Obituary Listings

The society has been indexing death notices recorded in the microfilmed copies of the Stockbridge newspapers. Indexed are death notices that appeared in the newspapers from 1886 through 1966 and 1968-1999. Please note that this index is not complete: we are missing copies of newspapers from the years 1956 through 1959, as well as a few selected issues throughout. We have also not completed indexing for newspapers post-2000.

1880 to 19101911 to 19201921 to 1930
1931 to 19401941 to 19501951 to 1960
1961 to 19701971 to 19801981 to 1990
1991 to 20002001 to 20102011 to present

Death notices and obituaries in these early newspapers were not like they are today. They could be anywhere in the newspaper and may even be a single sentence in the Local or Personal columns.

To help you search, please note the following:

  • Someone may be listed twice. The reason is that their death notice may have appeared in one issue, and then an obit appeared in the following issue.
  • Death notices/obits can range from a single sentence (Joe Smith died at his home Sunday) to a full obit and anywhere in between.
  • As for death notices, we have included them in the listing even though the person’s obit might be in the next issue. The reason? There are times when different information is given about the deceased that you would not find in the obit. For example, Frank Farrington passed away in a farm accident. His death notice gives a description of the accident and says how his wife went to the neighbors for help. None of this was mentioned in his obituary. Another example is that of a death notice that mentions diabetes, but it is not mentioned in the obit.
  • Women can be listed several different ways. In the 1800s, for example, they were usually known by their husband’s name (Mrs. John Smith), listing neither the woman’s first nor maiden name. Somewhere between 1910 and 1920, this changed, especially if the woman’s father was considered a pioneer or community leader. Then she may be listed by her first name and then her maiden name, with her married name tucked somewhere in the obit. For example, Zella Ett Ramsdell is listed at the head of her obit as Zella Ett Howell, her maiden name, in bold letters. She married William Ramsdell, but that is listed further down in the obit. Sometimes women hyphenated their names (Howell-Ramsdell).
  • To further complicate the situation, women can also be listed by their married name in the death notice and then by their maiden name in the obit.

Newspapers are available via microfilm at Capital Area District Libraries – Stockbridge branch, as well as in hardcopy in our holdings (available via appointment).