Ohio Obituary Index

Brought to you by

Rutherford B. Hayes

Presidential Library & Museums

HPLM Procedure for Indexing Newspapers.

  1. Hayes forms include only the fields we believe are most important, but other libraries are welcome to fill in all the fields available on the online entry form (such as marriage date). Be sure to index maiden names and other married names.
  2. First name field is just that --not middle initial, not nickname, not Mrs., not JR...
  3. Some first names may be male or female (Kelly, Lynn, Chris, Pat). You may indicate female or male in the drop down menu.
  4. Parents' first name is for mother and father first names. Use the Notes section if you wish to include surnames, maiden names or nicknames of parents--or to add step parents.
  5. Place of Death is the place of death and not the residence - if the person died in Toledo, but lived in Tiffin, use Toledo in the place of death field. There is no need to enter both city and county.  It is helpful to add county to a township--especially for researchers unfamiliar with the locations. If the place of death is outside the United States, use the City/County field for city and country: Paris, France. Leave the state field blank.
  6. Unless otherwise instructed by your library's staff, index all Ohio residents' deaths on the page regardless of where they died.
  7. If baby dies without a name, enter as son or daughter if sex is known. If not, use "infant" from the prefix drop down menu.
  8. There is frequently more than one notice of a person's death - one may be short, one may be longer, one may be a funeral notice. Index them all.

This is an index to a specific source - that is, a newspaper. It is not a database of miscellaneous facts about an individual. If a patron comes into the library and wants to change or add to the entry for their grandfather, explain that it is an index to a source. All the info in the database must come from that source (the obit), no exceptions. The online form was created to allow the entering of a wide variety of info. It is NOT necessary to fill in every field. Some libraries may fill in only the required data - name of deceased and source citation. This is perfectly valid. It is an obituary INDEX and not an abstract of a person's life.

ACCURACY is of utmost importance. It is frustrating to the patron and to library staff to find that a citation for an obit is a blind lead because someone typed the wrong year or month--or chose the wrong newspaper from the drop down menu.

Please check over your work before you leave that page.

John Ransom, Head Librarian 419-332-2081 ext. 232 [email protected]