Tag Archives: genealogy

How the Right Genealogical Plan can Lead To the Joy of Discovery

13 Jul

The Joys of Research

The Enthusiasm of Discovery

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Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Every family tree has a root, a home, a person a starting point. From this starting point, the tree fans out with all its branches back into time. Does it not follow “inevitably that every father had a father, and so on. In fact,” said Michael Shaara in Man of Distinction, “when you considered the matter rightly, everyone alive was the direct descendant of untold numbers of fathers, down through the ages, all descending, one after another, father to son. And so backward, unquestionably, into the unrecognizable and perhaps simian fathers of the past.”

“It will not require much space to indicate the main sources of information in genealogical research. Having decided to trace back our own lines, we naturally turn first to the living members of our family. If we have parents living and accessible,—grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, cousins, or others who are likely to know more about the family than we do,—let us consult them, personally if we may, by letter if we must,” begins Frank Allaban when introducing “Concerning Genealogy” and ancestral hunting.

“Special attention is also called to the radically different plans for genealogical works, one tracing the many descendants of a common ancestor, the other tracing the many ancestors of a common descendant. There is a general drift toward the latter, many having discovered the fascination of exploring their direct lines of descent.”

“The moment of first hearing the facts, when the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of making progress are upon us, is the psychological moment for making our notes. It is a positive delight while the fever of enthusiasm is high. As our informant begins his story, let us interrupt with the cry of the enthusiast, “I must jot that down!” Out comes our notebook, conveying to our friend a very distinct impression of the importance of being accurate. He collects himself, and proceeds to give his facts and traditions with the greatest care. As we stop him with questions, or take time to write the facts, his memory is stimulated. With skillful questions the genealogical worker can draw out all the information, taking care to cover every point which may come up later.”

“Furthermore, while we may be able to find our way back from generation to generation with almost ridiculous ease in some cases, such luck is usually too good to last. It is a rare vein which yields family connections at every stroke of the genealogical spade, and one such line may have to console us for a number which we mine slowly and painfully, and for some others which yield no results whatever beyond a certain point.”

“We will suppose that at last the task of investigation has come to an end. We have run our family lines back as far as our plan contemplated, or as far as we were able to do with a reasonable amount of research. Perhaps most of them go back to the original emigrants, but it may be that in a case or two we have had the good fortune to make connection with an old family stem in Europe. In any case, the work is now done. We have made our discoveries, and scored triumphs not a few. But though the excitement of the chase is over, its pleasures are by no means spent. Is there no story to tell, no tale of our difficulties and exploits? Next to the exhilaration of the hunt itself, what can compare with the mellow joy of going over it with a comrade! Least of all can the “inevitable narrative” be spared in a case of ancestry-hunting. It is the logical issue of the search, and failure to weave our facts into a readable story, after having collected them, is almost unthinkable,”

“A truly interesting genealogical work is not a dry compilation of family statistics, but contains striking biographical pen pictures. Let these be made as complete as possible, and the story told with all the interest we can throw into it. We believe that the ideal genealogy is yet to be written, and that it will present facts with the accuracy of a Bancroft, but clothe them with the charm of an Irving. What possibilities there are” are these not the Joys of Research as expounded by Frank Allaban

However to set down the story for future generations the work must contain the proofs of the statements made. An imperative sorting in any historical biography contained in the family tree must need quote the authorities and provide systematic footnotes, and also citations of authorities in the text. The result is that there is no guess as to the opinion or motivation of compiler in giving us the fruit of original research, it is quite well established whether the biography, then, is an extract from another compilation, a part of oral tradition, or a mere conjecture put forward by the collective family memory.

Every leaf in the family tree begins with a name, it is with this moniker that the individual is thus introduced and thus their legend also starts. What whisper, what expression, what libretto will the name reveal? The name is thus a beginning of who they are, like the title of a new adventure story. The family historian has a bird’s eye view from his vantage point in the future to see why this ancestor existed. What role this ancestor played in the family, within the community by their words and by their deeds. The genealogist presenting the family tree to the world at a family reunion or compiled book is tasked with a considerable and significant responsibility. Like the title of a book, the narrative behind the name of each ancestor within the family tree is dependent upon the account and testimony of the genealogist and the validity of the sources relied upon.

We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise. – Edward Sellner

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/

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/

Should Genealogy Research be Conducted Scientifcally?

22 Jun

Inside these brick walls

How do we observe our family history?

Genealogy comes from two roots; Logy to speak, or to pick out words when speaking for a treatise, discourse, science or doctrine.  The second root of Genealogy has root in the  Latin genealogia meaning “tracing of a family and the Greek genealogia; “the making of a pedigree.”  Genealogy; therefore is speaking out about the family history.

Science, on the other hand, is a word which comes from the Latin root scientia from scire “to know.” It is important to examine how we, as genealogists, “know.”

Genealogists seek by careful and deliberate reasoning determine quantitative data, and come to know an ancestor’s time of birth, marriage and death, place they were born, worked, moved to, lived and died, whom they married, how many children they raised, and how large a family they descended from.  Names, places and times are all quantitative data which can be found scientifically in primary source documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates, wills, obituaries, etc.

Genealogists must know how to separate scientific facts from historical observations, attributes and social phenomena.  Is qualitative data  also a vital component of social research?  Qualitative data forms the basis for social and ethical research and procedure.

Recording names, dates, and places brings together a family unit rather as a census enumerator fills in the census questionnaire.  However, the family genealogist must be aware of deductive theories which may arise from oral history and provide an amazing discovery of an event or about a person verifiable in archival documentation.

And yet on the other hand, an inductive theory is using a specific observation and forming a general pattern or deduction.  Observing the birth dates in a family and comparing these to marriage dates is a specific observation.  Would deductions and conclusions inferred from these date comparisons be based on societal norms in the contemporary era, or would these deductions and conclusions be the same from the context of history in the explanation of events.  Would inductive theories lead the genealogist astray, or help the researcher to further sources of knowledge?  Ethical situations arise – historical ancestor hand in hand with the genealogist-when it comes to skeletons found in the family tree.  Perhaps the brick wall went up in the face of the genealogist’s research because of facts the ancestral family tried to leave hidden or at best “not spoken about.”

As times and eras change, those events not spoken about in previous generations are not embarrassing social attributes in this day of age as society has evolved and accepted those events in contemporary discourse.  However, each family reacts differently to the presentations made by the family genealogist.

