Welcome back from the driest summer Iíve ever seen! I trust your genealogical research was not as dry. My most fruitful endeavour of late came via the internet. On a whim, I decided to search through the German telephone directory for two of my grandpaís nephews.
Lo and behold, both of them were in there, and in the city I expected them to be. Their addresses were included, so I wrote to both of them, and about 2 months later received a reply from one of my second cousins.
I also learned he had a sister who was married with children, so even more relatives than I expected. He wrote back in German, but my grandma was able to read it. I have since responded, and am waiting for my letter to be translated into German by a member of the AGS (a service which your society provides by gracious volunteers).
I look forward to hearing from my other cousin, since his grandmother and my grandpa were siblings, and my grandpa hasnít heard from her in over 50 years.
Please feel free to share your success stories with other members in Heritage Seekers. I know some members have difficulty getting back into the swing of things, and these experiences give us hope, and rekindle the fire we have for researching our past.
At the draw made at our June 16, 1998 meeting,
the winners of our Raffle were:
Stephanie Zukovich of Grande Prairie - Quilt
Norm Zacharuk of Grande Prairie - Decorated Egg
We have received the written text of the presentation Jerry Frank made to the Branch in May, 1998 on German Migration to the East.
Jerry also sent a copy on computer disk which includes the full text of his presentation in .wpd or .txt format. Also included on the disk is a list of the St. Petersburg Consistitory microfilms in .wpd format in order of year.
If anyone wishes to see these, they will be available in our library.
On July 5, 1921, all the settlers of DeBolt gathered for their first picnic. They all had arrived in the area over the previous year or two, coming from far and wide, most of them from the United States and many were bachelors.
Seventy-seven years later, on June 20, 1998, several members of the Grande Prairie and District Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society gathered, at the Huber Memorial Park in DeBolt (approximately two blocks north west of the 1921 picnic location), for refreshments and a tour of the Museum. Our hostess was member Fran Moore, curator of the DeBolt Museum.
On the wall of the DeBolt Museum is two pictures of those attending "The First DeBolt Picnic". They were: George and Elbert DeBolt and their wives from Adria, Washington; their Adria neighbor Ernie Clarke, a bachelor born in Iowa; Cy Young also from Washington; Ove Nielson who was born in Denmark coming to Canada in 1920; Jack Mitchell and George Tilley - bachelors from Fredericton, NB.; J. McGillvery; Archibald McLarty born at Tobermary on the Island of Mull, Scotland; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Willard; Frank Stanton from Montana, originally from Lithuania in Eastern Europe and who changed his name from Standervich; Harold Bowman from P.E.I. and born in Concord, New Hampshire; Billy Leonard from England, John Mellum and wife from Tacoma, Washington but born in Norway; and Jim Goodwin and wife from Ontario. The local history book for DeBolt and surrounding area "Across The Smoky" contains information on these residents.
On the front page of the July 12, 1921 issue of the Grande Prairie "Herald" newspaper, the following was published about the First DeBolt Picnic:
"The first annual Pioneer Picnic held at DeBoltís Creek, east of the Hay Camps in the Goodwin Settlement, was a very enjoyable and successful affair from every point of view.
The people met in the forenoon and a long table was built out of lumber and poles, and a large canvas stretched over it. Then the ladies and bachelors began to unpack their lunch baskets, and when dinner was called, there was spread out a feast one does not often read of, let alone see on a table. There was everything from pork and beans, cooked as only a bachelor can cook them, to various kinds of cakes and pies of the most delicious kind, with three different kinds of ice cream for dessert. The large crowd tried their best to eat all the goodies for dinner, but when all were full and went groaning for the shade of the trees, there was more than enough left for supper.
