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Genealogy

Short Guide to Obituary Research

Finding obituaries is easiest when you know the date and place of death. If you do not have a specific death date, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at Newton City Hall.  If the person is not listed there, we may not be able to find information for you.  More info here: http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/clerk/default.asp  If the City Clerk's office has a listing, they can usually supply the name of the funeral home and/or the cemetery where the person was buried.

This page contains many resources for obtaining obituaries- both current and historic.  Despite the amount of resources available, you may not find an obituary for the person you're researching.  Please know that not all people get obituaries.

Most Newton, Massachusetts newspapers are weeklies. In a weekly paper an obituary may appear after a funeral, therefore families or funeral directors may decide not to run one.

If a person lived in Newton for a short time before their death, the family may have chosen to run an obituary in the town in which the deceased lived longest (and had more connections).  If you suspect this is the case for the person you are researching, and you cannot locate anything in Newton papers, please refer resources in the other town or city.

If a short, incomplete obituary notice is found with a funeral home is listed, it is possible the funeral home might have a fuller obituary on file for the deceased.  

Obituaries are not the only way to find information about a death. If an accident occurred there may be an article written about the incident that gives more information about the circumstances surrounding the death. Checking the paper from the day and week after a death may yield useful results. 

Response time: Obituary retrieval is a laborious process and we do have staffing limitations.  For 1-3 requests, we will attempt to respond within 1-2 weeks. Please be advised that when requesting 3 or more it may take longer.

Local Obituary Resources

U.S. Obituaries (sometimes using Historic Newspapers)

Obituaries Databases

Obituary Request Form