Genealogy has two main purposes therefore, describing and explaining the family tree.  It is wise to discern facts from variables, generalized accounts and theories.  Genealogists need to step back and examine their motivation to delve into family research, is it to make sense of the past, and the family legacy, or is it to gain knowledge and grow the family tree descendant chart as far back in lineage as is possible?  The genealogist who speaks out for the family ancestry at the next reunion may wish to bring the knowledge they have acquired and make a positive difference and impact on the current and future generations.

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/

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?

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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/

Locating Saskatchewan Ancestors together

15 Jun

Genealogy in Saskatchewan

silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky

Family tree research hints and tips for the province of Saskatchewan

The primary purpose and function of RootsWeb.com is to connect people so that they can help each other and share genealogical research. A common genweb goal is the collection and distribution of genealogical data on the Web. The role of the Saskatchewan GenWeb Project is to assist researchers in locating this information, as well as to add to the existing online data. SaskGenWeb is the gateway linking to the provincial resources & regional GenWeb’s.
If you are researching your family tree in Saskatchewan check out the new https://saskgenweb.site123.me/ Sask Gen Web  Genealogy frequently asked questions regarding Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project, Saskatchewan Cemetery Project, Saskatchewan Genealogy resources, look ups, and much more,

Saskatchewan Genealogy Services

Saskatchewan mailing lists, query boards, Saskatchewan regional maps, look up volunteers, genealogy in Saskatchewan research guidance, Saskatchewan Genealogy Resources, hints, tips, and how tos.

What we believe in

Preserving and celebrating the rich history of the province of Saskatchewan for genealogists and historians.
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Connecting to cousins in Saskatchewan, how to get past genealogy brick walls.

What are the sensational timeline events? Saskatoon Gen Web Region

1 Jun

large bison

“The local historian will deal with both written and unwritten sources. He will be part archeologist, and part geographer, since a writer mus explain how the land, the soil of the locality, was mastered to human purposes. He will go further, much further, for he must understand and he must know the character of the land so that he may explain and interpret the effects of human actions on the landscape. Certainly he must be aware of, and know the shy of, water courses, trails, roads and fields.

The local historian will be, in part, an economic historian, because the greater part of a man’s life is spent gaining a livelihood – but at the same time he will be an historian of art, and education, and religion- because man does not live by bread alone. He will need to be a modernist because he will need to appreciate the impact on a local community of rail and motor transport – and the social and economic effects of the abandonment of a major form of transport. Certainly he must know sociology since he is attempting to reconstruct social life and society in the earlier days of the local community.” (Archer, 1979)

Population growth has increased, and declined throughout the evolution of the region. The adaptation to a common language facilitated cooperation and economic survival. Hunting and gathering gave way to domestic livestock, and agricultural pursuits. Doukhobors, Mennonites, German Catholics were a few of the ethnic groups who chose to establish farm villages, and settle in a nuclear group with the government waiving the rural survey settlement scheme. Rural settlement on homesteads was a method to disperse the immigrants, avoiding the overcrowding and overpopulation of Europe. How did the patterns of rural pioneer settlement arise, and why did urban settlements first appear? Why has the population shifted, with people moving from one location to another? What are the consequences?

The first nations of the plains have had a rich history in this area. Nakota of the late 1600s were displaced by Cree from the north east, and Assiniboine from the south east over the 1600s. Saulteaux made inroads during the 1700s from the east, however settled further east near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border by the time the treaties were signed. The Plains Cree made residence in the Saskatoon Gen Web region during the 1800s, were joined by Métis in the mid 1800s

Early fur trade journeys down the South Saskatchewan River were made by Joseph Smith 1763-1764 and William Pink 1766-1767. Matthew Cocking explored a route through the northern portion of the Saskatoon Gen Web Region 1772-1773. The grand majority of fur trading posts were located north of the “tree line” and north of the Aspen Parkland of the Saskatoon Gen Web Region. That being said, Edge of the Woods Hudson Bay Company Post was established about 1863 south of the present day City of Saskatoon, and Moose Woods trading HBC south of Edge of the Woods post had a brief lifespan 1858/1863 and again revived 1874.

The John Palliser Expedition came down the South Saskatchewan River 1857-1859 taking in data of the lad between the Rocky mountains and the Assiniboine River. Henry Youle Hind also made the route in 1858 down the South Saskatchewan River, as did William F. Butler 1870-1871. John Macoun in 1875, and again in 1879 traversed across land crossing the South Saskatchewan River.

Henry Budd founded Carlton House Church of England Mission at Fort Carlton in 1862. On the other side of the South Saskatchewan River, the Roman Catholic Mission was established in about the same vicinity.

All the British colonies of Canada, provinces and territories were united in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. To include British Columbia into confederation, an inter-colony railroad would improve communication and transportation in general between the settlements of eastern Canada, those communities of British Columbia. To make the railroad economically viable, pressures arose to expand the population across the prairies to improve trade.

Rupert’s Land, or Prince Rupert’s Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin. This land was operated by the Hudson’s Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870. Rupert’s Land was transferred to Canada in 1869, but the transfer was only consummated in 1870 when £300,000 was paid to the Hudson’s Bay Company.

The Government of Canada passed the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 creating the opportunity for settlers in the Last Best West.

The creation of the Department of the Interior in 1873 had a mission to attract settlers to Canada, creating a strong agricultural economy out west. Settlers were pulled to the area with strong motivations of a better life, and were pushed out of their homelands because of restrictions, over-populations, and under-employment.

David Laird becomes the first Lieutenant Governor of the North West Territories in 1875.

Central and west central First Nations bands signed Treaty 6 in 1876 at Fort Carlton, and again at Fort Pitt later.

Saskatoon Gen Web Map Northwest Territories 1900

Saskatoon Gen Web Region in green NWT 1900 map Adapted from: “White, James. Manitoba and Northwest Territories [map]. 1:950,400. [Ottawa]: Dept. of the Interior, 1900. Red blocks show total acreage of land under crop in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories respectively. Shows size, in acres the areas of Athabasca, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia and Manitoba in 1900. Source: University of Manitoba : Elizabeth Dafoe Library : Map Collection ” Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

December 23, 1881 the Dominion Government passed regulations allowing colonization companies to be created. These companies would be eligible for odd-numbered sections 24 miles north of the CPR at $2.00 per acre under the pre-requisite that two settlers were residing upon each odd and even section within five years. Colonization companies which could earn the maximum rebate may pay as little as #1.00 an acre, and sell land for $3 to $15 an acre once the colony’s even numbered sections were settled. Besides the Temperance Colonization Society with 213,760 acres, H.D. Smith 10,240 acres and P. Valin 32,900 acres were business applicants in the Saskatoon Gen Web region.

