In Britain and Ireland, there is a distinct difference between an obituary and a death notice.
A death notice is a paid-for announcement giving only details of name, address, family members possibly and funeral arrangements.
An obituary is an article written by the publication about the person and his life. This would only be done for someone of repute e.g. famous sportsperson, musician etc An obituary would be found in the archives of the paper in question.
is the website everyone refers to and this carries all death notices placed in local and/or national newspapers.
Most people place a notice in local and/or national media. The problem with local papers is that they are weekly. You'd be dead and buried before the next issue comes out! The advent of local radio has meant daily death notices read on air. It would be very rare for no death notice to appear in either.
As far as Victorian times are concerned, only those with means had death notices published - you'd have to do further research to find out when the practice started and when it became cheap to do so.
Since 1864 one is legally obliged to obtain a death certificate - when it had to be certified by a doctor I don't know. Today it must be the doctor attending the deceased.www.irishroots.ie
have the death certificate index up to 1958.
Hope this helps