Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Drouin Collection free for a few days! has opened up the Drouin Collection for free searching for a few days! It's already started. I can't seem to find an end date, but when I heard about it I think it was some time next week. You can search this collection here.

I've already taken advantage of this to do some searching that I would normally do at the library in the comfort of my own home, with wireless way faster than the library's! You can see my progress on Domitilde Perras' tree. I already had her parents, but I found their marriage record, which opened the door to her grandparents: AndrĂ© Perras, Charlotte Doyon, Ignace Dupuis, and Osithe Barbeau.

The Drouin Collection is great for slowly and steadily inching your way back in your Quebec lines. And the records are in French, but they follow a formula, so it's easy to learn to read them without knowing a lot of French (though knowing how dates are written out is essential).

In other Ancestry related news, from now until Sunday (the 22nd), you can get a 30 day free trial! The free trial is normally only 14 days. You don't need to sign up for a paying membership after. I've always wanted to give the free trial a shot, and this seems like the perfect time. Hopefully I can fit a lot into that month!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Louis Lavoie and Marguerite Richard - Research Plan

Lately I really feel like my research isn't going anywhere (hence the decrease in the frequency of my writing). I think I need a plan. So, I'm going to try to develop a method of recording what I know and determining where I need to go from here to fill in the blanks.

I'm starting with my paternal grandparents (my grandparents that aren't living). Because this is pretty recent, there aren't a lot of public records concerning them, so I probably already have most of them. Mostly I think I'll need to talk to my aunts and uncles.

My paternal grandparents' tombstone. Located at the
St. Boniface Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

What I know and what I don't know:

Louis Jacques Lavoie was born on September 16, 1916. This is from my dad's memory, so I'd love to have a birth record to confirm it. The year is confirmed by his tombstone. He was born in Quebec City. I don't have a source cited for this. It might be from his obituary. I'll have to look at the obituary again to be sure.

Clemence Wilhelmina Marguerite Richard was born on September 19, 1915. This date is also from my dad's memory. The year is confirmed by her tombstone, and is consistent with her age in the 1916 census. I also don't have a record that has her full name. Sometimes I think my dad just added the Wilhelmina to be funny. She was born in Sainte-Anne, Manitoba. This is in her obituary, and that's also where she was living in the 1916 census.

Marguerite soon moved to St. Francois Xavier. Her obituary says that she lived there as a young child. At some point she moved to Winnipeg.

Louis fought in WWII.

At some point Louis moved to Manitoba (straight to Winnipeg?).
Louis and Marguerite married, probably in Winnipeg. I have no sources at all for this, but it seems to follow from what I do know about their lives.

Louis died on August 16, 1976, in Winnipeg. This date is from my dad's memory, so I'd like further confirmation, but the year is confirmed by his tombstone.

Marguerite died on November 5, 1999. This is in her obituary, and also I can confirm at least the approximate date from my own memory; I was in grade 6 and it was shortly before Christmas.

What I can check now:

Check with my aunts and uncles to see if any of them have any birth, marriage, or death records related to my grandparents. Also find out what they know first- and second-hand.

I'm sure I copied out (by hand; I didn't have a flash drive on me!) Louis' obituary, but now I can't seem to find it. So I need to get back to the library (with a flash drive!) and download it. That might give me a source for some things.

Since he was a Canadian who fought in WWII, the Legion Magazine would have published something about Louis' death in the Last Post. The online database currently only goes back to 1985, but I'm sure if I contacted them I could get the information.

Records I'll want in the future, when they're available:

Both of my paternal grandparents should be in the 1921 Canadian census, which will be made available in 2013.

Marguerite was born in Manitoba, so her birth record will be available in 2015. I don't know where one can look up vital records for Quebec, or when they become available; does anyone know?

So that's my plan! I definitely think that was a worthwhile exercise (though it took me forever!). Please let me know if you see anything missing!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy 1940 US Census day!

It's here! This is obviously more exciting for those of you who are American, who may be searching for your parents or grandparents in the census, but I'm still happy to trace a couple lines of distant cousins a little further. :)

You can access the census here: Just so you know, it's a bit slow right now. Apparently way more people were prepared to search the 1940 census than the servers can handle. So if you (like me) did not spend time leading up to this release making a list of people to look up, no worries. You're probably better off waiting a bit for things to simmer down, anyways!

Happy searching!