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Map of Participating Counties
Table of Participating Libraries
A list of the newspapers and the dates indexed.
Instructions on how to order the actual obituaries through this web site.
List of Other Sources Indexed in the Obituary Index.
Best State Website: OHIO 2015
An explanation of the obituary index-credits, history, scope, correction policy.
Friends of the Hayes Obituary Index - Please Contribute
Membership Benefits for Genealogists
Become a Library Partner
Post-em and Notebook Features

Hayes Presidential Center’s Obituary Index



Started in the 1970's on cards, the obituary card file indexed death notices and some marriage notices from local newspapers. The earliest Fremont papers were from the 1830’s and have been completed for obituaries up to the current day. In 1986, a computer program was set up to handle this index and in 2000, was mounted on the web as an online database. Starting in 2001, public libraries in Ohio have become partners and have been entering their data into the system.

From about 50,000 cards in the old card catalog, the index has grown to about 3,000,000 entries in the database in 2013. It is unique to most obituary indexes that are available elsewhere in that it is cross-indexed by maiden names and previous married names listed in the obituary and is searchable by a variety of methods. It is indeed a powerful index to local names.

The Library cannot guarantee every reference will be full of good information or even unique information. When our staff and volunteers indexed the obituaries they were told to include any reference to a person, thinking a genealogist would want everything they could find about their ancestor. Sometimes that means that an obit reference is just a one-liner saying the person died or a marriage notice.

The Library staff cannot look up several references and send you the best one for the price of one. The small fee charged covers the time it takes to look up one article, printing it and mailing it.


The original index was compiled by Hayes Library Staff and a small army of volunteers who have read the original newspapers, in hard copy or microfilm, listed the deaths and then input them into the computer system. The time spent on this superb reference tool should not be measured in hours, but years. We have attempted to list all the volunteers who have worked on the project at Hayes over the 30 past years. See below for list. If you know of someone who helped and is not listed, please contact

Starting in 2001, other libraries started entering their data into this index, so it now extends beyond the holdings of the Hayes Presidential Library.


In the beginning, the index covered newspapers from Sandusky County, but other counties which appear include Erie, Ottawa, Seneca, Huron, and Wood counties.

In October 2001, Tiffin Seneca Public Library staff started entering their obituary card catalog and completed adding over 100,000 names in 2004.

Since then, many other libraries throughout the state have joined the partnership, bringing the total to over 60 libraries in January 2013. See the map on the top page for all the partner libraries. Funding for some of the libraries has been provided by Northwest Ohio Library District (NORWELD) and a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, awarded by the State Library of Ohio.


This database contains about 90% newspaper citations and about 10% other sources. Obituaries is a term used loosely for death notices - some may be lengthy articles, some may be brief one line notices.

Some marriage notices have been indexed. However, only a small percentage of the marriages have been indexed - do not use this index as your only search for a marriage.

Additional resources:

Besides obituaries, a variety of other sources have been indexed into this database, mostly from the Hayes Presidential Center.

Examples of these other sources are probate case files, funeral home records, society membership records, biographical files, brief references in history books, etc. Hayes cannot set a standard fee for copying these items because they can range from one page to fifty or more. If the item is located at the Hayes Presidential Center, contact the library staff (419-332-2081 or to find out what is available on your individual. In general, our research fee for this material is $15.00 an hour plus photocopying costs. If the item is located at another library, please contact that library directly.


This resource is an index to a source - usually a newspaper obituary. If the names and dates are not what you know personally to be true, the library cannot change the original source (the newspaper) to reflect that. If you have seen the newspaper source and the information in our index does not match what is in the paper, then we can correct the index. We will do this only if you send us a copy of the paper article showing the discrepancy. Thanks for your help in making this index as accurate as possible.

At any time, you can also add a “post-em” note to an individual that can be seen by anyone looking for that name, stating that you are related and would like to exchange information or posting the info. that might vary from the online listing.

Explanation of Headings:

Names were copied exactly as written in the newspapers so researchers should check all possible spellings. Sometimes two completely different spellings were given in two different papers but it is obvious they are the same person. It is up to the researcher to check all variants. We do not correct mistakes made in the newspapers.

Maiden names are indexed by the Hayes Library volunteers if they appeared in the obituary, along with names for women who married more than once.

Age at death is listed, if known. Not all entries are deaths, however, so there are many entries with no age given.

City or place of death is given. Sometimes a person resided in this area, but died in another town or state, so the place of death is not necessarily the place where the person resided.

Date of death is given. There are many entries with no death dates and that might signify that the entry is not an obituary. There are thousands of marriage announcements from the newspapers that have been indexed, along with a variety of other sources that do not include a death date, such as wedding anniversaries. Marriage dates are given only when the newspaper citation is for a wedding announcement.

Additional headings (such as father's name, spouse's name, marriage date):
If these fields are not filled in, there may still be information in the actual obituary. Different libraries have indexed different amounts of data – some have only entered the name and the date of the newspaper. Over the 30 years of indexing, not all indexers put in all possible data. To be thorough, a researcher should check the actual obituary for complete data.

Becky Hill
Head Librarian/Project Coordinator
Hayes Presidential Center
Fremont, OH

Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Indexers, Inputters and Volunteers

  • Lisa Alcala
  • Ellen Amstutz
  • Audrey Baker
  • Barbara Berry
  • Oby Bonawit
  • Patricia Bristley
  • Mary Ann Bullinger
  • Irene Byrne
  • Ann Cain
  • Nan Card
  • Joe Chidley
  • Florence Coe
  • Larry Cook
  • Katie Coxon
  • Barb Czerwony
  • Dorothy Deichert
  • Delores Donaldson
  • Richard Eubanks
  • Matthew Fassnacht
  • Merle Friedt
  • Robert A. Gallagher
  • Joanne Gerber
  • Aricia Goddard
  • Dawn Good
  • David Golden
  • Edith Gray
  • Ruth Haar
  • Janice Haas
  • Eileen Haggerty
  • Shirley Halbeisen
  • Mervin Hall
  • Sue Hammer
  • Hayes Home Guides
  • Susan Heishman
  • Ruth Hill
  • Rebecca Hill
  • Michelle Hoffert
  • Charles Hutchins
  • Joan Jahns
  • Jan Johnston
  • Janice Jordan
  • Ruby Kapp
  • Marlo Keller
  • Janet Kennedy
  • Ruth Kennedy
  • Carol Kessler
  • Jodi Kindred
  • Donna Kirsch
  • Eleanor Kiser
  • Gaylen Kline
  • Nancy Krall
  • Dewitt Lewis
  • Teresa Lust
  • Timothy Mielke
  • Margaret Minich
  • Museum Store Volunteers
  • Linda Neeley
  • Margaret Nicely
  • Kathy Jo Oliver
  • Mary Ottney
  • Barbara Paff
  • Marie Paulson
  • Jane Pump
  • Liz Proudfoot
  • John Ransom
  • Carolyn D. Reinbolt
  • Mary Lou Rendon
  • Josephine Shelley
  • Deborah Sherman
  • Loretta Sieberg
  • Frances Sinclair
  • Jon Smith
  • Kenneth Smith
  • Ruth Smith
  • Elizabeth Stager
  • Dorothy Wagner
  • Clara Wesolek
  • Kathryn Wunderly
  • Brenda Young
  • Verna Young
  • Janis Zimmerman

© 2005 The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove, Fremont, OH 43420-2796
phone 419.332.2081 | fax 419.332.4952

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