Source Information UK and Ireland,™ Obituary Index, 1800s-current [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc.
Original data: See newspaper information provided with each entry.

About UK and Ireland,™ Obituary Index, 1800s-current

General collection information

This™ index contains newspaper obituaries published in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland from the 1800s until now. Some are simply published versions of tombstones, with names, birthdates, and death dates. Obituaries can provide information other historical sources can’t offer, including employment and education histories, volunteer activities, and military service records.

Where a person lived can dictate the likelihood of an obituary. A small town newspaper was likely to print obituaries for everyone in their area, but a big city newspaper might only print death notices or a list of names for the recently deceased.

Using this collection

Obituaries may include the following details:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Birth date and place
  • Age at death
  • Marriage date and place
  • Death and burial date
  • Place of last residence or place of death
  • Obituary date and place
  • Names of parents, spouses, children, and siblings
  • Original publication details
  • A detailed obituary can be an excellent starting point for family research. Family names and relationships can be added to a family tree. Military service information can lead to enlistment and pension records. Birth and marriage dates can open a path to newspaper announcements and official birth and marriage certificates. A church funeral location may lead to additional church records.

    Collection in context

    These obituaries were created by newspapers throughout the British isles. The index was created from images of original articles, which makes it a high quality primary source.

    Obituaries became common in newspapers in the mid-1800s, and their length and content were determined by the notoriety of the deceased and the era in which they died. In general, the more famous a person was, the longer their obituary during the 1800s. When news type was still set by hand, obituaries were more brief, but as automated typesetting evolved they grew longer.

    The content and tone of obituaries has changed over time and often reflects the prevailing values of the era in which they were written. The value of human life, religious beliefs, poetry, and even morbid details of a person’s death were common themes during the late 1800s. By the 1930s and 1940s, a modern obituary template was widely used. The basic format included a death announcement, a short biography, a list of the deceased’s survivors, and funeral information.


    Ashcraft, Jenny. "Search the World’s Largest Archive of Historical Wedding Announcements." Fishwrap, the official blog of Accessed March 11, 2022.

    Lee, Karen. "How Do I Find an Obituary on" Fishwrap, the official blog of Accessed March 11, 2022. "History of obituaries and death notices." Accessed March 11, 2022.

    Roos, Dave. "How Obituaries Went From Dry Death Notices to Tributes to Truth." Accessed March 11, 2022.

    University of Southern California. "Research Guides: Evaluating Primary Sources." Accessed March 11, 2022.

    Recent Updates:
    15 Feb 2023: Added 3,170,449 new records from hundreds of newspapers.
    24 May 2023: Added 1,251 new records from hundreds of newspapers.
    30 Aug 2023: Added 6,127,518 new records from hundreds of newspapers.