Tag Archives: family

How To Motivate Future Generations

6 Jul

How does your family history speak to you?

 Find that savoir faire in the pages of family story  which make it unique, and quintessential.

Oh! If only the family tree had in it a famous actor or actress!

block blow blur child

“The future is for everyone, not far, it’s just tomorrow.”  Aulig Ice,   “The time is not there for us to act any more, the time we waited for is here right now for us to act brightly and create a bright future, for the future coming generations.”

Not all family trees have someone “notable” within the branches.  However, is it true that when documenting the family tree the only anecdotal stories come from those family members who survived a cyclone, fought in a rebellion, saved countless lives during a flood, participated in the court hearings of a hanging.  Should stories of that which is the biggest, or the first ever be the only stories and ancedotes of note in the family history?

The genealogist has in front of them an amazing legacy to bring forth to future generations.  As memory fades, as each generation dies and is replaced by the next the family tree record holds greater importance. The preservation of photographs, letters, and diaries is as important as the recording of reminiscences.

A primary source document holds true for a genealogist as they weave the family story.  From notebooks to cookbooks, from parish records to tales of the old sports team, each piece of memorabilia is a chapter in the family historian’s chronicle.  The children who grow up within the family are as important as the housewife seeking a midwife when birthing her next child, the harvesting gang or the child playing tunes on their school recorder…. each have their own hopes and fears, dreams and disappointments.

“The biggest challenge facing the great teachers and communicators of history is not to teach history itself, nor even the lessons of history, but why history matters. How to ignite the first spark of the will o’the wisp, the Jack o’lantern, the ignis fatuus [foolish fire] beloved of poets, which lights up one source of history and then another, zigzagging across the marsh, connecting and linking and writing bright words across the dark face of the present. There’s no phrase I can come up that will encapsulate in a winning sound-bite why history matters. We know that history matters, we know that it is thrilling, absorbing, fascinating, delightful and infuriating, that it is life.”
Stephen Fry

Take an interest in an “unconventional source” or artifact passed from cousin to cousin.  Why did this particular piece come forward?  What does it say about its original owner who took such pride in it?  Like a document, a photograph or an artifact can reveal its history to the researcher only insofar as the researcher knows what questions to ask.  The more and better the questions, the further the insight the genealogist can glean.

“History repeats itself in that, from afar, we all seem to lead exactly the same life.  We are all born; we all spend time here on earth; we all die.  But up close, we have each walked down our own separate paths.  We have stood at our own lonely crossroads.  We have touched the lives of others at crucial points, for better or for worse.  In the end, each of us has lived a unique life story, astounding and complicated, a story that could never be repeated.” ~ Edward Bloor.

The defining moment comes when it is time to tell that story.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” ~Robert Kennedy

Note The new provincial Saskatchewan Region Gen Web is online at https://saskgenweb.site123.me the original Saskatchewan Region Gen Web site is under maintenance by Ancestry/Rootsweb.com. Check periodically for progress on the historical site http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk in the meanwhile please check out https://saskgenweb.site123.me/

Boost your research!

29 Jun

How does the genealogist go about locating historical information?

 How do they conduct their research?

The genealogist can, indeed, provide the family with a sense of identity, purpose, and understanding of how their family and ancestors grew shaped their community.  Genealogists may wish to record the family’s evolution and record their achievements.

The genealogist will receive both written and unwritten stories and sources.  They will necessarily be part historian and part biographer, since they must be able to explain how the family set down roots, developed their character, and chose the roads and trails which they did.  The genealogist must explore how the ancestral family earned their livelihood, while at the same time explore how the family played, learned, developed, changed and grew through their art, education, religion, ethnic society, etc.  The genealogist needs to embrace the historical aspect of the era, the impact of the rail line on a local community, or the force of the industrial revolution with cars, combines, trucks and roads.  Finally the genealogist must also be a sociologist as they reconstruct the life and society in the local community of the ancestral family.

man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall
Revitalize your genealogical fieldwork.  (Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com)  Invigorate your ancestral tree inquiry

Exploring these factors will allow available sources to systematically unfold before the genealogist,  The family member origins, growth, and decisions all play a vital role during the evolution of a family in the context of the past, and similarly help the genealogist complete a family tree with unique aspects.

