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Genealogy: Obituaries

Genealogy resources.

About Obituaries

Obituaries are an excellent source for biographical information about family members. An obituary usually lists surviving family members but may also show religious preference, social club affiliations, occupation, age, education, native town, and special interests. Obituaries are usually published locally unless the individual was particularly prominent.  Some obituaries may appear in college or professional newsletters.

Historically, brief death notices appeared in early newspapers but more traditional style obits occur most commonly after 1850. These obits are not as frequently available. It is more likely you will find obits after 1900.

Obituary sources

  • At the Main Library at Goodwood
    •  Microfilm: Baton Rouge newspapers and The Times Picayune.  Call the reference desk at 231-3750 for details. Not all are indexed.
    • The Advocate Obituary Project -- Indexes obituaries appearing in the State Times or Morning Advocate.  Years covered to date:  1952-59; 1960-91.


  • Also at the Main Library
    • Microfilm: The New Orleans Bee (1870-1906) and Baton Rouge newspapers (The Gazette, Daily Gazette, The Comet) from 1827-1886. Not Indexed. See the newspapers guide.
    • CDs: Baton Rouge area index for years: 1953, 1968-1979.
    • Print: Abstracts and guides for Louisiana and other states.


  • Online: 
    • Newsbank: (Available through our Online Databases) 1986 to present.  Newspapers include: The Advocate, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, The Daily Advertiser, The Shreveport Times, The Times Picayune, and some major metropolitan newspapers.
    • The Advocate Obituary Project -- Indexes obituaries appearing in the State Times or Morning Advocate.  Years covered to date:  1952-59; 1966-69; 1970-79; 1980-91.
    • US Genweb  Every state has a US Genealogy Web page which may include links to obituaries. 
    •  The Web-Using any search engine (Google, Yahoo, Live Search, search for other obituary resources.  Combine keywords like the city or state the deceased lived in, name of the deceased, with the keyword "obituary", "obits", "obituaries","death" etc.
    • Obituary Daily times -  The Obituary Daily Times is a daily index of published obituaries. It is distributed FREELY, often twice a day by email, and usually has over 2500 entries a day.
    • Go to our Genealogy Database Guide to see what is available on line for the Advocate and the Times Picayune in Historical newspapers.



  •  Free pages: sponsored Rootsweb. These files contain indexes for obituaries created by Baton Rouge volunteers. The obituaries are from Baton Rouge Louisiana newspapers for the years 1952-1959 and 1980-1991. Some of these files are large and take a long time to load. Please be patient. To search, click on the letter for the SURNAME, then use the Edit - Find (on this page) to narrow your search.


  •  Other Libraries: For obits in another parish or state, contact the library or newspaper in that area.