The an archive page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1


In this archive Sep~Oct~Nov~Dec 2002
Volume 19 Number 3 of 3

Anglican Archives

Computers for Recording Genealogy

Current issue

Anglican Archives

V. Redhead, J. Hobbs and R. Benson are exemplary volunteers at the Anglican Diocese of Saskatchewan Archives. We appreciated V. and J.'s April program detailing the history and contents of their archive and hope everyone will express their appreciation to all volunteers year round and especially during Volunteer Appreciation Week in April.

V. Redhead began by giving a brief history of this Diocese. It was first part of the Diocese of Ruperts Land established in 1833. As the population expanded, part of Manitoba was separated and the new borders and new name established the Diocese of Saskatchewan in 1873 with Alberta, Saskatchewan and part of Manitoba. Locally, with the imminent arrival of Bishop John McLean, the congregation began clearing the land west of the Penitentiary for St. Mary's Church. In 1884, the growing population base meant new borders with the creation of the Diocese of Assiniboia and the Diocese of Calgary 1888 and Edmonton a short time after. In 1927 Alberta was separated and Manitoba's part was joined to the rest of Manitoba. In 1933 the Diocese of Saskatoon was created leaving our Diocese of Saskatchewan with its present borders. Our southern boarder is east to Melfort and to the border, south to Macdowall going just north of North Battleford to the Alberta border and taking in everything north to the border. Bishop Anthony Burton, "the young guy", currently presides.

Even positive life changes are stress and the Archives' move in 1996 was no exception. The old synod office, infested with bats and rodents of various sizes, was left behind and the Archives moved out of the dank dark basement to the clean light main floor of the new synod office. An archivist was hired to organize the collection and train volunteers. The volunteers didn't get as much training as they would have liked but their dedication is shaping the Archives following rules of archival description and they annually contribute more volunteer hours than a full time employee would work in a year. V. regularly runs through the office shouting "Look what we found", tracks volunteer hours and submits an annual report to ensure that any archival supplies required are willingly given.
J. detailed the structure and contents of the archives.

Diocese of Saskatchewan Fonds- Main Entry
I Bishop’s Files
1. General Correspondence
2. General Files
3. Other Diocese
4. Anglican Field Study
II Executive Secretary-Treasurer Files
1. General Files
2. Diocesan Finances
-General Finances
-Appeals, Bequests, Funds, & Trusts
-Audited Financial Statements
3. Synod Office Parish Files
4. Service Registers
5. Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers
III Diocese of Saskatchewan Synods
IV Diocese of Saskatchewan Committees
V Diocese of Saskatchewan Deanery Records
VI St. Alban’s Cathedral
VII Parishes of the Diocese
VIII Anglican Church Women (ACW) Records

1. Synod Office WA/ACW
2. Diocesan Board WA/ACW
3. Branch WA/ACW Records
IX Anglicans in Missions
1. Director’s Files
2. Bishop’s Files
3. Exec Sec’y Tresurer’s Files
X College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
XI Bishop’s College
XII St. Alban’s College Girl’s School
XIII St. George’s College Boy’s School
XIV Sunday School by post/Caravan Mission
XV Okema Beach Records (Camp Okema)
XVI Indian Files
XVII Misc. Historical and Biographical Records
XVIII General Synod Office Records

1. Gen. Synod Jourals of Proceedings
2. Committees of General Synod
3. Council of the North
4. National House of Bishops
XIX Province of Rupert’s Land
1. Sessions of Provincial Synod
2. Committes of Provincial Synod
3. Diocese of Sask. Correspondence
XX Other Ecclesiastical Provinces
XXI Other Dioceses
XXII Bishop Martin Collection
XXIII Hughes-Caley Collection
XXIV Photograph Collection

1. Localities
2. People
3. Groups
4. Colleges and Schools
5. Synods
6. Special Events
XXV Artifacts
1. Burd Embroideries
2. Other Artifacts

The Diocese of Saskatchewan is the largest of three "fonds", which consists of 22 Series, broken into sub-series and then eventually down to each file. Looking for information on a parish in 1961? It would be in the Bishops Files as all Parishes in the Diocese had to fill out an extensive questionaire that year regarding their particular Parish. Looking for a baptism, marriage or burial before 1900? Check the Executive Files. Some have been photocopied and also done on computer but as with all documents before standardized spelling the handwriting can be atrocious depending on the writer's spelling and listening skills. There is also a computerized version but this may exacerbate the handwriting problem as it is only the original written by a fallible human interpreted by a fallible human. The Bishop usually grants requests to see the registers post 1900.

