Tag Archives: homestead

Country Roads Leading Home

9 Nov

1, 2, 3, 4 just a bit of Homestead Rapport.

Searching in the field for an ancestral homestead or legal land location requires a knowledge of meridians, four meridians. Four? you say, yes, historically genealogists applying themselves to Saskatchewan, Canada research may indeed, need to know about four meridians.

A homestead application form from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan or a certificate of land patent from the Canadian Library and Archives LAC would both have the legal land location of the pioneer homestead location showing the quarter, the section, township, range and meridian. These are survey notations, and the numbers for township, range and meridian can be found on Rural Municipality maps, and historic maps of the province. Land was also awarded as Métis scrip, and soldier settlement awards, however if this land location proved to be some distance from their family or prior residence it may have been sold. Land not suitable for agricultural development may have been abandoned, or farmers may have sought employment in an urban centre during the dirty thirties. Not all legal land locations became ancestral homes, indeed, however there are primary source documents for genealogy research which may prove useful even if the land were abandoned for whatever reason, or if the land was sold.

The Century Family Farm Award Program inaugurated 1981 by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food for the 75th provincial anniversary (1980) to honour Saskatchewan’s farm families. Between 2007-2014 over 3,600 families received the award. “Farm and ranch families have played a significant role throughout our province’s history,” Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud said. “These Century Farm Family Award recipients continue to build on the traditions of their ancestors, bring new ideas and innovation to agriculture, and will be an essential part of Saskatchewan’s future.”source In 2010, 635 , over 300 (2007), over 350 (2013) and 85 families in 2016 were honoured by the Information Services Corporation (ISC) Century Farm Award. “The family farm has always been the backbone of Saskatchewan’s economy and has helped shape the rural traditions of our province,” Minister responsible for ISC June Draude said. “Homesteaders had a strong work ethic and today’s farm families have that same strength and character. I congratulate all recipients for reaching the centenary milestone.” source

The Rural Municipalities (RM) only occur in the southern portion of the province, the prairie, grasslands and aspen parkland eco-systems. The RMs occur where there is rural settlement upon. Agricultural land was surveyed during the Dominion Land Survey for homesteads. The RMs indicated on the map below have changed since their inception in the early 1900s. Those RMs larger than 18 square miles have subsumed adjacent RMs if the population was scarce, or to allow for uban centre expansion, &c. The Northern Municipality refers to the northern province ~ the Canadian shield, tundra, and boreal forest area~ an area not surveyed under the Dominion Land Survey system. Urban municipalities are towns, cities, hamlets with a separate civic government.

Province of Saskatchewan, Canada map Author Hwy43 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Province of Saskatchewan, Canada map after 1905 Adapted from Author Hwy43
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

The first task is to determine the ancestral homestead or quarter section. This may be written on the birth certificate, in the census, upon the homestead application form or Western Land Grant Certificate (1870-1930).

For researching a very common surname, it may be beneficial to delimit the search by meridian of the neighbouring post office, rail siding, town or village to the ancestral farm. Use the Geographical Names of Canada, an historical map index, the post office database at LAC, Atlas of Saskatchewan by the University of Saskatchewan, or Geographic Names of Saskatchewan book by Bill Barry to find the legal land location of the nearby locality to narrow the search.

For the sake of example, perhaps the research results came up with these legal land locations from the Battle of Iwuy soldier research. Randomly selecting: Belt, John Henry Army 73427 Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) “A” Coy. 28th Bn. Residence “Little Red River Reserve”, Alingly, SK SE-17-51-27-W2, Enlistment, Prince Albert, SK, Died Thun-Saint-Martin. Military Medal Born: February 21, 1893 Darlington, England Son of Robert and Elizabeth Belt, of Alingly, Saskatchewan. The following land locations may not be relevant, and obtaining the source homestead document and conducting further comparison to oral history, and other documents are required for confirmation.

Belt, John Henry SE 28 51 27 W2
Belt, Robert NW 28 51 27 W2
Belt, Elizabeth SE 28 51 27 W2
Belt, James Victor SW 27 51 27 W2
Belt, William Thomas SW, 28 51 27 W2

This study will focus on the above record for a Belt, John Henry Sout east quarter of section 28 township 51 range 27 West of the 2nd meridian.

Township can be abbreviated T, Tsp or Twp.
Range may be abbreviated R, or Rge.

