Okay so this is a bit of a cheat: the post is more about Family History than it is about Quebec, but so much of my family history IS in Quebec that I felt totally justified.
It all started back in the early 80s, when I was living as a military spouse in Belgium. I had been doing my family history research for about 10 years by then, but it was slow going (without the Internet to assist…can you imagine??) and I only knew that my grandmother came from Canada. In Belgium I met a couple who were from Canada and they had friends–two sisters–back home that were also avid genealogists whom they assured me would be willing to assist me in my search for Canadians. I wrote to them with my meager information, and they got right on it, ordering microfilms to their local Family History Center.
[now this part gets a bit supernatural…]
The sisters reported back to me that as soon as they put the films on the reader and began scrolling to the right point where they hoped to find my relatives, they both turned to look towards the door, feeling at that moment that a large group of people had just entered the small research room. No one was there. They were alone. They turned back to their work and were quickly bombarded with information on my family that pushed my Canadian line back several generation, all in Quebec.
It was their feeling that there were folks who entered the room that day, unseen, who were there to be a part of their own research process. I believe that the veil between us and our departed family members is actually quite thin and they can be and are an influence in our lives. I believe I have received help with my work in finding my ancestors from those very ancestors who now are on the other side, pointing me in the right direction, motivating people to assist me, and helping me to find information crucial to their identities.
Why would they do that? Ah, now that is a post for another day, but to get an answer quickly, you could read more about Why Mormons Do Family History, here.
Or watch this video on Why Mormons Build Temples, here.
Over the years since that first introduction to my Quebecois family, I’ve continued to research the records concerning them, and continue to discover more of who they were, where they lived, and the major events they experienced. I actually feel like I know them and feel a bond between us. I look forward to actually meeting them in person one day!
- Hours and hours of time;
- used to be a much higher financial investment as well, sending away for certified copies of Birth, Marriage, and Death records, postage costs of writing letters to potential relatives, government agencies, church records custodian.
- It costs $7.50 to order a microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to be delivered to a local Family History Center where it will remain for 3 months.
- Optional cost could mean membership in genealogical societies or subscriptions to paid websites like Fold3.com, or GenealogyBank.com (the two I have paid to search).
Update: In a recent Face-to-Face interview with two apostles from the LDS Church to the youth of the church, I heard Elder Holland say this: (listen to his exact words here at about 1:13 in the broadcast):
“Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect; only the Savior is perfect. However, not to let you off the hook and say it doesn’t matter–it does matter. But that is the point of the things we’ve been talking about–the gifts of the Spirit, the power of prayer and the Atonement. There are all these ways..the Savior lived his life for us; the Father never sleeps nor slumbers…I love the idea that he never sleeps nor slumbers. He’s on the job 24/7 in an effort to bless us. We’ve got help; there are ways to do this; of course we fall short! But we’ve got help; a plan has been established for us to pursue, and steps to take and people around us, people on this side of the veil and people on the other side of the veil–don’t underestimate all of your family on the other side of the veil. All of those grandparents and great-grandparents on the other side that you don’t even know and have never even met–they are over there working for you and cheering for you and helping you. We’ve got help!”
It’s a beautiful thing.
Further reading: “When I Heard My Deceased Daughter’s Voice