Districts of Assiniboia, Athabasca, Saskatchewan and Alberta are created in the North West Territories in 1882. (The Saskatoon Gen Web Region straddles the Districts of Assiniboia and Saskatchewan)

Though the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway went through southern Canada, rail service did not extend north until 1885 when the Qu’Appelle Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway and Steamboat Co. (QLLS) ran a line between Regina and the south end of Long Lake (Last Mountain Lake). Entrepreneurs using the spring and summer months for construction had plans to use the rail to transport people and goods to Long Lake, and then steamboat for a great length, with another rail line extending from the north end of the lake to Saskatoon and Prince Albert. However, the prairie winters, soon showed the impracticality of using steam paddle ship on a frozen lake. Steamships did operate on Long Lake until the first world war 1914-1918.

1884-1885 see the rising of the Métis and the Northwest Rebellion; post-Confederation Canada’s first naval battle. Gabriel Dumont rides to the United States of America to convince Louis Riel to return to Canada. Louis Riel was the leader of the Métis and was elected to a provisional government in 1869 before the Red River Rebellion and as Provencher, Manitoba Member of Parliament. “Saturday March 28, 1885. …This morning’s paper has startling news, received over night, by wire from Winnipeg. A clash, it is stated has taken place between Riel’s followers and a small force of Mounted Police and civilians, under Major Crozier, at a place called Duck Lake, in which ten civilians and two Police, are reported killed: that the force, being outnumbered, was compelled to retire…The cause of the trouble, so it is said, arose from a grievance of some standing, over Squatter’s rights, wherein early settlers found their lands taken over their heads, by new comers, armed with deeds of possession, obtained through influence at head-quarters. Be that as it may, not since the days of the Fenian Raid, has the country been so stirred over the calamitous news, and the dread of a possible Indian uprising, [is] coupled with the necessity of a prompt solution of the difficulties of transporting troops, and supplies, over such a great distance through unsettled parts.” Archer, 1962) The battle sites of Fort Carlton, Duck Lake, St. Laurent, Batoche, and Fish Creek are within the Saskatoon Gen Web region, as is Saskatoon’s Marr Residence, [National Historic Site] a field hospital to treat Major General Frederick Middleton’s wounded soldiers during the resistance.

Louis Riel was sentenced to hang by the neck until dead following his trial for high treason in Regina. W.G. Books a juror from Indian Head reported to E.R. Powell; “We were asked to declare the man insane. He seemed to us no more insane than any of the others who addressed us, and they were the ablest in all Canada, and he was more interesting and effective than some of them. We could not declare him insane. We were in a dilemma. We were in sympathy with the Métis, knowing that they had good cause for much they did. We often remarked that we would like to have the Minister of Interior in the prisoner’s box charged with inciting the Métis by his gross neglect and indifference…. but we could not pass judgment of the Minister of the Interior, and we had to give our finding on Riel according to the evidence…..

” ‘This man is in a bad hole. What can we do to help him out?’ That was the concern of all of us. There was no division or dissension of any kind. The only thing we could do was to add a clause to the verdict, recommending mercy. We knew it was not much, but it was not an empty formal expression, and it revealed the serious desire of everyone [on the jury].”(Powell, 1967)

“In 1870, Canada negotiated with the Métis. It granted to the Métis of Manitoba 1,400,000 acres of land out of nearly 9,500,000 acres, constituting less than a sixth but more than a seventh of the province as it then existed…the federal Government gave us an assurance that all future treaties with the Métis of the NorthWest would be similar to the Manitoba treaty,” wrote Louis Riel in a letter to Bishop Taché July 24, 1885.(Flangan, 1974)

“The outbreak of the Northwest Rebellion and the crippling effects it had on immigration to the Canadian West compelled the government to recognized the plight of the colonization companies.” The Minister of the Interior, David L. Macpherson wrote to Prime Minister Macdonald; ” The collapse of the boom did much to defeat their efforts, and the outbreak of the Half-breeds and Indians completed that work.”(Lalonde, 1971)

Scrip was proferred to Métis families as a means of compensation following the 1885 Resistance. Notes in the form of money scrip ( $160 or $240) or land scrip, 160 acres (65 ha) or 240 acres (97 ha) were exchanged for aboriginal rights. “In the North-West Territories, the Métis shared only in a very small way the benefits by which the Government finally gave satisfaction to claims of which it had so long remained unaware. The Commission that was established on March 31, 1885, applied there the same principles as in Manitoba. To Métis children born before July 15, 1870, was given the choice between a “scrip” valued at $240, which they could either negotiate or use for the purchase of federal lands, and a “land scrip” which authorized them to pick out a piece of property of 240 acres on unoccupied Dominion Lands. The “heads of families” could also choose between these two kinds of scrips, but their respective values were limited to $160 or 160 acres. In 1900, an Order in Council extended the same benefits to children born between July 15, 1870 and the year 18/85. In this way the Government settled, in the interests of the Métis , the question of “the extinction of the Indian title” It admitted their indigenous status, and recognized for them a privileged treatment in the administration of Indian lands. Those who were already in possession of a land plot were issued patents which guaranteed them outright ownership up to the amount of 240 acres for the children, and 160 acres for the heads of families.” (Giraud, 1956)

1885 saw the establishment of a North West Mounted Police Post at Carlton. This was followed by posts at Batoche, Saskatoon, Henrietta, Sixty Mile Bush [near Biggar], Macfarllane’s and Rosthern. Following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway of this year, “importance was now attached to those police duties which increased the comfort and security of the settler’ who was unaccustomed to the pioneer life and required not only information but also assistance, even to find stray animals. The police often provided relief to destitute farmers or those overcome by winter conditions…the police often encountered immigrants as early as their first disembarkment from the train: the police would even sometimes drive them ‘over the most desirable districts for settlement’ providing not only transport, but also cooking utensils, and giving advice and information”. (Betke, 1974)

The years 1885-1890 featured early frost and drought in the weather, settlers abandoned agricultural crops in favour of raising cattle. A financial depression during this period meant difficulties for all.

Trails, such as the “Old Bone Trail” leading into Saskatoon were full of Red River Carts, and Métis carting buffalo bones to the rails where they would be transported to plants converting bones to fertilizer. The years 1890-1891 saw the end of the massive roaming herds of Buffalo across the plains, replaced by cord-wood stacks of their bones alongside the railway track awaiting shipment.