Alingly, Saskatchewan at SE 17-51-27 W2 on the map is a nearby locale to SE 28-51-27 W2. The farm is within an acceptable distance to drive a horse and cart into town. Further to this, the surnames might also found on census, and in local history books. Homesteaders on application needed to prove up their land. The provincial archives online listings also indicate military personnel who received Soldier Settlement Grants. Homesteaders could cancel their application if they found the land unsuitable, if they procured occupation in town, &c. Soldier Settlement Grants, Scrip, and those homesteads which were successfully proved up, could be sold in private transactions. Whenever one ancestor is found in the listing, pay attention to those of the same surname farming nearby, – they be cousins, brothers, uncles, &c Family farmed together to helping each other in homestead duties, at seeding times and harvest.

So to locate the legal land location, look at an historical map or a Rural Municipality map, and find Alingly in this case. This is where the meridians come in handy. A meridian seeks to have congruency with the Geographic Coordinate System of latitude and longitude. Because the earth is a sphere, correction lines are built into the Dominion Lane Survey.

The first meridian is located in Manitoba and farms west and east of the “first” or “prime” meridian are those, of course in the province of Manitoba. Additionally Ranges 28, 29, 30 and 31 west of the first meridian are located in southern portion of the province of Saskatchewan as there is some overlap where the border comes across the meridian. There is an addendum here, perhaps the primary source document with the legal land location was dated 1870-1905, then the ancestor was indeed a resident of the North West Territories. To determine which provisional district of the NWT, the farm may have resided in, compare to the township and range numbers here.

1900 Map of Manitoba and the North-West Territories

1900 Map of Manitoba and the North-West Territories Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
(note the border north and west of the province of Manitoba does not correlate at all with the 1905 eastern border of Saskatchewan which is nearly true to the second meridian)

The second meridian is near the eastern limits of the province of Saskatchewan, and the entirety of homesteads west of the “second” meridian are all in the province of Saskatchewan.

The third meridian arrives next, and again, the entirety of homesteads west of the “second” meridian are all in the province of Saskatchewan.

The fourth meridian extends in conjunction with the Alberta and Saskatchewan border which was created in 1905. Before this time, land belonged to the North West Territories. The provisional districts of Assiniboia in the south, provisional district of Saskatchewan centrally located, and provisional district of Athabasca to the north had different boundaries not congruent with the fourth meridian. If the pioneer document was dated 1870-1905, then the homestead started up in the North West Territories. Check with the township and range numbers here to see which provisional district of the NWT the homestead may have fallen into.

800px-north-west_territory_canada_1894

1894 North West Territories Map showing Provisional Districts
(note the border west of the Assiniboia and Saskatchewan provisional districts does not correlate with the fourth meridian)

Once the meridian is located on the map, travel west to locate the range number, and also ascend north along the listing of township numbers. For John Henry Belt go north to township 51, and go west of the second meridian to range 27. This locates the 6 mile by 6 mile township in which he farmed. If the map shows quarter sections then also find section 28 which is 1 mile by 1 mile, and know that John Henry Belt farmed the 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile quarter in the south east of this section. If the map chosen does not show sections, then realize that the township is divided into sections as shown here on the chart.

As the farm is at SE 28-51-27 W2 and Alingly is at SE 17-51-27 W2 it is seen that as the townships are divided into sections that the farm section number being 28, and the town being 17 does make the farm section about 1-1/2 miles north of Alingly and 1/2 miles to the west. Ordering a rural municipality (RM) map from the RM office indicates where contemporary highways are situated in relation to legal land locations. historical maps mostly indicate the rail system, so they would indicate where the farm was in relation to the rail lines.

To drive to the ancestral homestead, now convert the legal land location into Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates using a handy online converter, and use this method to find the centre of the 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile quarter where this pioneer had farmed.

