obituaries online
When searching obituaries in Illinois by name, it’s always important to have this information at hand:
- First name, middle initial, last name
- Place of death
- Time of death, or year range if the exact date not available
Sites like GenealogyBank will allow you to easily find obituaries by entering this information. Also, knowing which newspaper carries the Chicago obituaries that you are looking for helps the research process. The Tribune obituaries are the Illinois standard for obituary listings in terms of comprehensiveness and data. Obituaries Chicago suburbs publish will most often use the Chicago Tribune four-part format, and have most of these details in their listings.
What to look for in Chicago Tribune obituaries
The most vital information in Chicago Tribune obituaries is the date and time of death, deceased relatives, survivors, and cause of death. By exploring the web of family relations, you can take this information and use it as the basis for deeper research in the library and while checking out newspaper morgues. The results can be exciting and illuminating! An important development in the age of online obituaries is that since listings are not constrained by print space, obituaries are now attaining a more comfortable word length, and include important life details for the diseased, such as career and anecdotal information. This is joyous to many families, who can share these remembrance details with future family members. Most Tribune obits now follow this pattern. Read More
What can obituary information be used for?
The information in Chicago Tribune obituaries can be used for nearly any topic that relates to family history and any aspect of genealogy research. This can be immensely helpful in finding lost relatives, discovering other family branches, building a family medical history over time, and recreating a family historical journey.
Genealogy research and obituary information examples
Let’s take a look at one of the recent Chicago Tribune obits. The example we have here is for Tommie J. Brey, who passed away on August 12, 2020.
We know from this obituary listing that Mrs. Brey was born in Maypearl, Texas on February 23, 1936, to William and Corna Harmeing. We also know that she is predeceased by both her parents and her husband William E. Brey, as well as by two sisters and an infant son, all three of whom are named. She is survived by two daughters as well as two in-laws. Three grandchildren are also listed, all by name. The obituary also contains important facts about her teaching career and personal anecdotes. Her service as an ESL instructor is highlighted, as well as her duties as a union representative.
The obituary of Mrs. Tommie J. Brey demonstrates the usefulness of obituary listings in constructing a family journey through history and is a dignified, celebratory example of how a life can be honored.
How to Find Illinois Death Notices in the Chicago Tribune
Finding death notices in the Chicago Tribune can be another vital source of genealogical research. But what’s the difference between a death notice and an obituary?
Although some people use the terms interchangeably, they’re actually two different things. Obituaries describe the person, who they are, and what they did in their lives. Death notices, on the other hand, are formalized reports of someone’s death in the local news.
Family members would have published death notices in the Chicago Tribune to detail the person’s name, age, residence, work history, and any information about the funeral service. As family members typically wrote these, they tend to be relatively accurate.
Death notices can help extract more information about an ancestor and uncover their place of burial. So, how do you look up local death notices and sift through hundreds of years’ worth of history? If you want to find death notices alongside Chicago Tribune obits, follow these tips:
- Include Boolean operators and proximity search techniques.
- Use multiple collections to fact-check any found records.
- Connect other family members mentioned in the death notice to confirm whole sections of your family tree.
The Chicago Tribune records are invaluable sources of historical information about local people. We make it easy for you to search, discover, and share your family’s untold story. Get started with GenealogyBank and start making connections today.
Other Useful Collections To Try
- US Newspapers Archives
- Government Publications
- Social Security Death Index
- US Cultural Archives
Trace your family history with the GenealogyBank database to begin growing your family tree.
Do you want to learn even more about unlocking your history? Visit the GenealogyBank Learning Center for tips and inspiration.