As the genealogist compiles a timeline of the ancestral family, various events occur to shape the character of each individual in history.  By contemplating this timeline decisions can be made as to whether to pursue a census record for further clarification, or perhaps a military record might show light on another individual.  By delving into the personality of the individual it can be ascertained if their achievements may have been recorded in the local newspaper, or archived in municipal or court records.

Thus, genealogical research receives a boost when the researcher supports the birth, marriage and death certificates with a picture of the ancestor and their personal sense of purpose, and desires.  The ancestor comes to light when their decision to immigrate shows up in passenger lists.  Delving into travel on that particular passenger ship they travelled upon gives further clarification of the kind of trip they experienced.  Exploring the weather in various seasons helps to understand how travel may have been enhanced or been a challenge if the trip was taken in a winter or summer month.  Use your own imagination and Imagine how they felt, and it may provide a stepping stone to another direction in the genealogical quest.  Would it be perhaps fortuitous to explore hospital records if the trip was taken to remediate an illness?  When the passenger ship arrived, how did the next leg of the journey begin to arrive at the set destination?  How did they cross North America if the passenger ship arrived in New York?  Would ancestors arriving Pier 21 Halifax, Nova Scotia have a different journey to arrive at their destination?  If they arrived in winter time to the “Last Best West” where did they live?  Were there hotels in that era?

Ask questions about the ancestral life apart from when and where your great great uncle was born, and died.  Contemplate the role of your great great great grandmother, look up the history of the land, the weather patterns, local events that happened the year she got married.  Continue to ask questions which will lead to more answers and more sources of information.  What facilities and support did she have to give birth?  Describe what you have learned to fellow researchers and explore information in archives, libraries, museums, local history books, and newspapers.  By growing the biographical timeline of your ancestral, you will boost your genealogical research capability.

Note The new Saskatchewan Region Gen Web is online at https://saskgenweb.site123.me the original Saskatchewan Region Gen Web site is under maintenance by Ancestry/Rootsweb.com. Check periodically for progress on the historical site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk while waiting please check out https://saskgenweb.site123.me/

Smith-Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

24 Jun
Smith Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith Stevenson Road

Part I: Smith-Stevenson Road

Part II: Road Naming in Saskatchewan

Part III: Grandma’s Memories

NEISH 1Small

Smith-Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Where it may be that some of the records behind the naming of the roads and highways of Saskatchewan have been lost. One road has only recently been named. In early August 2015, folks came together to celebrate the naming of the “SMITH-STEVENSON” road in Saskatchewan. A family of homesteaders all farmed astride this right of way or in close proximity. By settling near to each other, an extended family could help one another at the busy season of harvesting before the snow arrived. Gordon Neish, a family member, has submitted this history of Smiths and Stevensons who homesteaded in the area.

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

The Smiths (Schmidts)

The Schmidt family dates back to Captain Phillip Schmidt Born in Germany in 1725 immigrated to the United Stated in 1850. Rueben Waits Smith was his Great, Great Grandson.

The homesteading story begins in Illinois where Rueben Waits Smith and his wife Sophira Purdy purchased 80 acres of land in 1844. This is where they homesteaded and raised 10 children. Rueben and Sophira are buried on the original homestead. Their son George Israel Smith married Ida Mae Hodges daughter of another homesteader in the area. Seven on their eight children were born in Illinois with the youngest born in Jewell City Kansas, where they had moved to start new homesteads.

Smith - Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith – Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

The Stevenson’s (Stephenson’s)

The Stevenson family dates back to Isaac Stevenson Sr. a mariner from England who immigrated to Canada in the early 1800’s. Isaac Sr. fought in the war of 1812.
He married Mary Hadley in Quebec City on July 13 1810. Their son Isaac Stevenson Jr. was born in 1814 his mother Mary died 1820.

