Wednesday, May 03, 2006

24/7 Obituary Hunter

I received one today -- a notice of an obituary for an individual named Sydorko, my grandmother's maiden name. As it happens, I can't find any relationship to this person, but sad to say (I suppose a reflection of our somewhat disjointed, or at least, far-flung families these days), this alert system is how I have learned of the passing of a few of my great-aunts over the years.

I'm a heavy user of Ancestry.com and suspect the
Obituary Hunter tool is one of their most under-utilized features. I have it set to constantly monitor a variety of newspapers nationwide for surnames of interest to me. Whenever it spots ones with my specifications, it sends me an email with a link to check it out.


Because the names on the Eastern European side of my family are fairly unusual, I'm interested in anyone who shares them. But for folks with more common names, you can qualify the search by including additional factors, such as a first name, location, newspaper title, the names of someone else who would likely be mentioned in the obituary, or just any keyword. Used strategically, you can back into married names of females, find out where that missing branch of the family went after the 1930 census, or simply keep an eye on your hometown.

Give it a try. Go set up a few alerts and then just forget about it. Let the Obituary Hunter do the work for you!

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