Tips from the Staff

Since the Obituary Index went online, the Louisiana Division staff has discovered that people are often ordering more obituaries than they really need. As a result, they are receiving duplicate obits and spending unneccesary dollars on copy fees. In an attempt to remedy this situation, we've put together some tips that we've learned through long familiarity with the index. These tips provide general advice; unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules.

Tip 1: References to an obit in different papers on the same day

Until recent times, several daily newspapers were published in New Orleans, and families often submitted an individual's obit to all of the newspapers. Usually, the same obituary appears in each of the different newspapers. If you order them all, you are simply ordering the same obituary printed in several different papers. You probably need to order only one.

Similarly, if the obituary appears one day in the evening paper and the next day in the morning paper, the two obits are probably identical. You probably need to order only one.

Tip 2: References to an obit in the same paper on consecutive days

Although there is a chance that the second obit may contain details that the first does not (e.g., funeral arrangements), we have found that there is a much better chance that these two obits are identical. You probably need to order only one.

Tip 3: Two references in the same paper on the same date

If the index gives two references to the same paper on the same date, the references are probably to the death notice (shorter) and a longer obituary or article about the individual and/or the circumstances of his/her death. In this case, you should probably order both.

Tip 4: When in doubt, use your best judgment and expect duplication

In the complicated situation shown below, we can make a good guess that two of the references (one from the States and one from the Picayune) are probably to long articles. The others are probably obituaries, and the ones in one paper probably duplicate the ones in the other paper. Since it is impossible to know which of these references will offer you the most information, you should probably order everything. Use your judgment, however, and if you order all, expect duplication.

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