This will be just a bit of fun. Genealogists start with what is known and work towards the unknown uncovering facts related to dates, places and people (names). Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Other resources would include the Saskatchewan One Room School House Project, or a reference chosen from the general Map Resources. Any number of atlases, gazetteers, census, or books may also be of assistance offering up some clues to these puzzlers.
1. The name of a bush.
2. The name of a berry.
3. A male duck.
4. A good luck symbol.
5. To attempt.
6. An historic Canadian Prime Minister.
8. Parliamentary assembly.
9. Heavenly, Bluff.
Give your hand at these crossword type puzzlers, and the answers will be published with the next entry! In taking time to do a fun and relaxing puzzle such as this one, not only does it stimulate the brain cells, but it also helps identify great resources in the way of finding out the names of Saskatchewan’s several placenames.
Saskatchewan is not divided neatly into counties nor parishes which are re-used for many and several divisions. Rather each separate entity, agency and newly formed group devises their own areas, regions and districts of Saskatchewan for their own purposes. Saskatchewan has rural municipalities which are the rural government regions providing similar civic responsibilities to large rural areas via reeves and councilors rather than mayor and aldermen. Then the province was also historically divided into school districts and school inspector districts which have given way to contemporary schools and school divisions again following new boundaries and regions. Starting again, every separate entity whether they are religions, health regions, genealogy or historical societies defines their own branches and areas. By accumulating clues to this puzzle, the given resources above may be used, or it may be a new here-to-fore resource comes forward to divulge the answer to the quest, which may also be the source needed on the genealogical journey in Saskatchewan.
While researching in Saskatchewan note that historically places were generally six miles apart which would be a good horseback ride in the early settlement of the north west. The early 1900s, which was about the same time Saskatchewan became a province, was a time of great growth as railways competed to lay rail across the prairies. Towns, sidings, and post offices sprang up like wildfire. The depression years of the 1930s initiated a trend away from the abandoned drought ridden farms to the city in search of employment. It was after World War II when automotive transport combined with new and improved straightened asphalt highways made egress across the vast province much easier. Gone were the oil surface highways “built on the square“. The ease of travel continued the trend of population shifting away from the smaller settlements towards the urban centers.
Historically there were about 3,000 seperate placenames, over 5,000 individual school district names, approximately 600 rural municipalities and these numbers are not inclusive of geographical feature names, federal electoral or provincial electoral districts. A genealogical baptismal record, letter of correspondence or birth certificate may indeed have recorded upon it a name no longer listed on contemporary maps. Following the standardization by Canada Post of placenames across the nation, duplicate naming was virtually eliminated. Places with a similar name elsewhere were asked to change their names. Placenames in Saskatchewan may have, indeed, undergone a name change for a plethora of reasons.
Saskatchewan’s naming patterns are intriguing and convoluted, and to make matters easier on this front, it is wonderful that there are resources online and in print presenting this etymological history in various lists, books, gazetteers, and websites.
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