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. ~ John Denver

Once driving in Saskatchewan, realize that Canadians have adopted the metric system in 1970, and distances and mileage is by kilometers and kilometer/hour. Without a GPS system the ancestral homestead will need to be found measuring miles traveled along the highway or grid road. A very quick way to get a good approximation and convert kilometers to miles is to multiply by 6 and move the decimal to the left one. For instance, a traffic sign posting a speed limit of 100 kilometers/hour is thus converted by multiplying by 6 (100 * 6 = 600), and then changing the decimal one backward arriving at 60 miles per hour. (an actual online conversion 100 km to miles is 62.1371) On an historic map showing miles, do the opposite, 10 miles divided by 6 would result in (10 / 6 = 1.6 and move the decimal) with a result of 16  kilometers. (an actual online conversion calculations shows that 10 miles is  16.0934 kilometers)

The other very handy item to know when traveling on Roads in Saskatchewan is to read the grid road signs! Range roads are those used when driving north or south, and township roads take the traveler in an east and west direction. Picturing the range lines on the map, will help to orient driving and using range road numbers in the field, and similarly with township lines and township roads.

The numbers on the signs are very handy, as they correlate to the Dominion Land Survey system and legal land coordinates.

1917-28-51-27-w2

1917 Scarborough Map showing a portion of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada (RM 491)

Range road signs begin with the meridian number. To locate John Henry Belt’ homestead the range road signs would all begin with 2 ~ (his farm was SE 28-51-27 W2). Ranges increment every 6 miles in distance traveled. On the Range road sign, the next two digits are the range number. So to find this particular farm, the Range Road sign should indicate 27 as the next two digits following the 2. Now the last number on a Range road sign is how many miles into the range that the road has been laid down, these miles increment east to west, and can number up to 5. Examining how a township is split into one mile by one mile sections it can be ascertained that the SE quarter section 28 is 3 miles west of range road 27, situating the farm between Range road 2273 and Range road 2274.

1924-28-51-27-w2

1924 Rand McNally Map showing a portion of Saskatchewan, Canada

A township road sign determines the road name when driving east or west, and the first number is the township number. All township numbers for the province of Saskatchewan begin at the United States and Canada international border (the 49 parallel), and the township numerals increment every 6 miles in a northerly direction. John Henry Belt farming at SE 28-51-27 w2 would have his farm along township road beginning with the numeral 51. As township numbers increment every 6 miles, the next numeral is the mile number within the township between 0 and 5 still increasing in value from the south to the north. Looking again at how a township is divided it can be ascertained that SE quarter section 28 is 4 miles north of township line 51; therefore  John Henry Belt’s farm is has an allocation between township road 514 and township road 515.

Township lines or roads begin and end around geological features, and urban centres, and then continue north to the tree line. The Range lines or roads also extend straight as an arrow, and there is a lake or city, similarly, the range will continue along in the same way as a latitude or longitude line. Gravel roads, highways, and municipal roads can all have concurrency with township and range road numbering. Historically, there was allowance for a township road every mile, and a range road allowance was allocated every two miles.

So, whether determining the location for a homestead applied for in the North West Territories or in the province of Saskatchewan between 1905-1930, these insturctions should assist in arriving successfully at the pre-requisite destination. These driving instructions should also apply for any legal land location, as perchance the pioneering ancestors, or contemporary family may reside on an agricultural rural allotment with a township, range and meridian number. Settlers could also buy pre-emptions, land from colonization companies, from the railway companies or once they proved up their land, they were free to sell it on the open market.

Think on this. Imagine that the pioneer who crossed the ocean in a steamer and the journey took a few weeks. Arrival would very likely be an eastern port of Canada or the USA, and then progress overland would continue via rail to the closest stopping off point to their destination in the west. The transcontinental rail way was completed on November 7, 1885, and it traversed through the southern portion of the provisional district of Assiniboia, North West Territories. From this date onward rail companies established their own lines at various speeds and times throughout the province. Branch lines and main trunks traversed the North West Territories, continuing on after the Saskatchewan became a province in 1905. (In many cases the current highway thoroughfares run parallel to the main trunk line railway grade.) From the furthest point of the rail, the pioneer would disembark and begin walking. If a relative arrived ahead of time, the early settler may be met at the rail station by horse and cart or ox and buggy, and receive transport. An early purchase was conveyance.

After traveling around the countryside, the pioneer would need to find a iron marker placed between four monuments (pits) on an unclaimed section of land. The iron marker with the section number on it stands in the North East corner of the one mile by one mile section. The wise new-comer would need to compare the soil sample on this land with the soil of his home country to have the greatest success with his learned agricultural tillage methods and implements brought forward on the long journey. If the section and land was acceptable, the potential homesteader would then hasten to the land titles office, to fill out an application form, and lay down a $10 filing fee, returning to the land to begin his duties.

