Health & Fitness

How to Find Names in Obituaries

Names are one of the strangest things to find when searching obituaries. They’re not common, and the most we tend to get our first names or initials. If you’re lucky, you might even find a full name. But usually, it’s not that simple. Since so much depends on taste and style, you may have trouble finding a name in an obituary. But there are ways to find them.


Where to Find Names in Obituaries

Any obituary will usually contain a name. However, the type of obituary you’re looking at may determine what names are included.

  • Headlines – Headlines are the first thing you’ll see in an obituary. Usually, these are short and will include the names of the deceased, their date of birth, and their date of death. But they can also include the location of their death and the cause of death.
  • Date of Death – The date of death is usually located right above the headline.
  • Cause of Death – The cause of death is almost always listed below the name. It’s rare to find this as a standalone section, but it does happen from time to time.
  • Location – The location of death is another part of the obituary that frequently includes names.
  • Family Members – If the obituary mentions the family of the deceased, there’s a good chance it will include their names.
  • Tributes – Tributes are almost always written by a family member, friend, or colleague. They’re an excellent resource for finding names.

Finding a Full Name

When you visit the Orlando Sentinel obituaries, you might find a full name in the headline or below the headline. However, it’s more likely that you’ll find just a first name or initials in those areas.

  • First Name – If the obituary only lists the first name, it might be the maiden name of the deceased’s wife or the former name of the deceased. Maiden names are very common in obituaries, but they’re usually listed below the headline.
  • Initials – It’s unlikely that the deceased is listed only by their initials. However, if you’re searching for a particular person and only find initials in the headline or below the headline, it’s possible that it’s the full name.
  • Family Members – If you find a first or last name and a family member, you may be able to piece together the name. The most common way to do this is to find a child’s name and look for the child’s full name at the top of the obituary.

Finding Tributes and Mention of Family Members

Tributes are written by family members, friends, and colleagues. They’re an excellent resource for finding names because they generally include a full name. You can find tributes on the inside pages of an obituary. The best place to look is the “In Memory” section.

  • Spouses – The spouse of the deceased is usually mentioned in the tribute. If you find a name listed as “spouse,” there’s a good chance it’s the name of the deceased.
  • Children – Children are frequently mentioned in the obituary. You may find the deceased’s children listed as “children,” “daughters,” “sons,” or “grandchildren.”
  • Siblings – The deceased’s siblings may be listed as “brothers” or “sisters.”


Names in obituaries can be tricky, but they’re not impossible to find. If you’re having trouble finding a name, try looking at the headline and below the headline. Those are the sections most likely to list a name.