I’m looking for an obituary for someone who died in King County. Can the library help me?

Use our email reference formopens a new window to request a copy of an obituary from one of the communities served by the King County Library System (KCLS).

Guidelines

Due to the volume of requests that we receive, we ask that you observe these guidelines:

  • Provide complete information on the individual including full name, place of death, and date of death*. E.g., “Please send the obituary for John Doe, Seattle WA, date of death 5/15/2000.”
  • If you have information on a publication that contains the obituary, please include that as well. E.g., “Please send the obituary for John Doe appearing in the Seattle Times, May 18, 2000, p.5.”
  • General research is beyond the scope of our service. E.g., “Please send the obituary for Jane Doe, who died in Seattle WA in 2000” does not provide enough information for us to locate the obituary.
  • Submit one request per form and limit requests to one at a time. Do not send additional requests until you have received a response to your previous inquiry.
  • We provide this service for non-commercial purposes and reserve the right to discontinue or disregard requests from professional genealogists, paid researchers, or companies.
  • Staff will search the relevant publications in our collections for the King County community that is specified in the request. We are not able to search collections of other library systems.

* We will search for the date of death plus ten days.

Response Time

Most requests are completed within 14 working days of the receipt of the request.

Referrals

If your request requires more research than we can provide, you will be referred to other resources, such as another library system or a paid researcher.

Note: There is no legal requirement that an obituary be published. If one is published, it typically appears within 10 days of the date of death.