Obituary Index

We have an obituary index provided by Carolyn Purvine and Friends of the Library.

Setting Up the Index
A very special friend in the community, Carolyn Purvine, did a lot of genealogical research for her own family, and decided she wanted to help other families. She also wanted the Henryetta Public Library to have something only a few other libraries have: an obituary index. In 1996, she began the arduous task of reading through every page (on microfilm) of every Henryetta newspaper from 1903 to the present and making an individual card for each death notice and/or obituary listed in the paper. The project is now complete to the present and new obituary listings are added weekly.

Using the Index
Whenever someone comes in or emails us for an obituary, we look in the obituary card catalog. If there was an obituary in the paper, there will be a card on it and we know which date to go to on the microfilm to make them a copy. Then we can look in the index book and are able to tell them the section of the cemetery the person is buried in. We get emails and calls almost every day from someone out of state wanting an obituary.

Requesting Service
If you'd like us to look up an obituary from the Henryetta newspapers for you, we're happy to do it. We charge $1 per page to print out obituaries or other information from the newspapers on microfilm. We will also ask you to send a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with the money you send. Email or write to us at:
Henryetta Public Library
518 W Main
Henryetta, OK 74437 

Obituary Cards
Each obituary card will have the following information:
  • Name
  • Age at death
  • Date(s) the obituary is listed in the paper (not death or burial dates)
  • Page number in paper
  • Cemetery name (if given)
Surrounding Areas
This index includes not only Henryetta, but also surrounding cities and towns that were covered by the local newspapers. It will also include a former resident's death and place of burial, if that was in the obituary.

Card of Thanks
Sometimes neither an obituary nor any kind of death notice was found, but a Card of Thanks would be found, saying something like, "Thank you for remembering us in our recent loss of our loved one, John Doe. (Signed) His loving wife, Jane and children." Even this merits an index card with a notation of the date it appeared in the paper and the page number. No exact death and burial dates are given but it will get you much closer to your goal. Someone may find a long lost branch in his or her family tree.

Multiple Entries
Many of the boys killed in World War II have several entries, 1 for each mention in the paper, such as:
  • Actual day of death
  • Notice of burial overseas
  • Notice of body being brought
  • Notice of burial here at home
Missing Entries
The Henryetta Library will not be able to find every obituary for the following reasons:
  • Name is misspelled in the paper (alternative spellings of names are searched)
  • Obituary or death notice was not put in the paper
  • Paper is missing from the microfilm
  • Woman married or remarried and the name is unknown