Obituary Search Delaware
Searching for obituaries in Sussex County in the state of Delaware
If you are trying to find information about someone who lives or used to live in Sussex County or if you are doing research into your family history in the region, one great source of information on individuals, which is often overlooked when conducting these kinds of searches, is obituaries. Obituaries are the articles, usually just short pieces, published in local newspapers in the Sussex County area when someone dies. If the person is a local celebrity, the newspaper may print a longer, more detailed piece about them and their life, perhaps even interviewing surviving friends and family. Major celebrities get their obituaries printed in the national press; in fact, most national newspapers already have the obituaries of dozens of celebrities written and ready on file, waiting for the day they die and the articles can be used!
Most of us will only have short obituaries or death notices printed about us in our local newspaper, however. Often these are written and prepared by a family member and they appear alongside other family announcements, such as births and marriages. Unlike the latter two, death announcements are often placed for free in newspapers as even the local media understands the important role they play in announcing to friends and relatives across Sussex County that someone they know has died.
As far as searching obituaries go, most newspapers, even the smallest local one, now has their own website, usually with some kind of search facility. If you know or suspect that someone you are trying to find information about died in Sussex County, then there is a good chance that some kind of obituary will have been printed in the local press about them. This might include information about where they died, how old they were, where in Sussex County they had lived, perhaps details about their surviving family. Often these death announcements provide some clues about how the person died, such as “suddenly” or “after a long illness” and they are often used to let people know when and were funeral or memorial services will be held. Whether you are trying to find out information about someone who has died recently or someone who died one hundred years ago, you can sometimes get more facts from these short obituaries than you can get from the official death records and certificates. When it comes to recent death records, many of the details freely available in newspaper obituaries might be restricted to the general public, and only available to close family. Older death records might be incomplete or contain confusing phrases and scientific language about the cause of death, while a newspaper obituary will often be clearer and use layman’s terms. Obituaries can be useful whether you are researching past ancestors from Sussex County or if you have heard about a friend dying recently and want to know what happened.
Of course, if you are researching the deaths of your ancestors in the Sussex County region or in the state of Delaware, newspaper websites might not have these older editions available online, so you will have to go to the archives and search through the old editions. These are usually kept at the newspaper office itself, or if the publication no longer exists, in libraries in Sussex County. If you live a long way from the state of Delaware, this isn’t much use to you or to your efforts at genealogy research, however. You might be lucky enough to find a kind member of staff at the library who will agree to do the search for you, but your best bet is to use a commercial online site that will allow you to search databases of obituaries, even historical ones, that have been compiled from all over Sussex, the state of Delaware and the whole of the US. You will have to pay a fee, especially if you want to see or perhaps print off a copy of the article, but if you just want to know that an obituary exists for a certain person or if you get no results at all from your search criteria, many of these sites don’t charge a fee and will return any money you have already paid.