The History of Obituaries and Where to Find Them: Episode 154

By Family Tree Editors

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Newspaper obituaries with the Family Tree podcast logo.

In this spooky episode of the Family Tree Podcast, we learn how to locate and use historical obituaries for genealogy research. We’ll also compare the the three major cemetery websites and take a closer look at the origins of Halloween. Join our host Lisa Louise Cooke and her guests as we explore these topics and much more.

Ep. 154: October 2021

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In this episode:

Tree Talk (01:26)

There’s a lot more to Halloween than just candy and costumes! This spooky holiday has a long history, as well as a rich ethnic background. That got Social Media Editor Rachel Christian wondering what the DNA test results would look like if Halloween were to take a DNA test, and she stops by with the answer.


Follow Family Tree Magazine on Social

Like us, Halloween has a long and rich history. This year, we decided to see what it would look like if Halloween took a DNA test.

Featured Interview: The History of Obituaries and Where to Find Them (11:00)

Obituaries play a critical role in your genealogy. In the article “A Genealogist’s Guide to Finding and Using Historical Obituaries” author Shannon Combs Bennett explains everything you need to know about using and finding obituaries.

Websites Mentioned in This Interview

Chronicling America at the Library of Congress (Free)
The Library of Congress Chronicling America is a great start. See if they have one of the local newspapers for the place that you’re researching for the timeframe your ancestors were there.

FamilySearch (Free)
Check out the resource page at the FamilySearch Wiki which includes many links to sources for obituaries.






British Newspaper Archive

Use obituaries and death notices in your genealogy research. This guide gives you tips for finding obituary information and mining it for details.
Shannon Combs-Bennett
Shannon Combs-Bennett

DNA Deconstructed: Can I Delete My DNA Data? (22:44)

Perhaps you took a DNA test a few years ago, and your results are on the testing company’s website. But now you’ve decided you don’t want them there anymore. Can you delete your DNA data? Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard is here to help answer that question.  

When it comes to DNA tests, privacy is sometimes a concern. DNA expert Diahan Southard weighs in.
Diahan Southard
Diahan Southard

Best Genealogy Websites: Cemetery Websites (28:54)

Author Sunny Morton helps you navigate three of the largest cemetery websites that can help you find your ancestor’s final resting place:

Find a Grave

Billion Graves

Read Sunny’s article entitled Heavyweights in the September/October 2021 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Sunny Morton
Sunny Morton

Editor’s Desk (41:56)

Family Tree Magazine Editor Andrew Koch gives us a quick tour of the rest of the Sept/Oct 2021 special issue called Grave Research.

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast in your favorite podcasting app or with the Genealogy Gems Podcast app in your app store, and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!

Lisa Louise Cooke
Lisa Louise Cooke