Your Ancestor’s Obituary Might Have Been on the Radio

Your Ancestor’s Obituary Might Have Been on the Radio

I have contacted several mortuaries in Oakland who have kindly sent me back many files on my relatives.  Most of those sheets are from 1920 through 1940. They are filled with useful genealogy information.

Mortuary records can supply so many details about one’s life.   And, if you’re really lucky, the mortuary will have the obituary and a copy of the death certificate in their file, too.

Speaking of obituaries, did you know that obituaries used to be read on the radio?  The family could opt to have the obituary read on the radio in lieu of or in addition to having it in the newspaper.

I have not figured out which radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area might have provided this service.  Since their was a Portuguese radio station in this area, it’s possible that Antonio’s obituary was read during one of its broadcasts.


The obituaries are noted on the line that says Trib. (Oakland Tribune) PE (Post Enquirer) Radio.  Notice that a newspaper obituary in 1932 cost $1.00, but a radio obituary reading cost $5.00.


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Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website,

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