Did you know??

In order to be able to use the census soundex to locate information about a person, you must know his or her FULL NAME and the state or territory in which he or she lived at the time of the census. It is also helpful to know the full name of the head of the household in which the person lived because census takers recorded information under that name.


We, as researchers, should be looking for obituaries and death notices. This provides us with a 'source document'.

Friday, January 13 - Obituaries

It has come to my attention that not everyone doing family research understands the benefits of both find as well as writing a well formed obituary.

I have been spending consideral time looking for obituaries for Tehama County residents. Sometimes, the only written notice I find which details someone's passing is a simple notices that says "John Doe, died yesterday. He was X years old and came from (a location is given)."

But then, there are those actual obituaries which not only provide a brief history of the deceased but they also include information about family as well as occupation and maybe, if we are lucky, include birthdates as well as the actual date the person died.

We, as researchers, should be looking for obituaries and death notices. This provides us with a 'source document'. If we can identify a mortuary/funeral home, there is a slight chance that organization is still in business and may be able to provide additional documentation. But if nothing else, an obituary may provide enough information we can order a death certificate. And, the obituary may also identify where the deceased is buried.

YOU can help your fellow Tehama County researcher by volunteering your time and looking for and transcribing obituaries! It doesn't take much time and if you can volunteer your time for, say one hour a month, well, who knows how much you can do and who's ancestor you might just find!

Where do you find these old newspapers? Well, the easiest, is a website you can look at from your home! Yes, you need not go to a library, museum or actual newspaper morge! No sir, you can simply look at the CA Digital Newspaper Collection website. In the 'search' box, type something like 'Red Bluff burial', 'Corning death', 'Tehama funeral'...  You get the picture... (I have been using the actual name of cemeteries and have found way more than I can handle at any give time so I limit myself to about 45 minutes of searching and another 45 minutes of transcribing... That's more than enough for one day!!)

If YOU want to volunteer your time to transcribe obituary and death notices, you can send me a Word document and I will take it from there.  Please make sure you include the newspaper name and date - that is very important. (Take a look at what has already been transcribed if in doubt...)