The burials have been computerized to "p" by location with 9,328 entries and there are roughly 26,000 to go before the estimated 35,000 are finished. As the forms the ministers filed out have changed and not every form is complete there is, regrettably, missing information. Also, not all registers have survived and sometimes the nearest minister was not Anglican.

Another group holds the All Parish Meetings, (held every 3 years), the 1882 Bishop's Charge, interesting informative eulogies of clergy and the changes in the Dioceses. Other series include Anglican Church Women (ACW) Series; various School Series (Emmanual College, Bishops college, St. Alban's College Girls School, St. Georges's Boys School); Historical and Biographical Series. The Files of the Ministers is in this group and it has a basic file, many with pictures and a database of over 700 covering 130 years. Although called Files of the Ministers it also has lay readers and others.

The Parish Histories are an exciting collection with an index to the books available.

V.'s favourite is the collection of 2,621 photos. An amazing 90% have at least one person identified. Fred Paten has been able to help with the identification and V. has developed a knack for recognizing faces, especially the two clergy who are in her family tree. V. found the proverbial shoe box of slides and negatives in the move. This shoe box collection has been named the Bird Photographs for Bishop Bird who held office around 1925-35. The Bird Photographs shoe box contained a priceless collection of churches identified by name. Half of these churches are no longer in existence.

Material is stored in acid free file folders and progress is being made on removing pins, staples, paper clips and the dreaded scotch tape. Registers done in the early oily ballpoints pens will hopefully be interleaved this summer to prevent more bleeding between pages. An archival quality map case holds maps, some over a 100 years old, cemetery drawings, and architectural drawings of churches and houses. One map mentioned is the 1878 Muskoday Reserve survey with names.

Also in the archives is a museum collection of 63 artifacts. Mentioned were V.'s grandfather's confirmation certificate, war memorial plaques from extinct churches, a century old billy can, communion cups and a pair of snowshoes. A trunk found in the old dank dark basement held elaborate embroidery work cut out from altar pieces, poor embroidery work and embroidery thread. As there is no documentation, speculation is that churches in the East sent samples to teach the "heathens" in the West. Some embroidery work will be framed for display.
Donations of Anglican material to the archives are welcome with permission to "dispose". Dispose often means passing on to another more appropriate collection.

The Synod Office number is 763-2455. J.'s regular day is Tuesday. The volunteers prefer to help people in the morning so they can use the afternoon for work. There are small fees ranging from $2 to $7 for copies or certificates and searches are $20 per hour. Most searches take 2 hours but cost only $10 because these volunteers love their work and are happy to know their archive is serving its purpose.

Computers for Recording Genealogy
by N. Carswell
(The following program was presented at the John M. Cuelenaere Library.)

I'll begin with a defense I frequently use and that is that I'm too busy raising my descendants to raise my ancestors. This defense is witty but both descendants and ancestors require action now. In either case if you leave things undone the consequences are heart breaking.

Nod your head if you or someone you know has had to throw out old photos because there was no one around to identify them? Nod your head if you didn't get to a relative in time to ask about their history? One of my regrets is the mystery of my uncle Donny. My Aunt Flo, my one living relative of that generation, was unable to solve the mystery because of her dementia.

I'm a Mac native and I use the "Reunion" program. When I do get around to raising my ancestors, I'm going to switch to a PC program called "The Master Genealogist". "Reunion" is a wonderful beginner's program with lots of terrific features but "The Master Genealogist" hence forward referred to as "TMG" has incredible sourcing capabilities.

