The an archive page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1




May~June~July~August 2001
Volume 18 Number 2 of 3

Honouring 20 Years

Formula for Aging
Members Report...
The Search for Edith
A Survey of Software
What Wood Wee Due Without Spell Chequers?
Keeping Our Census

Current issue


Honouring 20 Years: A History of the Prince Albert Branch

Records show that an organizational meeting was held on May 23rd, 1980 at the J. M. Cuelenaere Library, for the purpose of forming a Prince Albert Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society. Robert Pittendrigh of Regina attended the meeting representing the provincial association. At this meeting, officers were: President Jeanine Megaffin, Vice President Verna Redhead, Secretary Marg Stark, Treasurer Verden Jeancart, Library Helen Jordan and a committee consisting of June Kelly, Bob Sergeant, Gerald Murphy and Jean Backburn.

Application to become a branch member was made on September 10th 1980. A constitution was drawn up in October 1980, sent to Regina for approval and by January 1981, the Prince Albert Branch was formally affiliated with the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.
Since that time, affairs of the Branch have been guided by Presidents Jeanine Megaffin, Audrey Boyko, Rick Orr, Marg Stark, Richard Bremner, Louise Elliott, and Allan Erikson. The present President is Annette Krayetski. Secretaries have included Marg Stark, Audrey Boyko, Jeanine Megaffin Vicki La Rose, Jean Cockburn, Debbie Orr, Debbie Brown, Gladys Christiansen, Arlene Kennedy, and Robert Walker. The present secretary is Louise Elliott.
Our branch newsletter "Heirlines" was started in 1982. Editors have included Beryl Suetta, Debbie Brown, Jackie Hobbes, Verna Redhead, Pixie Glasser, Vicki La Rose, Richard Bremner, Thelma Stead, Clifford Cody, Cory Matieyshen and Gail Diakow. Presently Nancy Carswell edits three newsletters a year.

The Prince Albert Branch has been very active in listing cemeteries in this area. Dorothy Howland, Dorothy Revitt and Linda Hodge, assisted by many volunteers, have compiled valuable information. Updates have been done on the cemeteries in the Prince Albert Rural Municipality and we have indexed the South Hill Cemetery.

Jackie Hobbes was instrumental in compiling births, marriages and deaths from the Prince Albert Times 1882-1895, the Saskatchewan Times 1896-1906 and Prince Albert Daily Herald. She was assisted by members in this project.

Members have visited outlying towns such as Canwood, Waskesieu and Melfort to provide information and stimulate interest in genealogy. "Open House" and displays have been provided at various times and places such as the Cuelenaere Library, the Heritage Museum and the South Hill Mall.

In May of 1985, members Vicki La Rose, Valerie Knudsen and Dorothy Revitt joined a bus tour to Salt Lake City. They reported that the research facilities were impressive and mind-boggling.

Classes in genealogy have been given by June Kelly, Verna Redhead, Joan Kardash and Audrey Boyko.

A "starter kit" has been compiled to assist new members embarking on their research. The Prince Albert Branch has hosted three very successful seminars one in 1985, one in 1991 and one in 1996. The seminars are valuable opportunities for all genealogists to gain new skills and knowledge.

The Buckland History Book was indexed. Gladys Christiansen, with the help of many volunteers, spearheaded this project.

The meeting on October 10, 1990 was a celebration of ten branch years, complete with birthday cake. Charter members Marg Stark, Audrey Boyko, Vicki La Rose, Jean Cockburn, Jackie Hobbes, Verna Redhead and June Kelly were present and were honored. The meeting on January 9, 2001 celebrated twenty branch years with another birthday cake. Charter members present were Audrey Boyko, Vicki Larose, Jean Cockburn, Jackie Hobbs, Marg Stark, Verna Redhead and June Kelly. One charter member mentioned how the years had flown by. It was hard to believe that the child she gave birth to in our charter year will be 20 soon.

In 1994, the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society's 25th Anniversary year, Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Audrey Boyko, Debbie Brown and Jean Cockburn. In 2000, Jean Cockburn was recognized by the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society with the Saskatchewan Heritage Award.

