Tag Archives: Saskatchewan

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

13 Jul

The Joys of Research

The Enthusiasm of Discovery

photo of a woman holding an ipad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boost your research!

29 Jun

How does the genealogist go about locating historical information?

 How do they conduct their research?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smith-Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

24 Jun
Smith Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith Stevenson Road

Part I: Smith-Stevenson Road

Part II: Road Naming in Saskatchewan

Part III: Grandma’s Memories

NEISH 1Small

Smith-Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

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

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration

The Smiths (Schmidts)

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

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

Smith - Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

Smith – Stevenson Road, Saskatchewan, Canada

The Stevenson’s (Stephenson’s)

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

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

The Smith’s and Stevenson’s

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

Jewell School District School Register

Jewell School District School Register

Sweet Home District 75

Sweet Home District 75

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration Cake

Smith Stevenson Road Naming Celebration Cake

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

Bibliography:

To: saskgenweb@yahoo.com

From: Gordon Neish

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

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

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

 See also Grandma’s Memories

Other submissions by Gordon Neish

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

Should Genealogy Research be Conducted Scientifcally?

22 Jun

Inside these brick walls

How do we observe our family history?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Big Things Genealogists Must Know to Succeed

15 Jun

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

How will your genealogical research introduce your ancestral family?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Locating Saskatchewan Ancestors together

15 Jun

Genealogy in Saskatchewan

silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky

Family tree research hints and tips for the province of Saskatchewan

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

Saskatchewan Genealogy Services

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

What we believe in

Preserving and celebrating the rich history of the province of Saskatchewan for genealogists and historians.
adult boy break browsing

Connecting to cousins in Saskatchewan, how to get past genealogy brick walls.

What are the sensational timeline events? Saskatoon Gen Web Region

1 Jun

large bison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saskatoon Gen Web Map Northwest Territories 1900

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saskatoon’s boom years were 1910-1912

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

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

 

Ethnic Bloc Settlements

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

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

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

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

An 1894 migration of Croatians settled near Hanley.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cities.

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

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

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

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

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

Bibliography:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saskatchewan Heritage Week

26 Jan

One Room School House Records — What You Can Learn From Them.

The online ‘One Room Schoolhouse Project’ helps to bring the one room schoolhouses of history to life on the internet with contributions by former students, teachers and residents. To illustrate the wealth of available information, Christa Kaytor will discuss her family’s research into a number of one room school districts.
Heritage Saskatchewan ~ 2017 Heritage Week February 20-24 · Public Meeting Room #1, Central Library. Regina Saskatchewan

Become familiar with the one room school districts near Cadillac; Elmwood, Fairy Lake, Boule Creek, Priory, Wheatville, Crichton, Bedford, Orwell, Highway, Gouverneur, McKnight, Pinto Head, Driscol Lake, Frenchville, Lac Pelletier, Notre Dame, Cadillac. The amazing resources compiled by local residents provide a wealth of information. The online One Room Schoolhouse Project helps to bring the one room schoolhouses of history to life on the internet with contributions by former students, teachers and residents. Registration required.

With a passionate ardour the speaker at the above library resource event, Christa Kaytor, has populated the One Room School House pages with the history of schools in and around Cadillac, Saskatchewan. Obtaining the prerequisite permissions to republish online the book; History of Cadillac and Surrounding District, The Good Old Days Prepared by Alta Legros and Marlene Davidson for Homecoming ’71 Elmwood, Fairy Lake, Boule Creek, Priory, Wheatville, Crichton, Bedford, Orwell, Highway, Gouverneur, McKnight, Pinto Head, Driscol Lake, Frenchville, Lac Pelletier, Notre Dame, Cadillac Saskatchewan, Canada has been a treasure for visitors world wide as they come to understand pioneer life and school days in Saskatchewan. Alta Legros and Marlene Davidson spent hours of research on the book, and traveled many miles to make this book possible. Now Christa Kaytor, descendant of Alta Legros is carrying on this fine tradition with further submissions of Westwood Valley School District 2844, Highway School District 4623 and offering to share her wealth of knowledge about the Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse on the prairies.

