Obituaries and death notices are an important resource when conducting family history research. Edward Bolte, president of the Western Reserve Historical Society Genealogical Committee, discusses the origins of obituaries and their transition from newspaper filler to must-read material, as well as how to use obituary information in your own research.
Ed Bolte was born in Ashtabula, OH, in 1948. He graduated from Edgewood Senior High in 1967 and The Ohio State University with a BA in History in 1971. His childhood in Ashtabula and his interest in history fuels his interest in genealogy. His first instructor was the late Barbara Mussellman at Fairview Park [library] in the early 1980s. He has volunteered at the Western Reserve Research Library since the late 1980s, becoming a member of the Genealogical Committee in 1995. He is currently the President of the Committee. He has published several articles for the WRHS Genealogical Bulletin and the Ashtabula Star-Beacon. He has also given several programs at Cuyahoga County Public Library and Western Reserve Historical Society. He is currently a member of the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Genealogical Society, and the Ashtabula County Genealogical Society.