Tag Archives: rural municipality

Locate Your Saskatchewan Place-name

8 Nov Genealogy Research
Genealogy Research

Genealogy Research

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

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

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

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

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

~written by Julia Adamson webmaster Sask Gen Web

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

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

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Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan

16 May

Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan

A rural municipality (RM) is a type of incorporated municipality in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The purpose of municipalities is to ensure that services and facilities are made available to maintain safety, and implement the economic, social, and environmental improvements considered necessary and desired by the community at large. A rural municipality is created by the Minister of Municipal Relations by ministerial order via section 49 of The Municipalities Act. The Municipalities Act (MA) oversees the legislation pertaining to rural municipalities as well as towns, villages and resort villages. Northern Municipalities are regulated under The Northern Municipalities Act, and city legislation falls under The Cities Act. That being said, local governments are also cognizant of The Line Fence Act, The Local Government Election Act, The Noxious Weed Act, The Planning and Development Act, The Stray Animals Act, The Tax Enforcement Act as well as other statutes and acts.

“Good leaders value change, they accomplish a desired change that gets the organization and society better.”
~ Anyaele Sam Chiyson

A rural municipality, often abbreviated RM, is a form of municipality in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, perhaps best comparable to counties or townships in the western United States. Unlike most counties in the United States or Canada, rural municipalities specifically exclude designated official cities, towns, villages, and First Nations Indian reserves from their territory. They are essentially the rural portion of what would normally be a county. In this way, they could perhaps best be compared to certain counties in the state of Virginia, United States, that have independent cities excluded from their territory, although, in Virginia there is usually only one independent city per county, whereas there can be many officially excluded communities in the geographical territory of rural municipalities.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
John F. Kennedy


Where a city structure may consist of a mayor and councillor for each ward, a reeve is the local official elected to oversee the discharge duties in relation to the municipality as the chief magistrate. Councillors are members of the municipal legislative body and hold the rank of chief officer for the council representing their district. Councillors are elected to represent the interests and well being of the residents in their division developing, planning and ensuring that policies, programs and services are in place for the municipality. The strength of the policies, bylaws, and decisions made by the council define the direction of the municipality. Council works hand in hand with residents thinking about and identifying the needs of the community from which remarkable actions are able to take shape.

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”~ Terry Pratchett

The Municipal Ordinance of 1883 was enacted by the North-West Territories to provide services to a rural area and provide some means of municipal governing. Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces in 1905. North West Territorial Government issues Statute Labour Ordinance (1897) and sets of Fire Districts, Statute Labour and Fire (SLF) Districts or Statute Labour Districts. Community residents could pay taxes or supply a couple days per quarter section labour constructing roads, bridges, fireguards instead of paying taxes. The prairie fires in the 19th century were devastating affairs with flames raging across the wide open plains miles and miles across burning everything in its path. As the Big Beaver Historical Society point out, “in the late 1800;s and early 1900’s, after the buffalo vanished from the prairies, and before it was populated with cattle, there was a tremendous growth of grass on the prairies which made good fuel for fires.” Igniting from the spark of the steam engine along the rail line, lightning, or accident, fires grew to hundreds of miles in length, and burned for weeks on end. In the early pioneering days, it often took a river or a rainy spell to extinguish the tremendous flames. Along with great loss to the region, buildings, “Prairie Wool” (the winter feed needed to feed the livestock) of course also lives of animals and livestock, and the very population, the settler’s lives were endangered. One fire of the early 1900s is the huge prairie fire that began near Swift Current Creek, and carried on to Moose Jaw (a distance of about 177 km or 110 miles). Another fire burned for several days, starting at the east shore of Last Mountain Lake (Long Lake), and carrying on, burned everything around the lake. The lake is about 93 km (58 miles) in length, and 3 km (two miles) in width to show the terrific extent of the blaze. Prairie fires were a menace to the early settlers. A good fire guard was necessary to protect homesteads in an era where there was no means of communicating to the residents of the imminent danger approaching. However even an excellent fire guard sometimes cannot sway the path of the towering inferno. The prairie fire of 1894 began near Silton, soared across Boggy Creek within an hour and soon carried over the Qu’Appelle River, two natural fire guards unable to diminish the course of the blaze. Residents within the Fire Districts came together to plough several furrows at a 45 degree angle to the wind direction hoping to narrow the fire and re-direct the aim of the devastation. Another technique used was to start a small back fire which was very small in size, and could be controlled. The theory was to remove fuel from the uncontrollable blaze thus creating a fire guard with a burned patch of land. If the fire was coming straight on to the home, settlers would drape themselves in water soaked blankets and thus covered up, lay down upon the field till the blaze had passed

.


“Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work. It is a matter of life and death. It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die” ~Sir Brian Appleton after Piper Alpha

The mail route, and post offices were often the early founders of the community followed by churches, schools and stores. The early one room schools became community centres featuring picnics, fairs, and a number of community gatherings. These schools also provided classes to newcomers who wished to learn to speak English.

