As part of the Johnston County Heritage Center's Research Databases Project, we're pleased to provide you with a searchable collection of information from obituary notices published in selected regional newspapers since 1801. Unless noted otherwise, notices since 1885 are from The Smithfield Herald. Prior to that, most notices appeared in one of three newspapers (indicated by abbreviations): Raleigh Register (RR), Farmers & Mechanic (F & M) of Raleigh, and the Clayton Bud (CB). Starting in January 2008, we're also including selected obituaries from Johnston County newspapers in addition to the Herald: Clayton News-Star (NS), Cleveland Post (P), Four Oaks-Benson News In Review (NR), Kenly News (N), Princeton News-Leader (NL), Selma News (N), and Dunn Daily Record (DR).

You can search by last name, age, or date range. Please note that not all database records are complete. This means that some records do not have the individual's first name, date of publication date, or age at time of death. If you do not find what you are looking for with one type of search, try another.

If you'd like a photocopy of a particular obituary, we can make it and mail it to you. You may order online by clicking the "ADD TO CART" icon at the bottom of each entry and following instructions from there. Or, you may simply send us a written request along with a check ($5.00 per article) made payable to the Johnston County Heritage Center, PO Box 2709, Smithfield NC 27577.

For more information about ordering photocopies of the obituaries, please e-mail

Search by Name

Enter the name of the individual you are looking for. If you want to search for part of a name, enter only the beginning letters. For example, to find all last names beginning with MI, simply enter MI in the field. (Note, though, that the fewer letters you enter, the longer your search will take).

To search for the full name of a person, enter the last name, a comma and space, and then the first name. For example, to find "Elizabeth Ross", enter Ross, Elizabeth. (Note, though, that not all records have first names listed. Sometimes there are only initials, other times no first name at all. To return more records, only enter the last name).

Last Name:


Search by Keyword

Enter the keyword(s) you are looking for. You can enter up to four keywords. Each word or phrase you enter in each field will be searched for in that order. For example, if you enter 'chili dog' as your search term, it will find all instances of "chili dog" (there are none). If you want to find all instances of 'chili' and all instances of 'dog', regardless of whether or not they appear together, then enter these terms into separate keyword fields. If you want to search for part of a word, enter only the beginning letters. (Note, though, that the fewer letters you enter, the longer your search will take, and the more irrelevant hits you will return).

TIP: If you are searching for a name, to receive all instances of the name, enter each variation in a different keyword box. For example, if looking for "John Smith", enter 'John Smith' in the first box, and 'Smith, John' in the second box. This will return all instances of "John Smith" and "Smith, John".

First Keyword:

Second Keyword:   
Third Keyword:   
Fourth Keyword:   


Search by Age at Death

Enter the age at death. To return a list of infants, enter 1 for the age.

Enter Age at Death:


Search by Date of Obituary Publication

Enter a date range for obituaries published between two dates.
Format of the date must be mm/dd/yyyy. Dates are inclusive.

Beginning Publication Date:
Ending Publication Date:


Search by Record ID

Enter the Record ID Number:


Please direct any questions, comments, or suggestions to

Thank you for your interest in the Johnston County Heritage Center and the Johnston County Historical Archives.


Page last updated:  April 16, 2024