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Newspapers and Obituaries

"Mrs. Stanton was well known in the locality for her comparative youthfulness, her hair remaining fair to the day of her death. Her face, also never showed her advanced age, her appearance being that of a healthy woman of 50 rather than her true age of 85."     

                 Jersey Journal Obituary

Obituaries and Newspaper stories can be a rich source of genealogical information. Often obituaries contain detailed information about a person's life that cannot be gleaned from public records.

The New Jersey Room of the Jersey City Public Library has an extensive collection of newspapers covering Hudson County, NJ extending as far back as 1790. Obituaries and death notices were relatively rare before 1900 with only three or four obituaries appearing every few days in the local newspapers. The chance of an obituary appearing was greatly increased if the decedent was a business person or political figure. After 1900 both death notices and obituaries became much more common. For general purposes you will be most likely to find obituaries of your ancestors in one of three major newspapers.

Jersey Journal

The Jersey Journal has been published in Jersey City since 1867. The library has the Jersey Journal on microfilm from May 2, 1867 up to the current date. This paper was originally known as the Evening Journal adopting its current name in 1910. This newspaper has the most extensive coverage of the Hudson County area.

Hudson Dispatch

The Hudson Dispatch was published in Union City (formerly Union Hill), NJ. It's primary area of coverage is northern Hudson County such as Union City, Weehawken, West New York, and North Bergen, but they also have obituaries for other areas in the county. The library has this newspaper on microfilm for the periods of Oct. 30, 1900 to Feb. 17, 1933 and July 1, 1950- to April 6, 1991 at which time the paper was merged into the Jersey Journal. The library also has bound copies of the Dispatch for the period February 1930 to June 1950. These issues are in a deteriorating condition and cannot be photocopied.


The Observer published in Hoboken, NJ starting as the Observer 1904 to 1910; the Hudson Observer 1911 to 1924; and then as the Jersey Observer until its merger into the Jersey Journal in November 1951. The library has the Observer on microfilm for the period October 1, 1904 until November 17, 1951.

Hudson County Highlight: Hoboken's most famous native son, Frank Sinatra, once worked at The Observer and had plans to become a sports writer.


In addition to their collection the library also has a unique index to certain obituaries and news stories in the Jersey Journal and Hudson Dispatch. There is an incomplete index to the obituaries appearing in the Journal and Dispatch for the following period: 1940, 1941, the 1930's, and the 1960s and 1970s. There is also an incomplete name index to names appearing in news stories of the Jersey Journal.

Look Up Services

I can research and provide you with copies of obituaries or news stories of your ancestors where you are able to provide an exact date of the death or event for the fee of $10.00 per obituary. I will also research the index for your family name of each request and provide you a record of any other listings. I cannot do searches where an exact date is not known. If you do not know the exact date of death, I will search the index and provide the story, if found. If a listing is not found, I will credit you for an obituary search for up to one year.
Please Note: I cannot do searches where an exact date is not known. I cannot guarantee success in finding your article; my fee is based on research time, not results. There are occasional individual gaps in the coverage for missing or damaged newspapers.

Send email to me at: Bob Murgittroyd

Regular mail to: Bob Murgittroyd, 135 Irving Street, Jersey City, NJ 07307

The New Jersey Room of the Jersey City Library is located at 472 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306. Phone: 201-547-4510.

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