Online Obituary Request
The Reference Staff will search up to three names for obituaries in the columns of the Daily Breeze (1966 - present) or the Torrance Herald (1914-1970). Requests must include the decedent's full name and date of death. Staff will only search for those individuals who passed away within the City of Torrance. There is no fee for this service, however please allow up to three weeks for a response.
Please check the Torrance Public Library's new Historical Newspaper Archive which is available for free and searches the Torrance Herald and Torrance Press representing over 80 years of hometown newspapers online.
Please check the Social Security Death Index and the California Death Index to verify the deceased's name and date of death.
For detailed instructions on searching for obituaries please follow the instructions below.
OBITUARY SEARCHES - ONLINE
Deaths occurring between 3/1/1984 and today (Daily Breeze Online Archives)
Search the Daily Breeze Online Archives.
1. Search by full name.
2. If not found, try advanced searching techniques.
3. Entering "Taylor NEAR15 died" would give you any article including obituaries, where the word Taylor and died were within 15 words of each other. This method works best if you have an unusual name.
4. Entering "Taylor NEAR3 Elizabeth NEAR15 died" yields any articles including obituaries, where the words Elizabeth and Taylor were within 3 words of each other and the term died appeared within 15 words of those two names.
5. Print or save an electronic copy of the obituary on a USB flash drive out.
Death occurring between 1913 and 1969:
Search the Historic Newspapers & Directories.
This source covers two local newspapers, the Torrance Herald (1914 to 1969) and the Torrance Press (1949-1964).
1. Search the first and last name deceased in the online database.
2. When you locate the obituary, you can either print it out or save an electronic copy of it on a USB flash drive.
If death date is unknown, search the Social Security Death Index: http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
When newspaper and date of the obituary are unknown, search the Obituary Daily Times http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/
OBITUARY SEARCHES - MICROFILM - Located at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library on the lower level
Deaths occurring from 1966 to 1984 (Daily Breeze microfilm):
Obituaries from 1984 to the present can be found in the Daily Breeze Online Archives above as well as the microfilm of the Daily Breeze located in the cabinets on the lower level of Katy Geissert Civic Center Library.
1. Locate which newspaper and what date the obituary appeared by searching the Obituary Daily Times (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/). Instructions for searching are below. Pull the Daily Breeze microfilm for the exact date indicated, locate the obituary and print or save an electronic copy.
2. If not found, then search the Social Security Death Index: http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ for the name of the deceased. Pull the microfilm for the date after the descendants death date and the following two weeks. Although most obituaries appear between 3-5 days after the date of death, in some instances, they make appear up to two weeks after death. You will need to scan the obituaries for these two weeks. In some cases, families do not pay for an obituary in the newspaper, thus one cannot be found.
Obituary Daily Times online
Indexing from 1997 to the present
To locate the Exact name of the newspaper and the exact date the obituary appeared, search the Obituary Daily Times (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~obituary/).
Entries in the Obituary Daily Times will include: name, nickname, middle initial, and (maiden name); age at death; place of birth > place of death; newspaper; date the obit appeared in the newspaper in format yyyy-m-d; contributor.
SO BAY D-B indicates the South Bay Daily Breeze
Los Angeles T indicates the Los Angeles Times
1) To search the Obituary Times,Click on SEARCH THE DATABASE.
2) Go to the keyword box (located below the family tree box)
3) Type in the name or keywords you know
Typical result: HARRIS, John S. "Lefty"; 84; NY>Torrance CA; SO BAY D-B; 1998-9-11; janmrw