May 25, 2018
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BDN Web site features obituaries back to 2003

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

What’s my favorite Web site? That’s an easy question with two answers. You can call it or

Either address will get you there. The exciting news for today is that our obituary archive for the last few years, which was off-line for a bit while we put up the new Web site, is back better than ever.

Click on Obituaries, and then click on Obituary Archive/In Memoriam to access any of more than 37,500 files of obituaries, death notices and In Memoriam notices. The obits go from the present back to 2003.

And the archive is more searchable than ever. You can even search by first name, not just for the deceased, but for surviving relatives.

You also can find the BDN obituary archive for 2003-present by linking from the Family Ties column, which you can get to first by clicking on Lifestyle.

If you enter just a surname, keep in mind you may pull up articles other than obits, as well. If you enter Saucier, for example, it will index some Family Ties columns in addition to obits.

And while you’re at, do read the news. And don’t forget to add your local doings to Maineville. That’s a great place to list events for historical and genealogical activities.

What about obituaries before those on the Web site?

For older obits, you can look up death dates for Maine, 1960-1996, at the State Archives Web site at

Or call up the Social Security Death Index at

In using SSDI, I click on “Advanced Search” so that I can specify a state if I wish.

Once you have a death date, search for the obit in the Bangor Daily News on microfilm at Bangor Public Library or Maine State Library or the University of Maine’s Fogler Library, for example.

For obits before the indexes just mentioned, even the BDN doesn’t have an index. However, dates for obits in the immediate Bangor area for the 1900s often can be found in the Families and Individuals card catalog in the Bangor Room at Bangor Public Library. This indexes not only the BDN, but also the Bangor Commercial.


Opportunity is knocking, genies. This is the week to get out there and learn about everything from what’s on the Web to local research Down East.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Penobscot County Genealogy Society will be proud to have Maine Genealogical Society President Dale W. Mower as its speaker at 6 p.m. in the Lecture Hall, third floor, Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St. An elevator is available inside the children’s department.

Mower is a frequent lecturer on Internet research and a strong advocate for using the power of the Internet for family history research. He maintains a personal Web site and blog, is a USGenWeb volunteer and webmaster for a number of Web sites for genealogical and historical societies. He will share favorite sites as well as some he has stumbled upon over the past year.

With increasing information added to the Internet every day, it’s always worth taking this journey with Dale. His enthusiasm for genealogy is catching, and he is most knowledgeable.

The group will hop on the Internet live and explore some sites that can be of benefit to genealogists. Those attending are encouraged to bring their favorite Web sites, as well. The goal is to share tips for Internet research and to showcase types of Web sites you can discover.


You’ve been wanting to go Down East and at least find out where you should be looking for your ancestors. Here’s a great opportunity.

Members of the Washington County Genealogical Society will join with the Beals Historical Society for a free genealogical fair set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Beals Elementary School on Beals Island.

Some of the genealogical society members will share their research findings and data collected over a number of years relating to Washington County, especially western Washington County families. The public is invited to attend.

A brief business meeting for the WCGS will be held at 1 p.m.

Organized in 1992, the Washington County Genealogical Society has as its purpose to collect, exchange and preserve related documents and information, and to promote and encourage interest and scholarship in genealogy and family history in Washington County.

Membership in WCGS is open to all who are interested in learning more about their family genealogy and history, especially in Washington County and neighboring Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Meetings are held from March to November, with the exception of July and August. Dues are $10 a year, including subscription to the quarterly newsletter “Weirs & Woods,” which features free queries, information and the exchange of genealogical material.

For information, contact president Frances Raye, 853-6630; secretary Valdine Atwood, 255-4432; or Christine Small, 255-4446.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to

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