It has been a relatively quiet summer for branch activities, however, the month of September is upon us and we hope to have a lot to report at our next regular monthly meeting on the 16th. We do have a number of pans simmering on the back burner and will let you know when they start to boil.
I was extremely excited the other day when I opened a letter from AGS to find a cheque representing our share of the ticket sales. We had managed to sell a total of 640 tickets, which put us second of the branches. Way to go, members, for all your hard work.
I inadvertently left out the number of volunteer hours in my last report for the first quarter of 1997 but we had a total of 284 hours by our branch. Way to go everyone! For the second quarter we managed another 358 hours. These volunteer hours consist of "Genie" hours at our local library (totaling 58 hours), and the rest being meetings, research, cemetery recordings, and census.
The Genie program will start again at the Grande Prairie Public Library in October where anyone interested in getting or giving assistance can drop in on Wednesday evening or Friday afternoon.
Our branch is currently assisting the Edmonton Branch in indexing the 1901 Census.
Our current membership total is 61 members.
Our meeting on September 16th will be 'DIGGING AROUND THE LIBRARY' by Debbie Was, Barb Moreau and Paulette Hrychiw. The October meeting will be 'WHICH COMPUTER GENEALOGY PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU' by Laura Turnbull. Our November Program is currently under works and we'll advise you later.
I have been actively researching all summer, and have noticed a number of other members who have been doing the same. My first book was a great success within my husband's family. I feel very proud of the way it turned out and was accepted by them. I am actively working on my second book on my mom's family and hope to have it completed by Christmas of this year. There's nothing like jumping into things.
In closing, I look forward to the next coming months, to see our members, confirm our activities on the go, and broaden our genealogy knowledge. Good luck researching!
Brand Project - DeBolt Museum - Joan Bowman
The museum at DeBolt, Alberta is presently working on a project with the farmers and ranchers of the area east of the Smoky River (Goodwin, DeBolt, Crooked Creek, and Clarkson Valley). Boards approximately 5" x 7" have been made and passed out to them, asking each one to burn their cattle and horse brands on the boards. Then each owner's name (and in some cases the previous owner's name) is printed on each board below their brand. John Penner of DeBolt and my uncle, Harold Matlock, a cattle rancher there, are the volunteers on this project.
Some of these boards with brands and names were completed and collected in time for Heritage Day at DeBolt, Alberta on August 16, 1997. They were put on display on a large sheet of plywood, and it is hoped that by spring they will all have been collected and mounted for the museum.
Three brand books were found, amongst residents of the area, that showed everyone's brand and the years they owned them.
My father, Ellis R. Turner (1906-1995), of DeBolt had a horse brand and a cattle brand - quarter circle T - for approximately 45 years (up until 1970). My father-in-law, Harold Bowman (1902-1991) of DeBolt had the cattle brand - D over B - which he held from approximately 1963 to 1978 when he retired. That brand was then taken over by his son, Wayne (my husband). Last year we bought the title to the brand and now own it for life, and some day could transfer it to one of our children. For several years, brands were renewed for a fee for a four year period. Last year was the first time it was offered for purchase.
Just as a note of interest to those not familiar with brands, there is a specific location on the animal where the brand is to be placed for each owner. My father's brand was to be placed on the right neck and my father-in-law's brand on the right hip. Present regulations state cattle brands are registered on the left or right shoulder, rib and hip. Horse brand positions are the left or right jaw, shoulder and thigh positions. For those with a cattle brand combination with a running bar, or have three characters in a row, those brands can only be placed on the rib position.
As per a pamphlet received in 1996 from the Cattle Brand Office in Stettler, Alberta, "On August 1, 1878, brand registration became law in Alberta - making it necessary to record every brand in the province. A Brand Recorder was appointed in 1880. On January 18 that same year, the very first brand, 71 on the left rib, was allotted to Percy P. Neale and Samuel D. Steele of Fort MacLeod. So began the legacy and continued growth of branding in Alberta."
Genies in the Library
Libraries in the Grande Prairie Area
Hours of Operation:
Tues. - Thurs. - 10 am to 9 pm
Fri & Sat. - 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday - 1 pm to 5 pm
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday: 10 am - 4 pm & 6 - 9 pm
Wednesday: 1 pm - 4 pm & 6 - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 3pm
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Thur - 7:45 am - 10 pm
Fri - 7:45 - 4:30 pm
Sat - 10 am - 4:30 pm
Sun - 1 pm - 9 pm
Dates Gone By ...
The old Grande Prairie newspapers are located on microfilm in the Grande Prairie Public Library. The newspapers and films begin in 1913. Since June, 1983, Joan Bowman's ongoing contribution to Heritage Seekers has been to provide extracts of the births, marriages and deaths as found in these old newspapers (See the latest extracts further in this issue). These extracts are now available in a published and indexed book which contains the extracts from: a) Grande Prairie Frontier Signal, published September 1914 to August 1916, and b) Grande Prairie Herald, published March, 1913 to December, 1920.
