If you are not having any luck finding your Chicago Ancestor’s obituary, try the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Obituary Index. This index includes many newspapers around the state but also includes the Chicago Daily News which has not been digitized and many suburbs of Chicago (Aurora, Joliet, Elmhurst, Evanston, Harvard, Oak Park, St. Charles) to name a few.
This is NOT a complete index. Per Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum website: The Obituary Index was created from the work of researchers who have researched at their library using the Newspaper Collection. When a researcher found an obituary, they would fill out an obituary form so the staff could print off the obituary. These obituary forms were collected and developed into this obituary index.
Chicago example – You are searching for an obituary for Kathryn Noesen who possibly died in Chicago. No obituary was found searching the Chicago Tribune online. A search of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Obituary Index found an entry “Noesen, Kathryn, Obit Source - Chicago Daily News, Jan. 19, 1916, p. 21, c. 3.” Now you know there is an obituary. You can locate the obituary yourself or you can submit a request for a copy to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The obituary index and details on how to order an obituary can be found on their website
Again, this is not a complete index of all the obituaries from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Newspaper Collection but it sure is worth checking. Happy researching!