The Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has started a brand new year, with a focus on helping genealogists at all stages of research to find their family roots. Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month, and new members are always welcome. It doesn’t matter if you have been researching your roots for a long time, or are just beginning to delve into your family story: you will find helpful, enthusiastic people to assist and encourage you in your research.
Think of your family history as an hour glass. At first, the sands of stories, memories, and family facts are there in abundance at the top of the glass. But slowly, as people grow older and pass away, the sands begin to trickle away, becoming less and less until there is none at all. Probably the first lesson of genealogy research is that you should talk to your family members and write down everything you can about your family before it is too late. It seems that every family has one member who is the “family historian”: the one who always remembers who married who and the names of all their children. Sit down beside them with a notebook and write down every scrap of information you can. Even information that doesn’t have anything to do with what you are currently researching might become a valuable key in the future.
Don’t limit your research to the family historian, though. Perhaps Uncle Louis or Auntie Frances remembers dozens of amusing anecdotes about your family: funny stories about when Grandma was a young bride, or passed-on stories about the hardships early family members faced as they homesteaded. Write down all these stories as well, because they give flesh to the factual bones of your family tree, making your ancestors more real.
There is an abundance of tools available on-line to assist in your research. This is when you will have to be both sure of your facts and flexible as well. You might know for a fact that ancestor Joe homesteaded in the area around 1902; but you might have to check several spellings of his last name. Don’t become discouraged if it seems you hit a dead end; it only means you may have to check your information in a different way.
The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society (www.saskgenealogy.com) offers many helpful services to assist with your research. At the local level, the Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society invites you to join their monthly meetings: they will be happy to try and assist you with your family project.
Another fascinating site to check is the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project. As of August 24, 2013, 1145 cemeteries have been transcribed or photographed and indexed. This information could be very helpful in your research.
For those who are interested, the SGS Annual Conference is coming up in October. Hosted by the SGS, Moose Jaw Branch, the theme of the conference is “Footprints Through Time”. Dates are October 4, 5 and 6 at the Heritage Inn, Moose Jaw. For more information contact www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~skmjbsgs.
Every family has a story: discover yours with the Yorkton Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society. For more information call Dave at (306)783-1093 or Glenn at (306)782-7969.