Eventually Isaac Stevenson Jr. moved to Michigan where he married Mary Perry and had one son George Perry Stevenson. They then moved on to Jewell City Kansas where George Perry Stevenson married Susan Evelina Schoonover whose mother was a half Cherokee midwife. George and Susan had 3 children while living in Kansas.

The Smith’s and Stevenson’s

While in Kansas the children of both families attended the same one room school house, the Sweet Home School in Jewell City, Kansas. See attached school photo and records.

Jewell School District School Register

Jewell School District School Register

Sweet Home District 75

Sweet Home District 75

The two families moved to the Everett, Washington area in the early 1900’s and worked in the logging industry. In 1910 both families headed to Saskatchewan to file for homesteads in the Kermaria area.

Saskatchewan placename Legal land location
Kermaria SW 16-41-19-W2
Lac Vert SW 2-41-18-w2
Ambles NE 16-40-20-W2
Naicam NW 2-40-18-W2
HomesteaderName and Homestead Location
STEVENSON George Edward SE34-40-19-W2 Great uncle
SMITH George Elwood NW27-40-19-W2 Grandfather
SMITH George Israel SW27-40-19-W2 Great Grandfather
SMITH Henry Ernest SE27-40-19-W2 Great uncle
HOWE John NE21-40-19-W2
STEVENSON Isaac NW22-40-19-w2 Great Great Grandfather
NELSON Bertha Amelia NE22-40-19-w2 Grandmother
STEVENSON George Perry SW22-40-19-w2 Great Grandfather
SMITH Lott Cabe NE23-10-19-W2 Great uncle

Bertha Amelia Nelson maiden name Stevenson, she was a single mother we are not sure what happened to her husband. Because she was the soul provider for her son, she was allowed to homestead most women were not eligible for homestead land. She married George Elwood Smith in Aug 1912. Bertha’s sister Eliza married George’s Brother Henry also in Aug of 1912.

I have attached Eliza’s writing “Grandmas Memories” to her grandson telling of the trip from Washington to Saskatchewan and some of her homestead memories

Isaac Stevenson was, if not the oldest man to homestead in Saskatchewan certainly one of the oldest few at the age of 96.

The John Howe land is where the Bing school was built and where my mother attended school.

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration Cake

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration Cake

Delving into the naming of Roads it was noted that it is intriguing a glimpse into history and determine why roads and highways have received the names they have been christened with. In Saskatchewan there has been an evolution in the roadways and highways. Although it may be possible that the derivation of some of the roadway names may be forgotten, it is a unique research project to delve into the nature of the roadway names, and follow regional trends. Were roadways named after surnames, given names, tribal names, a settlement, a natural feature, a park or a school? Was a road named after a town, village which no longer exists or perhaps after a landscape feature, a river or lake with a name that has since been changed. Hundreds of years ago “Donnacona, an Iroquoian leader, called an area centered on the present site of Québec City kanata, meaning “a cluster of dwellings”. This name began appearing on maps, giving rise to the Country name of Canada. In like fashion, the Cree word “kisiskâciwani-sîpiy”” for “swiftly flowing waters or swiftly flowing river” became the name for the province of Saskatchewan. Names of the roadways in the province of Saskatchewan may also have aboriginal, ethnic, royal origins, or they may honour community founders, saints, soldiers and politicians. Reflecting the birthright and heritage of the community, the name of a roadway may truly honour the prominent people and pioneers. A roadway name may reflect the inherited values, customs, legacy and qualities of the district.

