Friday, January 11, 2019

Search the Hometown Paper Too!

Don't be satisfied with just one obituary for your ancestor. Many of our ancestors moved away from their hometowns and settled elsewhere.  In our case, our family left the Missouri Valley and settled in the Sacramento Valley.  But your ancestors are often not forgotten in their hometown, especially if they have family that remained. Case in point is this obituary for Mary Iza McCrory, my grandmother that I never met. She died in Sacramento, California but she grew up in Sioux City, Iowa.  She had two sisters that remained in Sioux City.  Most likely it was one of her sisters that gave this report to the Sioux City Journal:

Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) 08 Aug 1952, Friday, Page 14

I already had an obituary from the Sacramento Bee but it did not mention several key facts. See if you can find these important additions to my grandma’s story.

OBITUARY: Sacto. Bee, Wednesday, 6 Aug 1952, pg. 31CIMINO--In this city. August 5, 1952. Mary I. Cimino, dearly beloved wife of Richard Cimino, beloved mother of Tony, Richard James and Bettyann Cimino, all of this city, loving daughter of Alfred and Annie Hansen, sister of Austin McCrory of Omaha, Mrs. Rachael Burris and Mrs. Zola Needles of Iowa; a native of Iowa, aged 44 years.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral Friday morning at 8:30 o'clock from the George L. Klumpp Chapel of Flowers, 808 O Street, thence to Holy Spirit Church, Land Park Drive and Cordano Way, where a requiem mass will be offered at 9 o'clock for the repose of her soul. Interment St. Mary's Lawn. Recitation of the Rosary tomorrow (Thursday) evening at 8 o'clock. 


The obituary in the Sioux City paper mentioned that my grandmother died "after an operation." I do not recall hearing that before. This version also indicated that my grandmother was a former resident of Sioux City and South Sioux City, which I knew but it is an additional fact about her prior residences.

The Sioux City obituary also states her sisters were residents of Sioux City rather than Iowa as stated in the Sacramento obituary.  The tone is also much more familiar in Sioux City as my grandfather is named as Dick and my dad is named as Dicky rather than the more formal Richard and Richard James in the Sacramento version.

The Sacramento obituary has details about the funeral, requiem mass and burial that Sioux City did not have. Between the two obituaries we have a much richer picture of the life and death of my grandmother. So search for those newspaper articles from the hometowns.  You might be surprised at what you find.


  1. Is there an online source for newspaper searches, or should I try to contact the town newspaper directly? In many cases, the actual newspapers are no longer being printed or have gone out of business.

    1. There are many online sources including,,, and local and state online newspaper projects. But start by calling the local libraries in the vicinity of where your ancestors lived. Reference and genealogy librarians usually have knowledge of online and microfilm resources for their local newspapers.

    2. Also check these websites:

  2. Thank you, sir. .you are a wealth of information!