“Politics isn’t about big money or power games; it’s about the improvement of people’s lives.”
Paul Wellstone


The early years saw immigrant homesteaders arriving who were coming to the “Last Best West” in search of land. After travelling for days aboard a steamer, and arriving at an Eastern Canadian or American port, the journey continued to the rail’s end. These early travellers would then continue by ox and cart, horse and wagon or by foot to locate a surveyor’s stake that defined the land they wished to lay claim to. They would then seek out the nearest provincial land titles agency for application forms. These first settlers were settled sparsely about the rural countryside and needed to erect a shelter and set up housekeeping with those sundry supplies they had brought with them. These early homes were “soddies” homes made from breaking the prairie turf and piling the sod for walls. Roofs were made of timber poles for framework, upon which more sod was laid. Once enough logs were cut, the sod homes were replaced by log houses.


“With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens,~A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”~Thomas Jefferson

Fire districts were later called Local Improvement Districts (1898), typically called LID, were the precursors of Rural Municipalities. December 13, 1909 saw the beginning of the discontinuance of Local improvement districts in favour of smaller rural municipal areas. LID were instrumental at improving the community, honouring those killed in action with the erection of War Memorial Cairns, establishing a suitable site for cemeteries and seeking adequate health care and the necessary hospital facilities where possible. In the early 1900s it was necessary for the councillors to seek a doctor’s services to traverse the area ministering to the sick. The Spanish Flue epidemic hit communities hard. Many were sick, and anyone who was well, were taking care of those stricken with the illness, making coffins, burying the dead, and doing chores for families fallen to the flu. When the rail line came through, if the rail was laid down outside of town, the settlers came together to move the buildings from the first settlement three or four miles away to be placed astride the new transportation route. Old Nipawin picked up and moved their settlement. Settlers who came to the Parkside area, moved their businesses to Willis, when the rail came through. The movement to the rails caused the name of Willis to adopt the new name of Parkside, and the original Parkside location some four miles south and one mile west of the rails changed its name to Honeywood to avoid confusion.*

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Benjamin Franklin

One of the first tasks was the construction of roads which took place with horse graders, horse drawn slips and wheel scrapers, replacing prairie trails. Spring floods would defeat previous efforts, washing away the roads laid the summer before. Bridges were erected across steams, and ferry systems established across rivers. These early roads were a slow time consuming construction process up until the mid twentieth century when the provincial government brought into place the grid road system.

“The world is a place of constant change. If we are open and ready to consider everything while remaining unbiased, we will be ready to accept these changes and utilize them to improve our lives.”~Daniel Willey


Typically, an RM consists of about nine townships, each six miles by six miles in area. Settled areas of denser populations could form urban municipalities with a village, town or city governance. Further improvements came to the rural municipalities in the form of consolidated schools replacing the one room schoolhouse, telephone lines came in the early 1900s, electrical power lines were installed in the 1950s, followed by the installation of farm water and sewer. The councillors were required to provide ensure an adequate water supply and improve recreational facilities. Early streets were gravelled, street lights installed, trees planted in parks and in the community, community rinks, ball diamonds, horse race tracks and arenas were typical improvements to the rural areas. Farmers welcomed irrigation which arrived following world war two, an improvement made available by Prairie Farm Assistance, Federal Government grants, and the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture supplements.

A municipal council consists of seven men
Who solve many problems of what, where and when
They decide how much your taxes will be
What roads will be built, what gravel you’ll see
The budgets allows for only so much
A bit here and there and for such and such.
!Memories and musings : book II Leonard Loppe

Municipal councils are afforded political powers having corporate status incorporated to govern a territory. The rural areas are in need of core infrastructure and essential services including, animal control, building codes, crime prevention, emergency measures organisation, fire prevention, garbage removal, land planning, recreational facilities, and program implementation, roads and transport, snow and ice removal, water and sewer treatment facilities. Council has within its authority the ability to decide if a day or a portion of a day is a civic holiday.
North of the tree line in northern Saskatchewan the large Northern Local Improvement District was replaced by the Department of Northern Saskatchewan in 1972 and was not subdivided into smaller Rural Municipalities.

“The thing is, continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing”.
Michael Porter


Old Post, Saskatchewan is the largest Rural Municipality encompassing 1,757.00 square kilometers in area and it was formed from the last Local Improvement District. Saskatchewan’s largest and smallest rural municipalities in terms of population are the RM of Corman Park No. 344 and the RM of Glen McPherson No. 46 with populations of 8,354 and 73 respectively. There are currently close to 300 rural municipalities serving in Saskatchewan ranging in number from Argyle No. 1 to Beaver River No. 622.

“Improving your life doesn’t have to be about changing everything ~it’s about making changes that count.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Bibliography:
13 ways to kill a community Doug Griffiths. Saskatchewan South East Enterprise Region. 2014 SSEER.