In 1889, the ferry was supplemented by a bridge across the South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon. The QLLS completed the north-south rail land route in 1890 as far as Saskatoon and Rosthern.

Province of Saskatchewan showing Saskatoon Gen Web Region in Green. Adapted from Author Hwy43 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Province of Saskatchewan showing Saskatoon Gen Web Region in Green. Adapted from Author Hwy43 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

September 1905, Saskatchewan and Alberta both become provinces of Canada.

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway east-west line was completed about 1908, with a bridge over the South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon.

1907 Saskatoon, formed as a city in 1904, is chosen as the provincial site for the new University of Saskatchewan, with classes starting in 1908. The Regina Leader-Post wrote following the vote, “Success to the University of Saskatchewan and the University City of the Province, May the [citizens of Saskatoon] rise to the opportunity which now is theirs and create a city…worthy of the great institution which will be located in [their] midst.” (Murray, 1959) Delegates and officials from Indian Head, Qu’Appelle, Battleford, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert all presented their case to the Board of Governors convening under Walter Murray of Dalhousie University, Halifax, the new President of the University.

Saskatoon’s boom years were 1910-1912

Seager Wheeler, a Rosthern area farmer wins world wheat championship with his “Marquis Wheat” entry.

“The prairie West had experienced cycles of drought and plentiful rainfall in a more or less normal patter. It was expected in 1930, and in 1932, that this pattern would recur and that “next year” would bring normal moisture conditions…In much of Canada the 1930s was the Depression, but in Saskatchewan it was the ‘Dirty Thirties’ All the problems of drought, insect pests, erosion, low prices for produce, and high winds occurred simultaneously and continued year after year.” (Archer, 1980) Farmers moved north to the tree line, or made a mass exodus to the cities in search of employment, and money for sustenance.


Ethnic Bloc Settlements

Francophone Métis settlements arose around la Pointe-du-Chien-Maigre [Fort Carlton], Lac-aux-Canards [Duck Lake, la Petite-Ville, la Coulee des Touronds [Fish Creek], Batoche, St-Laurent-Grandin between 1866-1876. This settlement expanded around Duck Lake, St.-Isidore-de-Bellevue, St-Louis, and Domremy 1881-1912.

Temperance Colony [Toronto Methodists] was a British Ethnic Bloc Settlement founded 1882 establishing the roots of Saskatoon.

“The steppes of eastern Europe were the ancestral homeland for several groups whose desire to find a secure place to develop their agricultural ambitions, to practice their religion, and to live in peace with their neighbours led them to Saskatchewan. Five distinct cultural groups came to this province from the broad arc of the European continent lying between the Wisla and the Volga rivers, most of which is part of the Ukraine today….the Ukrainians, south Russian Germans, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Doukhobors shared a common homeland…Immigration officers recorded them on arrival variously as Austrians, Russians, Poles, Ruthenians, Galicians, Bukovynians, Volhynians, or Besssarabians – never as Ukrainians” (Barry, 2001)

Saskatchewan Valley Mennonites settled north of Saskatoon between 1891-1918. Laird, Waldheim, Hepburn, Dalmeny, Rosthern, Hague, and Osler. The first families arriving in Rosthern from Manitoba. Rosthern, until 1950 was the Mennonite centre of Saskatchewan. dThe Hague-Osler Mennonite reserved included the Mennonite villages of Blumenheim “Flower Home”, Blumenhoff “Yard full of flowers”, Blumenort “Place of Flowers”, Blumenthal “Garden of Eden Town”, Freundrussendarp “Five Russian Villages, or Five Roses”, Gruenfeld “Green Field”, Gruenthal “Green valley”, Halbstadt “Half Village”, Hochfeld “High Field”, Hochstadt “HIgh Place”, krim, Kronsthal “Crown Valley”, Mennon, Neuanlage “New Settlement”, Neuhorst “New Grove of Trees”, Olgafield, Ostwerwick “East berm or dam”, Reinland “Clean Field”, Rieferthal “River valley”, Reinfeld “Clean field”, Rosenback “Rose Brook”, Rosenfeld “Field of Roses”, Rosengart “Rose Garden”, Rosenort “Place of Roses”, Salem, Schlauberg “Overall Hill”, Schlorrendarp “slipper Village”, Schoenfeld”Beautiful Field”, Schoenthal “Beautiful Valley”, Schoenwiese “Beautiful Meadow”, Silberfeldt “Silver Field”, Steinreich “rich with stones”, Suedflus, “South River”,.

An 1894 migration of Croatians settled near Hanley.

The Redberry Lake and Albertown Polish concentration immigrated in 1896 south east of Battleford around Blaine Lake, Marcelin, and Krydor.

Prud’homme settled 1897 by 260 French settlers was originally known as Marcotte Ranch in 1897, Lally Siding 1904 and Howell in 1906, until receiving the name Prud’homme in 1922..

In 1898, a Ukrainian settlement at Fish Creek mixed with Polish settlers that same year, the St. Laszlo Hungarian settlers who arrived between 1900-1905. The Ukrainian bloc settlement [6,000 immigrants]included Fish Creek, Redberry, Crooked Lake [around Wakaw] of the Saskatoon Gen Web Region.

The Meilicke family encouraged settlers to come up from Minnesota and established the area around Dundurn.

Doukhobors arrived 1899-1902 to set up the Prince Albert – Saskatchewan – Blaine Lake Colony [north section.Winnipeg Commissioner of Immigration, W.F. McCreary stated in his December 31, 1899 report that “the first group of 2,078 ‘souls’ arrived January 27, 1899, followed by 1,973 in February; in May, 1,136 came and July saw 2,335.” Betke mentions that Doukhobour immigrants to the North-West Territories began arriving at Winnipeg on January 27, 1899, by September, 7,427 Doukhobors had entered the area. 1,472 of them established themselves on the North Saskatchewan river west of Carlton near Battleford; 1,404 settled in the “Thunder Hill”, or “North” Colony on the border of Manitoba and the Territories, and the largest group, some 4,478, located in the vicinity of Yorkton.”A letter written to McCreary February 9, 1899 described the conditions; The thermometer stood at forty four {below zero, Fahrenheit} Last night, during the fire in the “Manitoba”, it stood about fifty one, and it has been running from thirty-five to forty -five , with a keen wind, for many weeks..These Doukhobors have hard leather boots with a piece of blanket about the foot, and no socks. The women also, have only a half slipper with leather soles. They have not mitts whatever, or, at least, very few, so that the work of getting them out to the colonies has been stationary.”(Ward, 1981)

“The police found much to admire in the Doukhobor pioneer operations. They showed unique skills in breaking horses, constructing ovens of “home-made sun-dried bricks” and building clean and sturdy though dark houses and stables of sod, mud and logs. They were orderly, quiet , well organized, ‘patient, industrious and self-supporting’: the women proved equal to the men in strength and skill at manual labour and attended to household duties besides.”(Betke, 1974) Doukhobors placed claims for communal land exemption from land tenure registration, and exemption from birth, death, and marriage registration.