Bibliography:

To: saskgenweb@yahoo.com

From: Gordon Neish

NOTICE: This Rootsweb/Ancestry.com page was saved on Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine by searching for the original page http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk/RoadsInSaskatchewan/!!!  Rootsweb/Ancestry.com is down.  It is the intention of this site to make this historical submission available to persons with a historical or genealogical interest.. There are no service charges or fees for personal use of these photographs, or transcription services and use of this site constitutes your acceptance of these Conditions of Use. These electronic pages and photographs are under copyright may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material commercially, must obtain the written consent of the copyright holders and submitter: Gordon Neish and contact Saskatchewan Gen Web Webmaster, Julia Adamson with proof of this consent. .

copyright © Web Publish Date: Fri Dec 18 2015 All Rights Reserved

Many thanks are extended to Gordon Neish for this submission share online.

 See also Grandma’s Memories

Other submissions by Gordon Neish

Rural Municipality of Pleasantdale No 398, Gordon Neish, Kermaria SW 16-41-19-W2, Lac Vert SW 2-41-18-w2, Ambles NE 16-40-20-W2, Naicam NW 2-40-18-W2Saskatchewan, Canada, Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada, photographs, photos, Kermaria SW 16-41-19-W2, Lac Vert SW 2-41-18-w2, Ambles NE 16-40-20-W2, Naicam NW 2-40-18-W2, STEVENSON George Edward, SE34-40-19-W2, Great uncle,
SMITH George Elwood , NW27-40-19-W2, Grandfather,
SMITH George Israel , SW27-40-19-W2, Great Grandfather,
SMITH Henry Ernest, SE27-40-19-W2 , Great uncle,
HOWE John, NE21-40-19-W2 , ,
STEVENSON Isaac , NW22-40-19-w2 , Great Great Grandfather,
NELSON Bertha Amelia , NE22-40-19-w2, Grandmother,
STEVENSON George Perry, SW22-40-19-w2 , Great Grandfather,
SMITH Lott Cabe , NE23-10-19-W2, Great uncle, Smith Stevenson Road,

7 Big Things Genealogists Must Know to Succeed

15 Jun

Why are some family memories remembered through the ages and not other events?

How will your genealogical research introduce your ancestral family?

woman sitting on sofa while looking at phone with laptop on lap

Genealogy Research, family ancestry. (Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com)