Bedford School District 3195

Bedford School District 3195

Boule Creek School District 3314

Boule Creek School District 3314 (First name Jupiter)

Cadillac School District 2733

Cadillac School District 2733

Crichton School District 3716

Crichton School District 3716 (Later name Priory)

Elmwood School District 2733
Elmwood School District 2733

Highway School District 4623

Highway School District 4623

Highway School District 4623

Highway School District 4623

Highway School District 4623

Highway School District 4623

Jupiter School District 3314

Jupiter School District 3314 (Later name Boule Creek)

Kingsmeade School District 4011

Kingsmeade School District 4011

Little Six School District 4262

Little Six School District 4262

McKnight District 863

McKnight School District 863

Orwell School District 3680

Orwell School District 3680

Pinto Head School District 3959

Pinto Head School District 3959

Priory School District 3716

Priory School District 3716 (first name Crichton)

Stove Lake School District 4739

Stove Lake School District 4739

Valley Ste. Claire School District 3184

Valley Ste. Claire School District 3184

Wheatville School District 4547 and Priory School District 3716

Wheatville School District 4547

The days of the One Room Schoolhouse were much simpler? “Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?”
― Shannon L. Alder

“Endeavor to live a simple life, but filled with complex love.”
― Auliq-Ice

Aside

Centenary Cemetery

11 Nov Poppies for Remembrance Day

Centenary Cemetery
mind not the weeper or the prayer,
all those who have the eyes to see,

The moon gives you light,
  And the bugles and drums, the night

To the Judge of Right and Wrong
Our purpose and our power belong,

with uncomprehending eyes
laid down immediate and wise;

Where now the Mother, comfort me?
Where Art Thou Father, can't you see?

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Old and young with hymn and prayer
Poppies for Remembrance Day

Poppy

Blow out, you bugles, over lads Dead!
These laid the world away; poured out the red
     What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
        Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

But yesterday amid glory and the prize,
          One strove to quiet the other's cries,

rules consider wise,
See whence the tear-filled eyes

O Best beloved can you see battle-corpses, myriads of them,
          And the white skeletons of young men, who saw them?

The banners play, the bugles call,
The air is blue and prodigal.

To death, because they never lived: but I
Have lived indeed, and so—(yet one more kiss)—can die!

No funerary for them; no prayers nor bells,
Just shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

with staring sightless eyes,
Hear around the many sighs

We see and hold the good—
For Freedom’s brotherhood.

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Citizen and Child with hymn and prayer

A steady rain, dark and thick
Now feel the stir of despair quick

My comrade’s eyes
holy glimmers of goodbyes.

So now the poppy in fields doth bloom’
For the day all fill’d with gloom,

Clearing your minds of all estranging blindness
Speak now of Freedom, Honour and Lovingkindness.

Upon sightless staring eyes
soft short broken sighs,

Only his collar with his honourable mark
Mankind’s best hope? Laid out this night in solitary dark

While man has power to perish and be free—
Men perished for their dream of Liberty

Here sit the haggard men that speak no word,
No voice of fellowship or strife is heard

The British War Medal World War I.

Medal.

The body now denies
To Sleep return, little eyes

Nary it shines in lurid light,
Tales of  terrors, and the  blight,

Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Men pass the grave, and say, “‘Twere well to sleep,

The peace of death.
The lifeless breath

Before our eyes
Hear still the cries

upon earth’s peaceful breast
Each laid him down to rest,

Gather round the Centenary Cemetery over there
Generations ever after with hymn and prayer

The day is past and the battle doth cease;
And hearts rest, eventide brings peace

Now speak of the peace that comes after strife,
The calm that follows the battle-filled life —

Now come the prayers and the bell
To honour them as they fell

Resound in peace and glory long
Sing out no more the bugle song

To ancestors you must see
Will you ever remember me?

So here I pray thee lay me not
to Rest in no memory and Die for naught.

Where’s that poppy on your collar?
Stand up now for peace, shout and holler

Poppies for Remembrance Day

Poppies

Genealogy Hints and Tips: During the Centennial years following World War I (1914-1918), Search for the ancestor fallen. The tragedy has come to light, and diaries, battalions, battles, records, medals, reports, images, are coming online. From Vimy in the Classroom, Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial, Library and Archives images online at Fickr. The internet abounds remembering, honouring and paying tribute to those who fell in the Great War.  Have you, yourself, come to know your ancestor of the Great War?

Read more:

 In Flanders Fields and Other Poems With an Essay in Character, by Sir Andrew Macphail Author: John McCrae

Drum Taps Author: Walt Whitman

A Treasury of War Poetry British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917
Auhor: Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by George Herbert Clarke

1914 and other poems. Author Rupert Brooke

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War Author: Herman Melville

Dramatic Romances Author: Robert Browning

Poems Author: Wilfred Owen

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

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