Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Mass of Information....

A friend recently asked where she should start looking for information to start her family tree.  She was quite surprised when i told her to check through the mass cards, floral / memorial cards and funeral guest registers from her parents.  Granted, it may seem ghoulish, but its a valuable source of information.  Check through the signatures and separate the ones you know from the ones you don't know.  Many times these names may be relatives that came to pay their respects.  Also, make note of the funeral home  and cemetery so you can update your parents internment information.

When you have your list of unidentified folks, search for them online and with other family members who may recognize the names.  Make note of any titles (Dr., Sr., Fr., etc) as these will give you extra occupational clues to search by.

When checking mass cards, make note of where the church is that the mass is being said in.  That will let your know approximately the area where this new contact lived.  If it's in the town your parent grew up in, keep a note that it may be the parish to check with for baptismal and marriage records.

My biggest set of records are all the memorial cards my parents gathered over the years.  Mom had them secreted in the bottoms of drawers, in envelopes with old greeting cards, among old letters and diaries.  It was quite a pile to work on. 

Go through each item carefully and put each type together as a group, so you can refer back to them easily.  Even the littlest items can provide the largest clues.


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