New Hampshire Obituaries (2024)

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Obituaries and death notices are two of the primary ways to announce someone's death. They appear in local newspapers in the place of residence and/or death of the person, and make an essential resource for genealogical or biographical research. While death notices tend to be shorter and do not contain much information beyond the name of the person, the date of death and the time of the funeral service, obituaries often read like biographies in their own right, listing the achievements of the decedent, the highlights of their life, likes and dislikes, and also family members who had predeceased them and those who have survived them.

A third document that could be used in the absence of an obituary or a death notice -- a situation that should not be discarded as possibility unless you are completely certain there is an obituary -- is death certificates. The New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administration over at NH.gov is the custodian of vital records in the state but you should know that, unless you are an immediate family member or a legal representative, you can't access records less than 50 years old. However, death records older than 50 are considered public and anyone can access them after submitting a written request. One great advantage of the NHDVRA is that it also keeps a genealogical database of vital records going back as far as 1640. Help from volunteer genealogists is also available.

As for obituaries, you have several options, depending on how much information you start out with. If you know the full name of the decedent, the date of death, and the name of the newspaper that carried the obituary, you can simply contact it and request a copy of the issue. However, this is an ideal situation: in reality there are a few stumbling blocks that can make you choose another option. For one thing, not all New Hampshire newspapers keep an archive of their complete run. For another, you may not know the name of the newspaper, and may not even be certain that there is an obituary. A third problem would be if there is an obituary but the newspaper in which it appeared is no longer in circulation.

There are a number of websites where you can search for an obituary using only the last name of a person. This can be the best option if you don't yet know much about that person.

Most of these websites are free to use, while a minority require free or paid subscription. The minimum information a search of these databases would yield is the full name of the decedent, the date of death, and the date of publication of the obituary plus the name of the newspaper. Some will give you the full text of the announcement, and some would even display an image of the actual obituary as it appeared in the newspaper.

While most of these websites have quite extensive resources, they are not comprehensive, so do not be surprised if your search fails to yield any results. It may be that the newspaper that carried the obituary you need is no longer in circulation, or it may be that there was no newspaper obituary, among other reasons. If this is the case, then it is time to move to another source.

If you don't have much information about the object of your research, you can enlist the help of your local library or, if you know the place of residence of your ancestor, the library there. Local libraries are very often an invaluable source of genealogical information as they may keep more local history resources than bigger, more central ones. Of course, every library keeps newspaper records and these invariably include titles that have gone out of circulation. What's even better, some libraries have indexed specifically obituaries, which could save you a lot of time.

The Conway Public Library, for instance, has a database of obituaries from the North Conway Reporter, a local title, from 1895 to 1991, as well as an index from the Conway Daily Sun from 1989 to date. What's more, the library also keeps birth and death records entered in the Annual Reports for the Town of Conway, starting from 1880. The indexes are searchable online by name, date and place of birth and death, and by names of parents.

The New Hampshire State Library (accessed from NH.gov), for its part, has a collection of over a hundred local newspapers on microfilm, some dating back to the early 19th century. This makes for a vast database of information, including obituaries. On the website of the library you can see the full list of titles that are part of the New Hampshire Newspaper Project, as well as the range of issues they library has. These are available to buy.

In New Hampshire there are also a range of local resources, some of them extensive. For instance, a website dedicated to cemeteries in Bedford offers a list of decedents in any given cemetery in Bedford, with a lot of information including their date and place of birth, along with the date and place of death, name of spouse, and, if there is one, obituary. In Hillsborough county there is also a countywide search tool online, which you can use by entering the last name of the decedent only. The information you will get includes the full name of the person, dates of birth and death, and the name of the cemetery where they were buried. For some, there is additional information such as immediate family members, or whether the person died in a war, and which war it was.

These associations can be just as valuable sources of information as libraries. Some have local newspaper collections, and due to their specialized nature, they may very well keep records unavailable elsewhere. These may include cemetery records, inscriptions, vital records, and church records, along with family histories. Some of these are available online but even if they are not, contacting the society and making the trip to its headquarters may be worth the effort, if you cannot find the information you need anywhere else.