From buffalo grass to wheat : a history of Long Lake district

Shiels, Leonard A.

The golden jubilee of the Nipawin rural municipality, no.487 : 1913-1963
Allan, Gladys Lillian Lamb, Allan, Billie Lamb. Publication information Codete, Saskatchewan: s.n., 1964

Happy Valley happenings : Big Beaver and district

Big Beaver Historical Society

History of Rural Municipality of Excelsior No. 166 : 1910-1967 Charles Lee. Publication information Saskatchewan: R.M. of Excelsior, 1967

List of Rural Municipalities in Saskatchewan

Memories and musings : book II Leonard Loppe. c2002

Municipal Relations Home/About Municipal Relations/Municipal Administration/Elections-General/Understanding the Role, Time Commitment and Powers of Municipal Council Government of Saskatchewan.

Reflections of the Past. History of Parkside and the Districts of Bygland, Cameo, Hilldrop, Honeywood, Ordale and Spruce Glen. Compiled and published by Parkside and District History Book Committee. c1991.page 626.

Municipal Council Member Handbook Government of Saskatchewan Advisory Services and
Municipal Relations Branch. March 2012

Rural Municipality Wikipedia

Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association (RMAA)

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)

Urban Municipal Administrators Association of Saskatchewan (UMAAS)

“The direction of your focus is the direction your life will move. Let yourself move toward what is good, valuable, strong and true.”
Ralph Marston


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Notice and Disclaimer:

The purpose of the information on this site is to assist genealogists, historians and other interested parties in locating information regarding Saskatchewan rural muncipalities. Please e-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com if you have any further updates or additions. Thank you.




To cite this article:

Adamson, Julia. Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan Name Mergers and Name Changes. . Saskatchewan Gen Web. Rootsweb. Ancestry.com . Retrieved .

E-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com


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1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation :: Rural Municipalities

24 Mar

Cummins map 144 Tuscola, Saskatchewan

1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation

Rural Municipalities

This is an examination of the “Place of Habitation” on the Canadian 1921 Census in regards to the agricultural lands of the prairie provinces to better meet the needs of genealogists and other researchers who will make use of information and data from the Canadian 1921 census. It is erroneous to use the census enumeration district or sub-district name as a place of residence, as it would be incorrect to use the rural municipality name as an ancestor’s address. A rural municipality does not correspond to a city, town, village or hamlet.

A rural municipality is a region which is governed by reeve and councilors in much the same way that a city’s infrastructure needs are determined by a mayor and aldermen. Rural Municipality is often abbreviated R.M. In the prairie provinces, an average sized rural municipality is approximately six townships in size, each township encompasses an area of six miles by six miles making a rural municipality eighteen miles by eighteen miles. A rural municipality has the closest correspondence to the usage of the term “county” in other countries. The seat of the rural municipality may be an office located in a town or city within the perimeter of the rural municipality, however the town or city is governed independently with its own mayor and town(city) council. A rural municipality formed to make local improvements to the area in the form of sidewalks, roads, bridges, fire protection, &c. Early homesteaders could help in these community projects in lieu of paying taxes under special arrangements.

For a place of residence, early farming residents would provide the nearest Post Office to their homestead location as their address as is often seen on the World War I Canadian Expeditionary Force application files. As towns, villages and cities became established, post offices became established in these urban centers, and there was a departure from the rural postmaster operating a post office in their residence. In correspondence, a rural land owner may say they live in a certain “district”, which usually would refer to the school district in which their farm was located and where the family children attended the one room schoolhouse.

When referring to the 1921 census it is important to distinguish between the terms used on the census enumeration form. The first few columns refer to column 1) number of dwelling in order of visitation by the census enumerator, column 2) number of family, household, or institution in order of visitation column 3) name of each person whose place of abode was in the household. The next set of columns refer to place of habitation. For rural dwellers with agricultural holdings, this location was usually referred to with the legal land description with columns allocating the section, township, range and meridian. The next column was entitled “Municipality”.

For rural residents, this “Municipality” column holds the name of the “Rural Municipality”. For an example; referring to the original document District 217, Sub district 11 in the province of Saskatchewan Page 5 It cannot be said that the city, town nor village is named King George. Looking at the 1924 Rand McNally Map (or another historical map) for the area of the first entry on page 5 of the census mentioned above, a John Smith, who is the head of the household residing at section 13 township 26 range 12 west of the third meridian – Municipality King George.

It is easily determined by using the township and range nomenclature that the cities, towns and villages which are near to township 26, range 12 west of the third meridian are the placenames of Mosten, Steeledale, and Wiseton which happens to be on the Canadian National Railway line. In this case, the municipality does indeed refer to the King George Rural Municipality Number 256. Unless it is a specific rural municipality map, rural municipality names are not mentioned on provincial highway or historic railway maps. If a larger area is shown for example on an atlas map, it usually refers to an electoral district, either provincial or federal depending on the atlas and its key.

