More Obituaries Online
As we move into the online generation, I am frequently asked why obituaries are not online. It is because it is not as simple as downloading a few records. There are millions of obituaries that were printed before the advent of the internet and to go back and rescan each one (even each paper!) would take an extreme amount of time that staff doesn’t have and equipment we can’t afford. But there is an alternative. Many libraries and genealogy societies are working to digitize an index for obituaries. At Spokane Public, I have been recording all death notices and obituaries printed in the Spokesman Review since January 1, 2008. The database is updated every Saturday. I also record the obituaries that I am asked for that were printed before 2008. So, while the list doesn’t include every single death in Spokane, it is a good starting point. There are 63,477 records so far. I am also working to digitize the obituaries listed in the Spokesman Review Index from 1901-1920 (have currently completed A – H) and eventually from 1880-1900. While I have been busy with that the genealogy volunteers from the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society have plowed through the card catalog known as the Patchen File. They have digitized 56,593 records from 1935-1979, which you can access under free databases at the EWGS web site. While these aren’t a complete collection, it is a way to narrow down a search. Combined, there are over 120,000 records digitized! It may be a slow process but its happening. If you would like to volunteer to index you can contact the library or the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.
EWGS Calendar of Events:
See also their list of Genealogy computer classes.
The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is here to help you! Volunteers are on duty every Tuesday 10 AM - 12PM and 1- 4 PM and every first and fourth Thursday from 3-6 PM and every Saturday 10-12 in the Genealogy Area to answer questions and assist researchers. Beginning researchers are encouraged to visit. Please call ahead (509-444-5357) if you are coming from out of town or to make sure that a genealogist is on hand to assist you.
Check flyers posted in the Genealogy Area for information on workshops, beginner classes, luncheons and other activities. Please feel free to attend all functions...and you are also invited to join the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society .
The Downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library houses a growing collection of genealogical resources, with special emphasis on Spokane, Eastern Washington and the surrounding states.
Resources housed in the Genealogy Area on the Third Floor include a collection of Spokane city directories, Spokane newspapers obituary indexes, census microfilm, periodicals, family histories, vertical files and much more.
Other resources of interest to genealogy researchers, such as the county plat maps, Sanborn fire maps, early Spokane newspaper indexes, etc are located in the Northwest History Room on the Second Floor.
Spokane Newspapers from 1882 to 1894 are on microfilm in the Northwest Room and from 1895 to present are on the Third Floor.
If you are unable to make it in to the library or you need further assistance, the FamilySearch Centers run by the LDS church are open to the public. To find a Center near you enter your zip code at the FamilySearch site.