Imagine again, if you will, finding an iron post driven into the ground without asphalt roads, no GPS, absolutely not a road sign anywhere, nestled into the grasslands, or within the Trembling Aspen bluffs, and in the 1800s amid herds of buffalo. Consider, also this, the iron marker in the north west corner of the section bears Roman Numerals for section township and range. As this in this example, John Henry Belt homestead was SE 28-51-27 w2) the iron post would have read XXIV XXX XII. Early immigrants may have settled in ethnic bloc settlements to facilitate communication, agricultural harvesting work bees and settlement chores in proving up the land.

NOTE: It is always wise and prudent to contact the nearby locality before driving out to an ancestral homestead to learn how to make contact with the current owners. Ask at the regional library, museum, RM office, or town hall for advice. Seek to purchase an up to date RM map from the RM office. Consider buying an historical Cummins map from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan and marked herein the ancestor’s name. Phone the current land owner perchance with Mysask.com or Canada411. Do not trespass on private property or farm land without permission, ever. Such practices can, indeed, be detrimental and even fatal to livestock, devastating to crops and violate the landowners sensibilities and legal rights. Also many historical township roads and range roads do not exist anymore. With the straightening and paving of highways, and the advent of motorized travel, it is not necessary for the Ministry of Highways nor the RM to maintain each and every single range road and township road from the Dominion survey system so the roads may not exist anymore. That former road allowance may now be in a farmer’s field, or pasture land. That is why a contemporary RM map is so handy for this journey to the homestead.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Saskatchewan Provincial Standard System of Rural Addressing. Adapted by Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Information Services Corporation. Regina, SK.

To find lands in the field part 1

To find lands in the field part 2

To find lands in the field part 3

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

29 Jun

Loyal and True KISS

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames.

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

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

Quiz Two.

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

1. Algae, Water basin.

2. Sight, Summit.

3. Grand earth.

4. Rapid, Waves.

5. Expansive panorama.

6. A bend or half turn.

7. Gigantic, Watercourse.

8. Colour, Meadow.

9. Diminutive Mountains.

10. Colour, Soil.

Give your hand at these crossword type puzzlers, and the answers will be published with the next entry! In taking time to do a fun and relaxing puzzle such as this one, not only does it stimulate the brain cells, but it also helps identify great resources in the way of finding out the names of Saskatchewan’s several placenames.

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

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

Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan’s places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at the Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Other resources would include the Saskatchewan One Room School House Project, or a reference chosen from the general Map Resources. Any number of atlases, gazetteers, census, or books may also be of assistance offering up some clues to these puzzlers.

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

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For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

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

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

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Related Posts:

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

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

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

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

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

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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

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

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

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Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan Placenames

7 Jun

Graceful Delight

This will be just a bit of fun. Genealogists start with what is known and work towards the unknown uncovering facts related to dates, places and people (names). Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Other resources would include the Saskatchewan One Room School House Project, or a reference chosen from the general Map Resources. Any number of atlases, gazetteers, census, or books may also be of assistance offering up some clues to these puzzlers.

1. The name of a bush.

2. The name of a berry.

3. A male duck.

4. A good luck symbol.

5. To attempt.

6. An historic Canadian Prime Minister.

7. Woodworker.

8. Parliamentary assembly.

9. Heavenly, Bluff.

10. Coffee.

Give your hand at these crossword type puzzlers, and the answers will be published with the next entry! In taking time to do a fun and relaxing puzzle such as this one, not only does it stimulate the brain cells, but it also helps identify great resources in the way of finding out the names of Saskatchewan’s several placenames.

Saskatchewan is not divided neatly into counties nor parishes which are re-used for many and several divisions. Rather each separate entity, agency and newly formed group devises their own areas, regions and districts of Saskatchewan for their own purposes. Saskatchewan has rural municipalities which are the rural government regions providing similar civic responsibilities to large rural areas via reeves and councilors rather than mayor and aldermen. Then the province was also historically divided into school districts and school inspector districts which have given way to contemporary schools and school divisions again following new boundaries and regions. Starting again, every separate entity whether they are religions, health regions, genealogy or historical societies defines their own branches and areas. By accumulating clues to this puzzle, the given resources above may be used, or it may be a new here-to-fore resource comes forward to divulge the answer to the quest, which may also be the source needed on the genealogical journey in Saskatchewan.

