Massachusetts Obituaries (2024)

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Obituaries in Massachusetts and other parts of New England can generally be found in the local town or county papers. Many obituaries for Boston and the surrounding area can be found in:

Boston Athenaeum. Index of Obituaries in Boston Newspapers, 1704-1800. Boston, Massachusetts: G. K. Hall and Company, 1968. FS Library film 823596.

American Antiquarian Society. Index of Obituaries in Massachusetts Centinel and Columbian Centinel, 1784 to 1840. Boston, Massachusetts: G. K. Hall and Company, 1961. FS Library fiche 6051402–06. The obituaries are abstracts of the news items and are listed alphabetically.

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Massachusetts Obituaries (2024)


How do I find an obituary for a specific person in MA? ›

Obituaries in Massachusetts and other parts of New England can generally be found in the local town or county papers. Many obituaries for Boston and the surrounding area can be found in: Boston Athenaeum. Index of Obituaries in Boston Newspapers, 1704-1800.

How can I find out if someone died in Massachusetts? ›

Massachusetts State Law: "Chapter 46: Return and Registry of Births, Marriages, and Deaths" states death records are public records. "Death certificates are public record, so any member of the public can obtain a copy at the city or town clerk's office where the death occurred."

How do I find a local obituary? ›

Many funeral homes publish obituaries on their websites. These can usually be located with a Google search on the person's name. Local genealogical and historical societies, public libraries, and some newspaper publishers maintain clipping files of obituaries.

Who is typically listed in an obituary? ›

Usually people include names of a spouse, parents, children (with any spouse's names listed in parenthesis), grandchildren and great grandchildren. You may choose to list grandchildren and great grandchildren individually by name, or simply include the number of each.

How are grandchildren listed in obituaries? ›

In most cases, obituaries do not include the names or nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, or in-laws unless they were close to the deceased. Grandchildren are sometimes listed but often numbered instead (…he leaves behind 5 grandchildren).

Can you check if someone has died? ›

Can you check death records online? You can. The process is generally straightforward. However, if you lack details about the deceased person, such as their name and approximate date of death, obtaining additional information like the cause of death or burial place may prove challenging.

How do I find out the name of someone who died? ›

For online sources, newspapers and churches may list obituaries on their websites. Local and national governments also maintain databases of deceased residents. You may find an online database of deceased residents created by a city, county, state, or cemetery.

What not to put in an obituary? ›

When writing an obituary, leave out details that could be used for identity theft, such as the deceased's date and place of birth, middle name, maiden name and mother's maiden name. And don't include the deceased's home address.

How soon after death do you write an obituary? ›

Publishing an obituary is a time-sensitive process–you should try to have it written and posted within a week of the deceased's passing. This goes for obituaries published both online and in print. If the obituary includes funeral details, you must publish it at least three days before the funeral.

Do you include an ex-wife in an obituary? ›

If the deceased was divorced, it can be worth it to include this information in the obituary, especially if they were close afterwards or had children. The obituary should list the names of the ex-spouses as well as any children from those marriages.

Who normally reads the obituary at a funeral? ›

This reading may be performed by a family member, a close friend, or a designated individual. The purpose of the obituary reading is to share important details about the deceased person's life, allowing everyone present to reflect on their accomplishments, relationships, and contributions.

How do I find the maiden name in an obituary? ›

When writing an obituary for a woman who had a maiden name, simply write her first name and then in parentheses write her maiden name and then her married last name. For instance, Laura (Ingalls) Wilder, Marie (Sklodowska) Curie or Julia (McWilliams) Childs.

How to place an obituary in the Boston Globe? ›

� How do I publish a death notice in The Boston Globe? You may use the self-service application at, or the text may be emailed to us at The DEADLINE for submitting a notice with an accompanying photograph is 5 p.m. daily. Deadlines may be changed on holidays.

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