Placing the legal land location for the John Smith residence, section 13 township 26 range 12 west of the third meridian, into the Prairie locator one obtains the GPS conversion. The resulting GPS location, in this case, is 51.2198, -107.5509 which would locate the section which is an area of one mile by one mile. Now this GPS location is approximate for the actual farm land holdings, as some farmers did own an entire section of land, but pioneer homesteaders usually started out on a quarter section of land, which would be one half mile by one half mile in size, and usually referred to as either the south west, south east, north west or north east quarter of the section [see diagram]. There are on the internet a number of listings for the western land grants which were issued to prospective homesteaders to narrow down the quarter section of residence.

Now then, incorporating these GPS coordinates into the Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) by coordinates (latitude/longitude) reveals that the following towns, villages and cities are within a twenty kilometer (12 mile) radius from the aforementioned GPS location.

Placenames twenty kilometer (12 mile) radius:

Anerley is a nearby Unincorporated area 23 kilometers – 14 miles away.

Dinsmore is a nearby Village 14 kilometers – 9 miles away.

Forgan is a nearby Unincorporated area 18 kilometers – 11 miles away.

Glamis is a nearby Unincorporated area 27 kilometers – 17 miles away.

King George No. 256 is a nearby Rural Municipality

Leach Siding is a nearby Unincorporated area 11 kilometers – 7 miles away.

Steeledale is a nearby Unincorporated area 5 kilometers – 3 miles away.

Wiseton is a nearby Village 12 kilometers – 8 miles away.

Using the CGNDB one can easily click on any of the above placenames to determine their exact location as well. So if one wanted to know the location of Wiseton, CGNDB provides the facts that Wiseton locates at section 17- township 27- range 12-West of the 3rd meridian at Latitude – Longitude : 51º 18′ 41” N, 107º 39′ 1” W and Latitude – Longitude (decimal) : 51.3113471, -107.6503142. Any location can be searched by place name or the name of the geographical feature as well.

Another source of locations would be the book, Geographic Names of Saskatchewan, written by Bill Barry, or the Library and Archives Canada Post offices listing which is online. The Post Offices and Postmasters Library and Archives Canada location result for Mosten – the closest placename to the John Smith 1921 census “place of habitation” is Section 6, township 27, range 11 west of the third meridian. The postal listing also lets us know that Mosten operated a post office between 1908 and 1941 under W.J. Stewart and Mrs. Eva Stewart (postmasters).

Studying the Search Saskatchewan Placenames will provide which Saskatchewan Gen Web area would be most likely to further genealogical or historical exploration on query boards, and mailing lists. The Search Saskatchewan Placenames listing provides over 3,000 Saskatchewan places some of which are no longer in existence. Contemporary Saskatchewan listings provide a very short amount of placenames in comparison to Search Saskatchewan Placenames as can be seen at the Saskatchewan City & Town Maps – Directory or the Saskatchewan Municipal Directory System . Many previous bustling centers which were villages or towns in the early twentieth century have now become unincorporated areas, ghost towns or hamlets.

When transportation was mainly done by walking or horse and buggy, settlements with stores, elevators and other amenities were located much closer together. It was quite common that homesteaders would walk from their farm into town for meetings or grocery supplies, and walk the distance of seventeen miles (27 kilometers) back home again. When the population relied upon automotive transport after the second World War, and highways were straightened and paved, the main urban centres grew exponentially, and the smaller towns, villages and rural areas began to see a shift of their population to the cities.

On the 1921 census, not every resident on the 1921 census lived rurally. The family of John Alfred Reynolds for example lived in the city of Regina in 1921. The first entry on the 1921 census for District Number: 225 Sub-District: Regina (City) Sub-District Number: 32 Page 4 does in fact provide the house address of 2040 Dewdney Avenue in the city of Regina. In another instance, Sidney Gordon Zapp is the first entry on District: Assiniboia District Number: 214 Sub-District Number: 52 Page 5
residing at 626 Second Street in the town of Estevan. (Estevan incorporated as a city in 1957 after the 1921 census).

Besides towns and villages which have disappeared since the early 1900s as mentioned earlier, rural municipality names and boundaries have also changed. The listing which follows provides a few of the name changes and mergers which have occurred historically in the province of Saskatchewan. The listing is not complete, as new updates regarding regional mergers and amalgamations come to light, they will be added.