In the north east of Saskatoon Gen Web is the St. Peter’s Colony, hosting American German arrivals between 1902-1914. Annaheim, Bruno, Carmel, Cudworth, Englefeld, Fulda, Humboldt, Lake Lenore, Marysburg, Middle Lake, Muenster, Pilger, st. Benedict, St. Gregor, and Wakaw all have a high German Catholic population, as the Russland Deutsche, or German Catholic settlers arrived from Minnesota via the German American American Land Company around Muenster.

In the Allan HIlls, around Lothian came a Scottish bloc settlement in 1902.

1903 saw the arrival of Norwegians around Hanley, Outlook and Elbow areas.

St. Brieux saw the rise of a French settlement of around 367 settlers around 1904-1909, Dollard, Vonda and Wakaw were other French settlements in the region.

Young saw Irish arrivals in 1904, Sinnett in 1906, and Simpson in 1912.

South of Humboldt came Mennonite settlers to form the Guernsey and Nortstern – Drake colonies 1905-1913. In 1908, the Plunkett area saw an Hungarian settlement, Pinkefalva in 1908.

Redberry Lake Ukrainian bloc settlement arrived 1904-1914 south east of Battleford.

South east of Saskatoon the St. Aloysius, Allan German Bloc settlement arrived 1903-1907

In 1924, the Nordheim, Hanley, Dundurn area Mennonite settlers arrived 1924 south of Saskatoon.

Riverview Hutterite colony 16 families population 90 was established 1956, Hillcrest 10 families population 50 1969, Willow Park 1977, Golden View 1978, Rosetown 1979, Big Rose 1980, Eagle Creek 1981



Martensville founded 1939 Became village September 1, 1966 Incorporated Town January 1, 1969, Incorporation Date City November 3, 2009

Saskatoon founded 1883, Became village November 16, 1901 Incorporated as Town July 1, 1903, Incorporation Date City May 26, 1906

Warman founded 1904, Became village May 15, 1905, the same day incorporated as Town, Incorporation Date city October 27, 2012.

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

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 waiting http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk in the meanwhile please check out https://saskgenweb.site123.me/


Archer, John H. Saskatchewan A History. Western Producer Prairie Books. ISBN 0-88833-6 bd, ISBN 0-88833-2 pa. Saskatchewan Archives Board. 1980

Archer, John H. North-West Rebellion 1885. Recollections, Reflections and Items, from the Diary of Captain (no Lt. Col.) A. Hamlyn Todd who commanded the Guards Company of Sharpshooters on that Expedition. Saskatchewan History. Volume XV. Winter 1962. Number 1.

Archer, J.H. “Local History” Local Archives and History Conference Proceedings. Regina, Saskatchewan Archives Board, 1979. Page 11

Barry, Bill. Ukrainian People Places. Ukrainians, Germans, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Doukhobors, and the names they brought to Saskatchewan. People Places Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-894022-65-3. 2001.

Betke, Carl. The Mounted Police and the Doukhobors in Saskatchewan, 1899-1909. Pages 1-14 Saskatchewan History Volume XXVii Winter 1974. Number 1.

Bitner, Ruth and Leslee Newman. Saskatchewan History Centennial Timeline, 1905-2005. Saskatchewan Western Development Museum. Saskatchewan Archives Board. ISBN 0-9697014-5-4. 2005.

Daschuk, J.W. , Paul Hackett, Scott MacNeil. Treaties and Tuberculosis: First Nations People in late 19th Century Western Canada, a Political and Economic Transformation. CBMH/BCHM Volume 23:2 2006 Pages 307-330

Flanagan, Thomas E. Louis Riel’s Religious Beliefs. A letter to Bishop Taché. Saskatchewan History. Volume XXVII. Winter 1974. Number 1.

Fung, Ka-iu. Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millenium 2000-2005. University of Saskatchewan Second Edition. ISBN 0-88880-387-7. PrintWest Saskatoon. 1999.

Trading Posts. Pre 1759-Post 1930. Page 34, 35
Waiser, Bill. Scientific Explorations 1870-1914. Page 42-43
Barry, Bill. First Nations and Treaties 1871-1906. Page 44-45
Avery, Cheryl and Stan Hanson. North West Mounted Police and the Indians. Page 46-47
Anderson, Alan. Ethnic Bloc Settlements 1850s-1990s Page 56-57
Drees, Laurie Meijer. North Missions 1820-1910. Pages 38-39

Giraud, Marcel. The Western Métis After the Insurrection. Pages 1-15. Saskatchewan History. Volume IX. Winter 1956, Number 1.

Lalonde, A.N. Colonization Companies in the 1800’s. Page 101-114. Saskatchewan History Volume XXIV Autumn 1971. Number 3. Saskatchewan Archives Board.

Murray, Jean E. The Contest for the University of Saskatchewan. Pages 1-22. Saskatchewan History. Volume Xii, Winter 1959, Number 1.

Norton, William. Human Geography Sixth Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-542511-6. 2007.

Pohorecky, Zenon. Saskatchewan People A brief illustrated guide to their Ethnocultures. Second Enlarged Edition. 1977 Saskatoon. Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, Canadian Department of the Secretary of State, and the Saskatchewan Department of Culture and Youth.

Powell, E.R. Louis Riel’s Request to the Jury. Canadian Federation of the Blind Magazine. c1967

Richards, J.H. and K.I. Fung. Group Settlements. Atlas of Saskatchewan. University of Saskatchewan. Modern Press. Saskatoon. Page 13. 1969.

Ward, Betty. Trek of the Doukhobors. Page 17-24. Saskatchewan History Winter 1981. Volume XXXIV. Number 1. Saskatchewan Archives Board.

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

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/

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.