It has been a rich twenty years with branch members helping and encouraging other members to grow sturdy family trees.


Formula for Aging

Do you know the "8870 Formula"? Using the 8870 formula to ascertain a birthdate can be a tremendous help in checking tombstones dates. If a tombstone reveals that the deceased died May 6, 1889 and was 71 years 7 months and 9 days old, but gives no date of birth, you can correctly arrive at the exact birth date by using this 8870 formula.
died 1889 May 6--> 18890506
subtract (age 71 yrs. 7 mos. 9 days)--> -710709
answer--> 18179797
subtract constant--> -8870
birthdate is 1817 Sep 27 or 18170927


Members Report...

Busy indexing year 2000 obituaries.

B.C.’s births, death and marriage index available on the internet. There is a Salt Lake City (SLC) number that can be used on the LDS form and for only $2 you can get 8 photocopies. Limit of one form per person every 3 weeks.

Charter members appreciated invitation to 20th birthday celebration.
A trip to Salt Lake City was profitable. Learned a lot inspite of mind-boggling proportions. Planning another trip soon but finds accessing the majority of material at Salt Lake can be done on the Internet.

A member has secured his great grandfather’s, William Pilkington, 1901 death certificate from England.

She’s an heiress! Our member received her inheritance from England. It was more than a hamburger once the 311 lbs. 6 p. was converted. She gave a lively summary of the title research and legal process. Not only does she welcome the money but the title researcher has sent her the family tree. She also reports that the possibility of money really gets a family communicating.

A guest is researching the Corrigal surname in the Red River Manitoba settlement.
Internet surnames groups, (e-groups), are proving valuable for the Merchants, Shipman and Harkness lines.

Once again time has enabled sharing. A father’s hidden history may be known through his sister who immigrated with him, his mother and brother from Austria in 1907. The sister has given a copy of her Austrian hairdressing certificate as well as a copy of the ship’s passenger list.

In three years, fourteen of sixteen great great grandparents have been identified. The countries of research are Canada, France, England and the U.S.

Research of fifty sources for ancestors in the Red River Settlement has progressed with the help of two other members. Energy is now being directed to a family history book for a Bannerman Family Reunion in August. At the reunion, storytelling sessions by senior members will be video taped.

Our prolific historian has unintentionally found herself doing another family history book. She hopes to take the skeleton of statistics and flesh it out into an interesting body of history that goes as far back as William the Conqueror.

Another member will be swimming against the stream of family belief. She has found a critical error in the family tree because of the tradition of reusing names. The only person swimming with her is a 90 year old matriach with memory problems. But on two separate occasions the matriach has confirmed our members evidence that it is the wrong Thomas. The mother would have been six years old in his birth year if that particular Thomas is her son.

A member thoughtfully created and donated a photo journal album of our branch’s past conferences for our library. This will be a great resource for our future conference in 2006.
A "retired" charter member is doing "nothing"-- just computerizing all the Anglican burial records for Northern Saskatchewan. So far 6,000 of the 60,000 records have been digitized.

Another charter member remembers expecting a child during the charter year. The child turns twenty this year. She feels the time has flown by but in a productive way, for example, another member’s gravestone making activities. She wishes the branch many more productive years.

An expected book from the States will probably confirm suspicions that a relationship does not exist but every bit of knowledge helps. If the relationship does exist, it will be a half-brother to a grandfather.

Wonderful stories of humour and sadness of research overseas; smiles when the translator was a relative who had learned English in the States and spoke with a heavy Ohio accent, tears when an elderly relative spoke of the trauma of an escape from Russia at age 9, laughter when she realized that her mother’s and aunt’s previous visit was infamous because they wore shorts, secret knowledge of the same aunt and mother stealing silverware to remember their long lost and found sister. A gift of a miniature china cup and saucer is treasured.
The internet and mailing lists have suggested leads in 7/8 of a husband’s genealogy back to the 1600’s. Documentation will prove or disprove the leads.


