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Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 2:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Maybe I'm just dense but I'm having trouble understanding the purpose of "WEB: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011".

I click on the source on Acom & it brings me to a page that asks me to click on "Go to Website", which brings me to a Rootsweb page called "Interactive Search". There I find a list of people, including multiples of the person I was searching for an obit. It appears to be a list where an obit originally appeared (i.e. smaller local regional newspapers plus the major newspaper [in Pittsburgh - in my particular case].

I don't understand the purpose of this data. It tells me basically nothing except somewhere potentially one of these papers has a copy of the obit, which may or may not be available on-line, or archived, but you'd have to google each individual paper & hunt down their archives. I feel like Acom is dangling a carot in front of me but I can't ever reach the carot....

Am I missing something here? I feel like I'm just going in circles with this so-called "database". Given the time frame (1995-2011) it's reasonably fair to assume most people have an obit somewhere, unlike at the turn of the 20th century, in the teens & twenties when obits weren't necessarily published.

Can someone kindly explain the purpose of this to the braindead (me, lol)?

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 2:13AM GMT
Classification: Query
Neither could I. It looks useless to me. I am sure one of the smart alecs that lurk on the board will come along shortly to explain it all.

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 2:31AM GMT
Classification: Query
Too funny, WVA. Well, at least I'm not alone. As they say "misery likes company" lol.

Sometimes I enjoy being in a fog & having no clue what's going on.......less stress and anxiety.

Obituary Daily Times Index seems like electronically connecting to a library's card catalog where they tell you, yes we have the book but we're not going to tell you where it is or how to find it. Seems like useless filler to say "we added X number of new databases....."

Oh well. I'll sit & wait for someone smarter than I to explain the details.

Linda

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 2:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 24 Apr 2012 4:35AM GMT
"I'll sit & wait for someone smarter than I to explain the details."

And here I am, to save the day. (I'd have been here sooner, but I was collecting things in mass-quantities).

The Obituary Daily Times index is created by members of the eponymous organization. They index - in a very specific format - obituaries which appear in the newspapers they have chosen to "adopt". The index currently has 16,295,047 (sixteen MILLION) entries dating back to 1995. Members, and the publications included in the index have come and gone over the years, so coverage is random and incomplete for any date range or location. Other members of said group are entitled to request copies of full obituaries from the submitting member, within a short window of opportunity (most 30-90 days, some 1 or 2 years). This entitlement is not available to non-members.

Non-members can, however, make use of the indexed information to learn exactly when and where an obituary was published. The non-member is then "on their own" to determine the best way to obtain a copy of the obituary.

Let's take an example at random from the index:

ANDREW, Captola (CONNER); 90; Whitewright TX; ShermanHD; 2008-7-6; delpat

The deceased was Captola ANDREW, maiden name CONNER.
She was aged 90, and died in Whitewright, Texas
Her obituary was published in the Sherman Herald-Democrat on July 6, 2008.
The submitting member's username was delpat

Another example:

ABBOTT, Margaret (SMITH)[WORTHINGTON]; 84; Providence RI>Jackson NH; Prov Journal (RI); 2001-11-21; wgroberge

The deceased was Margaret ABBOTT, maiden name SMITH, previous married name WORTHINGTON
She was aged 84, was born in Providence, Rhode Island and died in Jackson, New Hampshire
Her obituary was published in the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal on November 21, 2001
The submitting member's username was wgroberge

While there are many specifics for each segment of an index entry, a few of the general "rules" are:
*Surnames are in CAPS
*Nicknames are in "quotes"
*Maiden names are in (parentheses)
*Other surnames are in [brackets]
*The birth place is only listed if that state is different from the death state
*There many be more than one entry for the same person - either obituaries on multiple days in a single paper, or multiple papers, or combinations thereof
*Not all segments are always filled, if the originating obituary did not provide that information
*Errors can and do occur.

Full details of the structure of index entries can be studied in the Contributor Handbook:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/handbook.html

Full names and locations of newspapers cited in the index can be gleaned from the Publication List:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/publications.html

So your summation was mostly correct:
"It tells me basically nothing except somewhere potentially one of these papers has a copy of the obit, which may or may not be available on-line, or archived..."

Knowing when & where an obit was published is a goldmine if you've got nothing else to go on. If it pains you to have to obtain a copy of an obituary by some "old-fashioned" method, then this resource is not for you.

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 4:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Chris- an *excellent* summation. I couldn't have done better myself.

Andy Hatchett
www.fhiso.org

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 4:34AM GMT
Classification: Query
Maybe you telepathically communicated it to my typing fingers.

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 5:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
LMAO!!

Chris, if I could do that some of your previous posts would have been *quite* different, both in tone and content.

*grin*

Andy

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 1:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for explaining exactly how to read these. I mostly take them as death confirmations but not much more, and was never clear how to try to get the actual obit (or what the newspaper abbreviations mean - is there a chart that translates them, or do you just have to look at newspapers for that location, and see what seems to be the most likely?)

Thanks again.

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 3:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 25 Apr 2012 3:16AM GMT
If a person died in the past few years, try googling their name and town such as "john doe smith" Portland. sometimes you can find an obit that is still online (or at least find which paper it was originally in). When looking for an obit, I usually go to the public library website for the town they lived in to see if they have an obituary database. The obit itself is usually not online there, but often they will look it up for a small fee. If you don't know when they died, see if you can find them in the social security death index. Also, you can search every state and county at www.linkpendium.com which is a compilation of links that includes newspaper and obit archives. I have found good free newspaper databases that way.

Re: Web: Obituary Daily Times Index 1995-2011?? not understanding

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 4:32AM GMT
Classification: Query
"was never clear how to try to get the actual obit (or what the newspaper abbreviations mean - is there a chart that translates them, or do you just have to look at newspapers for that location, and see what seems to be the most likely?)"

Study the examples I used again :-)

The specific newspaper and date the obituary was published is part of the index citation, although many of the newspaper names are abbreviated. I also provided a link to the Obituary Daily Times publication list which gives the full newspaper name and location.

Start with the public library in the town of publication for your request for a copy. Usually googling "Chicago" and "public library" (for example) will get you headed in the right direction.
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