Michigan Resources: Saginaw Obituary Index

478 Saginaw Obits

Since the majority of my family is from Saginaw County (some lines since the Civil War), I do a lot of my research in the county. The librarians now recognize my face and name whenever I come in or email them! Although, some of the librarians there knew me as a child (my family went to the library every Saturday when I was growing up) so I guess that isn’t much of a stretch 🙂

The Obituary Index above has been a wonderful resource and I want to spotlight it to show what a library can do with their resources. It’s always a good idea to see if something like this is available as it’s becoming a bit more common.

The Public Libraries of Saginaw went through their extensive newspapers for the city of Saginaw (there were MANY newspapers over the years) and have created this wonderful database. You can search by name, a name and a year, a year, or a month and year. It also allows wildcard searches in case your ancestor has an oddly spelled name.

The information then provided varies. Here is one that doesn’t have much (and sometimes you can get less than this!):

479 obit with little info

And one with a lot more:

480 obit with more info

Sometimes it’ll even mention parent’s names as well.

In the upper right corner of the information, in the yellow, it’ll tell you what newspaper it came from. If the space is blank, like Gerald’s, that means it came from the Saginaw News which became (and still is) the only paper in Saginaw. It also gives you the date and the page the mention can be found on (not always accurate but if it isn’t, it’s only a page or so off). Sometimes you’ll see more than one newspaper mention too. For example, one of my relatives was killed in a car accident so it has the first report and then later a memorial note.

This is a wonderful resource and goes back as far as the newspapers do! If you have questions, the response time from the staff is quick and has been a great help in my research (especially since I can’t get there often to actually see the obituary!).

Even if this particular website isn’t useful for you, it’s always a good idea to see what kinds of resources are available through the library because you can find gems like this one! Even if your family came from a rural town without a newspaper, like some of mine did, they could still be mentioned in the bigger city newspaper so check the next biggest city’s library for information as well.


Happy Searching! 🙂

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  1. Yes, this is a really great service the PLoS provides! They helped me so much finding information about my emigrants who settled in Saginaw.

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