The Search for Edith
by D.

Genealogists know the challenge of finding women. Edith proved to be my 30 year challenge.
Edith Beal was wife to a cousin of my father-in-law, Priestly Revitt. Priestly's brother William Dyson Revitt had immigrated to Canada, from England in 1910, was working on a farm at Wapella, Saskatchewan. A cousin, Frank Beal, died in 1918 and William moved to help his widow Edith Beal manage their farm in Laura Saskatchewan. The farm prospered and William, invited my father-in-law, Priestly, and his wife Elsie to come to Canada from England. They did, in May 1921.

The following year land at Eyre, Saskatchewan, was advertised for rent. The two Revitt brothers were fortunate to get the half section. Edith sold her quarter section, and everyone moved to Eyre.

In 1923 Edith left the family in hopes of getting a housekeeping job. The Revitts never heard of her again.

Working from the known to the unknown I requested Frank’s burial record by writing to the town clerk at Laura. Mr. Brown's reply informed me that Frank had died 30 May 1918, was buried on 1 June, in plot #75 at Laura Cemetery. There was no record of Edith’s burial.
Mr. Brown had kindly forwarded my letter to Mr. Robins who was farming the Beal quarter. Mr. Robins remembered Frank’s death and the Revitt brothers farming with Edith, but had no further knowledge of Edith.

Hoping Frank's death registration would help I filled in the required death form and sent it off to Vital Statistics. In receiving the registration I found all to be proven correct. But he had only lived four and a half years at his residence when the time of death occurred, eleven years in the province and fourteen years in Canada. Where did he live the other seven and a half years? I had learned a lot about Frank already, but where do I find Edith?

Time lapsed and new search possibilities arose. Through the Saskatchewan Archives Board, one could write for homestead documents. Photocopied documents showed that Frank did not homestead land in the Laura District. A married childless Frank took out a homestead in 1907 at Swanson, Saskatchewan, and had built a house of lumber and sod annex, sod stable and granary. More about Frank but still nothing to help me find Edith!

While visiting friends, I was browsing through their Community History Book. The Swanson section had a story about my Beals written by a Mrs. Walters. I wrote to her inquiring about Edith. The Beals had been her neighbours in Swanson, Mrs. Walters told me. She knew that they had come from Carman, Manitoba, and that Frank had worked on the Railway Section. Mrs. Walter remembered the Beals moving to Laura and because she had moved to Laura to work, she knew that Frank had passed away and Edith had moved. She knew no more about Edith.

In October 1986, I put a query into the Western Producer magazine, "Trying to Locate". Someone did reply. The woman told me she remembered Frank and Edith Beal when she was very young and lived in Swanson. After Frank died, the woman knew Edith had a housekeeping job in Saskatoon near her parents. Edith later answered a housekeeping advertisement for a widower Gilbert Holmes who lived in Sovereign, Saskatchewan. She also remembered Edith marrying Gilbert.

Finally, a possible new last name for Edith! Sovereign and District had printed a history book. In the cemetery section were listed an Edith and Gilbert Holmes. A history for Gilbert was written listing his children and their whereabouts, but no mention of Edith. I wrote to the daughter in Saskatoon asking about Edith.

A mere week later I was richly rewarded. Gilbert's daughter sent me Frank and Edith’s marriage registration, Frank’s death registration, Edith and Gilbert’s marriage registration, Edith’s death registration, a photo of Edith, and a photo of Edith and Gilbert. All were found in Edith’s effects after she had passed away.

My search for Edith was over.


A Survey of Software

My mom wishes she were here tonight and so do I. I am glad you are here tonight because with the data projector, it is a rare opportunity for you to survey genealogy programs. I'd like you to raise your hand if you have a computer? (17) Keep your hand up please if you are using a genealogy program? (11) Raise your hand please if you use the internet for genealogy research? (13) Raise your hand please if you are thinking of getting a computer and probably a genealogy program? (0)

In china shops, the signs usually state sternly, "If you break it, you buy it." This is true for most genealogy programs. Once you break the seal, you cannot return the program. Fortunately, most genealogy programs are fairly equal and because all programs that my mom has seen, import and export GEDCOM, you can switch to another program ten years from now without retyping.

