One online resource often ignored by genealogists is called ObituaryRegistry.com and, in some places, is referred to as American Memorials. The service has a good collection of online obituaries.
I have not yet used ObituaryRegistry.com, but a reader of this newsletter recently described it in some detail. The service reportedly has fewer total obituaries than either Newsbank or Ancestry.com. However, this newsletter reader subscribes to all three and reports that ObituaryRegister.com often has obituaries that are unique, not found on the other services, and apparently never indexed by the search engines.
Obituaries available on this service only go back to the year 2000, when about 20 to 25% of the nation's obituary records were recorded within its databases. Starting in September 2002, the service was greatly expanded, and ObituaryRegistry.com has recorded nearly 100% of the obituary records in the United States that were published since that September 2002 date.
ObituaryRegistry.com offers the following:
- The complete full text of all obituaries, not a limited synopsis
- The ability to conduct unlimited searches by:
- City and state of residence
- Date of death
- Date of data entry
- Keywords and more
- Optional weekly reporting, searching for pre-defined keywords (typically names or locations) of interest
ObituaryRegistry.com has been offering a basic service to genealogists for about $40 a year. However, the company recently cancelled that plan and now suggests a package aimed at small businesses for $24.95 a month.
ObituaryRegistry.com probably is not a good deal for the casual genealogist researching his or her own family tree. The records are far too recent, and the service is too expensive for someone researching only one family tree. However, the professional genealogist, private detective, or other person who earns a living at research and needs frequent access to recent records may well find ObituaryRegistry.com to be a good addition to the "toolbox." I would also expect that many family associations or one-name studies would be interested in this service in order to monitor all new obituaries for a specific surname.
You can find more information about ObituaryRegistry.com at http://www.obituaryregistry.com.