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Q: Old obituaries ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Old obituaries
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: bob73-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 19 Oct 2002 11:59 PDT
Expires: 18 Nov 2002 10:59 PST
Question ID: 85206
How can I access obituaries in old (1912) issues of 'The Times of London'(UK)?

Request for Question Clarification by luciaphile-ga on 19 Oct 2002 13:03 PDT
Are you located in the US?  And are you willing to use sources not online?  Thanks.

Clarification of Question by bob73-ga on 19 Oct 2002 18:20 PDT
I live in Rochester NY US
I am willing to use services not online if this can be done by snail
mail or in Rochester NY
I am looking for information about my great grandmother who was buried
in Kensal Gren Cemetery in London 16 February 1912.

Request for Question Clarification by luciaphile-ga on 21 Oct 2002 08:44 PDT
Hi bob73-ga,

The Times of London has been indexed by various sources throughout the
years.  Palmer's Index to the Times covered the paper from 1790 to
1905.  The time span you are interested in would be indexed by the
Official Index to the Times (some title changes from 1905-1980).

I am posting this as a clarification because it sounds that you are
looking for one particular obituary rather than a question of how to
access.  I can tell you which libraries in Rochester have the Official
Index to the Times (and the Times itself for the pertinent year) or if
you prefer, you can provide the information about your great
grandmother (full name and date of death if you have it) I can try
look up the citation myself, check the microfilm and paraphrase the
obit.  I suggest this also because even if I can't do it, there may be
other researchers here who also have access to the Times of London.


Clarification of Question by bob73-ga on 21 Oct 2002 15:23 PDT
I would like to learn where to access the old London Times obituaries.
A number of my family members died in London in the 1800s and early
1900s. Some of them were prominent citizens.

However I would be very thankful if you could find the obituary of my
great grandmother,Charlotte Wilson, who was buried at Kensal Green
Cemetery in London 16 February 1912.

Thank you,
Bob Wilson
Rochester NY
Rochester NY
Subject: Re: Old obituaries
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 25 Oct 2002 16:33 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi bob73-ga,

Thanks for the interesting question. I’ve learned quite a lot about
the resources in the Western New York area for newspapers.

Getting back to your original question -- how to access obituaries or
death notices in the Times of London for 1912 -- essentially it’s the
same as it is for any newspaper searching where full text is not
necessarily or easily available. Most large newspapers have printed
indexes, that is, a book (or books) in which you can quickly look up a
name or subject and find a list of the pertinent dates and issues of
the newspaper, thus saving you a great deal of time. Some newspapers,
the Buffalo News, for instance, has no printed index for public
consumption until the 1970s, and in cases like these, locating items
and articles becomes much more difficult.

Fortunately, this is not a problem for the Times of London. As I
indicated in my clarification request, the Times of London has been
indexed by several sources. For the time period you are interested in,
the two that you will need are the Official Index to the Times and
Palmer’s Index to the Times. Given that you are interested in locating
death notices and obituaries, Palmer’s may be more appropriate and
easier to use.

Palmer’s (for the period in which you are researching) is organized in
quarterly sections in each volume. According to one source, obituaries
are found under the headings:

OBITUARIES (or individual’s name) 1986- 
Individual’s name 1906-1985 
DEATHS (or individual’s name) 1790-1905 
Individual’ s name 1785-1789 

Western Washington University  “The Times (London)”

In the volumes of Palmer’s that I have seen, however, I have noticed
that these are also organized under “deaths,” so you may wish to check
all three possibilities so as not to miss anything.

Once you have your citations, your next step is most likely going to
involve using microfilm.

Now, given your geographical location, you have four options. I’ve
done some extensive searching of the resources available to you in the
Western New York region. Your choices are:

1.	University of Rochester: according to their catalog, they have both
the Times of London as well as the two indexes you will need. They
also subscribe to an online index. The Times of London is on
microfilm, which is never a fun medium with which to work,
unfortunately, that’s generally how it goes when doing this kind of
research. According to their catalog, the indexes you need are located
in their reference area. If you are not affiliated with the University
of Rochester, they may ask for photo ID to use any rare materials, but
from what I’ve been told (I spoke with a staff person) you should be
able to come in and use their resources there.

Rush Rhees Location/Directions

River Campus Libraries Catalog

2.	Drake Memorial Library, SUNY Brockport

They have the Times (Microfilm). They also have both indexes that
you’ll need.  Their catalog lists them as being in storage, so you may
wish to phone ahead and verify that these can be obtained then and
there. As it is a state university, there should be no difficulty with
you using their collection onsite.

Drake Memorial Library

The next two options involve going to Buffalo, which is approximately
an hour and a half’s drive from Rochester.

3. Central Library, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

The Central branch has the Times and the indexes, but all of these are
on microfilm, which may prove more difficult in terms of use. The
advantage to going to the Central branch is that they also have an
excellent Special Collections room with local history and genealogical
history resources that may aid you in your research. Their hours of
the Special Collections room are the same as that of the library; the
Microform room’s hours are more limited.

Central Library, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

4.	Lockwood Memorial Library, University at Buffalo

They have both Palmer's Index and the Official Index to the Times as
well as a complete run of the Times itself. The indexes are bound
print volumes in their reference area. The Times is, as with all of
the others, on Microfilm.  As in the case of the other libraries, you
should be able to access the materials in house with no trouble.

Newspapers on Microform in the UB Libraries

Popular Newspaper Indexes in the UB Libraries

Lockwood Library at the University at Buffalo:

As for locating your grandmother's obituary, here's what I would
suggest -- post a new question with all of the pertinent details about
your great grandmother and let the rest of our researchers take a shot
at finding it. Many of the researchers are located all over the world
and many of them have access to libraries, resources and records that
I don't have. If the information is out there, I'm sure someone will
find it for you.

Search strategy:
Because of the kind of work I do, I was already familiar with the
indexes to the Times of London.

I first went to Worldcat, (proprietary database), which contains
catalog holdings for libraries around the world. I entered the three
items you would need: the two indexes and the Times itself and
selected the libraries in your geographical area.

Because those holdings are not always up-to-date, I then did searches
in each of their online public access catalogs.

Google search:
“university +of Rochester” libraries
“suny Brockport”
“buffalo +and erie county public library”
“suny buffalo” libraries
obituaries “times +of London” index
“death notices” “times +of London” index

I also used this (which I found indirectly):
ROARing CAT (Rochester Regional Library Council)

I'm glad to have been able to find a source for the Times of London
and indexes as you requested. If for any reason my explanation of how
to access that information is unclear, please feel free to ask for

bob73-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I am very pleased with the results of this search. "luciaphile-ga did
a thorough pertinent search.

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