Genealogy and Obituaries
On this page:
Online Research Tools
- Ancestry Library Edition
- Ancestry Library Edition is available from inside the library only.
The largest general collection of genealogical records is available at your library! Here you can find U.S. birth, marriage, and death records; military records; immigration and border crossing information; school and church histories; and much more!
- Start here for easy searching of census records. Plus, delve deep into your past using Revolutionary War records; Freedman's Bank records; books and local history; over 3 million magazine and journal articles dating back to 1800; and much more!
- America's Obituaries
- Looking for an obituary? This is the largest, most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices. Find obituraries here and start filling in that family tree.
- Chronicling America
- Open up a newspaper from the past! Check out what was going on 100 years ago today, or browse through different cities, states, and time periods between 1860 and 1922.
- National Archives
- Though not all of their records are online, NARA does have many records you can access from home, including WWII, Korean, and Vietnam casualty lists and POW lists; Fugitive Slave Case Papers; Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files; Spanish-American War service records; and Japanese-American Internee Files. They also have online research tools, research guides, and FAQs.
Finding an Obituary
Searching for obituaries or death notices can be time-consuming, but finding them can be a great way to start or broaden your family tree.
See the quick chart for ideas on where to get started.
Searching Public Records
A public record is a brief death notice appearing in the newspaper. It lists name, age, date of death, sometimes occupation, and the funeral home that handled the arrangements. Not every family chooses to pay for an obituary.
Sometimes people aren't sure if the person they are searching for is actually deceased. Check the residential telephone directories and Pima County Assessor's records to see if you can find possible matches for the name.
Resources Available at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library
Although more and more historical records are becoming available online, there are many more that can only be searched in person. Library staff are always happy to help you with your research. Please come to the third floor of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library downtown for in-person help, or call 791-4010 for ideas on how to get started.
Other Local Resources
There are several cemeteries in Tucson. If you have a date of death, they will look up a name in their records. Their records have the person's birth and death dates and the burial records.
The Arizona Historical Society also has access to many records and can assist you in your research.
Live Outside Pima County?
If you live outside of Pima County and are not able to visit our library, your local library may be able to help, possibly by borrowing microfilm through an interlibrary loan, or by using online research tools. Although Pima County Public Library does not lend our microfilm, other institutions such as the Arizona State Library and the University of Arizona do.