Some of the Rural Municipality mergers and name changes:

    • Storkoaks Rural Municipality 31 adopted the new name; Storthoaks Rural Municipality 31 on March 15, 1912. Storthoaks Rural Municipality 31 originally incorporated on December 11, 1911.Source 1 2
    • Hastings Rural Municipality 66 adopted the new name; Griffin Rural Municipality 66 on January 30, 1910. Griffin Rural Municipality 66 originally incorporated on December 13, 1909. Source 1 2
    • Pipestone Rural Municipality 92 was renamed Walpole Rural Municipality 92 on February 15, 1911. Walpole Rural Municipality 92 originally incorporated on December 12, 1910. Source 1

2

  • Bitter Lake Rural Municipality 142 disorganised January 1, 1951. Enterprise Rural Municipality 142 originally incorporated on April 18, 1913. Source 1 2
  • Rural Municipality of Waldeck 166 was renamed Rural Municipality of Excelsior 166 on March 1, 1916. Rural Municipality of Excelsior 166 incorporated on December 13, 1909.Source 1 2
  • The Rural Municipality of Keebleville, now named Fox Valley No. 171 as of November 27, 1926 On October 29, 1913 the Rural Municipality of Fox Valley No. 171 was incorporated.Source 1 2
  • Enterprise Rural Municipality 172 disorganised January, 1951. [See entry under RM 142 above.]Source
  • Vermillion Hills Rural Municipality 195 disorganised December 31, 1965. In the area of RM 195, is Rural Municipality Morse 165, larger than 3 x 3 townships, so investigating a merger there.Source
  • Local Improvement District formed May 26, 1905. The Rural Municipality of Strasbourg 220 held their first council election December 6, 1909. On July 15, 1919, theRural Municipality of Strassburg 220 was renamed Rural Municipality of McKillop 220. Rural Municipality of McKillop 220 originally formed December 13, 1909. Source 1 2 3
  • Millington Rural Municipality 249 disorganised December 31, 1951. In the area of RM 249 is the Rural Municipality of Mount Hope 279, a RM with boundaries larger than 18 mi x 18 mi, so investigating an amalgamation of area there.Source
  • On June 29, 1912, the Rural Municipality of Girvin 252 was renamed Rural Municipality of Arm River 252. Rural Municipality of Arm River 252 was initially formed December 13, 1909. Source 1 2
  • Mantario Rural Municipality 262 disorganised December 31, 1968. The Rural Municipality of Chesterfield 261 was formed from the merger of the Royual Canadian Rural Municipality and the Mantario Rural Municipality in 1968.Source 1 2
  • Devil’s Lake Rural Municipality 274 disorganised November 29, 1909. Good Lake Rural Municipality 274 came together on January 1, 1913. Source 1 2
  • Foam Lake No. 276, rural municipality was incorporated December 12, 1910. Foam Lake rural municipality No. 306 and Beaver No. 276 dissolved on December 31, 1952 becoming Foam Lake No. 276. Source 1 2
  • “In 1966 the neighbouring Rural Municipality of Fairview #258 was disbanded to join adjacent municipalities. The western half of Fairview was amalgamated with the Rural Municipality of Snipe Lake #259, and the eastern half was joined to the Rural Municipality of Monet #257 to form larger, more financially viable municipal entities.” December 13, 1909 was the initial incorporation date of Rural Municipality of Monet No. 257. Rural Municipality of Snipe Lake #259 incorporated on December 11, 1911, whereas the Rural Municipality of Monet #257 incorporated on December 13, 1909. Source 1 2
  • Kutawa Rural Municipality 278 disorganised June January 1, 2004. There would have been a boundary area change between the neighbouring Rural Municipalities, 279 to the west, 308 to the north, 277 to the east and 248 to the south.Source
  • Hillsburgh Rural Municipality 289 disorganised December 31, 1965. Amalgation took place with the Kindersley Rural Municipality No. 290 in 1965, and the Rural Municipality of Elma No. 291 amalgamated in 1951.Source Email RM 290
  • Elma Rural Municipality 291 disorganised June 1, 1951. Kindersley Rural Municipality 290 appears larger than an 18 square mile area, and there is also no RM 289 on current Rural Municipality listings.Source
  • On March 14, 1914, the Rural Municipality of Roach 339 was absorbed into the Rural Municipality of Ayr. On February 27, 1931, the Rural Municipality of Roach 339 was also absorbed into the Rural Municipality of Leroy. On January 1, 1913, the original boundaries for the Rural Municipality of Leroy 339 were formed. Source 1 2
  • Plasterfield Rural Municipality 340 adopted the new name; Wolverine Rural Municipality 340 on March 15, 1912. Initally, the Rural Municipality boundaries were set on December 13, 1909 for the Wolverine Rural Municipality 340 Source 1 2
  • Rural Municipality of Corman Park No. 344 started as a 3 x 3 township square RM, and expanded to a very large RM. It was formed in 1970 according to the Saskatchewan Gazette by combining the smaller rural municipalities of Cory 344, Warman 374, and Park 375. Rural Municipality 374 Warman and Rural Municipality 375 Park were disorganized at the end of 1969. Rural Municipality of Corman Park No. 344 incorporated January 1, 1970.Source 1 2
  • On April 16, 1934, the Rural Municipality of Richland 345 was absorbed into the Rural Municipality of Loganton. The Rural Municipality of Vanscoy 345 incorporated December 13, 1909. Source 1 2
  • Bushville Rural Municipality 348 disorganised September 1, 1950. Biggar No. 347, a neighbouring RM on old maps is larger than an 18 square mile area on current maps.Source
  • Hudson Bay Rural Municipality 394 and Porcupine 395 both incorporated after 1921.Source
  • Prairie Rural Municipality 408 disorganised June January 1, 1999. To the south of the historic location of RM 408 are RM 378 and RM 379, to the west is RM 409, to the east is RM 377 and to the north is RM 438.Source
  • On January 15, 1921 the Rural Municipality of Eldersley 427 was renamed the Rural Municipality of Tisdale 427. On December 9, 1912, the Rural Municipality of Tisdale 427 was established. Source 1 2
  • On February 28, 1938 the Rural Municipality of Carrot River 429 was renamed the Rural Municipality of Flett’s Springs. Rural Municipality of Flett’s Springs 429 incorporated initially on December 13, 1909. Source 1 2
  • Rural Municipality West Eagle Hills formed in June of 1910 from Local Improvement District 438. The name changed to the Rural Municipality of Battle River No. 438 in 1911. On December 12, 1910, the Rural Municipality of Battle River No. 438 incorporated.Source 1 2
  • Royal Rural Municipality 465 disorganised September 1,1950. On the subsequent boundary changes, the area was absorbed by the neighbouring RMs of Rural municipality Leask No. 464 and Rural municipality Meeting Lake No. 466 Source email RM 464
  • Torch River Rural Municipality 488 incorporated after 1921.Source
  • On February 28, 1938 the Russia 490 Rural Municipality was renamed the Garden River Rural Municipality. Garden River Rural Municipality 490 incorporated on January 1, 1913.Source 1 2
  • Rural Municipality of Rozilee No. 493 incorporated on January 1, 1913, and changed the name to Shellbrook No. 493 on October 20, 1923. Shellbrook Rural Municipality No. 493 came together on January 1, 1913. Source 1 2
  • Rural Municipality of Thompson No. 494 changed the name to Canwood on April 29,1916. Canwood Rural Municipality 494 incorporated on January 1, 1913. Source 1 2
  • Shell River Rural Municipality 495 changed names to Shell Lake Rural Municipality 495 on November 30, 1935, then Shell Lake Rural Municipality 495 disorganised December 31, 1953.Source 12
  • Paradise Hill Rural Municipality 501 disorganised December 31, 1953. Frenchman Butte Rural Municipality 501 organised on January 1, 1954.Source 1 2
  • Lakeland Rural Municipality 521 which had incorporated on August 1, 1977, adopted the new name; District of Lakeland Rural Municipality 521 on June 1, 2011.Source 1 2
  • On February 2, 1926 the Bright Sand 529 Rural Municipality was renamed Greenfield Rural Municipality. Greenfield Rural Municipality 529 disorganised June June 1, 1990. The Rural Municipality of Mervin 499 is a merger between Rural Municipality Greenfield 529 which had initially incorporated in 1915, and the original Rural Municipality of Mervin 499 formed in 1913.Source 1 2 3 Email Butch
  • North Star Rural Municipality 531 disorganised December 31, 1951.  .Source There has been a comment emailed in about this rural municipality (thank you kindly)