The afternoon was spent at sports which were pulled off with promptness and record speed. The baseball game was won by the Alwayswins from the Neversweats by a score of 12 to 4. Chas McGillivary was captain and pitcher for the winners, while Ken Forman filled the same position for the defeated team. The football game resulted in a tie, with both teams played out as a result of eating too much dinner. George DeBolt won the first in the 100 yard dash and G. Willard second. G. Willard was first in the sack race, George DeBolt second. C. Gillivery and George DeBolt won the three legged race. Jim Goodwin was an easy winner in the pipe race, with McCary second. Winnie DeBolt and Champ Clarke ran three times to a tie each time in the children under eight years. One of the most interesting contests was the potato race on horseback, which was won by the Redskins from the Fisheaters by a count of nine to three.
The quarter mile pony race was won by Berrie. The saddle horse race was won by Nigger, rode by McCarthy, from Sky Pilot, rode by Forman, in a very close race. George DeBolt riding one relay team was chosen winner from Jess Willard, who rode the other team.
After supper, horse shoes were played with good purses for the winners. In this, the married men were the lucky ones.
Harold Bowman received a badly sprained ankle in the baseball game, which was the only accident of the day."
Many years later, Winnie DeBolt, mentioned
in the above newspaper story, became the mother-in-law of member
Fran Moore. And in 1967, Harold Bowman became the father-in-law
of member Joan Bowman. Harold Bowman, who arrived in the DeBolt
in 1920, said conditions then were not for women!
The beginnings of our modern community were slow in pace and progress.
The natives used the area for hunting, but did not live here. The railroad surveys went through, but there was no railroad. The Edson to Grande Prairie Trail pioneers travelled through but few stopped.
The first to stay for any time were the operators of the ëstopping placesí on the Edson to Grande Prairie Trail.
Then there were a few settlers just east of the Smoky River and a few around Sturgeon Lake before 1918.
1919 and 1920 were big homestead years. Then from 1921 to 1927 only a few came in. The largest influx came in each of the years from 1928 through 1932. From 1936 to 1940 this trend again had slowed down.
Homesteading has gone on ever since, but these earliest pioneers will be the primary focus of our displays and stories.
With the community coming into the modern age, the pioneers started to look back and recognize that there should be a museum to tell the stories of these pioneers. One of the key persons to this happening was Winnie Moore who was our first chairman and the push to get it done. There were many, many others who helped in the progress that followed, but it would take many pages to tell it all.
The following is a brief chronicle of how we have progressed since then:
1969 - Hubert Memorial Park Committee formed
1970 - Sign erected to Honor Pioneer Families
1970 - ë73 Stabilize manse bldg. posts for parking lot, grass planted in park
1974 - Began museum with DeBolt United Church Manse (chinking & painting)
- Planting flowers in tires, Trees planted along north, Cairn up to Tom Hubert
1975 - Incorporated into Society (September)
- Began collecting stories for first history book, "Across the Smoky"
1976 - "Manse" (small log building) official opening by Edna Stevenson (October)
(Note: now display building - churches of area, period bedroom)
1977 - "Hubert Memorial Park" official opening by Marvin Moore, MLA
- Our first "Heritage Day" (August)
1978 - Installed swing and Merry-go-round
- Published book "Across the Smoky" (July)
1979 - Moved Mehlum Barn to Park
1980 - Produced a brochure
1981 - "Mehlum Barn" officially opened by Robert Mehlum (Winnie Moore and Ellis Turner) (August)
(Note: now our main storage and display building - downstairs; stall, timeliness of community
growth, livingroom, special annual - loft area; cheese factory, homemaking, nursing, post office,
1982 - Built small shed in Park
1983 - Built wooden playground equipment
- Purchased portable display
- "Small Shed" official opening by John Doerkson (Max Franks and Ellis Turner)
(Note: now major displays; grains, water, blacksmith, trapper and future cattlemanís corner)
1984 - "Heritage Day" joined by East Smoky Recreation Board sponsored "Root Beer Fest"
