While every ancestry project is different, I strive to meet the needs of whomever is asking the questions. In order to properly answer those questions and be factual about it, I need to source different documents to provide the facts. I can source documents from many places both in person and online. Below are a few examples of the different types of documents that I can dig in to find:
- Newspaper clippings – whether it is an obituary, a description of a wedding party, an anniversary celebration or a company – I can find it.
- Gravestone Photography – I actually enjoying going out to visit cemetaries as I find them very peaceful. I am happy to locate the burial location, visit the cemetary and take pictures as well as transcribe the stones.
- Land Records – It is amazing what you find in amongst the land records – when your ancestor possessed the land, where it is, when it was sold, if it was mortgaged at all and if land was most of what they had, you might even find a will within the land records. I can find the land documents and trace your ancestors with location and date through these records and may even be able to find other family members from the information.
- Wills and Court Records – Wills can be found within land records but also at the court, especially if it was probated. Much information can be gleaned from these documents. I can find and transcribe the documents.
- Vital Statistic Records – these records provide a wealth of information for anybody looking for their ancestors. These are the birth, marriage and death records and each usually contains names of the parents as well as details on birth date and location and even occupation. I can even find divorce records in Ontario and parts of the US.
- Parish and Church records – prior to mandatory registration of life events, much was recorded in church or parish registers. Many countries have digitized these files and can be found with a little digging.
- Immigration, Naturalization and Border Crossings – if your ancestors emigrated to North America, I can dig up records. There is also quite a bit of personal information and clues contained in even a border crossing.
- Military Information – from attestation papers to awards to pension applications – these documents are a wealth of information.
- Census Records and Voting lists – the availability of these records is different depending on the country you are looking in, for privacy reasons. In the US – census records are available for 1940, in Canada for 1921 and in the UK the latest is 1911. The information contained un census’ is of incredible value as it often shows the entire family unit and how it changes over time. Great additional information that includes religion, occupation, birth location, marriage year and year of immigration or naturalization. Voting lists are an excellent way to track your ancestors more recently but they do not provide as much additional information.
Generating Charts and Reports
I am able to take the information that I have been able to find and create different items for you – whether it be a family tree, a pedigree chart, a family history, or an ancestor’s personal history. It can provided to you in whatever format you desire – a website, a printed and framed family tree, a family history book or even a video documenting your search. Here are some samples of my creative concepts:
Creating Stories and Artwork
I have been writing about family history for the past two years. This includes several editorials in Families – a Genealogical Journal, an article also appearing in Families, an article appearing in the Special Centennial edition of Halton-Peel newsletter “Kinections”, several picture books and various collages.
I have also produced several Photobooks where I have combined genealogical reference materials, alongside family photos and written stories.
I have also produced family trees and printed them on canvas or incorporated them into a photo collage.