Twelve Months of Genealogy – March

The first thing that comes to mind for March is St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. In Wales it is St. David’s day on March 1st. On March 8th it is Working Woman’s Day. In addition March is Woman’s History month and National Craft month so let’s look at these celebrations as well.

The first week of March is St. David’s Day. Have you been to the National Library of Wales website? They have a great website full of interesting things that relate to your family history. They have an interesting article on “Women’s Clothes 400 Years Ago” and there are links to other articles.

The section on Family History is very informative. If you look at Search Archival Databases it provides you with a list of online databases to help you with your research. There is even free access to digital images of wills through the online index.

There is a list of genealogical sources available at the library. Here they provide a little background into the record source as well as telling you what is accessible in the library and online.

Finally take a look at the section on Further Reading. This will provide you with more resources to help you with your search.

The second week of March lets research our female lines. Search for the females in your family that did not marry. Sometimes they can provide more information than their married sisters. A will of an unmarried lady could provide names of siblings, nieces, nephews and other family members. It was usually the unmarried ladies that knew the family history and may have held some important documents.

Since March 8th is Working Woman’s Day lets investigate the history of traditional female jobs. How has housework changed in the last 100 years? What did your pioneer ancestor have to deal with to try and keep her family and home clean? What other responsibilities besides housework and raising children did women have?

We talk of spring cleaning, were there other season specific chores that your female ancestors completed? How is your life different to that of your four times Great Grandmother? Research these activities and write up a synopsis to add to your family history.

The third week of March is St. Patrick’s Day so this week we will look specifically at your Irish ancestors. If you know the county, town or parish of origin do you know what records are available for those areas? Two excellent resource books are James Ryan’s “Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History” and John Grenham’s “Tracing your Irish Ancestors,” all three editions. Another good resource is James Ryan’s “Irish Church Records.” These three books will help you discover what records are available in the area you are researching.

A good online resource is the Sources database at the National Library of Ireland. This is an online version of Hayes Manuscripts and provides locations of records relating to Ireland.

The fourth and fifth week of March lets get creative. Create a scrapbook page or whole book for one family unit. Or maybe collect all those family recipes and put them into a cookbook and add some pictures and family stories.

If you are particularly energetic make a few of the recipes and take photographs to add to the book. This could be fun if the recipes are from 100 years ago or more. What would your family think if you served them a dinner that their three times Great Grandmother might have served?

Have some fun with your family history this month.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

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