Twelve Months of Genealogy – February

Love is associated with the month of February because of Valentine’s Day. In some parts of Canada we also have a civic holiday on the third Monday of the month called Family Day. This is only a day off in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. In Manitoba this day is known as Louis Riel Day. Federal entities like the post office are open as well as stores. It is one of those days where some people are off work and some are not. It is a day you are supposed to spend doing various activities with your family. This month we are going to link these two holidays to our family history.

The first week of February go thorough your family tree and make note of all the marriage dates that are blank. Create lists of records and places to find the marriage information. If you have already done some research on a particular marriage then create a list of records and places already researched and add some new ones to investigate.

The second week of February pick one or more couples in your family tree and research what their marriage may have been like. What clothes would they have worn? What type of meal was served or was a meal served? Were there many guests? What was the area where they married like at the time? Were pictures taken on the wedding day, before or after? Was there a honeymoon? How about a dowry? Who were the witnesses and how were they connected to the couple? Did a marriage settlement exist between the couple?

Once you start answering these questions you can write up a description for the marriage. You will then have a story ready to put into your family book.

The third week of February we will focus more on family. Go through your family group sheets and make sure the information is complete and sourced. If it is not complete then find the missing information and add it to the group sheet. If there are questions about children or spouses on the family group sheet then create a research plan in order to investigate the answers to those questions.

The fourth week of February we will look at pedigree charts for the family. Are they all filled in with the information that has been researched to date? If not then complete them and if the information is not known then create a research plan to fill in those blanks. Have you hit a brick wall in a direct line? Write up your research on the family to date to see where the holes are. Then find out what other records can be examined to chisel at the brick wall.

You have made all those additions to your family tree so remember to back up your data.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

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