1985 - Big Shed being built (Note: now houses most of our larger displays and machinery
1986 - Dedication of Cairn to Edson Trail Pioneers (Winnie Moore, Mr. Moon & Alan McQuarrie)
1987 - Postcards produced *for sale - $.50
- "Old Building Photo" Photo & Research Project (Irene Gitzel/Fran Moore)
1988 - Published book "Edson to Grande Prairie Trail" (still available)
1989 - Published book "DeBolt Country Club, 60th Anniversary" (still available)
- Moved in "Edson Trail Teacherage / Mooreís Seed Office (Note: now displays; pioneer kitchen,
and one room school classroom)
- Regional Association born - "Spirit of the Peace"
1990 - Shingled Manse & Teacherage
1991 - Started addition to the big shed
- Moved our office to the Pioneer Centre
- DeBolt Country Club & Agricultural Society joined our August celebration with a "Mini Fair"
1992 - Finished addition to big shed (Work area and more large machinery)
- New fence for the Parking Lot
- Alaska Highway, 50th Anniversary a theme
- "Buttons & Bows" Research Project (AMA funded)
1993 - "Sawmill: Across the Smoky" Research Project started (AMA funded)
- "Photo Protection" Project (collections management) (AMA funded)
- Committee formed to do Sequel book to "Across the Smoky"
- East Smoky Legion #89 gave their "Legion Hall" to our society
- Moved our office to the Legion Hall
- Changed name of our August celebration to "Heritage Festival & Fair" (one name from each
of the three names that had developed over the years)
1994 - Moved the museums library to the Legion Hall
- Began "Archival" redevelopment project
1995 - Planning for Improving Displays (started the process)
- Took part in Regional Project (Duke Covey) (AMA Regional grant)
1996 - Moved Ice House to the Park (for authentic ice house display)
- Improving Displays (Timeliness / Occupations)
- Reprint of first book, "Across the Smoky" (now available)
- Theme for Heritage Festival & Fair - Youth in Agriculture (honor - 4H)
1997 - Cattlemenís Corner (started)
- Special Displays (quilts/quilting - in fair building and museum)
1998 - Finished "Heritage Quilt"
- Cattlemenís Corner (brand boards up and records being done)
- Made two quilts for raffle (library and teddy bear)
- Heritage Festival & Fair featured "Year of the Cowboy"
One morning this past August six members and one helper donned hats and carried clipboards as they ventured out to do some cemetery recording. They arrived in the La Glace area, only to find that the 1st cemetery had been moved and the 2nd one had already been done! (they updated it anyway). The 3rd cemetery they visited, north of Sexsmith, proved to be more in need of their attention. Thank you to Tracey Kirouac, Paulette Hrychiw, Debby Was, Evelyn Stark, Margaret Kay, Gwen Turner and Paulette's granddaughter Kristen Petersen.
Please note that this branch will be hosting a garage sale on Saturday, September 26 from 9-3 at the home of Bev Tucker (10617 - 91A Street). All members are encouraged to bring priced items and arrange for a time period to sit and man the sale with other members. Please speak to Catherine (532-4751) for more information.
'Tis the season for BAKING (or at least for recipes!) The Grande Prairie & District Branch is putting together a cookbook and needs family and ethnic recipes. Short anecdotes relating to the recipes will also be accepted. Please forward ideas to Catherine at the general meetings this fall (or to: Box 1257, Grande Prairie AB T8V 4Z1) Volunteer committees will be struck at the October meeting.
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!!
To: All Members
of the Grande Prairie & District Branch:
From: Laura Turnbull <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Members' Interests on the Internet
We have started a new service for Branch members on our webpage on the Internet. You are invited to submit the names you are researching for posting on this page along with your email and/or regular mail address. If you have a webpage and wish me to include a link to it on the Grande Prairie Branch page, let me know the address for that as well.
If you do not have an email address, you can still submit your names for inclusion on our Internet page. You would need to include your regular mailing address so that people would be able to contact you.
Grande Prairie & District Branch webpage
The interests are posted at:
To participate, just send your interests to me and I will put them out there.