While researching in Saskatchewan note that historically places were generally six miles apart which would be a good horseback ride in the early settlement of the north west. The early 1900s, which was about the same time Saskatchewan became a province, was a time of great growth as railways competed to lay rail across the prairies. Towns, sidings, and post offices sprang up like wildfire. The depression years of the 1930s initiated a trend away from the abandoned drought ridden farms to the city in search of employment. It was after World War II when automotive transport combined with new and improved straightened asphalt highways made egress across the vast province much easier. Gone were the oil surface highways “built on the square“. The ease of travel continued the trend of population shifting away from the smaller settlements towards the urban centers.

Historically there were about 3,000 seperate placenames, over 5,000 individual school district names, approximately 600 rural municipalities and these numbers are not inclusive of geographical feature names, federal electoral or provincial electoral districts. A genealogical baptismal record, letter of correspondence or birth certificate may indeed have recorded upon it a name no longer listed on contemporary maps. Following the standardization by Canada Post of placenames across the nation, duplicate naming was virtually eliminated. Places with a similar name elsewhere were asked to change their names. Placenames in Saskatchewan may have, indeed, undergone a name change for a plethora of reasons.

Saskatchewan’s naming patterns are intriguing and convoluted, and to make matters easier on this front, it is wonderful that there are resources online and in print presenting this etymological history in various lists, books, gazetteers, and websites.

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For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

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

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

________________________________________________________________________________

Related Posts:

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

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

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

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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

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

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

________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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Visiting your ancestor’s homestead.

3 May

Blossom by Blossom the spring begins

Visiting your ancestor’s homestead.

 

So you have heard that it is delightful to connect with ancestral history and become acquainted with their workplace and living conditions. It is great to experience that area where they walked and homesteaded, and imagine the customs and language of the settlement, what would have been the hard times, and what would have made the joyous times.

It is wise to make a few preliminary preparations before setting sail on your journey and adventure. Contact the local genealogy society, and library, make enquiries at the regional town office and museum. Send a letter of introduction to the reserve head office if your ancestors were part of a First Nations Indian band.

Locate the community church and see if there are any records which can help place branches onto a family tree. Remember to locate the cemetery where your ancestors may be interred on a regional map. Find out the size of your ancestral family on an historic census and imagine the lifestyle in a sodhouse or log cabin.

Post your queries on a genealogy query board and mailing list for the area, and you may get lucky and have a long lost cousin meet you at the airport.

Delve into resources at the National Library and Archives and find out if they served overseas in a war effort which may mean a memorial is standing in the hometown. Look up Metis scrip records or Dominion land grants to help determine place of residence. Read the local history / family biography book to determine which buildings, and places of interest are the same as those your ancestor saw, and which have been designated as historical sites.

Discover the one room schoolhouse which your ancestor attended and visit a museum or restored schoolhouse to see what childhood education was like. See if the building is still standing, or if the history of the school district is commemorated with a heritage marker.

Visiting the local museum will shed light on the lifestyle that your ancestor had. The agricultural implements and tools evolved greatly through the late 1800s to early 1900s. The home furnishings and housekeeping utensils also varied depending on the era.

The contacts you make and information you glean before setting out will be invaluable and provide an amazing vacation, perhaps even the best you ever had as you walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.

Compiled by Sask Gen Webmaster Julia Adamson. ©

Just a little fun by Aum Kleem (AumKleem) on 500px.com
Just a little fun by Aum Kleem______________________________________________________________________________

Related posts:
Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

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Image: Blossom by Blossom the spring begins

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

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Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

25 Feb

Second Spring

Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And to echo Moore, “Maybe the ghosts will live again!”
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For more information:

Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

Online Historical Map Digitization Project

Search Saskatchewan Placenames

How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

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Related Posts:

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

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

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

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

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

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

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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

12 Feb

Spring Pasque Flower

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

An amazing repository is now online from the Saskatchewan Provincial Archives featuring over 70,000 webpages and 650,000 digitised items showcasing Saskatchewan’s history.

What can be found on the new website? Now online for example are the archival holdings of court, school, municipal, private donor, political and ministerial records as well as maps and architectural drawings, recorded sounds and miscellaneous exhibits and historical photographs.

This invaluable archival internet resource has a mandate to further digitise the inventory of about 2.2 million documents in the homestead record collection.