  1. Start with what is known and work towards the unknown!  It is very easy to begin genealogical research interviewing family members with a well thought out questionnaire seeking names, places, dates and any ancedotes or history.  Further research into primary and secondary source documents provides further direction, filling out the outline started in the family interviews.  As the genealogist delves deep into the past, it is still mandatory to look at what is known, and seek the documentation about that which is known, hoping that a birth certificate provides the heretofore unknown parental names, birth place, and time of birth, an interment record provides the previously unknown relationship and next of kin arranging the burial, or perhaps a marriage certificate besides providing the names of both spouse and groom, the date and place of marriage also registers the parent names.  As each document is located, another opening is made in the brick wall, and research continues.
  2. Organize your data very well, including what paths, and sources you have already had communication with, both successfully and unsuccessfully finding fruit in the research.  Using the Saskatchewan Gen Web internet resources or the assistance of a genealogy society will prove very fruitful if the genealogy researcher can provide a good synopsis of the branch of the family tree.  For example, if your oral interviews or an historic letter have placed your grandfather as a teacher in a one room school in Saskatchewan, pass on all the relevant information pertinent to Saskatchewan to enable your contact to make further progress.  Include with the ancestor name any known nick names, before and after marriage name changes, or spelling differences found thus far in the surname.  Providing a date of birth helps to determine the era of teaching, and saves time not searching records for a teacher who would have only been five years old at the time.  Any historic place names, whether one room school house district names, village, towns or Rural Municipality names help to locate further sources and references which may offer up clues.
  3. Think outside the box.  Not all early pioneers registered births, deaths and marriages, particularly before 1920.  Obituaries, so very handy in contemporary times, were also not as popularly used when pioneers were proving up homesteads, or hunters were chasing down buffalo.  Would other records have further clues to work on?  Family bible records, church records, land records, school yearbooks, funeral home registers, naturalization records may also present the genealogist with more information.
  4. Focus in on the date and era your ancestor would have been living. Research the history of the place they were living at the time.  Pay attention to correlations between historical events which happened in the lifespan of your ancestor.  For example, would they have been the right age to serve in World War I (1914 –1918), World War II (1939 –1945) or any other miliitary event?  Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior for the Dominion of Canada started a massive immigration programme to the “Last Best West” encouraging over three million people to arrive in Canada between 1891–1914.  Would have your ancestor been part of this immigration scheme? And have immigration, naturalization, land settlement records been searched?  Metis/Half Breed families were offered Scrip as compensation for aboriginal rights which were the catalyst of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.  Have the National Archives records been investigated?
  5. Where did your ancestor set down roots when starting their family?   If the family lived in one locale for an extended period of time earning a living, attending school, and partaking in social events, there may be a plethora of records to investigate.  1955 school Jubilee record books may list the pupils of the school and their family. 75th provincial anniversary local history books compiled in 1981 may show the involvement of the family as they settled in Saskatchewan.  Church groups, legions and ethnic societies are other potential sources of information.  Universities have archives holding records about those in attendance, municipalities likewise retain holdings of persons in office for towns, villages and rural municipalites.
  6. Consider the accent of your ancestor.  Before 1920, many of those enumerated on the census could not read or write English.  The enumerator entered the name phonetically as best they could from what they heard spoken before them.  Consider how you would spell the name. Search the entire census district if family was sure the ancestor lived in that area, but the name is not coming up.  Perhaps the given names of the entire family and their ages will help to determine if a surname spelling variation is a match for your records and information thus far.
  7. Contemplate the current occupation of family members and ancestral occupations.  Quite often sons will follow in the occupations undertaken by their fathers.  The Henderson’s directories record resident names, addresses and their occupations in a specific location.  Brand books are other directories of cattle owners who registered their cattle brands in the province.  Both the early Hendersons’ directories and historic brand books are coming online.  Homesteaders who proved up their land successfully, may still have ancestors farming on the “century farm”.  Land records can be searched for those immigrants who applied for a land patent through the Saskatchewan land titles office, and letters of patent are land records for the successful farmer who proved up their land.  Letters of patent for land ownership were issued by the Dominion government of Canada.

Good luck with your family research!  The internet can indeed prove to be a help in locating long lost cousins, and transcribed, scanned or photographed documentation.  If you have found fruitful information document your source, in case it may be handy in tracing another family member at a later date in your family research.  A great way to document information from the internet is in a bibliographic style.  Author name Last, F. M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title.  Web site name. Retrieved from URL.  Date retrieved.  Please don’t assume that if an historic document is scanned online, that makes the digital copy in the public domain.  The original paper document may have been published years ago placing the paper document in the public domain, however the digital documentation starts its date of publication when the digital version came online unless the publishers expressly state otherwise.  If you place public domain information online yourself, include supporting documentation and corresponding bibliographies for both copyright and paraphrased source materials.  Protect the rights of the living, and don’t break privacy laws when sharing your family tree information.

Be willing to think creatively, and discover the history, heritage, and ethnic background of your ancestors beyond their name, dates, and place of living.  Your family tree has the capability to develop into an exciting and rewarding experience with a preservation of the constitution and character of your family with rich ancedotes and colour.  Genealogists have different motivations to get started in family tree research. Ofttimes the family historian takes on the preparation of a family tree for a reunion, or perhaps to preserve the story before the family legacy is gone and forgotten about.  The genealogist is not just a data entry clerk focusing solely on those all important facts -names, years, places-, a genealogist also understands history, and the interactions of family members and the society where they lived, worked and played.  By asking the right questions, the genealogist provides the ancestral family with achievements, milestones, and a unique character and identity.

Note The new provincial Saskatchewan Region Gen Web is online at https://saskgenweb.site123.me the original Saskatchewan Region Gen Web site is under maintenance by Ancestry/Rootsweb.com. Check periodically for progress on the historical site http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk in the meanwhile please check out https://saskgenweb.site123.me/

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