An archive page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1


In this Archive May~Jun~Jul~Aug 2004
Volume 21 Number 2 of 3
Timelines and Land Titles
Family History is Worth It

Current Issue

Timelines and Land Titles

I. Marno's January program was thoroughly prepared and well delivered with lively discussion among presenter, members and the-person-who-brought-the-dainties. It covered genealogical program timelines and Saskatchewan early land titles system.

Using her Family Tree Maker v. 8, Marno had printed off an example of a 15 page timeline for her Luc Tourigny, her great-grandfather. The timeline is based on United States history though, not Canadian. One member asked if there exists a genealogical program that does a Canadian timeline. If you know of one, please write or email us at heirlines@carswells.com. If it were Marno's grandfather's timeline, it might show Emile Tourigny and his brother, David, driving supply wagons for General Middleton in the North West Rebellion which would be on a Canadian timeline.

Marno also had an extensive collection of maps from the Cummins Rural Directory. Her search for Luc Tourigny's homestead has been confusing. He homesteaded somewhere near Qu'Appelle and his homestead file is 12 pages long. The Dominion Lands Act of 1872 offered the tempting opportunity of 160 acres of land for a homestead for a $10 registration fee and meeting the requirements of cultivating 30 acres, building a house and doing some fencing within 3 years. Once "proved" the applicant received a patent that officially certified ownership.

The application form for a homestead has the name, date, signature of applicant and the land location. Forms changed over time and some have the nationality, country of birth and/or former occupation. Later forms included ages, but unfortunately, not names of family members. Also, form information varies depending on whether it was an application for homestead, pre-emption (purchasing 160 acres of land adjoining a homestead for $3 per acre) or a soldier grant.

The sworn statement in support of the application for a homestead patent potentially provides a wealth of information. This list is from http://www.hamiota.com/history.html:
1. What is your name in full, age, and Post Office Address?
2. Are you a British subject by birth or naturalization? If naturalized, state when and where.
3. What is your trade, profession, or calling?
4. When did you obtain entry for this homestead?
5. When did you build your house thereon?
6. When did you perfect your entry to your homestead by taking in your own person possession of the land and beginning continuous residence thereon and cultivation thereof?
7. What portion each year since that date have you resided thereon? State each month.
8. When absent from the homestead where you have resided, and what has been your occupation?
9. Of whom does your family consist; when did they first commence residence upon this homestead, and for what portion of the each year since that date have they resided upon it?
10. How much breaking have you done upon your homestead in each year since you obtained entry and how many acres have you cultivated each year?
11. How many horned cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs have you had on your homestead each year since date of perfecting? Give number in each year.
12. What is the size of your house on your homestead, and what is the present cash value?
13. What extent of fencing have you made upon your homestead, and what is the present cash value thereof?
14. What other buildings have you erected on your homestead? What other improvements have you made thereon, and what is the cash value of the same?
15. Are there any indications of minerals or quarries on your homestead? If so, state nature of same, and whether the land is more valuable for agriculture than any other purpose.
16. Have you any other homestead entry? If so, when and where, and what became of it?
17. Have you mortgaged, assigned or transferred, or agreed to mortgage, assign or transfer your homestead or pre-emption right or any part thereof? If so, when and to whom?

The homesteader was also required to furnish the sworn statements of two witnesses to verify his claim. The witnesses, usually two neigbours, had to answer the same questions concerning the homesteader's progress and right to claim patent. Although this was the usual procedure in applying for the patent to your land, there was another alternative. Sometimes the homesteader was visited by an agent of the government who inspected the homesteader's claims and filled in the necessary information on the patent application."

This final letter appears to be saying that whatever confusion happened to Luc's application has been resolved.

July 8, 1897
I have the honour to enclose herewith the declaration of abandonment filed by Mr. J. Luc Tourigny in connection with his pre-emption of the NE 1/4 32-16-10, W 2nd M and to inform you that the enry has been cancelled and re-entry granted to Mr. Tourigny, as a second homestead.
Department of the Interior

The Saskatchewan Land Registration Office is now online at www.isc.ca and the Prince Albert office is located at 2-2860 2nd Avenue West.


Family History is Worth It

V. Knudsen, our April guest speaker, has written and published five family history books. Her talk was a wonderful mixture of the practical and the poetic. Her first family history book was for her eight children. Knudsen was born in Hungary and wanted her children to know their roots. Because her family spread out after WWII, her children did not have the opportunity to know their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Not only have her children appreciated the book, but also, on a visit to Hungary her relatives would immediately and eagerly display their pages and declare they were so happy that she wrote it. This book in particular has given Knudsen enormous satisfaction. It is an enormous undertaking but it is worth doing.

Knudsen said she set out to be objective but after visiting, questioning and collecting letters, she saw herself as a participant. Through her writing she learned one cannot judge people from another era and that the givers in life live far more contentedly than the takers.

V. Knudsen February 2004 V. Fekete 1931

Her husband's family hardcover history book cost $4,036 dollars for 200 copies in 1984. Knudsen shared a painfully funny anecdote connected with it. She proudly delivered it to her mother-in-law around Christmas time. The next time Knudsen saw her, her mother-in-law said, "I won't sue you but you made my father into a murderer." Somehow her mother-in-law objected to Knudsen's characterization of the mother-in-law's father. Knudsen was shocked and perplexed. She did write that the father carried a rifle to shoot small game but doesn't understand her mother-in-law's objection.

V. with grandparents Jozoef Schwetzand Paula Schwetz 1932 Ica our maid 1934

"No More Doughnuts" is Knudsen's perspective as a 9-year-old at the beginning of WWII to the end of her stay in a refugee camp. She spent 4 years in Germany before coming to Canada around age 18. Shortly after her arrival, Knudsen, who grew up with a maid and gardener, was mucking out barns. She valued this experience as she learned a lot. She had little English beside "Good-bye" which she used as a greeting as well as a farewell and "I'm Hungary" which meant she was from Hungary but people probably interpreted her pronouncement as a request for food.

Another of her books was camera ready and in another she drew in cartoons. She is very pleased with Staples, especially for the St. Michael's church history, and expressed gratitude to her daughter for doing all the word processing.

Refugee camp with father Dr. Josef Fekete V. in 1952 before marriage

Her current project is on behalf of the Prince Albert Centennial Committee. She has been interviewing seniors. She mentioned in particular how rewarding it was to talk with people who have lived a century, give or take a couple of years. She introduces herself, explains why she is interviewing them and then starts with a standard list of questions like where and when born, school, parents, siblings, first job, marriage, and children. Her questions about the saddest day, the happiest day, or advice for young people usually leads to other stories. To read her interviews visit www.citypa.ca/centennial.

Knudsen ended by stressing that although publishing a history book may impoverish your pocketbook, it does enrich your life. This truth was seconded by her friend, our member V. LaRose. LaRose said that the history we are preserving is important and appreciated.






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created Jan 2001 modified May 2004