Recently I rescued The Memorial Book for Warren E. Reid who died in 1988 at the age of 86. Mr. Reid's Memorial Book contained many loose cards signed by friends and family, most likely taken from flowers sent to his loved ones. It also contained his obituary from the local paper, some hand-written notes, signatures of those who attended his funeral and other miscellaneous ephemera.
Warren's wife was Mabel Hawthorne and his children are also named. I am not naming them here for privacy reasons. Warren's parents' names were given as Isaac Reid and Wilhelmina Robinson, one deceased sister was also named - Mrs. Eveline Morrow; also a deceased brother Elmer Reid.
I thought it would be interesting to do some research on Warren. The Memorial Book was obviously kept by someone who loved him, and I wondered why it had now been discarded.
Warren's funeral was in Listowel Ontario (Canada) and since I know he was born circa 1902 I figured I could find him in the 1911 Canadian Census. Sure enough, a hunt on Ancestry.com turned up 9 year old Warren (born Jan 1902) living in Mornington, Perth North with his mother Mina (Wilhelmina no doubt), a 32 year old widow born Feb 1879 in Ontario, and siblings Elmer and Eveline, 6 year old twins, born November 1904.
My next find was Warren's birth registration. He was registered as Edwinn Warren Reid born 10 Jan 1902 in Perth County to parents Isaac Reid & Mina Robinson
His twin siblings were registered as Lylya Eveline & Aylmer, both born 11 Oct 1904
To find Warren's grandparents I looked for the marriage of Isaac Reid & Mina Robinson and there it was on 28 Nov 1900. Isaac was 36 years old and the son of John Reid & Charlotte Robinson. Mina was 10 years younger and the daughter of Alexander Robinson &Elizabeth Warren. Both Isaac and Mina were born in Ontario
Because Mina was left a widow at such a young age, I wondered what happened to Isaac. When did he die and what was the cause? This time I used Pilot Family Search to look for Isaac's death. There it was on 4 April 1910 in Perth. His date of birth was given as June 1, 1861 and the cause of death Pernicious Anemia. Poor Isaac, he was only 48 years old. His death certificate further revealed that both his parents were born in Ireland.
I was actually surprised to find Isaac with his parents in the 1861 census for Mornington Perth County! I thought given his date of birth he would not show up until 1871. However there he is, little one year old Isaac with John Reid a blacksmith from Ireland, age 41 and mother Charlotte age 30. Other siblings listed in 1861 were Hannah Reid 13 born Ireland, John Reid 11 born Upper Canada (present day Ontario), William, Margaret, David and little Isaac - all born Upper Canada. What a nice find! Knowing that Hannah was born circa 1848 in Ireland and John born circa 1850 in Ontario, gives a nice timeframe for the family leaving Ireland for Ontario. The Irish Famine was in full force so presumably the family fled out of necessity.
No doubt there is much more that could be fairly easily found on Warren Reid's family tree but I just wanted to show what a researcher can do with a few hours and a lost and found item such as Warren's Memorial Book.