    The North Star R.M. # 531 was actually in the St. Walburg area not Prince Albert. In the St. Walburg history book it says the R.M. of North Star # 531 was formed in 1914 at a meeting held in the home of A. Obert. The first Reeve was W. Rice, Counsellors were W. Chalmers, I. Trainor, A.N. Schneider, H. Bullen, J.B. Fuchs and Fred Burns.

    In 1953 North Star R.M. # 531 and R.M. of Paradise Hill # 501 were joined together and are now called the R.M. of Frenchman Butte.

    I worked for R.m. 501 from 1980 to 1998 and have seen a map of both North Star and P. Hill R.M.s Hope this helps. Butch

  • Paddockwood Rural Municipality 520, Big River 555, Loon Lake 561,Meadow Lake 588, Meadow Lake 588, and Beaver River 622 all incorporated after 1921.Source

 

 

 

Larger centers in Saskatchewan 1921

 

Populations of Cities and Towns having over 5,000 inhabitants in 1921, compared with 1901-11. [page 108-109 1921 CYB]
Cities and Towns 1901 1911 1921
Moose Jaw 1558 13823 19285
Prince Albert 1785 6598 7558
Regina 2249 30213 34432
Saskatoon 113 12004 25739
Yorkton 700 2309 5151
Population of Towns and Villages having between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants in 1921, as compared with 1901 and 1911 [page 112 1921 CYB]
Towns and Villages 1901 1911 1921
Assinboia 1006
Battleford 609 1335 1229
Biggar 315 1535
Canora 435 1230
Estevan 141 1981 2290
Gravelbourg 1106
Humboldt 859 1822
Indian Head 768 1285 1439
Kamsack 473 2002
Kindersley 4586 1003
Maple Creek 382 936 1002
Melfort 599 1746
Melville 1816 2808
Moosomin 868 1143 1099
North Battleford (city) 2105 4108
Rosthern 413 1172 1074
Shaunavon 1146
Swift Current (city) 121 1852 3518
Watrous 781 1101
Weyburn (City) 113 2210 3193

In summary, the census do provide the place of habitation for ancestral research, corresponding with ancestral name and date. Realising the place of habitation correctly eliminates discrepancies and errors in future research. For example recording an ancestral address as “Kindersley” from the “Municipality” column, the researcher needs to take due care and diligence to determine whether it is meant the rural municipality of Kindersley No. 290 which has the communities of Brock, Flaxcombe, Kindersley and Netherhill within its perimeter, or if it is the town of Kindersley. The difference between allocating the address to the town of Kindersley or the rural municipality of Kindersley No. 290, for example, may mean the difference in locating or becoming lost in the search for the cemetery records or exploring a family biography or running into a brick wall when trying to delve into a local history / family biography book.

As an example, Delbert Acker has a place of habitation on fourth avenue in the town of Kindersley on page 14 Census enumeration district name Kindersley District Number: 217 Sub-District Number: 65 City, Town or Village: Town of Kindersley. Whereas on page 10 of Census District Name: Kindersley District Number: 217 Sub-District Number: 38 City, Town or Village: RM Kindersley records Angus Fletcher, a farmer, on section 6 township 30 range 22 west of the third meridian, municipality “Kin”. The placenames closest to 6 tsp 30 rge 22 W3 are Beadle, Viewfair, Kindersley and Netherhill. Online are a few listings of current rural municipality names in use now on wikipedia, Saskatchewan Genealogy Society cemetery index, the Saskatchewan Government’s Municipal Directory System or the Canada Gen Web’s Cemetery project listing. From these it can be seen that in all liklihood, the municipality listed as “Kin” above was an enumerator’s abbreviation for Kindersley when recording (in the case of these agricultural lands with sections, township and ranges, that the abbreviation “Kin” means the Rural Municipality of Kindersley No. 290. The abbreviation for “Kin” meaning the Rural Municipality of Kindersley No. 290 can also be confirmed by scrolling to the very top of the page to see that the enumeration sub-district No. 217 is located in R.M. Kindersley.

The overlap of placenames between census district name, placename [city, town, village or hamlet], and rural municipality may indeed be the same name, however each describes a totally different region. A census district name is allocated by the Department of Statistics, Government of Canada. The rural municipality is a rural civic administration district in the agricultural region of the prairie provinces, usually eighteen miles by eighteen miles in area with independently governed cities, towns, villages and hamlets within its perimeter. Please record the “Place of Habitation” information correctly in your genealogical or historical research so that yourself and others can follow the data flow, continue in their research endeavours with fewer brick walls, and many more successes.

Another note on abbreviations:
Using John Smith’s legal land location from above:
section 13 township 26 range 12 west of the third meridian this full nomenclature can be abbreviated as follows:

S. 13 Tsp. 26 Rge. 12 W3
Sec. 13 Twp. 26 R. 12 W of 3rd
13 – 26 – 12 – W3

For more information:

Municipal System History – Municipal Relations –

1921 Canadian Census

Saskatchewan in 1921 and the 1921 Census. ~ The Forgotten Depression.

Bibliography:

Pioneer Ways and Bygone Days in the West Eagle Hills. Prongua, Battle River, Lindequist, Drummond Creek, Cleveland. Prongua, Battle River and Lindequist History Book Committee. Turner-Warwick Publications Inc. North Battleford, SK. 1983.

Reflections of the Past. History of Parkside and the Districts of Bygland, Cameo, Hilldrop, Honeywood, Ordale and Spruce Glen. page 260. Compiled and published by Parkside and District History Book Committee. c1991.

Many of the sources for this article are embedded in the text.

Some of the sources came from email correspondences with the current Rural Municipalities as indicated.

Notice and Disclaimer:

The purpose of the information on this site is to assist genealogists, historians and other interested parties in locating information from various cemetery records. Please e-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com if you have any further updates or additions. Thank you.

To cite this article:

Adamson, Julia. 1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation . Saskatchewan Gen Web. Rootsweb. Ancestry.com . Retrieved .

Please E-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com if you know of other historic rural municipality names which are no longer in existence. Thank you.