The format to use is the same as that used
with the "Roots Surname Index", a free service available
on the internet at:
If you have already submitted your names to the "Roots Surname Index" and wish me to use your names as found there, just let me know one of the 'less' common names in your list and your 'tagname' in the index. I can then go there and quickly pick up the entries with all the names, dates, and places.
If you have not submitted your names to the "Roots Surname Index", please put your information in the following format and send it to me. Remember to let me know the email address and/or regular mail address to use for your entries.
Format to use:
Bauer c1850 now Crimea,RUS>AB,CAN
Bennett c1790 c1870 LEI,ENG
Bloss 1587 1889 ENG>MA>CT>NH>NY,USA>QC,CAN
Braun 1880 1970 Essen,DEU
Bush 1857 1955 LND,ENG>ON,CAN
If you have any questions, please contact me at 532-7138 or at <email@example.com>
Looking forward to including your interests on the Grande Prairie & District Branch site.
Births, marriages and deaths as contained in the Grande Prairie "Herald" newspaper. Continued from the June, 1998 issue of "Heritage Seekers", submitted by B. Joan Bowman.
July 5, 1921 Issue:
- "Death of Dr. Charles STEWART on June 23 at his room.....his brother, Alex STEWART of Stettler.....Charles Stewart was born in Brussels, Ontario, was 49 years of age....Remains taken to Stettler, AB.....to be placed next to his parents. Has two sisters in Stettler, AB.
- "Death of Eva, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H.W. GOODWIN, at age two and a half, at their residence on June 26. Funeral at the Catholic Cemetery. Father ROWE conducted the service."
- "Notice to Claimants and Creditors.....upon the estate of the late Robert T. SKOGLIN of Halcourt, AB., died 12 day of Oct. 1918 at Camp Lewis, Washington, U.S.A......"
- "At the Grande Prairie Hospital June 27, James Stewart MCGILLIVARY of Spirit River, married Winnifred Marion HUMPHRIES of Beaverlodge.....by Rev. D.J. GRAHAM.....in the Matron's room in the hospital.....bridesmaid - a staff member, and the bestman - a patient..... the newly weds home to be at Spirit River."
July 12, 1921 Issue:
- "Born to Mr. and Mrs. George EDWARDS, at the Grande Prairie Hospital, a son."
- "Joseph RIEL, brother of Louis RIEL, the leader of the NW Rebellion, died recently in Winnipeg. Joseph was 63 years old.....and at the time of the revolts led by his elder brother who was executed in Regina in 1887, was a boy following the camps of the ill-fated Louis."
- "In the matter of the Estate of Loon UNGER, late of Grande Prairie, AB...........who died 4 Nov. 1918....."
July 19, 1921 Issue:
- No births, marriages, or deaths found.
July 26, 1921 Issue:
- World happenings: - "At the age of 107, Henry Jones CUMBERLAND, countryís oldest citizen, possibly the oldest Nova Scotian, died at Brookdale, NS."
- " Robert E. TEGLER, old timer of Edmonton and sole owner of the Tegler Buklding, the largest building in Edmonton, died recently."
- "Emile MATTE, 19, was killed at Ottawa when an automobile overturned....."
Aug. 2, 1921 Issue:
- "Died - prominent citizen Mr. E. CASHMAN.....of peritonitis, 49 years old....Funeral at the Catholic Church. Internment at the Catholic Cemetery. Service by Rev. Father ROWE. Survived by his wife, the only relative in this country.....lived her six years."
- "On July 28, Robert MCLENNAN, died at his home in Hythe of heart failure. Leaves a son, David, living at Hythe and a daughter Mrs. Ernest HOPKINS of Lake Saskatoon. Funeral at the Methodist Church, internment in the Lake Saskatoon Cemetery. Rev. R.E. FINLAY officiated....."
- "Married at the Methodist Church at Lake Saskatoon on July 27. Mr. Homer Earl WRIGHT and Miss Birdie Emily HANSLAIN, both of Beaverlodge. Mr. and Mrs. Wesley MCCORMICK were their witnesses. Rev. R.E. FINLAY of Lake Saskatoon officiated."