Sourcing and verification go hand in hand. A standard genealogical anecdote is that of a nephew who inherited all his aunt's genealogy going back to Adam and Eve. The nephew looked at it and then asked that it be buried with his aunt because none of it was sourced. He had no idea where any of the information had come from. This is extreme of course but it stresses the importance of verification. At the moment I am loath to share my genealogy because I have not verified all of my data with primary or even secondary sources. A primary source could be a government document like a birth certificate and a secondary source could be a newspaper article like an obituary.

The "Reunion" program looks like most gene programs and most have similar commands.

Tonight we will add my great-nephew Jason. Notice that I don't have a source for Jason as these are just the details from a phone conversation. Under the top menu is "Add Male Child" and then the screen presents a form.

My mom sent me photocopies of family documents. One of them is my Uncle Donny's birth certificate. So I'm just going to check the certificate against the info I have. It checks out but the birth certificate is a primary source so I want to add this as a reference note. I have a data base that prints out pages for my binders. Because I burn a CD every month and eventually store the CD's out of my house this means that if my precious binders are destroyed I have some record of what was in them and who the information came from.

I have a conflict though with the newpaper obituary death date. The source of the "Reunion" information was ON013. It is Frank McDonald's family tree. So now I have to decide which is the better source-- ON013 or ON024. ON024 is my choice because it is secondary and Frank's source is unknown but I’ll keep both sources and note the conflict. Remember, I eventually aim to have all primary sources but whatever the source, it is a lead to follow.
I have another witty saying. I boldly state that I have a photographic memory. I see a photograph and I remember! I love photographs and would like to have a photograph for as many people in my family tree as possible.
In "Reunion" if the camera has a flash it means an individual has photos. Here are some examples using my husband Alan. Skipping to Christina, his great grandmother, it is very easy to change the description.
Adobe Photoshop is a powerful image editing program and in the Photoshop plug in folder I've put the plug in for my scanner. This means I can scan or "import" right into Photoshop. The scanning I'm doing tonight is for the computer screen or monitor.

Monitors are not like printers. Printers do dots per inch or dpi. So 300 dots per inch is a better quality print than 72 dots per inch. But monitors can only do 72 or 76 dpi. If I'm doing a scan for my "Reunion", I want it to be 72 dpi but I scan it in at a higher resolution just so that I'm not asking the computer to guess at any information.
Scanning now is not the challenge it used to be because most computers have far more storage space. Now, I can do a color print scan at a whopping 400dpi, save it as a Photoshop file and then save it at 72dpi in a jpeg format for monitors. Jpeg compression is a lossy format. It writes a short hand version of the photo. Jpeg offers you a choice of compressions and generally speaking anything over a level 5 looks fine. Under 5 a jpeg file can begin to look bad because the compression can make things look blotchy, especially skin. Jpeg is a very popular format and recognized by lots of programs and is used for web pages.

If you are doing black and white photos scanning them as grayscale dramatically reduces file size.
"Reunion" only links to the photos and if you move the photo from its location then the link is lost. There are helpful ways of organizing your photo files. I recommend one folder for all your files. I've called my "rphoto" for "Reunion" photos. Then inside I've started folders for individuals. I use a system of the first two letters of a first name. For example, my husband would be "al", my daughter who is Alanna would become "aa" and my daughter Amber is "am".

I find that the two letters are meaningful and yet short. As with my reference notes, I use zero as a place holder. Because I don't expect to ever link more than 99 photos I use al01, al02, al03, because if I use al1, al2 then get to al12, the computer sorts al12 before al2 because of the way it sorts.

One of the fun parts of "Reunion" is its ability to do charts and reports.

I mentioned that eventually I want to switch to "TMG" or "The Master Genealogist". My work in "Reunion" can be transferred directly to "TMG" using a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM is a genealogical file format developed by the Latter-day Saints and has evolved into the standard for exchange of genealogy information between different programs and computer systems. So when the time comes I will export a GEDCOM file out of my Mac "Reunion" and use it to start a new file in my PC "TMG".

A word of caution. Always open any GEDCOM file into a new empty file and see what parts are new before importing it into your good family file. If I import the GEDCOM file I just exported into my present one it will not weed out duplications so my file will double and there is no undo.




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created Jan 2001 modified Sep 2001