Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What we hope to find in an obituary

A good article in The Capital Times, "Don't make obit a resume," among other things, tells what to look for in an obituary. While the article laments modern-day obits sounding more like resumes, it does note the kinds of things one likes to find in an obituary, especially from a family history point of view. Jim Olle, who has collected about 1,200 obits in his pursuit of family history was asked what he likes to find in an obituary.

"It is helpful for me to find all of the names, dates and places and the names of all of the children and grandchildren. In the pursuit of genealogy, it is helpful to read about their military history, their social history, what clubs they belonged to, such as the VFW or the Elks,." he said. Olle believes that when the obituary describes the person's interests, such as fishing or travel, it gives you a more complete picture of the person. Something else to consider is where the obituary should/could appear. If someone lived and worked in one community and retired to another, the notice could appear in several papers.

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