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Saskatchewan Evolutionary Changes

27 May

Saskatchewan Evolutionary Changes

1900 Map of Manitoba and the North-West Territories

Manitoba and the North West Territories in 1900

In many instances, the boundaries and names of current place names have changed from historical accounts, correspondences and census enumeration regions. In fact, the province of Saskatchewan established the current provincial boundaries on September 1, 1905. Even though the provisional districts of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Athabaska of the North-west Territories were amalgamated to form the new province, the boundaries of these early provisional districts were similar to the new provincial boundaries, the boundaries were not concurrent with each other.

Genealogical research centers around discovering ancestral lines by delving into research focusing on the ancestral family name, the time period, momentous occasions, birth and death dates and thirdly the location where the family lived. These three, name, date and place names can help to draw a picture of the history of the family. From the place names, the education and occupation can be sought after. The region also will uncover documents such as newspaper obituaries, birth, christening and marriage announcements, wills, land patent titles and scrip to name just a few. Census enumerators canvassed the population by region as well, so if an historical census is released for online viewing which covers the time period of the ancestral family, it can be perused by region. Neighbouring family members can be ascertained from the census along with occupation and residence.

The province’s boundaries are:

1. The 4th Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey or 110°W longitude at the western demarkation between the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

2. The 49th parallel US-Canada international boundary line makes the southern provincial border.

3. Upon breaking apart from the North-west Territories into a separate province, the North-west Territories continued on north of 60th parallel, the province’s northern boundary.

4. The eastern boundary does not lie upon the 2nd Meridian, but is rather east of the 102nd meridian west (the 2nd Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey) thus forming the division between the province of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Some confusion has arisen regarding historical and current place names. For example if one possesses historical letters which may provide an address say of Cannington Manor, Assa, NWT. Assa was a common abbreviation for the provisional district of Assiniboia in the North-West Territories (1882-1905). (The hyphen in North-west Territories was removed in 1906 becoming Northwest Territories) The District of Assiniboia is described as the 33rd township (about 51.97 degrees north) southward to the U.S.A.- Canada border. The eastern border of Assiniboia abutted the western boundary of the province of Manitoba which was between 101 and 102 line of longitude. Assiniboia’s western border likewise extended past the fourth meridian, the current westerly provincial border to meet with the provisional district of Alberta. The provisional district of Assiniboia extended westward to the further than the fourth meridian to about 112 °W meridian longitude between about range 10 and 11, past the fourth meridian (110°W longitude).

For example, historical maps show Medicine Hat section 31, township 12, range 5, west of the fourth meridian as being within the boundaries of the District of Assiniboia, NWT. Medicine Hat is within the province of Alberta boundaries after 1905.

 

Likewise, Brandon located at section 23, township 10, range 19 west of the prime meridian or latitude longitude 49º 50′ 49” N, 99º 57′ 8” W was outside of the boundaries of the original :postage stamp” province of Manitoba which had a western boundary at the 99th line of longitude. However, Brandon was not within the boundaries of Assiniboia, NWT whose eastern boundary was between the 101 and 102 line of longitude. Currently Brandon is within the province of Manitoba.

Fort Pelly and Fort Ellice were both close to the Provisional District of Assiniboia – Province of Manitoba boundary. Fort Ellice within Manitoba, and Fort Pelly within the Provisional District of Assiniboia. It is interesting to note that Fort Livingstone, headquarters for the North-West Mounted Police was the first capital of the North-West Territories 1876-1877. Fort Pelly is the closest settlement to Fort Livingstone. The current village of Fort Pelly is close to the Hudson Bay Company post of Fort Pelly existing between 1824-1912.

The provisional district of Assiniboia in the North-west Territories can be seen to encompass a sizeable district, quite distinct from the current place name of Assiniboia which is a town in the province of Saskatchewan located at section 10 township 8 range 30 west of the 2nd meridian or latitude, longitude 49º 37′ 45” N, 105º 59′ 19” W.*

It is of note that this provisional district of Assiniboia was created as a regional administrative district in 1882 by the North-West Territories. The first district of Assiniboia (1812-1869) referred to the Red River Colony as created from the 1811 Selkirk Concession with the United States.

