Wow! Where did the summer go?
The weather this past summer caused much concerns for the farmer. The crops, without water, did not flourish. In turn, with little feed for livestock, they have been put in the position of making some difficult decisions.
Our Branch of AGS is somewhat like the farmer...although not as serious. We need the rainfall of our volunteers in order to reap a nice crop of "genealogical stuff". This will in turn feed our membership and it will grow.
This year is a big year for us. We celebrate our 25th Anniversary in February. In April we will host the entire province of genealogists at AGS Gen-Fair 2003. We will need all volunteers possible.
At our anniversary meeting, we hope to display some part of each of our member's family history. In order to prepare for this, our fall programs will be dedicated to helping you.
At our October meeting we will learn the how to of making effective displays. Begin NOW to think about what part of your family history you will choose to make a display. Some ideas are:
Leaving Home: the story of family coming to North America; Is there a Doctor in the house? (or any occupation); Soldier On; Gran & Grandad Came from Wales (or wherever).
Your display board will be as unique as you.
At our November meeting we will have a chance to assemble our display boards. A real Hands-On Workshop. Remember, we have the Spencer Room from 6:00 - 9:00 so you can plan to come early.
In December we do not have a meeting. However, Heritage Seekers is published in December SO we will be in the Isabel Campbell room at the library Tuesday, December 17 from 7:00 until 8:00. Drop by for a Christmas goody and pick up your Heritage Seekers.
AGS has a genealogical event every spring. In past years, they held a conference each spring, and individual branches could take a turn hosting it. In more recent years it has been held in Edmonton. A Gen-Fair has been held in Edmonton as an alternative to a conference.
Gen-Fair is like a trade fair for genealogists. The general public is invited to attend. For a nominal fee at the door, everyone can see the latest available to the genealogist. Book dealers, computer softwear, genealogical charts, etc. are all there where you may purchase items. Genealogical societies and branches are represented. People representing libraries and special collections are available to talk to. We may have some speakers give lectures on various topics. We have been given the opportunity to hold the 2003 Gen-Fair right here in Grande Prairie. If you would like to be part of the committee being formed to bring Gen-Fair into being, please give me a phone call. We have a job for you.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
My grandmother was a genealogist but I don't think she knew it. She kept everything - news clippings, photos, postcards, a birthday book, anything she could get her hands on it seems. She even wrote out on paper her family tree going back to her grandfather, with full information on all the people she included.
Sadly, she died in 1985 before I was bitten by the genealogy bug, but her collections were kept in boxes until I had the honor of inheriting them when it was decided that there wasn't anything of interest in the boxes and they were destined to be thrown away.
Once I got into the boxes of material I didn't have a clue on where to start, but after attending a genealogy workshop put on by the Grande Prairie Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society at the Grande Prairie Public Library I was well on my way.
I sorted through all the papers and photos, and divided the material into the different family groups that she had information on. Even the things that didn't seem like they fit into the family were kept as I, like my grandmother, don't like to throw things away (not to mention that they were important enough for her to keep so they must have some meaning).
The piles of information kept me going steady in my research for quite a few years but eventually every avenue was searched and it was time to bring out the things I wasn't sure about.
Among the many things I found was a letter dated Dec. 1883 and here it is in full:
Dec 14th 1883
Dear Uncle and Aunt
I write in answer to your welcome letter to tell you Richard had ordered the graphic but it did not make Dear Uncle, Richard was at Yarmouth in the summer they were all well except Aunt she being very feeble Dear Uncle we lost our Dear brother Henry after a few hours illness with weakness of heart and he always had bad health in winter for he could not bear the cold and fog we feel his loss very much for he was a great comfort to our home, but he has gone home to our Dear Mother and Father he was beloved by one and all that knew him. Which Dear Uncle is not all our trouble we have had our youngest brother out of work almost since we lost Father it was his wish a few months ago to come to New York thinking he could do better our there we all did what we could for him and Richard paid is passage out but he returned on the Saturday so we lost all we had paid when he came home Richard asked why he had returned he said because I have altered my mind so with our trouble I forgot to send you the papers I saved to send you but I send you one with this letter this is all at present with our kind love and best wishes to one and all hoping you will spend a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.
From your affectionate
Neice and Nephew
M and R Brock
93 Glenarm Rd
Up until this point I had not come across the surname Brock in my research and the Aunt and Uncle could have come from many different lines that my grandmother kept information on.
After establishing that Lower Clapton was in England, I started wondering if this family could possibly be connected to Richard Norton who was born somewhere in England about 1819 (parents names unknown). Richard married Feb. 20, 1854 at St. Andrew's Church, Quebec City to Hannah Pozer Jeffery who was born in Quebec City. The only other information I knew about Richard was that he was a ship captain and was said to have spent a lot of time away from home on his sailing excursions. Could this letter possibly be a lead to finding where he was from and who his family was in England? Only time and luck will tell.
