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!


  1. You can probably find Louis' estate papers at the Manitoba Archives - they're available up to 1984. That would give you his death date, his address at the time of death, surviving immediate relatives, and all sorts of property information. I'm not sure about requesting more recent probate papers in Manitoba, but according to , Marguerite's estate was probated in 2000. As an immediate relative, your Dad may be able to get them if you can't.

    1. Thanks for the tips! Thus far in my genealogical journey I've managed to get quite far with only vital records and censuses (and the odd immigration record), so unfortunately I haven't done a lot of learning how to use other types of records. I'll be sure to look into these ones!

      And thanks very much for that link! I'm always excited to find a new database I can search. :)

    2. Have you seen Family Search's recent release of Manitoba probate records yet? It's a good place to start if you want to cut your teeth on estate research. They have records from all of the judicial districts in Manitoba, dating from the 1880s to 1930. They aren't in a searchable index yet, but the manual indexes are easy to use once you know which district you need.