GEDCOM is GEnealogical Data COMunication. This means that the information that she typed in to her Reunion program can be file--> export--> GEDCOM and this file used by another program. GEDCOM protocol was established by the Latter Day Saints Church and it is (pardon the possible pun) a godsend.

Your "maybe" relative with the Personal Ancestory File (PAF) program can export a GEDCOM to you and you can open it in your Brother's Keeper program. (Mom shouts here from Regina recommending that you open it in a new empty family file so if the "maybe" relative is "not" you haven't got scads of unrelated people to eradicate from your real family file.) This may save typing and its inherent errors.

All the programs, except Reunion, you see tonight Mom downloaded from Internet. The TMG is just a demo but the rest are actual working genealogical programs. The shareware has expiry dates.

Mom has been perfectly happy with her Mac program called Reunion. It has great reviews, offers multimedia, web pages and is rated at beginner level. Because this is a PC, I can't show you our Reunion but I can show you the Reunion Player. My mom is a multimedia communicator and she created an interactive history for our family. With permission of Frank Leister, the creator of Reunion, she includes the Reunion Player. Because this particular file is for her company demo, she has stripped the dates from living people. This is especially important if you want your program to create web pages to upload on the internet.
Mom has been happy with Reunion but when she directs her energy from raising descendents to raising ancestors, she thinks she will invest in The Master Genealogist or TMG. TMG is an advanced program with what the computer world calls "a steep learning curve."

Legacy is freeware. Doesn't cost a penny. The company has decided to profit from spin offs. For example, a free Legacy user may upload their genealogy to the Legacy website increasing their data base, attracting even more genealogists which in turn increases their advertiser pull. Freeware or shareware, my mom needs a manual and Legacy offers one for $12 US. You must give an email address to download Legacy and then they email you the password. It is necessary to restart your computer to run Legacy after installing it.

Cumberland House Family Tree Maker is shareware. It is a complete genealogical program but expires after 45 days if you don't register. We have already imported the Carswell GEDCOM file into it.

Brother's Keeper is also shareware. Because there is no printer, we can't preview these features without crashing. Again we have imported GEDCOM.

Again, Mom believes you can't go far wrong in your choice and if you want to switch later you can. She is happy she started with a beginner program. At the Heirlines website is a link to the GeneSoft Springboard that has reviews of genealogical software. She also wants you to know that if you purchase the physical product instead of just downloading the program over the Internet you can get terrific resource CD's like ships’ passenger lists and indexes. She has seen ads with 20 resource CDs included in your purchase.

We thank you for joining us tonight and Mom, Dorothy and I hope you have a better understanding of the potential of genealogical programs for recording and reporting your family history.

Reunion Home Page http://www.leisterpro.com/

The Master Genealogist (TMG) http://www.whollygenes.com/html/catalog.htm

Legacy http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/DownloadLegacy.asp

Cumberland Family Tree for Windows http://www.cf-software.com/cftwin.htm

Brother's Keeper - Download http://www.bkwin.net/version6.htm


What Wood Wee Due Without Spell Chequers?

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My spell chequer tolled me sew.
from won of those e-males, author unknown


Keeping Our Census

Dear Genealogist and Family Historian,

To help keep our Canadian census avaliable for research, please visit http://globalgenealogy.com /Census/. Because of the fall 2000 election our lobby must be renewed.

Also, from G. Ulrich, Saskatchewan Representative, Canada Census Committee to Saskatchewan genealogists and family historians:
Now that Murray Calder, Member of Parliament, has introduced in the House of Commons a bill to ensure the release of Post 1901 census records, it is important that we contact the Members of Parliament who are yet undecided as to whether or not they will support this bill.
Please contact your MP and ask them if they will support the bill presented by Murray Calder to release Post-1901 census records.