The big lead for me was to check the 1881 census for England. Armed with the address from the letter I was able to locate the family. There were 4 children living there, both the parents were deceased:
Martha Brock, age 25, b. London
Richard age 23, b. London
Henry, age 21, born London
Edward age 17, b. London.
The 1891 census for that location had a Richard Brock and his wife Sarah and two children. A marriage record was found and then we had a father's name - Robert Brock. The 1891 census also gave a more exact birthplace for Richard, listing his place of birth as Cripplegate. It turns out that Richard was born at St. Luke, Middlesex on Oct. 31, 1858 son of Robert Brock and Martha Norton.
I was so happy to find this lead as I was beginning to doubt that there was a connection and that Grandma had found the letter somewhere and kept it because it was old.
The family was next located on the 1861 census and it listed that Martha was born in Yarmouth, Norfolk. I have been having a difficult time coming up with Robert Brock and Martha Norton's marriage record but am hoping it will soon surface. Then it will be a matter finding out if she did indeed have a brother Richard.
All I have to say in closing is, "Thank You Grandma for being what some people would call a PACKRAT, but really you are an inspiration and mentor to me."
Beatrice Jordan in Montreal 1922
Beatrice Mary Victoria Dever nee Jordan
Born Sept. 30, 1901 Quebec City, Quebec.
Died Oct. 26, 1985 Beaverlodge, Alberta
Re: June 2002 "Heritage Seekers"
Please note: Those births, marriages and deaths printed in the June 2002 issue of "Heritage Seekers" are a duplicate of those printed in the June 2001 issue of 'Heritage Seekers". The births, marriages and deaths in the Sept. 2002 "Heritage Seekers" will be continued from the March 2002 "Heritage Seekers", not the June 2002 issue.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Births, marriages and deaths as contained in the "Grande Prairie Herald" newspaper. Continued from the March 2002 issue of "Heritage Seekers".
January 5, 1925 Issue:
- "Notice to Creditors and Claimants In the Estate of John Philip FRITZ, late of Grande Prairie, Farmer, DeceasedÖ..who died 24 Dec. 1923.Ö."
January 12, 1925 Issue:
- "On Dec. 31, 1924, at Christ Church, Grande Prairie by Rev. Rural Dean LITTLE, Ingeborg FRIBERG, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. J. FRIBERG, of LaGlace, was united in marriage with Martin LEE, son of Mr. And Mrs. LEE of Sexsmith, AB."
January 19, 1925 Issue:
- No births, marriages or deaths found. (Note: This issue is listed on the microfilm as missing. However, later I found it filmed between the Feb. 16, 1925 and the Feb. 23, 1925 issues of the "Grande Prairie Herald" newspaper)."
January 26, 1925 Issue:
- "Married, at Toronto, Ontario on January 12, 1925, Alice Bertha, eldest daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Frederick BOYCE of Elmvale, Ontario to Mr. George Edward WILLIAMS of Clairmont, AB."
- "Notice to Creditors and Claimants in the Matter of the Estate of James Carrel DUNLAP, late of Grande Prairie, AB., merchant, deceasedÖ..who died 4 Dec. 1924.Ö."
January 26, 1925 issue of the Grande Prairie Herald: There is a picture of Mrs. Annie SAVILLE, of Lowestoft, England with nine of her eleven children who had arrived at West St. John aboard the Canadian Pacific SS Melita. Her husband and two sons had come to Alberta in the Spring.
Feb. 2, 9, and 16, 1925 Issues:
- No births, marriages or deaths found.
Feb. 23, 1925 Issue:
- "Died: Mrs. W.R. TURVEY, age forty-five, of Sexsmith, AB. On Feb. 19th in the Grande Prairie HospitalÖ..Mrs. TURVEY has two sons who arrived here by train from Los Angeles. It is their intention to take the remains to the USA for interment."
March 2, 1925 Issue:
- "Ösudden death of Horace C. KNIGHT, resident here for the past six yearsÖ..fifty two years of age, Ö..was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to western Canada about eighteen years ago and was with the Hudson Bay Company under Mr. E.J. LYNE for several years before coming to Grande Prairie in 1918, where he had charge of the retail end of Mr. LYNE'S meat businessÖÖ.leaves his widow and one some who resides at Sidney, BCÖ.."
March 7, 1925 Issue:
- :Born to Mr. And Mrs. Alfred BINKS, at the Grande Prairie Hospital, on 11 Feb., a daughter."
- "The funeral of the late Horace C. KNIGHT who died at the Grande Prairie Hospital on Feb. 20th, was held March 4th. The service was held at Speko Memorial HallÖ..The Rev. Rural Dan LITTLE conducted the service, assisted by Rev. Dr. ForbesÖÖThe deceased was born fifty-two years ago at Allerton, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, and was the youngest son of the late Daniel KNIGHT, woollen manufacturer of Bradford. Interment was in the Grande Prairie CemeteryÖ.."
March 16, 1925 Issue:
- "Mr. Wilfred GRAHAM, who recently lost his wife, has disposed of his estateÖ.."
- "Born to Mr. And Mrs. L.E. PURVES, of Wembley, March 5th, a daughter Alma Beryl."
