Steven D. Fairweather

Member for
11 years · 6 months · 16 days
Find a Grave ID


I was born in Park Ridge, Illinois...grew up as a Missionary Kid in Zaire, Africa...went to college in Deerfield, Illinois (Math & French) and Siloam Springs, Arkansas (Building Construction-Engineering). Attended the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Academy, Reserve Deputy Sheriff Level 1, and worked as a Tribal Officer at a Southern California Indian Casino for fourteen years. Now, approaching retirement, I still dabble in my own genealogy and for others.

Recently, I took up the challenge of researching my Fairweather Family Tree, with major "Branches" with the names: Fairweather, Simmons, Hood, Johnston, Ogle, Freeman, McDaniel, Davidson, Wildey, Patterson, Gailfus, Kovarik, Hollingsworth, Gieseke, Barnett, Luengas, Beaty/Beatty, Banning, Thompson, Hoard, Gump, Everly and Stroud.

I have nicknamed it our Family Forest! I have accomplished, not on my own, taking each branch back before 1800 and one branch, the Ogles, back to the year "1034"...And, now just over 40,200 people connected! Good luck in your search and best wishes!
In Him!

Copyright and the obit

Posted on September 12, 2012 by Judy G. Russell

Used by permission from Judy G. Russell

That oh-so-common, oh-so-murky question of whether newspaper obituaries are covered by copyright and when, where and how they can be used. Just about every question connected with obituaries and copyright law has to be answered with that most wonderful of The Legal Genealogist's answers. You know the one I mean. The one that has us all tearing our hair out. First, anything that was published in the United States before 1923 is now in the public domain. That means there is no copyright restriction on it of any kind and you are free to use it in any way you'd like. So as far as any obituary published before 1923, it's fair game and nobody has to be concerned about it at all. Second, if something was published between 1923 and 1963 with a copyright notice — and most newspapers did include some kind of copyright statement somewhere in their pages — that copyright ended 28 years after publication unless the newspaper renewed the copyright by filing a registration with the U.S. Copyright Office and paying an additional fee. It may not be the easiest thing in the world to check to see whether a newspaper renewed its copyright — the records exist in an enormous card catalog in the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — but my bet is that the vast majority of American newspapers didn't bother renewing their copyrights on their archival editions. So assuming that the newspaper whose obituaries were transcribed by this local history group didn't bother renewing its copyrights day by day after their initial term, any obituary published between 1923 and 1963 became public domain — fair game — 28 years later. An obituary published in 1950, for example, went into the public domain in 1978; an obituary published in 1960 went into the public domain in 1988. Third, the fact that the obituary ran in the pages of a newspaper that was copyrighted doesn't mean the obituary itself was covered by copyright — or, at least, not by the newspaper copyright. Remember that facts by themselves can't be copyrighted. There has to be some spark of creativity for copyright protection. So a newspaper that used a fill-in-the-blanks form and printed nothing but facts might very well not be able to claim copyright in the obituary at all. Fourth, just because the newspaper published the obituary doesn't mean the newspaper owns the copyright. Here again remember that whoever actually contributed that creative spark, that original expression, is the author and it's the author who owns the copyright unless the author signs a written agreement giving the copyright to somebody else.


To my fellow F.A.G. friends:If I should ask you to transfer a memorial, you can trust that I WILL NOT remove your "credits" for having created the original record!

Search memorial contributions by Steven D. Fairweather