How Do I Find an Old Obituary in Alabama?

How Do I Find an Old Obituary in Alabama?

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and it can be helpful to look back on their life and remember their legacy. Obituaries provide a valuable resource for finding information about deceased individuals, including their birth and death dates, family members, and accomplishments. If you are searching for an old obituary in Alabama, here are some steps you can take:

1. Start with local newspapers: Begin your search by checking local newspapers in the area where the person passed away. Most newspapers have an online archive of obituaries, allowing you to search by name, date, or location. Some popular Alabama newspapers include The Birmingham News, The Montgomery Advertiser, and The Huntsville Times.

2. Visit your local library: Many libraries keep physical copies of newspapers, including obituaries, in their archives. Contact your local library and inquire about their newspaper collection. They may also offer access to online databases, such as or, which contain obituary records.

3. Contact funeral homes: Funeral homes often keep records of the obituaries they have published. Reach out to funeral homes in the area where the person passed away and inquire about their obituary archives. They may provide you with a copy or direct you to a resource where you can find the obituary.

4. Check with local genealogical societies: Genealogical societies are dedicated to preserving family history and often have extensive collections of obituaries. Alabama has several genealogical societies that may have the obituary you are looking for. The Alabama Genealogical Society and the Birmingham Genealogical Society are two examples.

5. Utilize online resources: There are numerous online resources specifically designed for obituary searches. Websites like,, and allow you to search for obituaries by name, location, or date. These platforms often contain obituaries from various sources, including newspapers, funeral homes, and family submissions.

6. Seek assistance from a professional researcher: If you are having trouble finding the obituary on your own, consider hiring a professional researcher. These experts specialize in genealogical research and have access to extensive databases and resources. They can help you locate the obituary and provide additional information about the person’s life.

7. Check social media and online forums: People often share obituaries and memories of loved ones on social media platforms or online forums. Search for the person’s name on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or genealogy forums to see if any obituary information has been shared by family members or friends.

8. Consider reaching out to local historical societies: Historical societies are dedicated to preserving the history of specific regions. They may have obituary records or be able to direct you to resources that can help you find the obituary you are looking for.


1. How far back can I expect to find obituaries in Alabama newspapers?
The availability of obituaries in newspapers varies, but you can generally find obituaries dating back several decades, depending on the newspaper’s archive.

2. Are there any online resources specific to Alabama obituaries?
Yes, websites like and the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s website offer databases and resources for researching obituaries in Alabama.

3. Can I request a copy of an old obituary from a newspaper?
Some newspapers may offer the service of providing copies of old obituaries. Contact the newspaper directly to inquire about their policies and fees, if any.

4. Are obituaries only published in newspapers?
While newspapers are a common source for obituaries, they can also be found in funeral home records, online platforms, and family submissions.

5. How can I obtain a certified copy of an obituary?
To obtain a certified copy of an obituary, contact the newspaper, funeral home, or relevant organization that published it. They may provide you with an official copy for a fee.

6. Is there a fee associated with accessing online obituary databases?
Some online obituary databases may require a subscription or charge a fee for accessing their records. However, many websites offer basic search features for free.

7. Can I find obituaries of famous individuals in Alabama?
Yes, obituaries of notable individuals in Alabama can often be found in newspapers, online archives, and specialized databases.

8. What if I can’t find the obituary I’m looking for?
If your search for an old obituary in Alabama is unsuccessful, consider expanding your search to neighboring states or contacting local historical societies for assistance.

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