New Hampshire Obituaries (2024)

FAQs

How do I find an obituary in New Hampshire? ›

How to Perform a New Hampshire Obituary Search
  1. Step One - Enter the first and last name of your relative.
  2. Step Two - Include a keyword.
  3. Step Three - Exclude a keyword.
  4. Step Four – Include a year range.
  5. Step Five – Dictate which results are shown first, such as oldest, newest, or best matches.

Why can't I find my friends obituary? ›

There could be several reasons why you're having difficulty finding an obituary. The person you're looking for may not have had an obituary, the newspaper that published it could have gone out of business, or it could have never been saved or digitized.

What is the first line of an obituary? ›

Obituary Example 1:

“Our beloved [full name] tragically left us on [date of death]. Loved and missed by [list of family members]. [First name]'s passion for [hobbies/interests] touched all who knew them. Contributions to [charity], a cause close to their heart, are appreciated.”

What is the largest obituary website? ›

Legacy.com hosts obituaries for more than three-quarters of the 100 largest newspapers in the U.S., by circulation. The site attracts more than 30 million unique visitors per month and is among the top 40 trafficked websites in the world.

How do I find out if someone died in NH? ›

The New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administration is the state resource for residents who wish to obtain records of birth, marriage, divorce and death events.

How do I find a local obituary? ›

Most of the time, if an obituary is available online, you will be able to find it with a Google search. However, if you still fail to see the results you want, consider looking through the websites of local funeral homes or newspapers. Unfortunately, you may have to pay to access content in a local online paper.

How do you find a person who passed away? ›

Read The Paper or Watch The Local News

If you receive a physical newspaper, review the obituaries section to see who recently passed. Searching for someone who died more than 30 days ago? Turn to sites like Google News Archives, US News Archives, or International News Archives.

How do I find obituaries in the US by name for free? ›

Using Online and Print Newspapers to Find Free Obituaries
  1. Use Legacy.com to Search for a Free Obituary. ...
  2. Newspaper Archive Sites. ...
  3. Look for Obituaries in Newspapers at a Public Library. ...
  4. Ancestry.com and Its (Brief) Free Trial. ...
  5. MyHeritage Free Trial. ...
  6. FamilySearch. ...
  7. The Mormon Church Family History Library. ...
  8. Mennonite Archives.

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.

What is the last sentence of an obituary? ›

Concluding Message

Some families make the final line a dedication honoring their loved one. Phrases like “We will always carry your memory in our hearts,” or perhaps a favorite quote of your loved one are heartfelt and personal.

What is the last paragraph of an obituary? ›

The closing paragraph is typically rather short and includes details regarding services or gatherings, as well as any requests regarding donations being made to charities or organizations that are meaningful to the deceased.

What to say when an old person dies? ›

What do you say when someone dies?
  • "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm here for you."
  • "My condolences on your loved one's passing. May their memory bring you comfort.“
  • “I extend my deepest sympathy to you. ...
  • "Thinking of you, sending love and support.“
  • "We're saddened by the news. ...
  • "Heartfelt condolences. ...
  • "You're not alone.
Aug 3, 2023

What does a good obituary look like? ›

[Full Name], aged [age of the deceased], passed away peacefully on [date of death], at [location of death]. He/she was born on [date of birth], in [birthplace], to [names of parents]. He/she was a proud resident of [city of residence] and was a 1975 graduate of Holy Cross High School.

Is it common to read the obituary at a funeral? ›

It serves as a way to inform the community about the individual's passing and to honor their memory. During a funeral or memorial service, it is common for someone to stand up and read the obituary to the attendees. This reading may be performed by a family member, a close friend, or a designated individual.

Why are some obituaries not published? ›

Publishing an obituary can be expensive , and the funds may be unavailable. The deceased has few family members or friends , so there might have, unfortunately, been no need for an obituary. Obituaries are also written for the living so that they may learn of an individual's passing.

Can an obituary be removed from the internet? ›

News Sites & Obituaries: Reach out to the websites or publications directly to request the content's removal.

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.

Is there an app for local obituaries? ›

MyObits: Obituary Listings on the App Store.

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