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Problems in doing the research

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


When the headstone gave death dates in years, months and days, it was relatively easy to use that information to search for an obituary in the local newspaper. For example, the Frostburg Mining Journal< was published one day a week on Saturdays. Thus, with a death day, we could easily go to the first issue of the newspaper after the death occurred and usually find an obituary.

However, in more recent times, the practice was altered so that only the death year was entered on the headstone. In the case of the weekly papers, this meant that, at worst, all 52 issues had to be searched in an effort to discover an obituary. The problem was compounded later as newspaper moved from weekly to daily publication. If only the death year is given, all 365 issues may have to be reviewed to find an obituary. As you can imagine, we were happy to discover that the death occurred early in the year since this dramatically shortened the search process.

A related problem was that sometimes there was no obituary ever written in relation to a death. In the past, the newspapers relied on the voluntary provision of death information from family, friends and official sources. This was not always regularly forthcoming. Even official record keeping was haphazard. The consequence is that we might search through a whole year of newspapers and not find an obituary. But we were never sure whether this meant an unreported death or whether we simply missed the death notice



Page #:

Anthony E. Crosby and Michael R. Olson


Collection Location:
Frostburg, Md

Original Size:
28 x 22 cms

Cemeteries, Maryland, Frostburg; Obituaries, Maryland, Frostburg. .

Frostburg (Md.), 1800-1972

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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