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Antigo, Wisconsin Genealogy Gopher
City of Antigo and Langlade County, Wisconsin Genealogical Research Sources

Home > Obituary Index Search > User Information & Construction Notes

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THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS...
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USER INFORMATION & INDEX CONSTRUCTION NOTES

NOTE 1 INDEX COLUMNS
Type 1: Indexes I made using the LAST & FIRST NAMES: Only last and first name without titles, etc. Many times only initials were used for given name in obituaries. Many times given name of women never used in obituary so she had to be identified as Mrs. (husband given name or initials). Be aware that the newspapers misspelled many surnames!
SPOUSE/S: Only first name of last spouse listed first since married surname already listed. Then given and surname of previous husband if any. Question mark used if information indicates the person was married but the name is not given in the obituary. If no marriage information is provided the column is left blank. This column is also used to name a person not married to the deceased but who the obituary says is the mother or father of the children of the deceased.
FATHER/MOTHER: Given name of father if male. Given and surname of father if female and then given and surname of mother if information in obituary. Question mark used if not in obituary. Sometimes names of son, daughter, brother, sister, etc used if parents not known to show connection to Antigo area.
AGE: Age in years if found in obituary or calculated if birth date given. This information should be considered APPROXIMATE! People made mistakes in reporting to the newspaper and many times just guessed so always think of the number as an approximate number. A question mark is used if information is not in the obituary. See note 4 below.
DEATH DATE: This date should also be considered APPROXIMATE! The way the newspaper worded when the person died many times is very confusing. I did the best I could. It is hard to figure out the date when the paper says "last Tuesday." You need to consider what day the newspaper was published and if they meant the current week or the previous week. Also sometimes without notice the newspaper changed the day of week they published which caused some mistakes in calculating dates. Sometimes the obituary came from another newspaper and there was no way of knowing how long ago it was published. You will always need to verify this date with other sources. An unusual death date I came across was "he died sometime last winter." Sometimes I put the non-local city of death. I did not do this all the time.
PUBLISHED: Dates news article, death notice, obituary, funeral information published. See Note 3 below.
NOTE 2: INDEX TYPES
Type 1: Indexes I made using the end-of-the-year newspaper index.
Type 2: Indexes I made reading every page of the newspaper for that year.
Telling the difference: Look at the black number after the year link. This number shows the number of obituaries indexed for that year. No parentheses surrounding the number indicates it is type one. Parentheses surrounding the black number indicate it is type two.
After I have an index made for every year, as I have time, I will replace type 1 with type 2. Pre-1958 the newspaper did not always index obituaries of people who did not live in the Antigo area or only used a list of the people who died in Langlade County. From my indexing experience I have found that pre-1958 the Antigo Daily Journal did not index approximately 60% of the obituaries they published in the newspaper. From 1958 to the present time I have found their published end-of-the-year indexes have missed approximately 2% of the obituaries they published in the newspaper. Except for a few of my relatives, only the information that appears in the obituary was used to fill-in the six columns. Additional source information was NOT used so you would have a better idea of how much information the obituary DOES and DOES NOT contain.
NOTE 3: OBITUARIES, OR DEATH NOTICES, OR NEWS ARTICLES
1: Around the turn-of-the-century and before, an obituary might only be a very short new item such as "George Doe was found dead today at home" buried along with other news articles with no other information unless maybe the person was a community leader. This makes them very easy to miss and brings up the question if these are news articles, death notices, or obituaries and which should they be indexed? There are also many obituaries for people that were news articles for people with no connection to the Antigo area. I tried to only index obituaries of people who I could determine had some type of connection to the Antigo area.
2: During the middle of the twentieth century what we call an obituary today was broken up into two or three different articles: (A) a death notice or news article, (B) a biography, and (C) an article naming those attending the funeral from out-of-town. Therefore, you may find several published dates.
3: In recent years all this information most of the time is included in just one article. However, even today a short death notice may appear on the day of death with the statement that a full obituary will be published later. However, if mistakes were made in the first publication a corrected one may appear later. Obituaries usually are grouped on the same page. Pages 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 over the years have been the most common.
NOTE 4: CAUTION THERE ARE MISTAKES IN THESE INDEXES!
1: The person reporting the information may have, without knowing, given wrong information to the newspaper.
2: The newspaper may have made mistakes when composing the obituary.
3: The newspapers used different parameters when they constructed their indexes (Type 1 Indexes above) such as only indexing obituaries of local people and not those obituaries of people living elsewhere. Also, some years the newspaper used the Langlade County Death Index for that year to construct their end-of-the-year index rather than the actual obituaries published in the newspapers. In Type 1 indexes these parameters have resulted in some obituaries not being listed and even some names indexed when there is no published obituary.
4: The death date, especially for very early obituaries, is NOT reliable! It might actually be the published date, especially if the person died in a different state or the death was by trauma or suicide and the body was not found immediately. Also, the editor used terms such as "last Friday" and "last week Friday." Very often it is not clear if "last Friday" actually means "last week Friday" so many death dates might actually be wrong by one week. That is one week later than the correct death date. All death dates should be considered as approximate and must be verified by other sources.
5: Some of the microfilm copies are very difficult to read and are the cause of mistakes.
6: DISCLAIMER: As hard as I have tried to not make mistakes there still are copying, spelling and editing mistakes that have slipped by me. So, always verify, verify, verify what you find with other sources! Your use of this web site signifies your agreement to accept any consequences resulting from your use of any information on this web site; that you are agreeing not to hold me liable for any damages; and that your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using this web site.

Leland A. Fischer, Webmaster

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