- 1940 Obituary Index
for The Southern Democrat
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Newspaper obituraries can be some of the most genealogically rewarding items a serious researcher can encounter. The most valuable obits, genealogically speaking, were those written by church pastors or close family members who provided information such as specific dates, incidents, relatives, and final resting places. Other obits contain only a line or two which only serve to capture the passing with only a brief mention.
The original index (1915 - 1940) to obituaries found in the primary Blount County newspaper, The Southern Democrat, was compiled in 1981 under the supervision of Warren Weaver, Blount County archivist, historian, and records clerk. Research was performed by summer workers hired under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). CETA workers included Patricia Eakes, Teresa Hullett, Todd Minch, Lora Stapleton, Betty Stricklin, and Earl Warren. Typing and proofreading was performed by Vicki McCay and Beverly Wiggins. Source material were original copies of the newpapers located in the basement vault of the Blount County Courthouse in Oneonta. The results of the research was published in a small book, copies of which can be found in larger Alabama libraries.
Blount County researcher Terry Jackson scanned the contents of the book and the results have been available on line since 1997 at the original Blount County site which was managed by Glenda Savage.
Earlier copies of the newspaper go back to 1894, but these are very fragile. Fortunately, these early newspapers have been microfilmed and can be researched in the courthouse basement archives. Other large Alabama libraries will have copies of these films. From these microfilmed copies, Laura Robertson performed research on obituaries between 1894 and 1914 and her efforts were indexed by Doris Marsh Temple. A limited number of these books were published, and one is located in the courthouse basement.
By the gracious permission of Mr. Weaver, the contents of both index books have been combined and presented here. The key used is last name, first name, age (if given) in parenthesis, followed by the issue date of the newpaper. For example, Aaron, Alma, (3), 14 Jul 1927 indicates an obituary for Alma Aaron, age 3, in the newspaper dated 14 Jul 1927. The Southern Democrat was published once a week on Thursday. The newspaper was renamed The Blount Countian a few years ago.
Another index book covers the period from 1940 until sometime in the 1970s; it can be found in the basement courthouse archives.
Blount County Newspapers not indexed include The Blount County News and Dispatch which was published between 1879 and 1904; and The Blount County Journal which began in 1909 and ran for about 10 years.