Welcome to the Obit Finder. Here you will be able to search for citations for obituaries that can be found in the Newspaper Microfilm Collection of the ALPL.

Database is temporarily unavailable for maintenance.

To begin, click on the Search button. Enter known facts in the appropriate blank boxes. Click on the Help button for more details about searching. Obituary records will be displayed after a search has been performed. When viewing results, click on the column headings to sort the records and click on the record of interest to view additional details. The Home button returns you to this page.

What it is:

A collection of obituary citations compiled over the years from research that has been done in the ALPL Newspaper Microfilm Collection. This includes obituaries from Illinois newspapers only(for a complete list, see Search ALPL Newspapers on the IHPA web site)

What it is not:

You will not find the actual obituary. You will find citations (name of newspaper, date, page and column ) for the  obituaries.  The database does not contain every obituary citation for anyone who ever died in Illinois. It contains only those names that have been researched at the library. If you do find someone’s name, the obituary is available through the ALPL. If you do not find a name it doesn't mean the obituary is not in a newspaper here, it just means that no one has researched that particular name and recorded it.

Search Tips:

Remember: less is more. In other words, the fewer words you enter, the more likely you are to find the name you’re searching for.
Last name: If you are unsure of spelling, either truncate (use as few letters as necessary) or try several spelling variations.
First Name: Unless you are positive or are searching for a common name, leave it out.
Maiden Name: Only entered if we had the information to  begin with. This was far more common pre-1960. Only use if you don’t  know the surname.
Middle Name: Only use if necessary (i.e., you don’t know whether the individual went by the first or middle name, or which was which)
Obituary Source: This will be a citation taken from an Illinois newspaper title that is part of the ALPL Collection. No other sources for obituaries are listed. There may be more than one citation  if more than one obituary was published.

If you find an obituary citation and you want a copy of the obituary: visit the library for more research or contact Jan Perone at (217) 558-8856 e-mail jan.perone@illinois.gov.

You can also borrow the microfilm on interlibrary loan at no cost and make the copy at your local library.

Want to add your obituary citations to the database? Only ALPL staff are authorized to do this. If the obit is in a newspaper that is part of our collection, please call, mail or e-mail the following information: Person’s name as it appears in the obituary, name of newspaper and town where published and exact date, page and column where the obituary is listed. Upon verification, the complete citation will be added to the Obit Finder Database.

For information on the use or reproduction of images or text,  please see our policy.