University of Saskatchewan Remembers World War I

9 Aug

World War One Remembered at the University of Saskatchewan

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration CommitteeHonourRollAddendum-Professor Dean McNeil trumpet solo-2
Honour Roll Addendum
Professor Dean McNeil Trumpet Solos The Last Post and Reveille

On Thursday August 7, 2014 the “Honouring our heroes” program commemorated those students, faculty and staff who fought in the First World War (1914-1918) in Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building on the University of Saskatchewan Campus. According to the University of Saskatchewan media advisory, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, and history student Eric Story related that this is the first of many commemorative events planned in honour of the centennial year. World War I commenced August 4, 1914.

Pezer recounted that while World War I “produced unprecedented slaughter” of those “sent forth to the Great War”, the effects of the war had a “profound effect upon the province” as well as established a “growing sense of national pride.” “Beyond fighting there were many ways that the University” contributed to the war effort, such as chaplin Edmund Oliver who joined the Western Universities Battalion with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Edmund helped to establish the University of Vimy Ridge and worked on the battle fields in France serving the sick, the wounded soldiers, and advising families when enlisted personnel gave the supreme sacrifice.

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee veiled plaques honouring our heroes
Veiled Plaques Honouring our heroes
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee r, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart - history student Eric Story-Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, history student Eric Story, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer.
Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee veiled plaques honouring our heroes Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart - history student Eric Story-Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, history student Eric Story, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer

Research conducted by Professor Emeritus of History, Michael Hayden, found those names missing during the original commemoration services held by the University of Saskatchewan. 349 men and one woman are named on the walls of the Peter McKinnon Building National Historic Site of Canada (the former College Building ). Memorial ribbons are inscribed with the names of 298 military personnel, noting additionally those who were wounded wounded, or killed in action. Accompanying the ribbons are 34 names mostly of the Royal Air Force. Another 23 names commemorate the volunteer nurses of the Emmanuel College Hospital who served during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. The names of 18 service personnel were dedicated at this ceremony on a plaque unveiled August 7, 2014. This plaque will be mounted outside of Convocation Hall and in this way these eighteen heroes of World War I will be honoured prominently in the first building erected on the University of Saskatchewan grounds.

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee slide show
Slide Show
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Eric Story History Student
Eric Story History Student University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Interview of MichaelHayden at Honouring our Heroes
Interview of MichaelHayden at Honouring our Heroes
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee JGDiefenbakerMemorialRibbon
J.G. Diefenbaker Memorial Ribbon

Following speeches given by Pezer, Barnhart and Story, the names of those commemorated on the plaque were read out. The “Last Post” trumpet solo rang out by Professor Dean McNeil. A moment of silence followed and then the “Reveille” trumpet solo rung out paying especial tribute to those students, faculty and staff named upon the plaque.

O Valiant Hearts.

World War I hymn

O valiant hearts who to your glory came

Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;

Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,

Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

~ Sir John Stanhope Arkwright


Barnhart related a lesson taken on by history students where each pupil in the class was assigned a country. The assignment was to “trace through hour by hour and day by day the events leading up to … August 4, 1914, the beginning of the first world war one”. Such an indepth study brings home the politics one hundred years ago, that even though August 4 officially started the war, there were many contributing factors and forces in play which finally gave way to the imminence of war.

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Memorial Ribbons Admiration
Memorial Ribbons Admiration
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter
University of Saskatchewan
Memorial Ribbons Plaque
Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter
HMCS Unicorn
National Defence
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Honour Roll Addendum Professor Dean McNeil Trumpet Solos
Honour Roll Addendum ~ Professor Dean McNeil Trumpet Solos
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter Sub Lieutenant Alicia Morris
Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter
Sub Lieutenant Alicia Morris
HMCS Unicorn
National Defence

Though the University had only been open for seven years, Barnhart recounts that within three months of the First World War commencement, a recruitment program was in place. Seventy five per cent of the student body saw active service. Alongside students, staff and faculty served in the war effort. So many were absent from the College of Engineering, that it was forced to close during the 1916-7 academic year amid the Great War.

Regarding the students enrolled on the University campus in 1914; “It’s highly traumatic for that small academic community, because these people were walking beside them a short time before, and now they’re in the army, and now they’re dead.” ~ James Pitsula retired University of Regina History Professor.[[1]

Students were given one year’s credit towards their degree program which at the time they felt was a triumphant entitlement as the war was predicted to last short of one year. Faculty positions were held for all those who had enlisted.

During the renovations of the Peter McKinnon building a special insulation was installed over the memorial ribbons which was then encased in plywood casings to preserve the historic carvings. In this way no paint, no hammer nor any construction event could damage the commemorative ribbons.

“War changed Canada,” Barnhart affirmed, “in many ways Canada was no longer a colony”. Canada may have entered the Great War as a colony, however emerged as a country in its own right signing the armistice alongside the Allies of World War I on November 11, 1918.

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Memorial GSwift-JDCumming-HJBlair-MemorialRibbons
G Swift-J D Cumming-H J Blair-Memorial Ribbons

Story spoke on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan’s Great War Commemoration Committee which is chaired by Professor Emeritus Bill Waiser. This ceremony, the “Remember Us – Honouring our heroes” unveiling ceremony is the inaugural event sponsored by the Great War Commemoration Committee, there will be many more memorial events upcoming in the next four years.

Joseph Boyden has been scheduled to give a talk about two aboriginal snipers of World War I whom he wrote about in the much acclaimed novel, “Three Day Road”. There is in the making the “Great War Soiree” which will feature a theatrical number, and a musical score in tribute to the First World War.

In the works, is a public talk by Brain Gable, University of Saskatchewan alumnus, and award winning cartoonist for the Globe and Mail. Gable depicts editorial or political cartoons, containing commentaries and illustrations relating to the effects that the Great War had on society during the contemporary news releases of the Great War Centenary. His cartoons provide insight into issues and historical context of World War I embracing sensitivity, seriousness and satire on the outcome of events with a point of view 100 years later.

Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee College Building Plaque
College Building Plaque
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Memorial Peter McKinnon Building National Historic Site College Building
Peter McKinnon-(College Building) National Historic Site
Honouring our heroes - Remember Us - University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee Peter McKinnon Building -College Building Plaque.
Peter McKinnon Building -College Building Plaque

Proposals yet to come from the Great War Commemoration Committee may feature the following. In 2016, a feature based upon the “The Antiques Road Show” will take place showcasing memorabilia, artefacts and antiques from the Great War. A culinary week is in progress studying the recipes and foods sustaining the appetites during the First World War years. Finally in 2018, the University of Saskatchewan Archives website will be completed and expanded with an grand ceremony unveiling featured topics such as “How to research”, blogs and articles on the Great War.

