How To Transcribe a news item

Many people will clip an obit from a newspaper and will put it on the tree or post it on a web page but they do not know how to transcribe the information into a useable format. I’ve struggled with this over the many years of working with newspaper items but I now have an easy format that I follow. I saw the following obit on a Face Book page and transcribed the information. I then thought others might benefit from the layout of the transcription and this obit could be made into a “How To” blog post.

The Face Book posted obit was this.

Philip B Sharrard - Cass City Chronicle 03Jun1938 - Mich. FB


Notice that they put the date on the clip and included the name of the publication in the description.

Many people get overwhelmed with the information provided and because it is scattered throughout the obituary some of the information gets left off of the person’s family tree profile page.

Here is the Obit:

Philip B Sharrard - Cass City Chronicle 03Jun1938 - Mich

Below is the transcription text page:

Philip B Sharrard

born: 25 Aug 1863

at Lynn township, Michigan

died: 30 May 1938 Monday

at home in Cass City, Michigan

wife 1: Mary Hebenton

she died on 08 May 1926


Stanley Sharrard

Joshua Sharrard

Mattie Sharrard now Mrs. Mattie Lorentzen

wife 2: Sadie T Anderson

married: 07 Mar 1928

at Imlay City, Michigan

survived by:

widow: Sadie

two (2) sons:

Stanley Sharrard – Cass City, Michigan

Joshua Sharrard – Shabbona, Michigan

one (1) daughter:

Mrs. Ernest Lorentzen – Cumber, Michigan

one (1) sister:

Mrs. Rachel Chambers – Dunsmore, California

1877 move to farm SE of Cass City

1924 came to Cass City


milk truck driver

for Nestle’s Milk Products, Inc.

worked there for 22 years

retired in 1935 due to poor health

address: corner of Sherman and Pine St

burial: Elkland cemetery


Obit in newspaper:

Cass City Chronicle

03 Jun 1938

clipped by:

Christine Kotenko

posted on:

Thumb of Michigan Genealogy FB group page – include a link to the page if available

I hope this post will help you transcribe a newspaper item in the future.

Thank You

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