Similarly, Athabaska (also spelled Athabasca) was the provisional district of the North West Territories for the northern portion of present day Saskatchewan (Township 71 and northward to the District of MacKenzie NWT at the present border between Saskatchewan and the NWT). In 1882, the eastern boundary of the provisional district followed the routes taken by the Athabasca and Slave rivers to an area south of the Clearwater River fork. The eastern boundary then separated from following natural features and was a straight line between the 111th and 112th meridian longitude. By 1895, the eastern border of Athabasca extended easterly absorbing area from the North-west Territories. The eastern border became now the 100th meridian longitude. The western boundary followed along the 120th meridian abutting the province of British Columbia which had been formed on July 20, 1871. The southerly edge of the Athabasca provisional district ran along the provisional districts of Alberta and Saskatchewan along the 18th correction line just north of 54 degrees latitude north. The provisional district of Athabasca lost land to the province of Alberta, and the NWT Keewatin district in 1905 when the province was created. (As an aside, Manitoba’s borders were extended northward absorbing land from the NWT Keewatin District in 1912.)

Within the provisional district of Athabasca was a post office located at north west section 20, township 66, range 22, west of the 4 meridian which opened in 1901 under the name of Athabaska Landing, changing names in 1914 to Athabaska, and again seeing a name change in 1950 to Athabasca. Athabasca is currently located within the province of Alberta boundaries.

Of note is the provisional district of Saskatchewan, NWT, which possessed boundaries very different from the current province of Saskatchewan. In 1882, the eastern boundary of the provisional district was the 100th meridian longitude alongside the District of Keewatin. These borders were modified in 1898, when the provisional district of Saskatchewan did in fact make use of natural geographical features in its boundary, extending eastward to Lake Winnipeg (now wholly within the province of Manitoba) and the Nelson River. Between the 111th and the 112th meridian longitude was a straight line border which formed the border with the provisional district of Alberta. The northern reach extended as far as the Dominion Survey of township 70 about 54 degrees north, and the southern boundary was township 35 located at about 51.97 degrees north. The provisional district of Saskatchewan lost land to the province of Alberta, and the NWT Keewatin district in 1905 when the province was created.

The post office named Saskatchewan operated between 1884 and 1891 at the eastern half of section 35 township 38 range 4 west of the third meridian placing it in the provisional district of Saskatchewan NWT. However Fort Saskatchewan (former name Edmonton) located at Section 32, Township 54, Range 22, West of the fourth meridian, was located in the provisional District of Alberta, NWT. Fort Saskatchewan currently locates in the province of Alberta.

The settlement of Saskatoon (which changed names to Nutana in 1902) was located at section 28 township 36 range 5 west of the third meridian and is usually shown on maps as being within the Provisional District of Saskatchewan, NWT. Nutana, Riversdale and West Saskatoon (change of names in 1902 to Saskatoon) were three villages which amalgamated to form the city of Saskatoon in 1903 latitude longitude 52º 8′ 23” N, 106º 41′ 10” W.

Saskatchewan is commonly abbreviated Sask, and Saskatoon may sometimes be seen as S’toon. The current abbreviation for the province of Saskatchewan adopted by Postal Canada is SK.

By watching the dates of historic documents, it is easier to ascertain correctly the placenames of Saskatchewan ancestors. Oral history may recollect that an ancestor lived in a certain district, which may indeed refer to one of the three provisional districts, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan or Athabasca or it may refer to a One Room Schoolhouse District. Canada became a nation in 1867. Saskatchewan didn’t become a province of Canada until 1905, before this it was a part of the NorthWest Territories (1868-1905). The Rupert’s Land Act 1868 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, authorized the transfer of Rupert’s Land from the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada. The North West Territories was divided into districts in 1870. The British (in 1670) had given Rupert’s Land to the Hudson Bay Company which gave the company dominion over lands where there was water passageway from the Hudson Bay.

~Article written by Julia Adamson

For further information:

Adamson, Julia. Placenames of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Gen Web. 03-May-2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Placenames of Saskatchewan Comments Saskatchewan Gen Web. 05-Jun-2005. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. An analysis of Saskatchewan placenames Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Maps. 30-Apr-2005. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse project. Saskatchewan Gen Web. 31-May-2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Saskatchewan History Saskatchewan Gen Web. 25-Mar-2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia Maps of Saskatchewan 15-May-2014 Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Rural Municipalities of Sakatchewan Saskatchewan Gen Web E-magazine. May 15, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia 1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation :: Rural Municipalities Saskatchewan Gen Web E-magazine. March 24, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan? February 23, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located? February 10, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created? February 7, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. When Were Saskatchewan Homestead Applications Available? February 16, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Maps of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Gen Web Project 15-May-2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan Historical Geography May 25, 2014. Family Search. org Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan May 25, 2014. Family Search. org 24 October 2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan History. 31 July 2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Barry, Bill. Geographic Names of Saskatchewan. 2005. People Places Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-897021-19-2

Comprehensive Atlas of Canada and the World. George Philip. London. 1985.

Daly, Ronald C. The Macmillan School Atlas Revised Metric Edition. Gage Educational Publishing Company. Toronto, ON. 1982. ISBN 0-7715-8268-4.

Evolution Boundaries 1882 Atlas of Saskatchewan. Page 10
RICHARDS, J. Howard & FUNG, K.I. (1969). Atlas of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon: Modern Press. republish date online Saskatchewan Gen Web Saturday, 11-Mar-2000. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Evolution Boundaries 195 Map Atlas of Saskatchewan. Page 10
RICHARDS, J. Howard & FUNG, K.I. (1969). Atlas of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon: Modern Press. republish date online Saskatchewan Gen Web Saturday, 11-Mar-2000. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

File:Manitoba and Northwest Territories (1900).jpg Date accessed May 26, 2014

The First Boundary Extension The Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors Date accessed May 26, 2014

Fort Esperance, Fort Pelly, Fort Livingstone National Historic Sites of Canada Management Plan. Parks Canada. ISBN 978-0-662-49893-3. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Fung, K.I., Bill Barry and Michael Wilson. (1999) Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millennium. Saskatoon: Printwest.

Government of Manitoba Postage Stamp Province
Historic Sites of Manitoba Postage Stamp Province 1870 (RM of Alexander) Manitoba Historical Society. 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Historical Maps of Canada. Canadian Geographic Magazine. 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Historical Boundaries Canadian Heritage Government of Canada. 2013-08-28. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Kerr, D.G.G., editor. Historical Atlas of Canada. Page 66, 67 Canadian Historical Associations Committee on a Historical Atlas of Canada. 1960. Thomas Nelson and Sons (Canada) Ltd. Library of Congress catalog card number 60-9189.

Southern Alberta 2012 Aerial Imagery MD of Willow Creek. July 15, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Watson, J. Wreford, editor. Nelson’s Canadian School Atlas. 1958.

Saskatchewan Genealogy Magazine

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Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records ~ Quiz Two Answers.

29 Jun

Abundance Abounds

Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records

Here are the answers to the Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two. Along with the quiz, Saskatchewan historical information and invaluable resources to locate placenames in Saskatchewan were provided.

Genealogists have much to gain by studying a map of rural municipalities in Saskatchewan. Towns, villages, resort villages and rural municipalities are legislated under The Municipalities Act. The municipality provides services, and facilities necessary and desirable for all or part of the municipality. When seeking ancestral records, rural cemeteries are classified by their rural municipality. The cemetery may be privately run or under the stewardship of the village or local religious community.

Census records canvas individuals by enumeration areas. Rurally the census records the legal land description as the address for each resident. Additionally, the rural municipality has been recorded by the census representative as the residential address in some census years, particularly on the newly released 1916 census records.

Studying historical maps which show the evolution of Saskatchewan’s boundaries such as those in the Atlas of Saskatchewan are invaluable to the genealogist to understand the land areas of Rupert’s Land, and the districts of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Athabasca (also known as Athabaska) in the North West Territories. The area was designated as the province of Saskatchewan in 1905, the North West Territories between 1870 and 1905, and Rupert’s Land 1670 to 1870.

Additionally perusing Saskatchewan historical places in conjunction with their modern area names along with rural municipalities and their names facilitates the location of local history and family biography books which were compiled by communities for the 50th and 75th provincial anniversaries.

Quiz Two Answers

1. Algae, Water basin. Answer. Green Lake. Green Lake is a northern village of Saskatchewan which had 361 residents in 2006, the last census. Located amidst the lakes region of Saskatchewan, the village is 17 km (11 miles) from the lake of the same name.

2. Sight, Summit. Answer. Eye Hill. The rural municipality of Eye Hill No. 382 was incorporated in 1910 and locates its offices in Macklin, Saskatchewan. The rural municipality reeve and councilors serve a population between 650 to 700 residents.

3. Grand earth. Answer. Goodsoil. Located in the rural municipality of Beaver River No. 622, Saskatchewan, the village of Goodsoil has a population of about 250 residents. Father J. Shultz and F.J. Lange Sr. came together offering land in the area in 1926.

4. Rapid, Waves. Answer Swift Current. The city of Swift Current makes its home on the banks of the Riviere au Courant or the Swift Current Creek. The creek and Battleford-Swift Current Red River Cart Trail encouraged settlement, and ranches sprang up which were further enhanced by the Canadian Pacific Railway depot and bridge across the creek. As early as 1881, the area had developed a Local Improvement District, and the settlement of Swift Current became a village in 1903. Currently a city of about 145,000 residents along the Trans Canada Highway. An early letter may show the address as SC, ASSA, NWT or Swift Current, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories.

5. Expansive panorama. Answer. Broadview. The town of Broadview, population 611 (2006) received its name from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company CPR in 1882. Historical documents may show the location as Broadview, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories until the province was formed in 1906. Abbreviated the location may read Broadview, Assa, NWT. Assiniboia was demarked as East and West Assiniboia on many historical maps, and Broadview would have been within East Assiniboia, whereas Swift Current (above) would have been located in West Assiniboia.

6. A bend or half turn. Answer. Elbow. The village of Elbow is located within the Loreburn No. 254, Rural municipality. With about 300 persons, Elbow is located on the newly formed manmade Lake Diefenbaker, originally the village was founded upon the South Saskatchewan River in 1909. Lake Diefenbaker is a reservoir created following the construction of the Gardiner Dam on the South Saskatchewan River and the Qu’Appelle River Dam

7. Gigantic, Watercourse. Answer. Big River.
The town of Big River has over 700 residents and is situated in the rural municipality of Big River No. 555. The river through the area was first named by the local Cree. Oklemow Cee-Pee translates into Big River. On historical maps this area would have been a part of Rupert’s Land 1670 to 1870. Later historical documents may show the address as either township 56 range 7 west of the 2nd meridian or Big River, District of Saskatchewan, North West Territories between 1870 and 1905. Abbreviated this would be Big River, Sask, NWT. Note; the provisional district of the North West Territories named Saskatchewan does not comprise the same land area as the current province of Saskatchewan. The District of Saskatchewan was only the central portion, between townships 35 and 70.

8. Colour, Meadow. Answer. Yellow Grass. Around 400 persons make their home in the town of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan. Yellow Grass, had a post office as early as 1896, and it incorporated as a village in 1903 therefore, it would show up on historical documents as Yellow Grass, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories. Located in the south western portion of the province, the Greater Yellow Grass Marsh was responsible for mudslides, and spring flooding in the 1800s and early 1900s. Over 20 dams on the Souris and Qu’Appelle Rivers were required to alleviate the flooding of settlements.

9. Diminutive Mountains. Answer. Little Hills. Little Hills 158—517.20 hectares (1,278.0 acres), Little Hills 158A—38.30 hectares (94.6 acres), Little Hills 158B—131.20 hectares (324.2 acres) are Indian Reserves of about 5 persons located at township 70 range 23 West of the 2nd Meridian about 13 km (8 mi) from the town of La Ronge. These are 3 of the 19 Indian Reserves of the Woodland Cree Lac La Ronge First Nations. La Ronge & Stanley Mission Band of Woods Cree Indians signed Treaty 6 in 1889. Historically the location of the Little Hills reserves was on the border of the North West Territories’ Provisional District of Saskatchewan which encompasses township 70, and Provisional District of Athabasca which was north of township 71.

10. Colour, Soil. Answer. Red Earth. Red Earth 29 is an Indian Reserve of 383 residents as well as an unincorporated area or locality found in Carrot River 29A. Red Earth and Red Earth 29 are 5km (3 mi) from each other. Following Treaty 5, signed in 1876, the Red Earth Plains Cree First Nation reside at Red Earth 29 which was first surveyed in 1884 at townships 51, 52 ranges 6,7 W of the 2nd meridian. Carrot River Indian Reserve was surveyed 1894. This would place both historically in the provisional district of Saskatchewan, NWT before Saskatchewan became a province in 1905.

Learning more about the historical evolution of the country, its provinces and regions enables a genealogist to know where their ancestor lived, and where to find current records.

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Quizzes:
Test your knowledge of Saskatchewan ~ Quiz One.

The Value of Standardizing Placenames for Genealogists. Quiz One Answers.

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

•How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

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Related Posts:

•The Value of Standardizing Placenames for Genealogists. First Quiz Answers.

•Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Placenames. First Quiz.

•What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

•Are there genealogy sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?

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