The Soul of the Soldier
Sketches from the Western Battle-Front

A Belgian Poem

“I came to a halt at the bend of the road;

I reached for my ration, and loosened my load;

I came to a halt at the bend of the road.

“For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave,

Pay thou the like forfeit thy Country to save;

For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave.

“Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well?

Be it said–for the dear sake of country he fell.

Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well?”

by Thomas Tiplady

While Story suggests these aformentioned ceremonies as tantalizing morsels of events yet to come over the next four years, it is by no means an exhaustive list. To follow more about plans undertaken by the Great War Commemoration Committee please see their facebook page and twitter page online.

World War I ~ “The war to end all wars”~ how is it remembered? The Great War Commemoration Committee tackles the issues, the evolution, and culture of the war years, and its impact on the University and its role in the greater community of the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan the nation of Canada on the world stage. The evolution of the University was inevitable and dramatic during the war years contrasting sharply with the life of contemporary students, faculty and staff. The University of Saskatchewan’s motto Deo et Patriæ (Latin) translates to For God and Country.‘Deo et Patriæ’ has been the guiding slogan of the university since its foundation, and the strength and fervor of that slogan were amply demonstrated during the dark years of the War, when students and professors marched shoulder to shoulder in the grim chaos of Flanders.”
Saskatoon Star Phoenix [Saskatoon Daily Star] July 15, 1926.

Andrew Melville Anderson
Albert F. Bailey
Louis Brehaut 28th Bn.
John Rich Bunn Can. Army Med. Corps.
Harry Ray Contelon 1st Univ. Co., PPCLI,D
William Kenneth Forbes
J.W. French R.A.F.
General Middleton Grant 1st Depot Bn.
David Robert Green 1st Depot Bn., R.F.C.
William James Hall
William Cameron MacIntosh 28th Bn., 65th Overseas BN.
Kenneth McKenzie 196th Bn.
Vernon Ulysses Miner
Andrew Ernest Stewart
Robert Stewart 65th Bn, 72nd Bn, Wounded.
George Moir Weir
John McIntyre White Y.M.C.A. 46th Bn
Paul Peter Wiklund 44th Bn., Killed



Adamson, Julia. Archives ~Resources National, Provincial, City, and University archives. Saskatchewan Gen Web. April 10, 2014. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia. Libraries Resources Saskatchewan Gen Web. April 10, 2014. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia. War and Military resources Saskatchewan Gen Web. April 10, 2014. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia Millions of Archival Newspaper Pages set to go online Saskatchewan Gen Web E~Magazine May 27, 2014. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia. Michelle Lang. Canadian Journalist. Jan. 31, 1975-Dec 30, 2009. Afghanistan Casualty. Saskatchewan Gen Web E~Magazine November 11, 2012. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia. Naval Monument honours Royal Canadian Navy prairie seamen and RCN ships. H.M.C.S. Regina (K234) and H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173) Saskatchewan Gen Web E~Magazine September 25, 2013. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson, Julia. Montgomery Place Est. in 1946 by Our War Veterans. Saskatchewan Gen Web E~Magazine. October 9, 2013. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Adamson Julia. H.W. Balfour’s Truly Impressive Career. Recognized for Outstanding Civic Service and Meritorious Military Achievement. Saskatchewan Gen Web E~Magazine April 7, 2013 Date accessed August 7,2014.

Barnhart, Gordon. Oliver, Edmund H. (1882–1935) Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center. University of Regina. 2006. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Biber, Francois. Saskatoon Great War Memorial last of its kind in Canada. What began in 1923 remaing and has grown to more than 1,200 memorials CJME news. August 6, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Brian Gable. Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. July 30, 2013. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Brian Gable Editorial Cartoonist Bio. The Globe and Mail. June 3, 2009. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Brian Gable on Facebook Date accessed August 7, 2014.

[1] Charlton, Jonathan. Great War shaped Saskatoon and U of S The Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Page A5. Thursday July 31, 2014.

Coggins, Jack. A Chaplain’s War. Edmund Henry Oliver and the University of Vimy Ridge, 1916-1919 (pdf) Univeristy of Saskatchewan Library Archives. History Department Essays 2004. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Dawson, Anna-Lilja. The U of S held strong through the World Wars. The Sheaf. November 7, 2013. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

England declares war on Germany The Guardian. August 5, 1914. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Eric Story on Facebook Eric Story (The_RealEAS) on Twitter Date accessed August 7,2014.

Ferguson, Mark. The University of Saskatchewan will rename the historic College Building to the Peter MacKinnon Building to honour the outgoing U of S President. University of Saskatchewan News. June 14, 2012. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Gable, Brian 1949- Something about the author, Scholarly Magazines, Encyclopedia.com. January 2009. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Globe and Mail on Twitter (#globeandmail) ‘The war to end all wars’: Today’s editorial cartoon by Brian Gable. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Great War Commemoration Committee on Facebook. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Great War Commomoration Committee on Twitter (#GWCP306) Date accessed August 7,2014.

Halliwell, J. Joseph Boyden. The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Video. Joseph Boyden: First Nations and the First World War July 31, 2014. Author Joseph Boyden discusses the important role Aboriginals played in the First World War, and the real-life Ojibwe soldier that inspired his novel “Three Day Road.”2014. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO) Date accessed August 7,2014.

Harvey, Alban.
Joseph Boyden The Canadian Encyclopedia. Aboriginal Peoples. March 6, 2014. Date accessed August 7,2014.

Hayden, Michael. Why Are All Those Names on the Wall? The University of Saskatchewan and World War I. Saskatchewan History 58, no. 2 (2006): 4.14.