Copyright © Adamson, Julia. All Rights Reserved

Saskatchewan Genealogy MagazineSaskatchewan Genealogy Web : Sask Gen Web E-Magazine
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Cemetery Preservation: Preserving Landscapes of Memories

20 Dec

Graceful Delight

Cemetery Preservation: Preserving Landscapes of Memories

This is part 1 of a 7 part series

Cemeteries are revered as consecrated, sacred places in the community, a place of value to the residents in the community. The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has launched the SCCMP “The Saskatchewan Cemetery Care and Maintenance Program”. The program guidelines, and application information are available online. Through this project, the SCCMP provides matching grants as assistance to restore, and care for cemeteries which are in need of assistance.

As a first step of assistance, please ensure that all cemeteries are registered with the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Registry as per The Cemeteries Act of 1999. The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society has placed a Saskatchewan Cemetery Index online which records the designated Rural

Municipality for the area. All cemeteries need to be registered to protect burial sites in order to maintain and preserved these unmarked sites. Contact the Municipality Clerk in the Rural Municipality office.

As genealogists, archaeologists and historians are aware, cemeteries and their tombstone markers face many hazards, from weathering, commercial expansion, neglect and abandonment. Cemeteries in jeopardy benefit greatly from record creation. Multiple agencies across the province of Saskatchewan are transcribing, video taping and photographing over 3,430 cemeteries. Additionally cemetery indexes area available through Amicus at the Library and Archives Canada. However, the Registrar of Cemeteries has 406 cemetery plans 12% of recorded cemeteries, and the Land Titles Registry notes 700 cemetery land locations, 20% of known cemeteries. In many cases the rural municipality office will have cemetery plot records, however old cemeteries or older cemetery sections may have no known plot records available.

“The common conception that the cemetery holds the memory of all who died and were buried before us is a false one,” writes Meredith G. Watkins. Cemeteries have undertaken Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to ascertain the completeness of their cemetery internment records. The town of Langham, for instance, undertook such a venture to identify burial sites which would correlate with existing cemetery plot records. Such GPR surveys also prevent disarticulation in an inactive cemetery or where cemetery plot records were lost due to office fire or calamity. The resulting cemetery sketches and survey maps are invaluable tools showing all landscape features, height and age of vegetation, terrain type, contour, slopes as well as all burial sites.

Note: This program (Saskatchewan Genealogy Society ~ Saskatchewan Cemetery Care and Maintenance Program SCCMP ) has been discontinued, however it ws intriguing, so the information is left here in this blog online

Additional Resources:

Links

Canada Gen Web Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project

Network Canadian Cemetery Management September 2010 Vol 24 No 10

Saskatchewan Gen Web Cemetery Resources and Organisations

Saskatchewan Genealogy Society Cemetery Index

Saskatchewan Historic Cemetery Manual

 SCCMP “The Saskatchewan Cemetery Care and Maintenance Program”

Books

Victorian cemetery art by Edmund Vincent Gillon

Bibliography:

Links to sources are embedded in text above.

Additionally:

Redfield, Robert, Ralph Linton and Melville J. Herkovits

1936 Memorandum for the Study of Acculturation. American Anthropologist 38(1):149-
152.

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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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How did Pioneers Travel to their Prairie Homestead?

14 Jan

Emotional Experience

Transportation in Saskatchewan has evolved through history. Beginning with travel on foot and by horseback, travelers added travois, Red River Cart, Bull boats and canoes.

Early immigrants to western Canada entered mainly via the port of Halifax or New York traversing the ocean on ocean liners and ships. From these eastern ports, the European immigrant traveled westerly.

Ruts in the old trails would at times carve ten or twelve grooves along the trail for the Red River Carts as they blazed through in all types of weather. Early pioneers would avail themselves of steamboat or ferry to transport their belongings or farming equipment as close as possible to their new homestead.

It wasn’t until after 1867 when the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railways competed to bring rail across the prairies. In the early 1900s pioneer railroads forged across the grasslands bringing with them immigrants arriving eager to embark on homesteading the “Last Best West“.

Roads and bridges began to appear as Fire Districts, Statute Labour and Fire (SLF) Districts or Statute Labour Districts were established in the North West Territories. Residents could provide labour in lieu of paying taxes. Their work would establish fire breaks and early roads and bridges. Local Improvement Districts followed in the footsteps of the early SLF districts and also provided infrastructure services and firebreaks for protection against runaway grass fires.

The first roads were those allocated by surveyors who laid out benchmarks for homesteads and roads across the prairies. Road allowances were allowed every mile for those extending north – south. The roads which traversed the province east – west were established at two mile intervals.

Local Improvement Districts were the pre-cursors to Rural Municipalities (RM). The RMs continued in these services, and also sought education, and health facilities for the district.

Following the establishment of the Government of Saskatchewan in 1905, Departments began to form. In the 1940s more households across the province had access to a family vehicle and the department of Transportation worked in conjunction with the RMs to provide highway maintenance, upgrades and construction. Main thoroughfares which had been “on the square” were straightened and asphalt layed.

Passenger service on air services

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. “ ~Anatole France
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How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

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All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem All my images are protected under international authors copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission.
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