March 23, 1925 Issue:
- "Born to Mr. And Mrs. George BALMER of Springfield Farm, Clairmont, AB, at the Municipal Hospital, Grande Prairie, on March 7th, a son."
March 30, 1925 Issue:
- No births, marriages or deaths found.
April 6, 1925 Issue:
- "Born to Mr. And Mrs. Donald INNES at the Municipal Hospital, Grande Prairie, April 3rd, a daughter."
- "Mr. Thomas POLLOCK (middle name not readable in paper) of Clairmont since 1913 died at the Municipal Hospital at Grande Prairie on April 2ndÖ..was born at Sussex, New Brunswick in 1884.Ö.has been farming with his brothers near ClairmontÖ..leaves to survive him, his mother Mrs. Rebecca POLLOCK living at Clairmont, and two brothers Medley and Charles, also of Clairmont, and two brothers Perly and Harry residing in the EastÖ..services at the Presbyterian Church being conducted by the Rev. Dr. FORBESÖ..remains were buried in the Grande Prairie Cemetery."
- "Mr. John THIRD, a pioneer of Western Canada, and a resident of the Grande Prairie country since 1917, passed away at his home on March 28thÖ..born at Campbellford, Ontario seventy-one years ago , came west to the Edmonton district in 1808, going to Vancouver in 1906, where he resided until 1917 when he came to the north country and has been ranching in the Goodfare districtÖ..leaves to mourn his loss, his widow and three sons, Allan, John G. and Clayton all residing in this district, three brothers: Thomas of Edmonton, George at Campbellford, Ontarion and Dr. J. THIRD of Kingston Ontario, and a daughter Mrs. A. STOLLARD, residing at CampbellfordÖ..funeral service conducted by Rev. Dr. A. FORBES was held at the residence of Mr. John G. THIRD, Grande PrairieÖÖInterment in the Grande Prairie Cemetery."
- "Ö..April 10th Miss Hilda MOON to marry Mr. Jack MITCHELLÖ."
Laura TURNBULL and Debby WAS pose with their farewell cake. Both are moving to Edmonton and area and were last in attendance at our June 18 meeting.
It was with sadness we said goodbye to Laura TURNBULL and Debby WAS.
Laura, as a founding member of our branch has shared her genealogical knowledge with us all. She has served us on the executive both locally and provincially. Always willing to lend a hand with any and every project the branch has undertaken, she still promises to look after our website from her new home at Onoway, Alberta.
Debby has also served on our local executive. She was our librarian for ten years and, in addition, was instrumental in the operation of "Genies in the Library" where she was a great help to all who asked. Debby has also helped with many branch projects over the years.
Both of these fine people will be missed as we go about our varied tasks in Grande Prairie. They have left mighty big gum boots to fill. We all look forward to their visits here, and we hope to meet at other AGS events.
So long ... until next time.
The following article was printed in the Anglican Messenger April 2001
Do you know where your parish records are? I suspect this is a question we very rarely ask ourselves.
In most parishes the administration and clergy change every few years. Most parishes do not and cannot afford to have full-time positions so the work is left to those willing people who volunteer. The parish treasurer and vestry secretary probably keep most of the records in their homes during their term of office. What happens to these records once they leave these positions? Do you have a policy to manage your parish records?
Christ Church in Grande Prairie has had several church buildings since the Anglican Church's presence began in the area in the early 1900s. some records we have show that the official Grande Prairie Mission was opened in 1914. Our present church was constructed in 1982 as there was found to be a need for a larger facility and the "old" church and hall were sold.
Sad to say, the old church and hall have had several owners and occupants since being sold, and although at the moment only used for storage, it still stands in the downtown area as a past memory, probably waiting for the wrecker's ball!
Imagine our surprise to recently receive a call from a local real estate salesman saying he had noticed some old papers and books in the dark and musty crawl-space under the church.
With flashlights in hand our investigation unearthed in the mud and dirt old parish ledgers and records which we believe had fallen from an old shelf. The most exciting finds were Sunday School records dated 1917, parish ledgers dated 1935 and a rector's letter to the Annual General Meeting dated 1950. (Interestingly, the letter had similarities to the one we just heard in 2001.)
Some of the parish financial records dated 1950 were in the hand-writing of Robert Campbell, then envelope secretary. Sadly, Robert passed away in the year 2000, which was his 50th anniversary as envelope secretary for Christ Church. Quite a record.
In all this we must say a big thank you to Wayne Palmer of Top Realty, who took the time to call and help us. These history records of our parish could have been lost forever.
Does your parish know where ALL your past records are?
When I phoned the Anglican Church for permission to print this article in our newsletter, I learned of the very sad ending to this story.
On the advice of the Anglican Church Archives, the newly found records were sent to Diocese headquarters for review before being sent on to Archives. There, someone who did not understand the significance of the records looked only at their condition and discarded them permanently.
This heartbreaking situation underscores Brian Laver's premise in this article: know where your records are, and who is responsible for them!
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February 5, 2003