- Is the person compiling the notice in shock at the loss of a relative or friend?
- Did a family member give the information orally and someone at the newspaper or funeral home wrote up the notice?
- Was the notice written by someone at the newspaper who did not consult with the family?
- Maybe Aunt Sally only guessed at the places of residence of her sister's children and grandchildren.
- Mispelling of names could be a product of almost anyone.
- Typos are not purposely done but do happen. It might be the original typist or that newspaper typesetter.
- Did the person compiling the notice double check the person's birth date or year?
- In the rush to get the notice published, was one of the children omitted?
- Perhaps the deceased's brother Samuel was incorrectly listed as an Uncle.
- A follow up story that lists who attended the funeral and from where may have errors in the names and places of residence.
13 July 2011
Is that obituary totally factual?
How many obituaries have you read in recent years that had some sort of error? Sometimes you see the newspaper print a correction but that is rare and usually separate from obituaries or death/funeral notices. Any time such an announcement is prepared, several chances for errors loom. The same applies to all such notices in newspapers in any time period. I love the names, places, relationships, and other details but remember that these need to be verified.