An order form for this publication may be obtained by writing to the Branch at the address at the end of this newsletter.
We look forward to sending this excellent work to as many as possible.
Query - Samuel Steele - Joan Bowman
In our June 1997 issue of Heritage Seekers is our reply to Faye Weber of Gloucester, Ontario, who was in search of the Homestead location of Samuel Steele. Faye recently advertised in the August 1997 issue of Relatively Speaking for information on other Steele family names including Samuel Steele, also known as Dirty Dick.
I found no story on Samuel Steel in our local history books. However, in the local history book, Grande Prairie - Capital of the Peace, is an account of a court case between Samuel Steel and Axel Olson regarding a shooting incident. There is also mention of this incident in the local history book, Lake Saskatoon Reflections. I recently sent this info on to Faye Weber.
Spallin & Related Families" Reunion - Debby Was
This summer, the Spallin family had its first reunion. I am pleased to announce it was a big success. Especially for me.
The idea was hatched in my newsletter, Spallin and Related Families. After mentioning it in the newsletter a couple of times, a couple of cousins and my two sisters got together and formed the committee. They decided to keep it small this first time out, as they were not sure how many relatives would be interested. The response was overwhelming!!!
More cousins joined the committee and many more offered to provide prizes and organize games and activities.
It was held at Miquelon Lake 45 minutes south east of Edmonton on highway 21, August 22-24. 57 people showed up to camp overnight and 80 people where there for Saturday afternoon. The youngest person to attend was 2 months old and the oldest person was 76 years old. The descendants of four of John G. Spallin and Hannah Abigail Moorehouse's 12 children were present. One of the "and Related Families" also showed up (Scheers).
Naturally, I took a lot of genealogical information along with me. Another cousin, also brought information. Between the two of us we were able to provide a good look at the history of the Spallin family in Canada and Ireland. In order to make identification a little easier, I printed a special copy of my newsletter. It contained an outline descendant chart of all the Spallin descendants that I am aware of (9 & 1/2 pages).
This idea proved to be to my benefit. Naturally someone noticed relatives who where missing and a few errors in child birth order. They were able to correct these errors and add new names to my list.
When my relatives saw my research, they had a better idea of the type of information that I am looking for. I collected several family group sheets, heard many family stories, had more people subscribed to my newsletter (now over 50 subscribers) and several others promise to send information. I also received a couple of donations towards my newsletter.
Within a week, one of my cousins (who I had met for the first time) sent me photocopies from his mother's scrapbook. It is a collection of newspaper clippings - including many obituaries, wedding announcements and stories of family interest. Much of this information was new to me.
The family agreed that the reunion was a success and is something they would like to do again. The committee plans to meet again and discuss the idea. Hopefully with more notice, some of the eastern Spallin's (descendants of Joseph Spallin and Catherine Stanley) will be able to join us. I am hoping that some of the "and Related Families" will join us. (Scheers, Schmaus)
If anyone is related to the SPALLIN, MOOREHOUSE, SCHEERS or SCHMAUS families, they may subscribe to the "Spallin and Related Families Newsletter" by sending self-addressed, stamped ($.71 postage) envelopes to me.
Births, marriages and deaths as contained in the Grande Prairie Herald newspaper. Continued from the June, 1997 issue of "Heritage Seekers", submitted by Joan Bowman
Jan. 4, 1921 Issue:
- At the Manse on Christmas Day, Mr. ? STROM of Kleskin Hill was married to Miss ALEXANDER of Vancouver. The Misses ELLIOTT and GERMON of the hospital assisted in the ceremony. Mr. STROM ... a returned soldier ... originally from Inverness, Scotland, Miss ALEXANDER from Aberdeen, Scotland ... graduate of the University of Aberdeen ...
- Born to Mr. and Mrs. L.D. RONNER of Kleskin Hill, on Jan. 3, a daughter.
- On Dec. 29, M. Delmer PRATT, of this town, was joined in holy matrimony to Miss L. McCORMICK, at her home in Ottawa ...
Jan. 11, 1921 Issue:
- Born to Mr. and Mrs. A. FIELD, Jan. 2, at Grande Prairie, a daughter.
- At the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William ANDRESS, their daughter Thressa married Mr. William MAINS of the Provincial Telephone Co. Rev. FORBES officiated.
- At the Manse on January 8, 1921 by Rev. FORBES, Marguise JONES was married to Margaret McDONELL, ... home at Kleskin Hill.
- Geneve - Sir George E. FOSTER, head of the Canadian Delegation to the League of Nations Assembley married here to Miss Jessi ALIAN ... an English woman ... approximately 40-45 years old. Sir George, 73 last Sept. His first marriage was on July 2, 1889 to Addie Davies CHRISHOLM of Ottawa.
