Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Obituary Indexes to be added to FamilySearch Indexing program?

I have heard recently that FamilySearch has started a pilot program to index obituary collections as a new record type for the Historical Record Collections. I have extensive experience looking for obituaries and it is a frustrating process. I surely welcome any effort to provide even more indexes for obituaries. Presently, they are scattered all over the Web in both free and subscription websites for digital newspapers.

Obviously, an index to obituaries can be a simple list, such as the one on the Mesa FamilySearch Library website, but the information available in obituaries is usually more complex than a simple list.

In checking the Indexing website on, I do not find any currently listed projects concerning Indexing but I did find the Project. The US, Michigan—Muriel Obituary File, 1930–1970, Project is apparently a Pilot program. Here is a description from the website:
  • This project is a pilot or test project to help indexing volunteers understand how to index obituary projects. After the pilot is finished, indexing instructions, sample images, and other resources may be revised and enhanced for future projects.
  • This is a collection of obituary clippings from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The clippings are alphabetized and are from 1930 to 1975.
Since there is an update shown above in the screenshot, it appears that this project is still progressing. I hope it works, because this is an area that has suffered from extensive fragmentation.

1 comment:

  1. Great news! The indexing pilot was successful. We started indexing our first two official obituary projects today, which are the first of many, many more to come. They are:

    US, Pennsylvania—Obituaries, 1977–2010
    US—Obituaries of Germans from Russia, 1988–2013

    Come download a batch today and see what you think.

    Happy indexing!
    FamilySearch Indexing