- "Mr. and Mrs. Finlay WATSON infant daughter, May Elizabeth, died July 16. Funeral service at the home, by Rev. R.E. FINLAY."
- "Notice to Creditors and Claimants in the estate of Albert George HOEFLIN of Spirit River, AB, farmer, who died 27 Dec. 1920.....".
Aug. 9, 1921 Issue:
- No births, marriages or deaths found.
The Grande Prairie Public Library in cooperation with "Friends of the Library" and the "Grande Prairie & District Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society" are currently trying to raise funds to purchase a new microforms reader/printer.
The purchase price is approximately $10,000.00.
If you or your group are interested in making a tax deductable contribution towards this purchase, please contact Rick Leech or Barb Moreau at the Grande Prairie Public Library 403-532-3580
"Summer is gone and it is time to get back to our regular routines."
I hope you have all had a good summer, filled with visits to and from helpful relatives. I have just returned from a very successful family reunion with the SCHEERS, SPALLIN & SCHMAUS Families. Now I have lots of new information to enter into the computer.
The "Genies" will be back in the library starting Wednesday, September 30 (7-9 pm) and Friday, October 2 (1-3 pm). Please consider being a volunteer or just dropping by to share your newest find.
Included with the most recent copy of "Relatively Speaking" was a brochure on the GRD or "Genealogical Research Directory, National & International" published by Keith A. Johnson & Malcolm R. Sainty. This directory is one of the best resources to locate those illusive ancestors. Have you checked for your ancestors in it? Our collection includes the 1998, 1997, 1996, 1993 & 1989 volumes. The first time I used this resource I made contact with a first-cousin-once-removed who provided me with several generations of our mutual families.
The book is a compilation of surnames and the people who are interested in researching those surnames. People submit their list of surnames, with the locality and time period of interest to the publishers of the GRD. Naturally, there is a fee for this service, but the price includes a copy of the finished book. Because the book is filled with different surnames each year, it is important to check each volume. Below is an example of one of my entries in the 1995 volume of the GRD.
Page 628 column 1: "SCHMAUS : 1879+, SD, MN, & ALB, USA & CAN "
The number in square brackets at the end of the entry refers to the person who submitted the surname. A numerical index of the submitters is included in a separate part of the book, allowing you to contact the person who is researching the surname of common interest.
Besides the surname index, this book provides a lot more information of genealogical interest. It includes maps showing political boundaries (e.g.: states, counties or provinces), common abbreviations used for these localities, a feature article of genealogical interest, a calendar of upcoming events of genealogical interest, a list of computer bulletin boards, a list of One-Name-Studies and who to contact, a world-wide list of addresses for genealogical societies, professional notices or advertisements and a list of addresses of archives, major libraries & record offices world-wide.
Another interesting index included in the GRD is the Subject index. It is similar to the surname index but lists subjects instead of surnames. This index is divided into several main subject headings:
C: Computers G: General
I: Individuals M: Migration
MY: Military O: Occupations
P: Places R: Religion
S: Shipping & Ships
Below is a subject entry from one of my entries in the 1995 volume, page 826:
MY: 2ND BN GRENADIER REGT OF FOOT, Any information, 1880-1886 
The company has many previous volumes available for sale, as well as a version on CD-ROM 1990-1996. They are currently collecting submissions for their 1999 volume. Brochures for the GRD will be located in the Isabel Campbell room at the Grande Prairie Public Library or you can find information on their home page on the internet at: http://ww.ozemail.com.au/~grdxxx/events.htm
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 Bowmanís ongoing contribution to "Heritage Seekers" has been to provide extracts of the births, marriages and deaths as found in these old newspapers
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.
Write to the Branch for an order form. Cost is $12.00 plus
$1.75 for postage & handling. We look forward to sending this
excellent work to as many as possible.
Heritage Seekers is published by:
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September 13, 1999