Jan. 18, 1921 Issue:
- Messrs. Elmer and Benjamin DAHL, father passed away at Pouce Coupe.
- Wednesday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. GRAHAM of Vonda, Saskatchewan, on New Year's Day, when their daughter Winnifred was married to Finlay Watson YEATS, manager of the branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce at Lake Saskatoon ... by Rev. R.J. SMITH ... little Edna Saunders EVERIT acted as ring bearer ... new home in Lake Saskatoon ...
Jan. 25, 1921 Issue:
- Notice to Claimants & Creditors ... the estate of Hugh PEYTON of Halcourt, who died on 14 day of Feb., 1919 at Calgary, AB ...
- The sudden death of Ole N. SATHER on New Year's Day from pneumonia ... leaves to mourn a wife, 6 daughters and one son. One daughter - Mrs. H.M. BARR of Sexsmith and Mrs. A. GEIGER of Hythe ...
Feb. 1, 1921 Issue:
- At the home of the bride's father's parents on Jan. 19, 1921, Irene, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John WALTON of Beaverlodge to Mr. Robert James STEELE, also of Beaverlodge. Rev. G.A. KETTYLES officiated.
- ÒMr. and Mrs. George CASSON ... were married at the Presbyterian Church in Edmonton by Rev. GRANT on Jan. 19 ... George, an old timer her since 1912 ... and Miss PEERENBOOM was a teacher at Cadogan, AB.
Feb. 8, 1921 Issue:
- No births, marriages or deaths found
Feb. 15, 1921 Issue:
- Born to Mr. and Mrs. A.J. TAYLOR of ?, formerly of Grande Prairie, Feb. 2, a son.
Feb. 22, 1921 Issue:
- Born to Mr. and Mrs. C.H. NEWMAN, Feb. 15, a daughter.
- Married - Ernest HARDING of Halcourt to Ethel HARTNELL of Rio Grande - by Rev. Dr. FORBES on Feb. 21, 1921.
- Married - Frank TESAR of Clairmont to Eva Pearl HESS of Hythe. Rev. Dr. FORBES officiated Feb. 14, 1921.
"Genies" - You Can Do It! Library Report for September 1997 - Debby Was
For the library report this month I think I will talk about our "Genies In the Library" Program. This program has brought a lot of attention to our local branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society and our local resources for genealogy.
The program began in the fall of 1994. Barb Moreau, the Volunteer Manager for the Grande Prairie Public Library suggested the idea to our executive after reading about a similar program being offered in an American Library. In essence, the public library and the Grande Prairie & District Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society would cooperate to provide this program to patrons in the library.
Basically the members of the genealogy society provide volunteers on a regular basis to help patrons working on or beginning their family history research. In exchange, the library provides the space and advertising to promote the program. The service is free to the public.
The "Genies" (as we like to call ourselves) are available in the Isabel Campbell Room every Wednesday from 7 pm to 9 pm and every Friday 1 pm to 3 pm for forty weeks of the year. They run from October until December and from January until the end of May. During the summer, the library has a list of "Genies" who are willing to make an appointment with a patron.
It is unbelievable how much this program has promoted our local branch and the hobby of genealogy. Many of the people who drop by, had never heard of the Alberta Genealogical Society. Nor, were they aware of the many resources available to them locally. We have had visitors from various parts of the Peace Country, from British Columbia and from Ontario. Our group has also profited with memberships. Both our current treasurer and our secretary joined the AGS after coming to the "Genies" for help.
One of my personal pleasures in being a "Genie" comes from finding out that someone I have helped has had success in their research. It is almost as exciting as when I am personally successful in my own research.
At present, we have 4 to 5 people who volunteer on a regular basis. We would like to see this number increase. By helping others to solve their research problems, you gain knowledge that may be helpful to your own research. Basically, you need to know how to get started (we've all been there) and the location of some of the basic research tools available in the library. No one expects you to be all knowing and help is always a phone call away. Also, the reference librarian in the public library is available for advice.
Please consider volunteering to help as a "Genie". The old "Genies" are most willing to help train you and would appreciate the help. A sign up sheet will be available at the September meeting.
If you require help with the Grande Prairie Branch library, contact me. I'm always glad to give a helping hand.
Obituaries - Peace River District - 1996
This is a list of obituaries contained in newspapers in the Peace River district of Northern Alberta for the year 1996.
Names in brackets ( ) are the maiden names or other married names of the women, if they were mentioned in the obit.
All the obituaries have been collected and will be kept on file.
If you want a copy of any of the obituaries, send an S.A.S.E. + $0.25 for the cost of photocopy.
We owe thanks for access to all these papers to Peace Library System in Grande Prairie and our member, Alrene Dempster AGS #2980, for collecting them after the library is done with them.
Compiled by Paulette Hrychiw and Muriel Rorem .
Full names of the newspapers these obituaries were collected from:
Heritage Seekers is published by:
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November 28, 1997