Legacy.com: the Largest Online Publisher of Obituaries

memorial-obitIf you haven’t yet used Legacy.com, you have overlooked a powerful genealogy resource. The company started collecting and publishing obituaries on its web site in 1998. (Older obituaries are not available.)

Today, Legacy.com is the global leader in online obituaries, a top-50 website in the United States, and a destination for over 40 million unique visitors each month around the world. The company publishes obituaries from more than 1,500 newspapers and 3,500 funeral homes across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

As any genealogist might imagine, Legacy.com provides information about people, their lives, their immediate ancestors, and other relatives. It also allows visitors to express condolences, share direct support for families, and celebrate the people who have touched their lives.

The obituaries are usually exact copies of those published locally in newspapers and elsewhere. Many of them describe the deceased persons career, hobbies, and personal interests. A few are humorous. Some on Legacy.com are “asleep in Jesus,” others have “returned to Allah.” Many described hobbies or personal interests, such as “liked drinking a cold beer.” Most have loving families. A few each month are reported dead of heroin overdoses.

One recent death notice that went viral: ‘Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass.’

The Legacy.com web site should not be confused with Legacy Family Tree, a popular genealogy program for Windows. The two companies are unrelated.

Legacy.com is available at http://www.legacy.com.

My thanks to newsletter reader Joseph Martin whose recent email message inspired this article.

6 Comments

Legacy is a great resource. However I find the overwhelming amount of advertising cumbersome.

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Just tried this site for my husband’s obituary in Toronto, Ontario in 1999. A link did come up, as well as a couple of close ones, but only accessible if I signed up for a 14 day trial for Ancestry. If Legacy can’t provide the obituary, but only a link to Ancestry, what good is it?

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    D. Bourrie – I use Legacy all the time. Click on the link at the top of their page to see the newspapers they include. It’s possible the newspaper you need is not included in their database. If they don’t have the obituary you are searching for they provide links to ancestry instead. If you notice, at the top of those listings, it does say advertisements.

    They do not refer back to ancestry in all cases. Try searching for any other surname to see what it looks like when they do have results.

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This article about Legacy.com reads as if it came straight from the Legacy.com P.R. Dept. I have tried to used Legacy.com many time over the years, without much success. When one local newspaper began using Legacy.com, I (and perhaps others) successfully lobbied against it. Better to just do a browser search on the specific individual and hope that a newspaper or funeral home obituary pops up.

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I found one obit but it was “Archived” and I could not find any FAQ or explanation on their site that explains what “Archived” means. When I clicked on see full obit it took me to a page where I apparently have to pay to get it temporarily unarchived. I wish they told us what and why etc. about “Archived” entries!!

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Legacy is stealing our memorials to our loved ones all in the name of greed and the funeral homes/newspapers who help them are no better. The memorial at the funeral home or obituary you place (especially in a major news paper) are then owned by Legacy. When they ARCHIVE the memorial or obituary that you placed and you no longer own for your loved one you then have to pay if you ever want to see it again.

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