Books of Hours flourished in the Medieval Age and early Rennaisance. They were volumes which contained inspirational verse and prose to fill the reader's hours with good thoughts. Their intent was to induce contemplation on heavenly things, and to serve as companions to the spiritual needs of the mind and soul.

  This Genealogical Book Of Hours is similar to books of hours produced in the Medieval Age in that it is primarily intended to provide motivation for daily thought and meditation. In this case, those thoughts and meditations are aimed toward our ancestors and activities which might enhance our genealogical research.

  In this Genealogical Book of Hours, the months and dates are laid out without association to any particular days. The entry for January 8 is not associated with a Thursday, for instance; therefore the book is not only for use during a single, specific year. Also, certain days are devoted to meditations about ancestors, while others (such as January 11) are devoted to activities. In this case, the entry for January 11 reads: "Remember something your grandfather told you about his father"

  A secondary purpose of this book is to induce a different way of thinking about the relationships between ourselves and our ancestors. Instead of thinking about a particular individual as "my great2-grandmother", this book regards that person as "my mother's father's father's mother". This change in thinking is a major one in terms of the emotional feel of the terminology. The word "great" followed by innumerable digits might be handy in keeping track of the number of generations, but it is a somewhat cold and impersonal way of associating yourself with your ancestors. By noting the actual relationship route, your ancestorís relationship to you will become more meaningful. Many people, without a second thought, refer to their paternal grandmother as their "fatherís mother"; therefore grasping the concept of referring to your great2-grandmother as your "motherís fatherís fatherís mother" should not be difficult.

  Another purpose of this volume is to encourage continual respect for our ancestors by bringing memories of them into daily contemplation; to make the recognition of those ancestors as part of our lives. So often, the only time we remember certain ancestors is on Memorial Day, when we take flowers to place on their gravesites.

  Like a diary, the user/genealogist should consult it on a daily basis. Each day, either a different, unique ancestor will be remembered, or an activity intended to initiate genealogical curiosity will be presented. In regard to the days on which an ancestor is to be remembered, the user/genealogist should record the ancestor's name on the first line and then fill in the rest of the lines with vital data (including the birth, death, and marriage dates of that individual and any additional information such as military service, occupation, nickname and so forth).

  Another suggestion would be that the ancestors' names be filled in only when the calendar date coincides with the actual date so that the activity could be enjoyed throughout the year.

  Another suggestion would be that the ancestors' names might be filled in at one time, but the vital data could be added when the calendar date coincides with the actual date.

  One more suggestion would be that if all the ancestors' names are filled in at one time, with the vital data being added at that same time, the user/genealogist should set aside a few minutes each day to contemplate the importance of that ancestor to him/ her as each calendar day coincides with the actual days.

  The last-mentioned suggestion is what makes this Genealogical Book Of Hours of value to the user/genealogist. It transforms the simple "single, one-time use" item into a continuing process of remembrance. At first, the user/genealogist will become busy with filling in the ancestors' spaces. Later, as the years pass by, rather than being just another lineage book to sit on a shelf, the Genealogical Book Of Hours can be referred to on a daily basis to remember a particular, unique ancestor. Much like the way we remember (through contemplation) our loved ones' birthdays and deaths on the actual date that such occurs, the entries in the volume will function to focus attention on a particular ancestor at different times throughout the year.

  As a companion, this Genealogical Book Of Hours should aid in your search for ancestors through the various activities suggested on those days when ancestors are not the primary focus. The activities have been designed for both the beginning genealogist and the more advanced members of that species. In other words, some of the activities are more difficult or demanding than others, but they all aim at inducing a concentrated effort to expand the range of possibilities one might employ to obtain a knowledge of his or her ancestors and their everyday lives. Something as simple as asking an aunt or uncle about their childhood with one of your parents is often overlooked by even experienced genealogists. A fear of obtaining unuseable "word-of -mouth" information tends to put blinders on some people searching for their ancestral roots. In their effort to amass only "documentable" evidence of the lives of their forefathers and mothers, they accumulate piles and piles of dates and names of towns and lists of children and cousins. Unfortunately, in the process, their ancestors stay as distanced from them as possible, because the researcher does not allow the human element to break through all the vital statistics. There really is nothing inherently wrong with using "undocumentable" information such as an aunt's recollection of childhood secrets she and your mother kept -as long as you remain cognizant of the fact that such information is only that aunt's viewpoint. Personal viewpoint information might not be acceptable by the SAR or DAR on an official application, but it sure does help to make genealogy fun and personal.

  In order to include only complete generations within the finite period of 365 days, I have provided spaces for seven generations (other than the user). A total of 254 ancestors - starting out with your father and mother and ending with your mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's father and mother - were able to be fit into the calendar. One hundred and twelve days were given activities to round out the year (including one for leap year's February 29th). Seven generations will take many people back to Revolutionary War period ancestors.

  I had originally thought about setting up the 'monthly' pages in a guestbook format, where you, as the website visitor, would enter information, and then have it saved for everyone to view. But I decided against that idea and chose, instead, to set up the 'monthly' pages in the basic format of a 'form'. This will allow you to enter information into the spaces temporarily. When you have the spaces filled in, simply print the page. {Note: If you try to save the page, only the 'Comments' field will be viewable; the other fields will appear blank.}

  Remember that the primary purpose of this volume is to induce remembrance of your ancestors. If it wasn't for them all, you wouldn't be here, now.

  Click on the following button to access the starting page of the Genealogical Book of Hours: