Tag Archives: family history

Locate Your Saskatchewan Place-name

8 Nov Genealogy Research
Genealogy Research

Genealogy Research

Is it truly Irksome to search and research for the ancestral placename, and come up empty in the middle of your genealogical research? What are some hints and tips for discovering the place recorded from oral history, ancestral correspondence or on primary source documents? Out of the chaos can, indeed, come clarity and resolution by following the next few steps for ancestral place name research in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

    • First note the date of the document. Correspondence or documents dated before 1905 would refer to a place name of the North West Territories, as Saskatchewan did not become a province until 1905. In the North West Territories after 1882 there were three provisional districts , known as;
      1. Assiniboia, Assa
      2. Saskatchewan, Sask.
      3. Athabasca (Athabaska)

      The boundaries for the NWT and for the provisional districts are different from the contemporary province of Saskatchewan, and had some overlaps with Manitoba and Alberta.

    • Abbreviations for the province changed, Saskatchewan was once Sask., and now is SK. Canada was Can. and is now CA. The North West Territories has always been NWT, unless in French, in which case it is Territoires du nord-ouest; T.N.-O. There is a placename, currently the provincial largest city called Saskatoon without abbreviation not to be confused with Saskatchewan.
    • if it is the 1921 Census, then the place of habitation recorded by the enumerator is likely the Rural Municipality
    • In the early pioneering days, travel by horse and cart, meant that places were much closer together. With the advent of paved highways and motorized vehicles, urban centres grew, and smaller rural placenames folded away. Historic places such as Copeau may be found on historic maps, on the Canadian Library and Archives Post Offices website, or in one of the placename books published by Bill Barry, such as Geographic Names of Saskatchewan.
    • Searching for the ancestral name in homestead listings will determine the legal land location. Using this information, turn to an historic map to view the neighbouring sidings, post offices, elevators and placenames on the railway lines.
    • Be aware that placenames may have changed names over the course of time. This Analysis of Saskatchewan Placenames lists a few of these name changes.
    • Another fabulous repository would be cemetery listings which are coming online. These databases not only list the cemeteries, but usually closest locality and the Rural Municipality. The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has listed over 3,000 cemeteries, and has two separate listings online
    • Pioneers often referred to their locale by the One room school house district in which they resided. The Sk One Room Schoolhouse project has close to 6,000 school district names with their locations.

So get creative and when looking up a place name on correspondence, in the released census or in birth, marriage or death certificates use some of the helpful hints above to locate where your ancestor resided in Saskatchewan. Genealogy research should not be an irksome task, make sense from the chaos, and get past your brick wall with success.

~written by Julia Adamson webmaster Sask Gen Web

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.

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Reno Hill School District 5158; Memories of When the Water Came or The price paid for electricity

8 Mar

Rainy Days and Mondays

Reno Hill School District 5158; Memories of When the Water Came

~or~

The price paid for electricity

  • “Change is the parent of progress.” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

The E.B. Campbell Dam was first proposed as the “Squaw Rapids Dam” by the Saskatchewan Power Corporation and the Government of Saskatchewan. This hydroelectric dam was the province’s inaugural venture into providing electrical power. By the mid 1900s it was recognised that the province’s growing electrical energy demand was to soon surpass the existing facilities. In 1961, the province required 1,500,000,000 kilowatt-hours, by late 1964, the Squaw Rapids plant was constructed to produce 1,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours of energy from six 33,500-kilowatt hydraulic turbine generators. The building of the 110 foot (33.5 m) high dam commenced in the beginning of 1960 at an estimated cost of $46 million dollars. The dam is 2,370 feet (722 m) across between the banks of the river, and 620 feet (189 m) wide at the base of the dam, and allows for a two-lane highway across the deck of the dam. The Saskatchewan River was diverted in 1961, and by the fall of 1962, with the $57 million dollar dam completed, the river was closed, filling the dam reservoir. By June of 1963, Premier W.S. Lloyd opened the Squaw Rapids Dam in front of a crowd of approximately 3,000.

  • “The creation of huge reservoirs allows some control over the flow of the river itself. . . . But the [river] is not just a machine. It is an organic machine. . . . For no matter how much we have created many of its spaces and altered its behavior, it is still tied to larger organic cycles beyond our control.” White p. 111-12

The Squaw Rapids hydroelectric station, renamed in 1988, honours E.B. (Bruce) Campbell who was the assistant chief engineer during the construction project. Bruce Campbell was also SaskPower president and CEO between 1983 to 1987 The name “Petaigan” for the reservoir was brought forward to honour the former river now under the reservoir waters. Others suggested that Major E.E. Andrews, a nurse of the Second World War from Carrot River should be honoured with the reservoir naming. William Thorburn employee and trader of the Northwest Trading Company constructed a home and trading post in the area in 1791. Common usage of the name Tobin rather than Thorburn, easier to pronounce, became the name of the trading post and the nearby “Tobin Rapids“. (However, the 1924 Rand McNally Map refers to this location as the Tobin Rof??ls Rapids (see attached enlargement Image) Carrot River suggested the reservoir be named ““Tobin Lake” after much controversy. 174 years after the Tobin NW trading post was established on the rocky bend in the Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan’s first hydro electric power station was erected, and just as Tobin Rapids was named after William Thorburn, so to Tobin Lake bore his name.


  • “Dams for hydroelectric power generation are located at a site
    where the difference in elevations between the surface of the new reservoir and the outlet to the
    downstream river is adequate to power electrical-generating turbines.”Cech [2003, p150-15

Squaw Rapids, in northern bush lands, was selected because of two sets of rapids on the site. Water plunges 105 feet (32 m) in huge penstocks which channel the water into giant turbines.CP June 15, 1963.7,000,000 cubic yards (6,000,000 m3) of earth were excavated from the reservoir site and re-used creating embankments for the earth-filled dam and a 3,000 foot (900 m) long airstrip. The reservoir covers 75,000 acres (303.5 km3) of land, and when full, the water level rises to 1,013 feet (309 m). By the end of 1962, the water level had already reached 1008 feet (307 m) rising at about one foot (0.3 m) of water a day. Tobin Lake stores 1,780,000 acre-feet (21,965,000,000 cubic meters) of water or 271,322 gallons (about 1,000,000 liters). Plans for the reservoir included creating the reservoir at Squaw Rapids, encompassing Tobin Rapids and extending upstream to the town of Nipawin located 45 miles (72 km) from the dam site at Squaw Rapids. The Torch River Valley provides a natural floodway should the river exceed its highest known peak at spring thaw.


  • “Mr Schell always predicted that with the water power potential for cheap electricity and the abundance of natural resources, Nipawin would eventually grow into a city, and was very concerned when the townsite was laid out that the streets be kept wide, rather than the then popular narrow ones, and that as many pines as possible be left in and around the townsite.” [Mr Winn Schell printed the first newspaper in Nipawin – The Monitor in 1907 later called The Recorder]Schaible p. 842

The reservoir base 46 miles (74 km) by 11-12 miles (18-19 km) wide was prepared for the new lake, wells, dugouts, and basements were all filled in, sawdust piles removed, telephone and power poles, fences and buildings torn down or moved away. The Department of Natural Resources had the $817,000 assignment to clear the reservoir site, removing all useable lumber from crown lands, clearing the 40 by 10 mile (64 x 16 km) area. It was proposed to open the area to farmers who could take some two to three million feet (600,000 to 900,000 m) of spruce lumber from the area. Approximately 40 million feet (12,000,000 m) of white spruce timber, and four million feet (1,000,000 m) of jack pine timber, 17,000 cords (62,000 m3.) of jack pine or fence posts, and 50 million feet (15,000,000 m) of poplar timber needed to be cleared. Following the clearing, a forest fire was set deliberately, to reduce the site to ash, however this failed due to rains, but not before covering the dam construction site with thick smoke. Additionally the SPC put out another $50,000 on clearing and after the dam opened, another contract was needed to prevent logs jamming the dam. 50,000,000 board feet of pine and spruce were removed from the area.


  • It was known from experience where stands of pine and spruce had been flooded during water control projects that trees were still standing after 20 to 30 years…this would have destroyed the recreational potential of Tobin Lake for many years, and would have reduced its usable surface area by two-thirds,” said Resources Minister Eiling Kramer.Leader-Post Oct 2, 1963.

The steam-generating plants at Moose Jaw and Prince Albert were to be closed down in favour of the more economical hydroelectric station here. Water flow at the Squaw Rapids dam is regulated by remote control at the Queen Elizabeth Power Plant in Saskatoon and later from Regina. The hydro-electric project is located 150 miles from Prince Albert, 42 miles (68 km) from Nipawin, 30 miles (48 km) from Carrot River and 45 miles (72 km) upstream of Tobin Rapids.

  • “We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ”

120 farmers from the Petaigan, Mossey Vale, and Ravendale districts were estimated to be affected by the filling of the dam reservoir. The farmers who had lands expropriated for the project moved out before December 31, 1961. “SPC has purchased 134 quarter sections of their farm land…most of these farmers have relocated on similar farms in the same general area.Longman 1961 Archdeacon Payton related that the Anglican Church was removed before the region was flooded. About 205 sections or 131,200 acres (531 km2) of land were needed for the Squaw Rapids Hydro Electric project, of which 55 sections (143 km2 were owned by the Crown leaving 600 quarter sections (390 km2) of land in private hands. By October 24, 1962, SPC had only six quarter sections ( 4 km2 ) left to negotiate. SPC also allowed homesteaders to have a lease on their the portion of the land which was above the water line, the Government not only bought the land that would be flooded, but they also paid for improvements done upon the land. After purchase, SPC put buildings up for tender on the condition of sale that the buildings be completely moved or dismantled before December 1961.

  • In all, 100 families were affected, most of them already located in the same general area. They received an average of $55 an acre (4000 m2 or .004 km2 $35,200 a section or $8,800 a quarter section.)).”CP Oct 26, 1962

Compensation packages first proposed considered 2-1/2 the value of the assessment with an additional percentage paid out based on individual needs. In 1924, the Canadian Pacific Railway was offering agricultural land for $11.66 per acre on average with irrigated land fetching $43.74 per acre reported The Financial Post. Whereas, in 1954 the Saskatoon Star Phoenix published that land selling in the Nipawin area was listed for approximately $100 per acre and prices across the provinces were down about 15 per cent from 1953 sales. Land elsewhere in the province was listed at $60 to $70 an acre, and lighter lands may only receive a listed sale price of $25 to 50 per acre. Farm lands for sale in the Rural Municipalities of Torch River, Nipawin and Moose Range, were listed at $50 to $100 per acre in 1966.

  • When the water backs up after the 1962 spring breakup in the river ice, the Petaigan River will burst its banks and disappear, and a church, a school, a curling rink and a farmer’s union lodge, as well as scores of farm homes, will vanish in the Petaigan district.Hooper March 1960

As Daniel Baird relates, “maps present a picture of the complex relationship between water and land as they intersect with human life…driven by the politics of settlement and energy. [Tegan Smith’s] exhibit gestures toward the depths of the lake, which we then have to imagine. The image of long abandoned, rotted out barns in the silty green murk of lake water, fish drifting through their open doors and windows, long spikes of light descending from the surface, everything in suspended animation, in slow motion, is haunting and even funereal. The sparsely settled Mossy Vale, with its isolated farms, traditional hunters and trappers, has become a place of memory.


  • Having no electricity, we were fortunate to have an ice well; our milk and cream we hung down the well in cans. We canned everything we could; meat, game, chicken, turkey, and all kinds of fruit wild and cultivated – so we were rarely at a loss for a quick meal if somebody unexpected dropped in.Horn p. 260

The Nipawin School Unit No. 61 school board advertised for teachers for the 1961 school term. 16 pupils between grades one and eight were enrolled at Reno Hill School District 21 miles out of Carrot River. The Labalm School District was another one room school district nestled in the hamlet of Moose Range serving 15 pupils in the primary grades as well. Squaw Rapids school was a newly established one room school operating out of a trailer for the approximately 20 children of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation Squaw Rapids Dam site area. By the fall of 1961, the Squaw Rapids hydroelectric development project saw a community population of 1,955 necessitating the construction of a two room school building for 61 children. Over the summer of 1961, 275 pioneers came together at the Mossy Vale school near Nipawin for a re-union. The Nipawin Public School saw a huge enrollment, jumping to 834 students in September of 1961. The school enrollment was expected yet to rise to 864 pupils. Five rural schools closed. Mossy Vale, Glen Horne SD 5048, Grassy Lake, Kirkwell (Kirkwall SD 4647) and Welland SD 4473 schools closed their doors. At Nipawin public school, grade seven students attended classes at the high school and at a separate building. The staff room, library, and electrical rooms have been converted to classrooms. The Nipawin ten room school expected to open in 1962 will alleviate some of the over-crowding. In grade one alone, there were 124 students at the beginning of the 1962 school year.


  • Miss Dengate began teaching at Inkster School, with an enrollment of some 37 children spanning ten grades. She hadn’t any experience with one-room schools, and so had to learn a lot in a short time. The school was far from luxurious, with its outdoor plumbing and water pail and dipper, quite a change for someone from England, used to having electricity and indoor plumbing. There was a big stove on which the children would leave their lunch pails to thaw, as it would freeze on the way to school and stay frozen if left on the floor.Haywood p. 681

Cumberland House (“Waskahiganihk” ) settled in 1774 upon an island in the middle of the Saskatchewan River delta region surrounded by swamps, marshes and lakes. It is here that Father Ovide Charlebois erected The first log building schoolhouse in the 1890s inaugurating a system of instruction with both Catholics and Protestants teaching the curriculum. Cumberland House residents depended on a ferry crossing during the summer months, and an ice road in the winter.  The dam is approximately 30 miles(48 km) upstream from the delta area.


  • In 1945, a new home was built, but still no plumbing or electricity.Pihowich p. 777

The Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-G) which was launched on 5 October 1984 was able to photograph the Squaw Rapids Dam on October 9, 1984.

“Reshaping life! People who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. They look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.”
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

With other companies pushing forward in potash production, in 10 years time provincial potash production should reach $100,000,000 a year,” said Premier Woodrow Stanley Lloyd, “The estimated power production for 1963 is 2,000,000,000 kilowatts, five times the production of 10 years ago….This kind of development and announced intention will help keep our place as the fourth largest producer of minerals among Canadian provinces. Leader-Post Jan 1963. Lloyd was also quoted as saying, “there are good reasons for satisfaction in a review of developments in Saskatchewan during 1962. One of the highlights of the economic year has been the surge of activity in connection with our mineral resources. With the opening of the world’s largest potash production plant at Esterhazy, and with 15 other firms actively engaged in potash exploration or development Saskatchewan now has a claim to the title of “World Potash Capital.” Our farm electrification program has nearly reached completion this year and the total of farm homes electrified has been brought to nearly 63,000.”Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Dec 1962.

  • “People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.”
    Anthony de Mello, Awareness: A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words

When Bill and Clara Weighill reminisced on the Mossy Vale area, a quote popped to mind, “We’re all in favor of progress, providing we can have it without change.” For the settlers in the area, there were a lot of ups and downs, and lots of hard work. Homesteading in the area was challenging, there were swarms of bull flies, hordes of mosquitoes, horse flies by the dozens, deep snow, muskeg, swamps, mud holes, and as Kristan and Ellen Sogen relate, the pioneers took it all in stride. The farmers who moved left their homes with sentimental reluctance, regret and melancholy, and yet there was an overall feeling of congratulations towards the Saskatchewan Power Plant, which serves the electrical needs of northern Saskatchewan residents.

The area was filled with settlers who did not give up. The Ravendale Frienship club grew together as ladies of the community gathered for an afternoon outing. Well, as the Squaw Rapids Development commenced, the club dwindled as folks gave up their land, and moved away. But, there was no despair, there was no wailing, with steady faith, the club soon built up again, flourishing and able once again to help the community wherever they were able. They were open to love, light and laughter.

The rail finally came through over hill and dale, through swamp and over river, however it arrived four miles outside of the town of Nipawin. This did not mean the end of Nipawin, resilient, forward thinking and stalwart, the townspeople picked up their houses and their buildings and moved them north beside the rail. These were a people looking at the glass half full, not half empty.

  • “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change… The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back…[It is] time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym 

Settlers made a living the hard way, yet it was felt that it was a healthy life. Making success from the challenges in life, coming together with family and friends to meet the next opportunity allowed these pioneers to be truly grateful and able to celebrate the next step forward for the community when the hydro-electric construction began. Electricity, a much needed, and most desired service and life has changed forever.

Article written by Julia Adamson, Sask Gen Webmaster.

Squaw Rapids Reel

By Don Messer

Squaw Rapids dam a symbol of might,Brings steady power both day and night,

Through summer, winter, spring and fall

Steady power – now reverse all.

The SPC’s pledged to bring

Reliable power for everything.

To serve you well that is their aim

Now all get set, four ladies chain

Reno Hill School District 5158
South east section 18 township 53 range 11 west of the 2nd meridian

near Mossy Vale, SK, CA
Located at north west section 28 township 53 range 11 west of the 2 meridian
E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station, Squaw Rapids Dam, Tobin Lake
Located at Section 12 Township 54 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian

Other neighbouring school districts and placenames

Moose Range Rural Municipality 486

Glen Horne School District 5048 SE quarter of section 2 township 51 range 10 west of the 2 meridian.

Grassy Lake School District Unknown School District number and location. Please E-mail if you know

Kirkwell (Kirkwall) School District 4647 SE section ? township 52 range 16 west of the 2nd meridian

Wellands school district 4473 south west section 27 township 50 range 15 west of the 2 meridian (1922-1961)

Labalm School District 4573 unknown location. Please E-mail if you know

Squaw Rapids School District Unknown School District number Located near dam Section 12 Township 54 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian (temporary school)

Mossy Vale, SaskatchewanMossy Vale Saskatchewan: Mossy Vale/Reno Hill Get-Together: 50 years later!
Prepared site for the Mossy Vale cairn.

Neighbouring places

Petaigan post office had three locations:

  • north west quarter of section 33 township 51 range 11 west of the 2nd meridian 1953
  • NW quarter section 22, township 51, range 11, west of the 2 meridian
  • SE Section 4, Township 52, Range 11, west of the 2 meridian

Ravendale post office SW Section 3, Township 53, R.10, West of the 2nd Meridian

Moose Range post office North west quarter of section 16 township 49 range 12 west of the 2nd meridian

Petaigan River geographical feature (waterway)

Garrick hamlet Northwest section 17 township 52 range 16 west of the 2nd meridian

Beaver House post office north east quarter section 34 township 50 range 15 west of the 2 meridian

Ravine Bank (two locations) Section 14, Township 51, Range 14, west of the 2nd meridian

and Section 16, Township 50, Range 14, west of the 2nd meridian

Prince Albert township 38 range 26 west of the 2nd meridian

Carrot River section 17 township 49 range 11 west of the 2 meridian

Nipawin section 16 township 50 range 14 west of the 2 meridian


Pioneer Ways to Modern Days : history of the town of Carrot River and the Rural Municipality of Moose Range.

Carrot River & District History (Association). Carrot River, Saskatchewan: Carrot River & District History, 1985

Jess. Reno Hill School District 5158, south east section 18 township 53 range 11 west of the 2 meridian near Mossy Vale- Saskatchewan Gen Web – One room School Project March 8, 2013.

Bibliography

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School, Reno Hill School District 5158, Mossy Vale School District 5159, Carrot River, Nipawin, Petaigan River, Garrick, Beaver House, RAvine Bank, Prince Albert, Ravendale, squaw Rapids Dam, Tobin Lake, E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Power Plant, Sask Power, reminiscing, memories, wistful nostalgia, melancholy, regret, sentimenal reluctance, underwater, flooded, reservoir, man made lake

Saskatchewan Census News Release

6 Feb

The Time of His Life

Saskatchewan Census News Release

It is truly an exciting time for genealogists and historians researching roots in Canada, as public record keeping which began in pre-confederation times, and in the early years of Canada can now be released to the general public.

Census records provide invaluable information to the genealogical researcher. A primary source record when gives the family members in relation to the head of the family, the address. The agricultural census provides a look at land holdings and livestock to get an idea how a homesteader was faring proving up his land in the early twentieth century.

The census taken every ten years between 1851 to 1911 have been indexed and offered online at ancestry.com. Searchable as well is the census of western Canada taken in 1906 and 1916. This was part of a project initiated in 2008 when the Library and Archives Canada partnered up with Ancestry.ca Additionally the historical census are also searchable online via Ancestry.com covering the era between 1851-1916.

The original holdings of the census or the primary source records are at the Library and Archives Canada. To search for a particular family or surname, the census originals on the LAC web site are arranged by Federal enumeration district. To determine the district you can search for the land location through the homestead (land) records, by reading a local history / family biography book, the census records transcribed on automated genealogy, using a rural municipality or historical map to determine township, range and meridian, searchable database, finding the cemetery, birth, death or marriage (bmd) record which would record the place of residence

Ancestry.ca took it upon themselves to digitize and index the microfilm records in the LAC holdings. At some time the complete digitized records will be available free of charge to visitors of the LAC website. At this time, the Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906 is fully searchable on Library and Archives Canada by surname, given name, age and province.

When using the census for other years at Library and Archives Canada to locate an ancestral family, a knowledge of historical geography will be of assistance. Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, and before this the population was enumerated as part of the Northwest Territories. In 1882 the Northwest Territories were divided into provisional districts using distinct and different borders than the current provinces.

To determine other Saskatchewan census information and web sites online, a collection is assembled at the Saskatchewan Gen Web Census Information web page. This web page includes the Census for the Hamlet of Insinger, Saskatchewan taken in 1921, the Census for the Hamlet of Duff, Saskatchewan 1920, as well as the Census for the Hamlet of Duff, Saskatchewan 1920 which were compiled online by Sue (Kesiah).

Provincial archives additionally have a number of other village and town census records. These records done on the years when the National census was not being taken were compiled to determine the localities eligibility to incorporate as a town and the need to show the pre-requisite population of 500 or more residents. If a town, the locality may choose to incorporate as a city with a population of 5,000 or more persons, if the census count so warrants.

Public libraries have on file the census 1666-1916 available on microfilm or can obtain it via interlibrary loan if they have a microfilm reader. Along with the Census of Canada, the 1918 Census of Independent Doukhobors: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia compiled into a finding aid by Jonathon Kalmakoff is available through the provincial archives and libraries.

“Library and Archives Canada is pleased to be part of this collaborative agreement with Ancestry.ca, which” said Mr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, “…will truly enhance Canadians’ ability to fully explore their documentary heritage and will also be of great interest to those around the world with ancestors who immigrated to or visited Canada.”

“This is a win-win relationship for Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry.ca as the partnership,” says Josh Hanna, Senior VP, Ancestry International reports, “…will create a seamless flow for digitizing and indexing vast Canadian records and will be a huge benefit to family history researchers in Canada who will soon have the opportunity to access more collections than ever before.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints also partnered with Ancestry.com providing the expertise, experience and person hours in the indexing of the 1916 census. Family Search now provides the 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1916 census online . The
1911
census is in the Family History libraries.

First partnering with the LAC back in 2008 in regards to the census, now Ancestry.com is partnering with the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society. Look toward the addition of the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society Indexes in 2013 to the Ancestry.com Canadian collections.

The Library and Archives Canada has indeed become “your gateway to Canadian’s past.” It is with pleasure and inspiration to see the several diverse communities and organizations come together to share the information in the new digital age. Enjoy the new records being released which provide an insight into diverse peoples and settlers. The information reveals a fascinating insight into Saskatchewan’s rich agricultural history and multicultural heritage. ~ Article written by J. Adamson

Further Information:

Census Information

Saskatchewan History and Ethnic Roots

1919 Alberta, Saskatchewan Manitoba Waghorn’s Guide

1925 Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba Waghorn’s Guide

Gazetteer of U.S. and Canadian Railroads 1922

Saskatchewan Highway Map 1925

Rand McNally 1924 Indexed Pocket Map

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Maps 1924

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Bibliography:

Archives Canada Directory of Selected Genealogical Resources.

Canadian Census Collection 1997-2013 Ancestry.com

Censuses of Canada 1851, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916. Library and Archives Canada.

The Historical Canadian Census Collection 1851-1916 ~ Ancestry.com 1997-2013 Ancestry.com

Library and Archives Canada Partners with Ancestry.ca ~ What’s New ~ Library and Archives Canada Partnership allows unprecedented online access to Canadian historical records.
2008-11-10

Saskatchewan Gen Web Project ~ Census

What to Search Topics: Genealogy and Family History ~ Library and Archives Canada 2011-08-22.

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Related posts:

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

How do I locate my ancestor’s home town in Saskatchewan? Have you ever visited your ancestral home?

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Thank you for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated. All rights reserved. Images copyright © Aum Kleem; Article copyright © J Adamson. All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.

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William Wallace Gibson ~ First Flight of a Canadian Airplane

22 Nov

Shadow Dancing - Explore

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON (March 28, 1876 – November 25, 1965)

Nothing ever built arose to touch the skies unless some man dreamed that it should, some man believed that it could, and some man willed that it must.

~Charles Kettering

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON was born March 28, 1876 in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland to William GIBSON and Margaret LEES. W.W. Gibson or Billy arrived in Canada on June 20, 1883 when he was just seven years old. His kites flew across the prairies as GIBSON learned the basic principals of aerodynamics succeeding at launching a craft heavier than air into flight ~ detailed crafts carried aloft behind a galloping pony ridden by a young boy with a dream.

These kites, powered by wind were instrumental in the research and development of airplane design. The GIBSON Twin Plane and GIBSON Multi Plane pioneer aircraft to come utilized both motor and propellor for their propulsion system. Without formal schooling, without a team of engineers, Gibson mastered lift, aspect ratio, stability and construction flying his gopher piloted kites – his initial tethered aircrafts before launching the first successful all Canadian airplane.

“Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives,”

~ Socrates.

LOGANSTON

“Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

James Matthew Barrie

His father, William Gibson born February 14, 1847 in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, Scotland, was one of three stonemasons who arrived in the Moffat area of Saskatchewan June 1, 1883, and erected a fine stone house over the years 1884 to 1885, naming it Loganston, the very first stone house of the district. This stone mason, noticed the limestone and granite stones across his field, and decided to erect a kiln, and as Haensel wrote in Western People, Loganston house is still standing. The family followed these two years of hard labour with more, constructing as well a fine barn. Moffat, Assiniboia, North West Territories is reminiscent of the historic romance movie Brigadoon according to author Kay Parley of They cast a long shadow: the story of Moffat, Saskatchewan.

Forty families left from the shores of the Bonnie Doon river, and re-located near Wolseley on the banks of Wolf Creek. As William Gibson said of the Canadian North West, “Strawberry, raspberry, brambleberry, gooseberry, black currant, cherry, cranberry, saskatoon berry, and others. Mrs. Gibson has made over 100 lbs of jelly this summer from wild fruit” He also spoke of fertilizers, “I have used manure to a few potatoes to try the effect it had along with others planted without manure, and they did no better with it.” in the book “What settlers say of the Canadian North-West a plain document of the experiences of farmers residing in the country; The Canadian Pacific Railway Manitoba, the Canadian north-west testimony of actual settlers. GIBSON’s father also wrote a journal, which was published in the Ayrshire post from which the early experiences of these hardworking Scottish pioneer families is recorded and known.

BILLY GIBSON CHILDHOOD YEARS

“Pale Face Jumping Deer”

Oh, oh, oh!
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let’s go fly a kite!

— from “Mary Poppins” Written by Robert B. Sherman

Kites were always a passion, and gophers were his first pilots as they flew above the prairie fields. Known as the Bird Man of Balgonie GIBSON spent years on his hobby experimenting with flight. His power plant propelling his kites from the spring end of the window blinds encouraged to go further. One of his kites measured in at seven feet (2.1 meters) and carried a basket packed full of nine gophers. Just imagine GIBSON galloping across the Saskatchewan prairies on his little pony flying his elaborately designed kite in his wake, learning and studying the principals of aerodynamics.

In 1883, a small seven year old is often found playing with the grandson of the great Chief Piapot, the Cree Indian Reserve of Piapot being 25 miles northwest of Regina was near the Loganston Farm of Moffat. The book Silver Cloud by GIBSON reminisces about the friendship that had developed amongst these friends. Little Billy Gibson soon became friends with the children of Grey Eagle, and Billy received the name “Pale Face Jumping Deer” as he could outjump his playmates from page 22 of Canada’s flying heritage by Frank Henry Ellis (1896-1979.

GIBSON attended the Abbotsford School as a child, and the first school classes were held in the attic of Loganston house for the first month which began approximately the spring of 1886 under Andrew T. Fotheringham. The classes then took place in the abandoned Robert Yule log home under Mr. Argue, a University student. By December 18, 1885, the Abbotsford Protestant School District #37 was organized. The school building was erected in 1888, and classes began May 6, 1889. At the age of 13, (1889) he left school to assist the family on the farm located at the SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian. The family adopted one of the many British Home Children, Johnny Vipond another 13 year old arriving in Canada from the Dr. Bernardo Home in the spring of 1889.

BIRD MAN OF BALGONIE

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

~Leonardo Da Vinci.

It was in 1900, when he set out on his own starting up a blacksmith in Wolseley. Purchasing hardware dry goods in Regina, he re-located to Balgonie and started a hardware venture there about a year later which had become quite prosperous. The very first automobile in Saskatchewan was owned by GIBSON IN 1902. Around 1903, at the age of 27, GIBSON blossomed. He invested in a railway construction venture. He accepts a contract to construct 42 miles of right-of-way; 20 miles north of Wolseley, and another 22 miles west of the Touchwood Hills. As a railway contractor, he completed 40 miles of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.[4]

GIBSON also founded a hardware business in Craven, Saskatchewan with a partner, Olin Abner Beach (1882-1966) in 1904, Beach and Gibson Hardware Store. Business warranted another hardware and implement business in Cupar, Saskatchewan.[1][2]

News of the Wright brother’s success in 1903 spurred GIBSON onward. During these years GIBSON had switched from flying kites to experimenting with model airplanes. The spring in a Venetian blind roller powered his model airplanes. He launched a large paper glider from the roof top of his hardware store in Balgonie using it as a prototype model for a man carrying aeroplane with engine.

Privacy was a determining Scottish trait inherited by the young inventor. He tested out aviation engines in the early hours of daybreak to avoid scepticism and mockery as well thus protecting his credit rating. It was in this time he developed a four cylinder air cooled engine, testing this aeroplane engine at Balgonie, Saskatchewan June 19, 1904.

The railroad fever had the potential for a large payoff, however GIBSON’s gamble failed. The Railway venture caused GIBSON to loose $40,0000 within a year and a half. To make ends meet, he was required to sell off his chain of hardware stores which had arisen in Balgonie, Cupar and Craven. William Gibson, his father, began employment with the Forestry Division of British Columbia’s Department of Education. GIBSON also left for British Columbia with his family in 1906.[3]

GIBSON, an adventurous soul, had traveled to Victoria seeking fortune in the gold rush. Around and about 1908, he meets Lucky Grant who had his gold mine prospect up for sale. GIBSON purchased a 17 foot boat and set sail up the ocean coast, arriving in Clayoquot eight days later. Here He re-united with Grant and they traversed overland to the Leora Mine. Immediately GIBSON purchased the prospect selling Locky, his boat, camera, rifle, field glasses and some cash. GIBSON knew what was required to mine this spot, and traveled back to Victoria for a water wheel driven small stamp-mill. The mining venture at the Blackpearl Mine was productive, and GIBSON was able to flip the mine for $10,000 cash early in 1910.

FIRST SUCCESSFUL CANADIAN AIRPLANE ENGINE

GIBSON TWIN PLANE

“”This plane can teach you more things and give you more gifts than I ever could. It won’t get you a better job, a faster car, or a bigger house. But if you treat it with respect and keep your eyes open, it may remind you of some things you used to know — that life is in the moment, joy matters more than money, the world is a beautiful place, and that dreams really, truly are possible.”

~ Lane Wallace

He was now financed for the era of “aeromania” fueled by the Wright Brother’s flight in North Carolina. Tristan Hopper of the British Columbia Magazine, relates that France’s Louis Blériot was embarking on his dream to fly cross the English Channel, Magician Harry Houdini was working upon a French biplane in Australia. Even the Canadian inventor Alexander Graham Bell assembled together an American engineering team and embarked on a mission to build a flying machine.

Now GIBSON had the means to return to his aviation hobby and settle in at Victoria B.C. He purchased a large home on 146 Clarence Street in the James Bay region of Victoria. He was able to make use of Beacon Hill for test flights. Neighbors would flap their arms and just at his experiments, so again he took to the early morning hours, and night time trial runs. His initial hand built engine did not take to the air, however GIBSON persevered. In an interview with the Victoria Colonist July 1909, GIBSON states, “The machine is [intended to be] 65 feet long and 14 feet width at its widest part. There it differs radically from all the machines hitherto made. They all present their widest part to the wind, proceeding, so to speak, sideways. I go straight ahead, like a steamboat or a fish.” Gibson was convinced that a long, narrow air craft was the best design promoting flight and diminishing the risk of capsizing in the air.

On the other side of the world, Bleriot was undertaking a flight across the English Channel, July 25, 1909. And coincidentally, GIBSON make a wager of $1000 that he would achieve a flight to Seattle or Vancouver before the end of the year crossing the Gulf of Georgia.

Working in a local machine shop, and partnering with the Hutchinson Brothers, he soon had a six cylinder, air cooled 40-60 horsepower aircraft engine weighing in at 210 pounds constructed. With the aid of Tom Pimley of the Plimley Bicycle Company, a four wheel undercarriage was fashioned from bicycle tires. Fred Jeune proprietor of Jeune brothers supplied the blue silk to cover the 20 foot wings which were mounted lengthwise providing 330 square feet of lifting surface area. The monoplane designed by Blériot had only 160 square feet. The plane is twenty feet long, and eight feet wide. GIBSON fashioned two propellers and mounted a saddle in front of the engine. The entire craft was 54 feet in length with contra propellers before and aft of the engine. Ahead of his time, GIBSON’s use of gull wings, baffle plates within the fuel tanks, and the direct drive contra-rotating propellers are innovations used in contemporary aeronautical design.

At Tolmie, Victoria, on September 8, 1910, GIBSON set off on his inaugural flight in the GIBSON twin plane on the Dean Farm, now the locality of the Victoria Landsdowne Airport. He reached a height of about 20 feet and a distance of 200 feet! As pilot of this craft, GIBSON cut short the flight early as he needed to cut the engine to avoid the trees at the far end of the runway. The landing completely broke the riding wheels.

GIBSON survived, having been thrown from the plane, but the aircraft hit the trees. GIBSON surpassed the initial flight record of the Wright Brothers which had maintained a distance of only 120 feet. Aviation pioneer A.V. Roe in England also did not meet this achievement with his inaugural flight of 100 feet.

“His flight this week was seen by several people who wondered what the enormous moving thing in the air could be as they saw it sailing across fields towards Mount Tolmie,” was the extent of the September 9, 1910 Daily Times newspaper write up. However this great feat is now reported thusly, “in 1910, William Wiallace Gibson of Victoria, without formal training, designed and built the first successful Canadian aircraft engine,” recognizing the contributions GIBSON made to aviation in British Columbia, GIBSON was inducted into The British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame.

The first flight was followed by another on September 24, 1910. This flight recorded in the article Pioneer Flying in British Columbia, 1910-1911 by Frank H. Ellis in the The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, October 1939 related that the plane rose about fifty feet, “passing the shelter of a clump of trees a strong cross wind was encountered with the result that the aeroplane was drifted dangerously near some trees, Mr Gibson not using his rudder. He shut off his engine to avoid collision and came down, but unfortunately his wheels were not equipped with brakes and the momentum drove the aeroplane into an oak tree at the rate of about 25 miles an hour….on discussing the flight, Mr. Gibson said he was under the disadvantage of having to learn the art of aviation by experience, there being no “flying schools” in British Columbia” The National Aeronautical Museum in Ottawa has preserved this engine which powered his twin plane.[3] The Twin plane was re-built to size and is on display in the British Columbia Aviation Museum near Victoria.

GIBSON MULTI PLANE ~ THE FLYING VENETIAN BLIND

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.

– anonymous

GIBSON sold his home for $14,000 to continue financing his aviation hobby. GIBSON honestly came by a true Scottish character, a “tenacious nature”, with a “willful stubbornness” and very patient to achieve his long term goal. Lieutenant Governor Thomas Wilson Paterson (1851-1921 Lt Gov 1909-1914) offered the use of the Paterson Ranch located near Ladner, British Columbia in the Fraser River delta providing a flat surface. It is here that GIBSON made test flights in his multi plane. The new design incorporated forty planes of Spruce wood which gave rise to the name; the flying Venetian Blind. Again, the craft had two propellers, and a new 60 horse power engine invented entirely by GIBSON. It was reported in the 1952 edition of The Beaver that this airship could bear the weight of twelve men.

GIBSON’s wife, now worried about his safely, made him promise to take no more test flights. On May 31, Paterson, joined by Frank J. McKenzie, M.L.A. and other residents were present at the Paterson Farm to watch the first attempt. J.B. Woods of the Western Motor and Supply Company in Victoria is to be the “demonstrator”.[5] In an unfortunate twist of fate, the day was calm resulting in a failed flight due to the lack of wind.

GIBSON tested his craft around Kamloops, B.C. before trying the drier air in Alberta, near Calgary. Partnering now with Alex Japp, GIBSON tries again. A new 6 cylinder air cooled, 2 cycle engine is developed producing 40 horsepower on a tandem, gull-wing monoplane. The flight on September 8, 1910, the landing gear is needing repairs. The on September 24, another flight, and a side wind took the plane resulting in a landing without power crashing into an oak tree.

The book Artificial and natural flight was published in 1908 by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (1840-1916). Following his father’s dream to conquer the air, Maxim chose to construct an airplane rather than a helicopter. Maxim’s first attempt at flight was made August 31, 1894. Conveyed along railway tracks like a roller coaster, it did not lift off, and crashed at the end of the line. His next models were all tested in wind tunnels, but did not become successful.

Japp reads Maxim’s book, and makes design changes to GIBSON’s multi plane incorporating ailerons amongst other tweaks. on August 12, 1911 completing a flight of one mile in the GIBSON multi plane. He used Spruce for the wings, and tried it out on the flat plains near Calgary. Here GIBSON made successful test flights, and to settle his wife’s fears while she is abroad on vacation, Alex Japp became the pilot. Japp steers the aeroplane trying to avoid the badger holes on the runway upon landing, ditching the plane into a swamp, and the craft is destroyed. In honor of his flying feat, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington built a model of his airplane for display.[3]

Following these aeronautical experiments, GIBSON returned to gold mining along the Kennedy river Leora Gold Mine inventing his own mill and mining machinery. GIBSON was able to produce $20,000 worth of gold from a mine which was most active between the years 1902 and 1915.

GIBSON MILLS MANUFACTURING COMPANY ENTERPRENEUR

Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.”

~ Marguerite Blessington

Gibson abandoned the mine in 1933, embarking on the GIBSON MILLS manufacturing company in San Francisco. A successful inventor, GIBSONs mining machines were successful and in demand internationally.

GIBSON RETIRES WITH JESSIE

In 1940 he was 64 and living in the Oakland Judicial Township, Alameda, California with his wife Jessie P, born in Michigan, 1895. Here GIBSON retires, and yet to quote Seneca, “many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come . . . . Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate.”

INDUCTION INTO THE CREE TRIBE AS A GREAT CHIEF

Kisikaw Wawasam ~ “Flash in the Sky Boy” ~ Great Chief Piapot

Name bestowed upon William Wallace Gibson

The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe.

~ Sarah Winnemucca Paiute

It was Thursday, July 15, 1948, when over 600 First Nations people were present at a large dramatic ceremony. GIBSON, now a resident of San Fransisco, was present, fulfilling the prophecy told to him in 1883, some sixty five years earlier. Now at 72 years of age, GIBSON received the name “Kisikaw Wawasam“, the name of the Great Chief Piapot which translated literally to English means “Flash in the sky boy.”

GIBSON was thus inducted as a great chief of the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, the prophecy told to the seven year old boy, “Pale Face Jumping Deer” was now complete. First Nations of the Piapot Reserve, the Qu’Appelle and Crooked Lake Indian agencies unveiled a memorial cairn to Chief Piapot at the ceremonies.

This induction honour had only been bestowed twice earlier, upon John Phillip Sosa, the American band leader, and upon D.C. Coleman president of the Canadian Pacific Railway who had both been previously inducted as a chief of the tribe. GIBSON traveled to Ottawa on his trip to Canada, where he took in the Dominion Archives display of his first airplane engine assembled in British Columbia before returning home.

OTHER HONOURS

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

~ Ayn Rand

A commemorative cairn was erected on Richmond Road. According to Bill Irvine, the locations is ” former site of Landsdowne Airfield (Victoria’s first airstrip), beside Knox Presbyterian Church 2964 Richmond Road, Victoria BC, Canada” and it reads:

HONOURING

WILLIAM WALLACE GIBSON

WHO DESIGNED AND BUILT AND

FLEW THE FIRST ALL

CANADIAN AIRCRAFT AT THIS

SITE ON SEPTEMBER 8th 1910

*

ERECTED BY : EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION

CHAPTER 142

CORPORATION OF THE DISTRICT OF SAANICH

8 SEPTEMBER 1985

PUBLICATIONS

Authored by William Wallace Gibson

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

~ Carl Jung

He wrote several books:

Title The Birdmen
Author William Wallace Gibson
Published 1923 republished 1942
Length 23 pages

Title Flash-in-the-sky-boy: From the Letters, Manuscripts, and Published Works of William Wallace Gibson
Author William Gibson
Editor with additions by Kay Parley
Published 1967

Title: Silver Cloud OR the Last Buffalo
by W.W. Gibson
It is the “story of the love affair of a young Indian girl and a white settler boy.”
The pamphlet has a photo showing Gibson attired in full Cree regalia
published 1900, and c1905
Regina Saskatchewan
Re-published c 1940 California

WILLIAM WALLACE GIBSON FAMILY TREE

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.

~ Brian Tracy

The tombstone for William Wallace GIBSON’s parents is in the Ross Bay Cemetery

Erected
by
Margaret Gibson
In memory of
Her husband
WILLIAM GIBSON
Born
Auchinleck, Scotland
Aug. 23, 1847
Died at Victoria
July 11, 1918
MARGARET GIBSON
Born at Patna
Scotland
March 22, 1849
Died April 13, 1940

[Margaret – daughter of James F. Lees & Margaret McConnachie]

On the sides of this stone are entries for both – Margaret & Jean Gibson – their daughters –

Jean Wilson GIBSON
Ross Bay Cemetery
Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Also their daughter
Margaret
M. C. GIBSON
Born at Dalmellington
Scotland
July 18, 1874
Died April 9, 1921
Jean W. GIBSON
Born at Wolseley, SK
Sept. 8, 1886

[Daughters of William & Margaret McConnachie Gibson – their details on side of this stone. Jean died 16 Mar. 1973, aged 86. Both single & died in Victoria]

Photos of the Gibson family; Mrs. William Gibson, William Gibson, Hugh Gibson and William Wallace Gibson.

Parents:

WM Gibson 1847-1918 Margaret (Maggie) Mcconnachie Lees 1874-1940

  • Gibson William
    Head born Auguest 27 1847 Patna Ayrshire, Scotland died July 11, 1918 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie
    Wife born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia Parents James Lees, Margaret Mcconnachie

Married April 6, 1871 in Straiton,Ayrshire,Scotland
emigrated to Canada June 1, 1883 settled on SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian homestead in Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories. (location changed names to Moffatt region near Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1905)

Family Siblings

  • Gibson John Son born June 29, 1871 Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland died November 22, 1954 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Jas James Lees Son born November 11, 1872 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1924 Essondale, British Columbia married to Maggie Campbell died 1903
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie Daughter born July 18 1874 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland April 9, 1921 Victoria, British Columbia age 45
  • Gibson William Wallace Son March 28 1876 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died November 25, 1965 Oakland, Alameda, California married to Jessie P died 1978
    • Lived in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland 1881 to June 1, 1883>>Winnpeg, MB June 1 1883-June 20, 1883>> Moffatt, Assiniboia, Northwest Territories (later Saskatchewan) June 20, 1883 to 1901 >>Wolseley, Saskatchewan >> Balgonie, Saskatchewan (with ties to Craven, Saskatchewan and Cupar, Saskatchewan)>> Victoria, British Columbia >> Kennedy river region, British Columbia >>San Fransisco, California>> Oakland, Alameda, California
  • Gibson Hugh Wilson Son March 7 1881 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1964 Victoria, British Columbia married Edna Catherine Robinson
  • Lees Thomas Nephew April 25 1884
  • Gibson Jeanie Jean Wilaon Daughter September 8 1886 Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories (later province of Saskatchewan) died March 16, 1973 Ross Bay
    Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Grandchild of Wm and Maggie:

  • James Gordon Gibson born January 8, 1906 Craik, Saskatchewan died March 7 1969 Victoria, British Columbia s/o John Gibson and Jane Paul Loree married on June 10, 1927 in Craik Saskatchewan to Bessie Loree age 23 b1904 London England d/o John E. Loree and Alice Baldwin.
  • Baby Gibson died December 18, 1934 at Victoria, British Columbia c/o Hugh Wilson Gibson and Edna Catherine Robinson.
  • Margaret Gibson d/o James Lees Gibson and Maggie Campbell daughter Margaret was raised by wife Maggie’s parents Donald Campbell and his wife Helen Cameron; this family left the Moffat, Saskatchewan area in 1916

Family of Margaret Gibson nee Lees wife of William Gibson

William Wallace Gibson Maternal Ancestry

Lees, John Head married June 29, 1838, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
married McConnachie, Margaret

  • Lees James born May 1, 1840, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Jean born June 15, 1842, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Thomas born Oct 21, 1844, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mary born Dec 22 1846, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mcconnachie, Margaret born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Lees John born May 10 1851, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees William born March 22, 1856, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Janet Born August 29, 1858, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

~
Calvin Coolidge

[1] Title: Beach in Canada, A Pictorial Genealogy

Abbrev: Beach in Canada

Author: Mahlon W. Beach

Publication: Privately published, December 1978

[2] Title: A Brief History of David Beach and Phoebe Daniels Beach and their Descendants

Abbrev: Brief History

Author: Wilfred Warren Beach

Publication: Unpublished manuscript, Chicago, 1932

[3] Bridging the Past.
Wolseley and District. 1880-1980.

Wolseley and District History Book Committee.

ISBN 0-88925+27+0

Friesen Printers. Altona, MB.

Pages6 and 57

[4] Victoria Colonist, July 7, 1909

[5] Victoria Colonist, May 2, 1911.

[6] Victoria Colonist, June 2, 1911.

[7] Letter from A.D. Paterson to Frank H. Ellis dated June 1, 1939.

[8] Daily Colonist, Victoria, September 10, 1910.

[9] From Cordwood to Campus in Gordon Head 1852-1959

Ursula Jupp

ISBN 10: 0969065027 / 0-9690650-2-7

ISBN 13: 9780969065029

Publisher: estate of Ursula Jupp

Publication Date: 1975

[10] Title The Beaver

Contributors Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s National History Society

Publisher Hudson’s Bay Co., 1952

[11]People who lived in stone houses

Western People

August 26, 1982

[12] Understanding Saskatchewan through “Our Towns”

Publisher Leader Post
Date May 23, 2008

[13] Title Saskatchewan History, Volumes 28-30

Contributors University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan. Archives

Publisher University of Saskatchewan., 1975

[14] Title Canada’s flying heritage

Author Frank Henry Ellis

Edition revised

Publisher University of Toronto Press, 1973

Original from the University of Michigan

Digitized 12 Feb 2008

[15] Uncharted skies : Canadian bush pilot stories / Walter Henry and the Canadian Bush Pilot 1993.

[16] Riders on the wind / Laurence Swinburne ; illustrated by Dan Hubrich. 1980

[17] Canada’s aviation pioneers : 50 years of McKee trophy winners / Alice Gibson Sutherland ; foreword by C – Headquarters:
[18] Title Indian fall: the last great days of the Plains Cree and the Blackfoot confederacy

Page 203

Author D’Arcy Jenish

Edition illustrated

Publisher Viking, 1999

Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison

Digitized 18 May 2010

ISBN 0670880906, 9780670880904

[19] Title Recollections of an Assiniboine chief

Authors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Editor James R. Stevens

Contributors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Edition illustrated

Publisher McClelland and Stewart, 1972

ISBN 0771045107, 9780771045103

Page 57

Frank Ellis, O.C., a noted aviation historian, Canada’s first parachute jumper and aviation pioneer who flew his own biplane in 1914 wrote several articles about GIBSON:

[20] Gibson, William Wallace. “William Wallace Gibson; a Canadian pioneer of the air by Frank H. Ellis, in The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, April, 1944.

[21] – Flash in the sky boy, by Frank H. Ellis, in Western Wings, July-August 1960.

[22] ” Ellis, Frank. “First Flying wing; the story of an attempt to conquer the air made by three ingenious farmers of Alberta in 1907-8, The Beaver, outfit 277 (March 1977), 6-9. illus.”

[23] Ellis, Frank. “Pioneer flying in British Columbia, The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, III (October 1939), 227-261.”

William Wallace Gibson: A Canadian Pioneer of the Air

[24] A biography

Author Frank Ellis

Published 1946-45

held at the City of Vancouver Archives

[25] Additionally, the Saanich Archives has a Gibson Displayset up honouring the achievements of William Wallace Gibson’s first flight at “George Deans’ farm near Mount Tolme.”[9] The photograph of the cairn and plaque erected at Landsdowne and Richmond roads in 1985 at Landsdowne Airfield. This commemoration came twenty years posthumously.

[26] Coming in On a Wing and Some Wire

The Montreal Gazetter
March 9, 1968

[27] AS well, Partners in Motion produced an episode “The Balgonie Birdman” for the one hour documentary series, The Canadians, Biographies of a Nation which aired on History Television NOvember 15, 1998.

[28] “The Balgonie Birdman”, a nine minute animation feature film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, was directed by Brian Duchscherer and released in 1991.

[29] Photographs exist attesting to the achievements of W.W. GIBSON at the Glenbow archives. An image of his aircraft engine on display at the National Air Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, and his wooden plane built in Victoria, British Columbia, 1911.

[30] Also a photo exists of the very first airplane built in Regina, Saskatchewan by William Wallace Gibson in 1907.

[31] A photo (#8551) of the GIBSON twin plane is held at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

[32] On September 10, 2010, the B.C. Aviation Museum honoured the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Victoria B.C., (100 years Gibson’s flight) reported Bill Irvine, the event was hosted by Caroline Duncin of the Saanich archives, and Dave Marratt was the master of Ceremonies.

[33] Saturday July 17, 1948 a Canadian Press story entitled “Inducted into Cree tribe as Great Chief Piapot,” published by the Lethbridge Herald.

[34] The 1952 edition of The Beaver published by the Hudson’s Bay Company with contributions from Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s National History Society, quoting the Canadian Press Induction into Cree Tribe story first published in Regina on July 17, 1948

[35] Induction Ceremony Story published by the Winnipeg Free Press Page 2, Friday August 6, 1948.

 

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For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web Ethnic History – Scottish Roots

Saskatchewan Gen Web – Transportation

Yorkton Gen Web Region

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Related Posts:

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

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

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?
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Michelle Lang- Canadian Journalist Jan 31, 1975-Dec 30, 2009

12 Nov

Spring's Sweet Cantata

Michelle Lang- Canadian Journalist, Jan 31, 1975-Dec 30, 2009

Lest We Forget

Michelle Justine Lang, (January 31, 1975-December 30, 2009) journalist had ties to Saskatchewan, holding a position in Moose Jaw at the Moose Jaw Times Herald. She followed by an agricultural breaking news for the Regina Leader-Post, as her career took her to Regina.

Throughout her formative years in journalism she embraced dedication, tenacity, and enthusiasm.

Graduating from Simon Fraser University, her first journalism position was out of Prince George, British Columbia at the Prince George Free Press. Staying on at the Cariboo Press community newspaper, she was honoured as outstanding junior reporter in 1999.

Her final posting was with The Calgary Herald, Postmedia News.

Her unique interviewing style placed others at ease, enhancing her investigative reporting abilities.

National Newspaper Award was conferred upon Lang in 2008 for outstanding journalism.

It was soon to follow, that in 2009 she traveled to Kandahar to report first hand on the efforts of the Canadian military seeking to improve life for the Afghan people. On December 11, 2009, Lang set down at the NATO military base at Kandahar Airfield for a six week assignment with Canwest News Service (later Postmedia News) which was cut short in her third week abroad.

It was here that she lived on the Kandahar Airfield base in a tent, and she was free to go off base accompanying the soldiers doing their manoeuvres.

“Prior to her leaving she asked me what I wanted to read, and I said I wanted to read about the good stuff that they’re doing over there. She died trying to get those types of stories,” reminisced her fiancé, Michael Louie.

Canwest, editor Randy Newell spoke of Lang’s desire to follow up on her experience as a medical reporter in Calgary, and report on hospital care during her visit to Kandahar.

Wednesday morning, December 30, Lang boarded a helicopter and flew to the Kandahar Military-Civilian base, leaving the comparative safety of the airfield base behind.

Lang, wearing both helmet and body armour traveled along with nine soldiers in the Dand District Centre, Kandahar District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan aboard a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-3) as part of the Stabilization Company A convoy.

The Dand District Centre construction project was one of two major initiatives undertaken in December of 2009 by the Canadians following a suicide bombing by two Taliban insurgents in March of 2009.

Lieutenant Colonel Roch Pelletier, chief of operations for the Canadian brigade in Kandahar reported that the 12 ton vehicle was flipped completely over, and flung off the road by the homemade explosive device, also called an improvised explosive device (IED), set under the road dubbed Route Molson Ice.

Lang, and four Canadian soldiers lost their lives along this quiet dirt road about four kilometers outside of Kandahar City at about 4:00 p.m. Private Garrett Chidley, Corporal Zachery McCormack, Sergeant George Miok, Sergeant Kirk Taylor lost their lives that fateful Wednesday.

The other four Canadian soldiers sustained injuries in the blast along with their Afghan interpreter and a civilian. Corporal Bradly Darren Quast required a number of surgeries to mend injuries to his leg and foot.

The Kandahar City-based Provincial Reconstruction Team was on its second routine patrol when the second vehicle exploded. They were reportedly heading to the Hosi Aziz village at 16:00 to meet with local residents regarding further projects.

“They look for quick-fix projects or longer term projects to (give jobs to) those who could be possible insurgents — fighting age males, said Lieutenant-Colonel Pelletier, “It gives them a reason to earn money and that is better than working for the insurgents planting IEDs. At the same time it improves their quality of life. They often work on irrigation canals, wells, schools, mosques.”.

Lang, embedded with embedded with Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg), interviewed civilians, and soldiers in her twenty days abroad focusing on development and reconstruction of cities and rural villages. Federal cabinet minister Gary Lunn and Canada’s chief of defence staff, General Walter Natynczyk also met with Lang over the Christmas season.

Michelle Lang’s online blog headlines of her time at Kandahar:

Lang, the first Canadian journalist killed during the Afghan conflict received military honours at a ramp ceremony on January 1, 2010.

I believe the Canadian Forces did it to recognize the people who take the same risks, who are here for the right reasons . . . who are here to learn more and help,” spake Adam Sweet, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade officer with Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), “She was a real sweetheart. When you talked to her you felt good. Even if you didn’t have the answer she wanted, she’d just laugh. She was very easygoing.

The ramp ceremony was followed by a repatriation ceremony in Trenton at the Canadian Forces Base there.

Lang answered the call to duty and although not donned in uniform is engraved with honour on a Saskatchewan plaque remembering fourteen soldiers who fell in Afghanistan as part of the Canadian military mission.

The Afghanistan Plaque carries the names of those with ties to Saskatchewan, honouring,

  • Corporal Jordan Anderson
  • Corporal James Hayward Arnal
  • Corporal Cole Barsch
  • Lieutenant Justin Boyes
  • Corporal David Braun
  • Captain Nichola Goddard
  • Corporal Shane Keating
  • Corporal Bryce Keller
  • Michelle Lang
  • Sergeant Darby Morin
  • Lieutenant Andrew Nutall
  • Master Corporal Josh Roberts
  • Sergeant Prescott (Scott) Shipway
  • Corporal Dustin Waden
  • Master Corporal Jeffrey Walsh

The Joint Task Force Cenotaph erected in 2006 paid tribute to the soldiers at Kandahar Field. The marble cenotaph was shipped to Ottawa November 10, 2011. This memorial honoured 149 fallen Canadian Forces soldiers, Lang, civilian Marc Cyr, and Foreign Affairs official Glyn Berry.

Their memories were also preserved upon the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial astride the Bay of Quinte in Bain Park near the largest Canadian Forces Base, Trenton was unveiled Saturday November 10, 2012.

Canada’s price in the Afghanistan mission took the lives of 158 armed forces personnel, one diplomat, two aid workers along with Lang. Even though Canada has withdrawn from combat operations in Kandahar, Canada is still active in training Afghan military and police forces for another two years involving 900 soldiers.

The Saskatchewan War Memorial on the Legislative grounds, west of the Provincial Legislature Buildings on Memorial Way, Regina, Saskatchewan, honours over 10,000 Canadian Forces personnel who offered the ultimate sacrifice in wartime and peacetime missions.

Art and Sandra Lang, her parents, attended the unveiling ceremony in Regina, Saskatchewan on Saturday, October 23, 2010.

Along with her parents, her immediate family includes her brother Cameron Lang, and his fiancee Sandra Benavide, and many relatives who mourn their loss. Lang was engaged to Louie from Calgary, Alberta with a proposed marriage date of July 3, 2010.

The Michelle Lang Fellowship, created posthumously in her honour, provides a rookie journalist with six months employment at Postmedia News, Ottawa, and six months at The Calgary Herald. The experience provides networking and first hand journalism orientation facilitating confidence and success for a rewarding career in journalism.

In the preceding decade, over 500 journalists have been killed reported the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. In 2008, Melissa Fung, a CBC reporter was held kidnapped by Afghn rebels. In Afghanistan, three journalists had been previously injured.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) created a listing online comemmorating over close to 950 journalists killed in action since 1992 providing timelines and narrative biographies.

“While not regularly the subject of news, those journalists who risk their lives reporting alongside the men and women of the Canadian Forces in one of the most dangerous regions in the world should not be forgotten,” affirmed Director of Communications / Press Secretary Prime Minister’s Office, Dimitri Soudas.

Natynczyk honoured her memory along with the fallen soldiers, “She was a tremendous Canadian, tremendous professional journalist and a role model for all young people and young women striking out on a career that is very difficult,” Natynczyk says, “”You know to some, those are names. To me, those are great people. Great soldiers. Great journalist. People who have gone across to the other side of the world to try to bring peace right here. … It’s very humbling to be here today and to share this with all the families so that they know that their loved ones’ service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by our country.“

Bibliography:

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Saskatchewan From Many People’s Strength ~ A Birthday Quiz

8 Aug

Peaches and Cream ~ Spring Avens

Saskatchewan’s birthday celebration arrives on September 1. On September 1, 1905, Saskatchewan became a province, with inaugural celebrations held September 4. September 1, 2005 was the 100th anniversary of our province, and in 2012 we carry on the tradition with the 107th anniversary celebration!

Who were some of the people within the Saskatchewan communities? What were some of the local histories and events? The provincial motto Multis e gentibus vires is Latin meaning “From Many Peoples Strength.” If you were to delve into the history of the province of Saskatchewan what questions would you ask? What questions would you form about the people and its residents?

Here is a short quiz centering upon the province of Saskatchewan, its people culture and formation.

1. Amongst its various nicknames, The City of Bridges, The Hub City, POW City, and Paris of the Prairies, which city is referred to?

2. Regina is the provincial capital city, what was its earlier nick name?

3. What is the name of the Crown corporation formed in the year, 2000?

4. Name one of the very first naval engagements which involved the Canadian forces.

5. Where was the first “University of Saskatchewan” incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1883?

6. Who was Canada’s first commercially licensed aviation pilot?

7. Would prairie fires, sickness, neighbourhood rivalry be included as a part of the Saskatchewan Homestead Record files? True or False.

8. Following the First World War (1914-1918), returning soldiers had to be re-settled in Canada what program was put into effect?

9. On March 27, 1883 Regina became the capital of the North-West Territories. Before this which two placenames had been the territorial capital (both within the area now known as Saskatchewan)?

10. When did schooling change from Hudson Bay Company sponsored missionaries established by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches to each provincial and territorial government?

11. Who was Saskatchewan’s first woman Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) who successfully achieved the demarcation of historical sites throughout the province?

12. In 1873 the “Cypress Hills Massacre” instigated a group of men to gather for “The Great March” acting on the motto “Maintiens Le Droit” (Uphold the Right) What was the name of this column of men on horseback?

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Related links:

Saskatchewan Quiz

Saskatchewan quiz – Canada.com

Saskatoon 100 Quiz CBC Saskatchewan

Celebrating Saskatchewan’s Heritage Artifact Quiz ~Saskatoon Public Schools

Sask Gen Web for Kids of all ages ~! Genealogy puzzlers and History Games

Land Claims in Saskatchewan Quiz ~ Saskatchewan Schools

Saskatchewan Trivia ~ Government of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Roughriders 100 years Quiz 2 Regina Leader Post

Saskatchewan Roughriders 100 years Quiz 1 Regina Leader Post

CBC Saskatchewan “Tales from the Tornado 1912-2012” Tornado Quiz

Fransaskois Quiz ~ Canada’s Offical Languages Newsletter

Oline Heritage Quiz ~ For Teachers and Students – Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport – Government of Saskatchewan

Virtual Museums of Canada Quiz in Prairie Museums

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Related Posts:

Homestead Locations Township and Range Quizzes

Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Placenames. Quiz One.

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

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records ~ Answers to Quiz 2

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Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

29 Jun

Loyal and True KISS

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames.

This is an additional bit of fun. Following up on the previous Saskatchewan placenames quiz Here is yet another.

In the early days of the northwest plains when Saskatchewan was named Rupert’s Land or the North West Territories, travel followed animal trails on foot, horseback, or ox-drawn Red River cart. Egress was supplemented by bull boat and canoe over rivers and lakes. During these days, there were sparse settlements and no highway signs. Travelers identified their journey by geophysical features. The earliest resting stops, and settlements were generally speaking named after these landmarks.

Quiz Two.

Directions: Complete the quiz by identifying a Saskatchewan placename that best fits each clue.

1. Algae, Water basin.

2. Sight, Summit.

3. Grand earth.

4. Rapid, Waves.

5. Expansive panorama.

6. A bend or half turn.

7. Gigantic, Watercourse.

8. Colour, Meadow.

9. Diminutive Mountains.

10. Colour, Soil.

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.

The geophysical features of Saskatchewan change between the grasslands, the aspen parkland and north of the tree line. Each biome has its own distinct water features, steppe, and hilly areas which were noted by early travelers as navigational aids. These changed slowly in the course of geological evolution, and were very reliable markers.

Following the fur trade era, the ecosystem was still invaluable to agricultural entrepreneurs. Settlers heeding Clifford Sifton‘s immigration call to the “Last Best West” would settle in areas where the soil types were similar to their home land. The agricultural methods and implements brought over on the long journey then met with success. A homesteader could fill out an Application for Entry for a Homestead, a Pre-emption or a Purchased Homestead. If the land was unsuitable the pioneer could file a Declaration of Abandonment with the provincial land titles office. Not only immigration settlers used the terrain and soil type to select a site, but aboriginal peoples would choose a reserve site similarly when signing a First Nations Treaty. Land agents traversing the plains by train would also check out the earth type which may be suitable to sell to large numbers of prospective clients.

Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan’s places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at the 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.

Saskatchewan’s naming patterns are intriguing and convoluted, and to make matters easier Natural Resources Canada has published several helpful web pages amongst them Geographical Names. Try your hand at traveling via your arm chair discovering the various features of Saskatchewan’s landscape as did the forefather’s of this province. In this way discover a bit more of the surroundings for the early Coeur de Bois, First Nation and fur trading traveler.

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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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Follow me on Word Press, Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, Sask Gen Web Ancestry.com and Flickriver

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Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan Placenames

7 Jun

Graceful Delight

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.

7. Woodworker.

8. Parliamentary assembly.

9. Heavenly, Bluff.

10. Coffee.

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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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:

•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?

________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow me on Word Press, Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, Sask Gen Web Ancestry.com and Flickriver

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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Saskatchewan and the Emerald Isle

28 Mar

Spring's Sweet Cantata

The ethnoculture identity of the Irish Saskatchewanian is a cherished part of the province of Saskatchewan. The Irish expression in the province encompasses settlers from the early 1900s, as well as Saskatchewan commmunities with Irish naming. No history of the Irish in Saskatchewan is complete without paying tribute to those notable Irish pioneers who have contributed to the growth of Saskatchewan as a province. More recently, history is repeating itself with a push to introduce a new Irish immigration settlement wave to Saskatchewan.

In 1911, the Irish comprised about 12.2 per cent of the population in the province of Saskatchewan. According to Michael Cottrell, “the Irish nevertheless possessed certain advantages Early arrival, white skin, Christian adherence, proficiency in the English language, familiarity with the democratic process, and the ability to exploit a wide range of economic opportunities all presaged success.” On the 2001 census, 8 per cent of the Saskatchewan population claimed Irish origin, and over 90 per cent declared Irish ancestry.

The first wave of Irish immigration to Canada was between 1800 and 1840 before the Irish famine, and many of these Irish pioneers settled in eastern Canada. The Ontario Irish settling in the Ottawa valley during the great migration of the Irish famine 1843-1849) again migrated in response to homestead opportunities in Saskatchewan between 1900-1912 After the 1840s to 1920 Irish settlement in North America was mainly in the United States.

Sinnett was home to an Irish Ethnic Settlement bloc founded by Father John Sinnett who brought Irish settlers from both Eastern Canada and Ireland. Sinnett is currently classified as an unincorporated area within the Rural Municipality of Leroy No. 339. According to Bill Barry, St. Ignatius Church, Loyola School district No. 1910, McGuire Post office, and the Tipperary telephone company were all within this “Irish Colony.”

The the Rural Municipality of Shamrock No. 134 was home to several Irish settlers of the Maypole district and also the historical one room school house Erinvale School District 327.

Zenon Pohorecky also reported in his book Saskatchewan people:
a brief illustrated guide to their ethnocultures
that in the early 1900s Marengo, Sturgis, Scott, Simpson, Wilkie, and Young also saw Irish migrants.

The communities of Connaught, D’Arcy, Davin, Enniskillen district, Erinferry, Limerick,Meath Park, McGee, Shaunavon, and Wynyard all have names of Irish origin, or honour notable Irishmen. These communities, however, were not known as large Irish ethnic bloc settlements.

These notable people hail from the Emerald Isle and have had an impact on the development of Saskatchewan and its transformation.

Captain John Palliser (January 29, 1817 – August 18, 1887) was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is noted for his explorations of the North West Territories in 1857 and 1867. His reports identified a belt of fertile land bordering on an area of semi-arid land which he claimed was an extension of the American desert “which can never be expected to become occupied by settlers.” This portion of the prairies is now termed the Palliser Triangle.

William Francis Butler (1838–1910) an Irishman out of Ballystateen, Golden, Co. Tipperary is renowned for his exploration between Quebec and the Rocky mountains undertaken in 1870-1871. Butler’s recommendations to establish a mobile police force in the area were followed up on. In the spring of 1873, the North-West Mounted Police were established. He reached the Pacific Ocean on his second journey across North America in 1873. The Great Lone Land, The Wild North Land and the adventure tale Red cloud;the solitary Sioux (Néall dearg) describe his treks.

Nicholas Flood Davin (January 13, 1840 – October 18, 1901) born at Kilfinane, Ireland is known for establishing the first newspaper (1883) in the Assiniboine Provisional district, North-West Territories, the Regina Leader. As well, he authored the book The Irishman in Canada (1877). Davin, a captivating orator also proposed that the NWT should receive provincial status.

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton (c.1850–1931) born to Irish parentage was an international traveler and merchants. In 1904 his travels brought him to Lipton, Saskatchewan setting up a company town. Lipton, owner of ranches, and packing plants across America, plantations in Ceylon and India is known for establishing a chain of grocery stores and printing presses for advertising which were the forerunners of the famous “The Lipton Tea Company bringing tea “direct from the tea gardens to the tea pot” to everyone.

Dr. Maurice Macdonald Seymour M.D., C. M., D. P. H., (July 7, 1857 – January 6, 1929), of Irish ancestry established the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the Anti-Tuberculosis League and the sanitorium at Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall and Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris traveled to Ireland in March of 2012 recruiting Irish workers as part a Saskatchewan immigration policy. “We look forward to telling our story in Ireland. Immigration is helping sustain our economic momentum and enriching our cultural diversity,” Wall stated.

“The great famine of 1843-1849 forced many to flee Ireland, and now 500 emigrants leave the Emerald Isle every week due to a dire economy. Norris said “we welcome these newcomers to discover the Saskatchewan advantage.”

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web Project SGW – Irish Saskatchewan Genealogy roots

Couglin, Jack. “The Irish colony of Saskatchewan”.
Lochleven Publishers. 1995. Scarborough, Canada. ISBN 0969930003.

Shamrock History Book Society. “Harvest of memories: R.M. 134 and Shamrock“. Shamrock History Book Society. 1990. ISBN 0919781519, 9780919781511.

Quinn, James (November 2009). Chapter Butler, William Francis. d’Alton, Ian (November 2009). Chapter Lipton, Sir Thomas Johnstone.The Dictionary of Irish Biography“. In James McGuire and James Quinn (digitised online). Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN:9780521633314. Retrieved 2012/03/27.

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Bibliography:

Cottrrell, Michael (2004). “Encyclopedia of the Great Plains“. In David J. Wishart. digisited online by google books. U of Nebraska Press. p. 236,237. Retrieved 2012/03/27.

Government of Saskatchewan Supports Labour Recruitment Mission to Ierland“. Government of Saskatchewan. February 6, 2012.

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Related Posts:

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

When were Saskatchewan homestead applications available?

Where were Saskatchewan homesteads located?

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

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. .. Peace and love be with you.
Namaste.

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Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

25 Feb

Second Spring

Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

Try out Saskatchewan‘s newest Sunday afternoon tourism trend. Discover a part of Saskatchewan’s history and seek out an abandoned ghost town. Walk down main street of our pioneer’s community and imagine what life was like a century ago.

Why did the settlers arrive to settle here in this particular location? What was the community like, and how large did it get? How many children attended the one room school house, and how far did they travel? Did the community main street once boast a store, church, hotel and elevator? What were the stories behind the communities who are only remembered by their cemeteries? Were there once barn dances and Christmas socials at the schoolhouse? What occurred to cause the abandonment of the buildings at this site? What are the real life stories behind the ghost towns?

According to the Saskatchewan Atlas edited by J.H. Richards and K.I. Fung, they used the terms unincorporated hamlets and settlements in Saskatchewan. A settlement may disperse over a greater area than a hamlet, and a locality may refer to a settlement without post office or community.

Whereas, the Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millenium Edition defines various unincorporated places in Saskatchewan. A hamlet has a population less than 100 persons, a locality has less than ten residents. A post office is defined by a rural post office site, and a railway point may be a siding or a junction along a rail line. An organised hamlet also has a population less than 100, however would have a chairman, members, and advisors who act for the community in a similar capacity to the role of a mayor or councillor in a city but on a smaller scale. A resort village is also served by a mayor, councillor and administrator similar to a town or village.

Both books define a locality as former communities which may only exist in historical documents, post cards, maps or the designated place, and these placenames were enumerated during census years as a part of the Rural Municipality (RM) rather than as an individual entity or locality.

A locality, or designated place without residents but with visible remains of civilization may, in fact, fit a definition of a “ghost town. Wikipedia goes further, “A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned, usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or because of natural or human-caused disasters such as war.”

In Saskatchewan a community reaches city status with a population over 5,000; may incorporate as a town with a population over 500, and reaches town status with a population over 100.

Along the highways and roadsides of Saskatchewan still stand deserted homes, schools, businesses and churches of communities once bustling with hope and optimism of new dryland agriculture methods. The depression years coupled with the great drought of the dirty thirties saw a huge exodus from the rural settlements searching for economic prosperity in the cities. Especially hard hit was the area of Saskatchewan defined as the Palliser Triangle consisting of areas of badlands, sand dunes and semi-arid soil, and it is here that a span of highway has the moniker now of Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan.

Along with the abandoned buildings are the tales of ghosts, haunting figures and eerie sounds. One of the more famous tales in Saskatchewan is of the ghost train traveling near St. Louis, Saskatchewan. A devastating train derailment occurred as well as a fatal accident which laid claim to a pioneering family.

The textures and character of the abandoned buildings have spawned a cult of photographers roaming the countryside to historic ghost towns. The techniques vary from capturing the perfect sunset or sunrise shot, capturing a ghost town at night with innovative light painting techniques or perhaps a ghost town capture offers an opportunity to use high dynamic range HDR photography. Some photography excursions seek out a focal point such as an historic pool elevator, a heritage train station or rusty car in a cloudy summer landscape, a colourful autumn scene or a seasonal winter setting.

Defined perhaps as Saskatchewan’s current tourism craze, the Saskatchewan Heritage and Folklore Society SHFS, brings history to life. Plaques and points of interest demark heritage stories, historic searches for diamonds and rubies, or may regale how pioneers would move a whole village to be on the tracks if the railway did not go through town. In the roaring twenties Saskatchewan was at its height in terms of population rise. These horse and buggy days saw numerous settlements spring up approximately every five miles alongside the newly laid rail lines.

Besides creative commons sources such as Wikipedia, books have been published about this new tourism attraction of Saskatchewan Ghost Towns in Saskatchewan, Including: Armley, Saskatchewan, Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan, Island Falls, Saskatchewan, Zichydorf, Saskatchewan, the Fren, Ghost Town Stories of the Red Coat Trail: From Renegade to Ruin on the Canadian Prairies , Canada Ghost Town Introduction: Govenlock, Saskatchewan, List of Ghost Towns in Alberta, Lucky Strike, Alberta, Hallonquist, Saskatchewan , Ghost Towns in Saskatchewan: The French Counts of St Hubert, Saskatchewan, Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan , and More Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan . Films, for example Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan and documentaries on television have aired.

You may want to join this trend, popping out for a coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon, traveling down a little used grid road to uncover a bit of Saskatchewan history. Program your GPS, look up a historical map of Saskatchewan, get the lay of the land, and head out. If you find an abandoned building do not trespass or venture forth inside a decaying building. Explore from a safe vantage point from public lands.

Saskatchewan ghost towns, a book researched by Kan Do Wheels and is now online to “tell why a community was born, lived and died”. Frank Moore, the author states that “people are returning to some of these towns and buying salvagable buildings…People are coming to realize the slick, future-shocked city life can’t meet their needs. And so they are looking for an alternative – a place where they can enjoy a sense of community, take charge of their lives, and know harmony with their environment.”

And to echo Moore, “Maybe the ghosts will live again!”
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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?

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

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“A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.” Jiddu Krishnamurti. All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem All my images are protected under Canadian and international authors copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. Image: Second spring“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus The images may, in fact, be licensed through Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.

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