Provincial Archivist Linda McIntyre related that, “I am very pleased to launch a new era in how we offer services to researchers within our province and worldwide. Now, more than ever, Saskatchewan’s stories, history, events and treasures are at your fingertips to explore and enjoy.”

“I wouldn’t say it changes everything, but it’s a significant step for us. We work for the Saskatchewan public, but at the same time it’s nice to be able to project out beyond our borders to other people and to Saskatchewanians who may be living in other areas of the world now.” said Curt Campbell, manager of the digital records program and the preservation unit.

Provincial Archives Week 2012 occured February 5 to 11 with celebrations and displays at the Western Development Museum and films showing at the movie theatres.

The website was launched late in the day February 11, 2012. With this new service during it inaugural debut, you may want to try at off peak hours as trouble with connections may indicate that “The website is too busy”.

Read more:

Saskatchewan Provincial Archives

Saskatchewan Gen Web ~ General Archives debriefing, links and contact information

Website brings Sask. Archives into 2012 – The Leader Post

Saskatchewan Archives launches new website

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Related posts:

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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

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

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Image: Spring Pasque Flower

Crocus on Good Friday

“Flowers are heaven’s masterpiece.”
– Dorothy Parker

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


______________________________________________________________________________

Follow me on Flickr, Word Press, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, and Flickriver

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

11 Feb

The Time of His Life

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

Surveying Western Canada allocated parcels of land for homesteads, schools, the Hudson Bay Company, rail lines, Métis and First Nations.  The Minister of the Interior, Clifford Sifton encouraged settlement.

In 1871 the Dominion Land Survey of the Prairies is initiated. There were less than fifteen survey parties setting out in that first season. Plans of the township surveys were published.

The surveying system for Western Canada adopted followed the example set in the United States, and departed from the survey system followed in Eastern Canada.

Due to the reports set out by the 1857-1858 Henry Youle Hind and Simon Dawson Canadian expedition, the arable land surveyed was south of the tree line. The grasslands area of southern Saskatchewan was  used by ranching operations, before giving way to farming land with improved agricultural techniques.

Homestead applications generally followed the laying of the rail lines. The densest immigration population therefore sprung up around the first rail line in south east Saskatchewan arriving from Winnipeg. Population density then expanded to other areas with the rail branch lines. If a town existed before the rail line came, and the rail line bypassed the settlement, the town was abandoned as is the case of Cannington Manor. The town may optionally decide to move; buildings and everything were moved to be located on the rail line .  Nipawin aligned itself with the Canadian Pacific Railway built four miles northwest of the settlement to access the river for the steam engines.

Sections 11 and 29 (one mile by one mile) of each township (six miles by six miles) were set aside for schools in the township. These two sections totaled 3,994,400 acre of land for Saskatchewan. The actual one room school house building may not be built on one of these sections, rather, the land was sold or leased and the moneys received from the transaction was put toward building a school for the area. The actual size of a school yard was a fraction of the size of a quarter section of land (1/4 mile by 1/4 mile).

Sections 8 and 3/4 of section 26 were set aside to complete the Hudson Bay agreement when Canada acquired Rupert’s Land.

In 1880, an act was passed to put aside odd numbered sections for 24 miles on both sides of the rail lines for a grant of 25,000,000 acres of land between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains. 15,177,063 acres were granted in Saskatchewan. An additional 5,728,092 acres were granted to the Hudson Bay Railway to complete the rail line.

Under the 1879 Manitoba act, the Métis received land grants amounting to 238,500 acres of land in Saskatchewan called scrip.

Certain lands amounting to 1,166,000 acres were withheld from homesteading for Indian reserves as per terms of First Nations treaties.

The Saskatchewan Atlas provides maps of the evolution of population density and settlement. Captain John Palliser’s belief that settlement would only occur in the forested area supporting an economic livelihood of trapping was abandoned as settlers came west to farm in the western prairie. Homesteaders proved up their homesteads, made improvements and advancements were made in agricultural technologies.

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Related posts:

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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

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

For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web: a Rootsweb genealogy regional web site on ancestry.com

Homesteads

Online Historical Map Digitisation Project

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

Follow me on Flickr, Word Press, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, and Flickriver

______________________________________________________________________________
Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

______________________________________________________________________________

A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.
Jiddu Krishnamurti

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