Today I was talking to an older lady who realized she should have asked her parents more questions about their lives and relations. I could have said the same thing as I never asked my mother about her early life. She just told me snippets that grabbed my interest.
So tonight, I’m suggesting to you– ask your parents or older relatives while they are still around. I found out so much later from censuses and wish I’d known to ask about the people shown there. For instance, I thought my father was one of two children and then I discovered that his father had first been married to another woman who had given him four children and died in childbirth in 1884. It took him 6 years to find another wife, my grandmother, to care for his young children.
Since then I have found other child-birth deaths and new marriages in our family’s past. I often wonder what happened to those other four siblings my father had.It still frustrates me. As a result of not asking, researching the family took longer and there were frustrating times.
Now I am helping an older lady who thought her family had come to Canada after 1881. A check on the 1901 census in Alberta proved that one great-uncle was born in Ontario in 1865 so we have to re-think when the family came here.
We are fortunate these days to have many resources on the internet that help us be more accurate when we are writing a family history. I often use Cindy’s List which can point anyone to many different genealogical sites. So many people offer help when you find the area you need. But best of all, try to get the facts from family first.
Good hunting! Get together now and ask lots of relevant questions while you can.