Fast Forward to the Past - Records vital for any research effort

Happy New Year!  The Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society sends you wishes for a great new year, and hopes that you will make 2019 the year to begin exploring your family tree! The Genealogical society meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., in the history room at the Yorkton Public Library.  New members are always welcome, whatever your stage of research. You will find good conversation and good ideas about how to proceed with research at any stage.

Historical records are vital to any research, and a site you might want to explore is the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists site at This site works to promote archives in Saskatchewan. Archives Week takes place February 3 – 9, 2019 and recognizes the importance of Saskatchewan’s archives, and the beginning of Heritage month.  When you visit this site, click on the “Public Awareness” tab, then click on “Archives Week” and scroll down to read about Edmund Oliver and his role in establishing the archives in Saskatchewan.  

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Circle February 17, 2019 on your calendar; this is Heritage Day at the Western Development Museum. Hours are from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm with many educational and interesting events for the entire family.

Beginning research on your family tree might seem to be a daunting process, but don’t be discouraged when it seems there are many gaps in your information. Begin with what you know, listing parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. From there, try to go back to great-grandparents and their siblings. This might be where the real detective works begins, but you will find it to be most rewarding every time you gather some new piece of information that will lead to something else.

Every family has shoe boxes of old family photos tucked away. Make this the year that you go through your photos, and label every photo that you can. Do not assume that anyone will always know who “Bill and Mary” are; always include last names, and if possible, date and location of the picture. One or two generations down the line from you right now and that basic information will become very important.

For very special photos, such as wedding pictures, make copies that you can keep with your ongoing research, but put the original in a safe place.

If you have family pictures in the old magnetic page albums, try and remove them if you can.  Over time the protective cover pages may stick, making safe removal of the photos impossible without damaging them.  

You can devise a photo storage plan that works best for you. You may want to label and file them according to each family member; or you may want to sort pictures by events, such as family weddings, gatherings at the lake, family reunions, or family vacations. Whatever you choose, be sure that each photo is labelled on the back to the best of your knowledge. And if you have older relatives who may be able to shed some light on mystery people in the pictures, ask them now!

Don’t wait: it is never too early to record this information, but it can easily become too late.

Every family has a story: discover yours with the Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society!
submitted by
Debbie Hayward

© Copyright Yorkton This Week


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