Higher Education. The University of Saskatchewan: The Start Saskatchewan News Index. Top News Stories. University of Saskatchewan Library. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Joseph Boyden. Wikipedia The free encyclopedia. March 7, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Lacey, Dana. Documents show Harper;s extreme political control The Canadian Journalism Project. June 8, 2010. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Long-lost names added to U of S War Memorial. 18 names will be added to the Roll of Honor. August 6, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Mattern, Ashleigh. Alumnus Profile: Brian Gable, editorial cartoonist for the Globe and Mail. Centennial Committee. April 16, 2012. The Sheaf, One Hundred Years.Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Nurse, Donna Bailey. Joseph Boyden Author Profile. Way of the Warrior. Joseph Boyden brings new voice to First World War epic. Quill and Quire, Canada’s magazine of Book News and Reviews. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Pitsula, James M. Manly Heroes: The University of Saskatchewan and the First World War. In Paul Stortz and E. Lisa Panayotidis, eds., Cultures, Communities, and Conflict: Histories of Canadian Universities and War. University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Preston, Richard. First World War centenary: how the events of August 1, 1914 unfolded. Telegraph. August 1, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014

Preston, Richard. First World War centenary: how the events of August 2, 1914 unfolded. Telegraph. August 2, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014

Preston, Richard. First World War centenary: how the events of August 3, 1914 unfolded. Telegraph. August 3, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014

Preston, Richard. First World War centenary: how the events of August 4, 1914 unfolded. Telegraph. August 4, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014

Remember Us Great War Commemoration project begins with plaque unveiling. Facebook.
Remember Us. University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Project begins with plaque unveiling University of Saskatchewan News. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Sibbald, Kirk. Cartoons and Calculus. Green and White. FAll 2010. Features. University of Saskatchewan. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Stoon Great War on twitter (#StoonGreatWar) Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Story, Eric. Saskatchewan History online. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Streck, Aaron. Eighteen alumni names complete U of S commemoration from WWI Global News. Shaw Media Inc. August 7, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Tipalady, Thomas. The Soul of the Soldier Sketches from the Western Battle-Front Fleming H. Revell Company. New York. 1918. Project Gutenberg.org Ebook #46323 Produced by Al Haines. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

University remembers those who served in First World War. CTV news. August 7, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

University of Saskatchewan Great War on Twitter (#usaskGW) Date accessed August 7, 2014.

University of Saskatchewan honours students, faculty and staff who fought in WWI August 7, 2014. University of SAskatchewan News. August 7, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Three Day Road [This novel written by Joseph Boyden follows the journey of two young Cree men, Xavier and Elijah, who volunteer for that war and become snipers during World War I] Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. August 2, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Waiser, Bill. Opinion: Let’s protect future census data. Edmonton Journal Reprinted by the Ottawa Citizen. May 26, 2014. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

World War I Campus History. University of Saskatchewan. University Library. University Archives and Special Collections. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

  • Database at World War I:
  • Killed, died or wounded
  • U of S affiliation at enlistment
  • Batallion/unit at enlistment
  • Batallion/unit – all assignments
  • U of S College
  • Date of death
  • Decoration type
  • Rank


World War one Centenary on Twitter. (#wwicentenary) Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Stewart, Les. Why won’t this federal government support our invisibly wounded soldiers? Cartoon from the Globe and Mail, re posted by the Springwater Park Citizen’s Coalition, a sustainbale business plan for Springwater Provincial Park in Midhurst, Ontario. December 20, 2013. Date accessed August 7, 2014.

WWI Canada Centennial Commemoration on facebook Date accessed August 7, 2014.

Notice and Disclaimer:

The purpose of the information on this site is to assist genealogists, historians and other interested parties in locating information regarding the World War One Centenary Celebrations. Please e-mail the author at saskgenweb@yahoo.com if you have any further updates or additions. Thank you.

To cite this article:

World War One Remembered at the University of Saskatchewan . Saskatchewan Gen Web. Rootsweb. Ancestry.com . Retrieved .

E-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com


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D-Day, June 6, 1944, 70th Anniversary Commemoration

27 May

D-Day, June 6, 1944, 70th Anniversary Commemoration
Are you ready for a trip to France?

Adapted from Library and Archives Canada images on Flickr. Set of images:D-Day

On June 6, 1944 – D-Day, the day of the Normandy Landings ~ Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II
Adapted from Library and Archives Canada images on Flickr. Set of images:D-Day

The Canadian Government has organised ceremonies in Canada and in France to honour those who served in World War II. This occasion commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944) and the Battle of Normandy.

Veterans from all nations and Canadians are all invited to attend the ceremonies. Provinces across the nation will additionally have ceremonies demarking the occasion. Financial assistance from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is available to help Veterans attend the overseas events in France.

Postcards for Peace is one method for youth to become involved in remembering the sacrifices made in times of war or in active service. Although Veteran’s Affairs suggests other ways to remember, such as inviting a Veteran or Canadian Armed Forces as a guest speaker to a classroom or to a community event, or to write stories and poems about remembrance for a few of the ideas they offer as ways to remember. Valentine’s for Vets encourages hand made valentines for our Canadian Veterans.

According to A Historical Atlas of Canada from Canada there were 22,817 army fatalities, 2,019 navy casualties and 17,101 casualties from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) who had served in World War II. The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial lists 4,952 who paid the supreme sacrifice from Saskatchewan or 11.8% of the World War II Canadian contingent.

The 1952-53 Canada Year Book reports that Saskatchewan as a province had a population of 895,992 in 1941 and 831,728 in 1951, whereas the nation of Canada had a total population of 11,596,655 in 1941 and 14,009,429 in 1951. Saskatchewan represented 7.7% of the Canadian population in 1941, and 5.9% of the population in 1951.

The strategy and planning that went into D-day and the landings in Normandy resulted in the vitally strategic capture of Caen on July 9. According to the CBC, “For Canada, 14,000 soldiers were to land on the beaches; another 450 were to drop behind enemy lines by parachute or glider. The Royal Canadian Navy supplied ships and about 10,000 sailors.” Counting the casualties from the D-Day invasion from all allied forces has been estimated at 10,000 dead and wounded. Veterans Affairs reports that about three hundred and forty Canadians were killed on D-Day on Juno Beach alone. Over 5,000 paid the supreme sacrifice.

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial presents a Roll of Honour for those from Saskatchewan who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.

“Lest We Forget


They shall gow not old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

We will remember them

Lord God of Hosts

Be with us yet,

Lest we forget,

Lest we forget.”

Author Julia Adamson

For more information:

1952-53 Canada Year Book Statistics Canada. 2009-06-09. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia Saskatchewan Gen Web – Military Resources. Date Accessed May 26, 2014.

Barry, Bill. Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Date accessed May 26, 2014.
Canada and the Second World War. Canada at D-Day. Canadian War Museum. Canadian Museum of History. Government of Canada. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

CBC D-day The Allied Invasion of Normandy. june 4, 2009.

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

Library and Archives Canada images on Flickr. Set of images: D-Day

Veterans Affairs Canada >> Remembrance >>
History >>
The Second World War >>
D-Day and the Battle of Normandy

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