The e-newsletter page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1
online website address has been changed to:
member was impressed with his tour of an Alberta mausoleum this summer. A mausoleum
provides a setting in which a casket or urn can be sheltered in security and
dignity. Just as important, a mausoleum provides an indoor environment in which
the living may honour the dead in accordance with religious and cultural practice.
The mausoleum or "inside cemetery" he visited has space for hundreds
of caskets and thousands of urns. One he mentioned had the deceaseds war
medals displayed with the urn under glass. The same member extended his family
history knowledge with photos taken in Poland of ancestors in the Germany Army.
He is looking forward to a 2006 family reunion in Central Butte.
cousin invited a member and his wife on a trip to Europe to honor the 100th
anniversary of her fathers birth. The wife had tremendous success at the
Cornwall Family History Center that lead to a tremendous expenditure at the
Records Office in London. At the Huntingdons Records Office, he
found the 1820 marriage of his grandparents that lead to the 1798 baptism of
his grandmother. He was concerned that this office had no protocol for handling
the vellum and calfskin originals but it was a wonderful visual and tactile
experience. In Ireland, he visited the church that his mothers people
had donated the land for.
copy of a grandmothers last will and testament is a new treasure especially
as it came with the cancelled checks showing the beneficiaries signatures.
internet connected a member with a relative whose g-g-grandfather is the members
member is thrilled with her genealogically oriented cousin who is scanning and
repairing old photos. She has had success in identifying people in the photos.
This member and others are focusing on descendents. She has been updating 14
family trees, another has been following up (or down) on the descendents of
his grandparents and another is expecting a new descendent in November.
in the Brockville genealogy group has proved successful. Our member is now corresponding
with a descendent of her g-g-grandfather, Andrew Wilson.
have been organized in a binder, and pedigree charts have been updated by other
subscription to Ancestry.com is being well used. Our member found her g-g-grandmothers
entry into the States in 1892. The g-g-grandmother died in 1893.
A phone call out of the blue one day resulted in a visit from a relative from Florida. Also, our member has acquired her g-grandmothers death certificate before the cost jumps to an outrageous $50.
Found while Constructing Forestry Building
November program was an exciting one presented by Norman Hill of the St. Paul
Presbyterian Church. He guided us through a complete history and ended with
a fascinating puzzle.
James Nisbet was born in 1823 in Glasgow, Scotland. His father was a carpenter
and James most likely developed carpentry skills. He emigrated to Canada in
1944 and attended Knox College in Toronto. He ministered at the Oakville Church
but then relocated to the Red River Settlement in 1852. The Presbyterian Church
was looking for missionaries for "not Canada" or the North West Territories.
When asked, Rev. Nisbet accepted and left for Fort Pitt via the Carlton Trail
on June 7, 1866. His wife, Mary McBeath and a sister-in-law accompanied him.
Another sister was ill and when news of her death reached the party, it was
decided that although his mother-in-law had suffered many recent losses, returning
would not really help. They carried on as best they could although rain had
turned the earth to a sticky messy gumbo. Then it snowed. After forty days they
arrived in Carlton. He took advice from the chief factors and after travelling
by York boat settled at what was to become Central Avenue in Prince Albert.
Nisbet had an interesting first meeting with the Indians. Customarily the Indians
extracted a fee from travelers but Nisbet, through his interpreter, John McKie,
explained he would not pay the fee because he had come to work for them. The
snow was two feet high before his first building was done. The Reverend named
his location after Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert.
Nisbet literally began from scratch. He needed to build, fence, plow, plant
and establish a life. He wrote copiously but unfortunately he did not record
people's names. He would indicate a baptism had taken place, but not who was
baptized. He contributed to the "Presbyterian Record", a church magazine,
giving thanks for support and detailing a "wish list" usually of clothes,
books and Bibles in his update of the mission.
help was difficult to find and Rev. Nisbet had trouble with workers. Eventually
a requested helper arrived but the helper was probably too late. Mary took ill
and the couple returned to the Red River settlement. Mary died a mere two days
after arriving and the Reverend died after eleven days. At 51 years old, he
probably literally wore himself out.
new minister arrived and the area grew. The first St. Paul's Presbyterian Church,
a log building, was constructed in 1872 on what is now the A&W parking lot.
The Mission was located where the historical museum, the old fire hall, is now.
When the congregation outgrew the log church, a new red brick building was built
near the old Arts Center with a manse near by. A manse photo includes the famous
writer Lucy Maud Montgomery.
the uprising in Duck Lake, Prince Albert lived in fear of an attack. There was
a shortage of men as many had volunteered to fight. The people built a stockade
around center downtown and used St. Paul's church bell as a signal. A false
alarm heightened the fear. Imagine the outrage of an absentee owner when he
returned to find his brick home, near the outside of the stockade, dismantled
to prevent attackers from using it as an access point. During the alarm women
fainted and a man shot a hole in the church roof. The next day the man who initiated
the alarm realized it was not Indians he had seen in the dark but cows.
third St. Paul's was built to make way for the construction of Central Avenue
in 1891. Then in 1906 the present day St. Paul's on 12 St. and 1st Avenue E
was built to accommodate a growing congregation. Hill presented an amazing photo
from the 1940s that shows the location of all four churches.
Presbyterian church is known for its record keeping. It has records of church
attendance. It also welcomed emigrants. Audrey Boyko's grandmother was met at
the train station and taken to the Presbyterian church although she was not
A puzzle has been revealed by the excavation of the new Forestry building in downtown Prince Albert. Twenty-six graves have been found. What should be uniformly clay soil has sections of black soil that indicates a grave. At the moment there are no records of a graveyard there. Adding to the puzzle is knowledge that when the Avenue Hotel built its parking lot, they also found graves. Hill hopes that after the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches in 1925, that the burial plot layout records of these graves where transferred to Regina. He is hoping for results from an inquiry soon.
developer, city employees, archaeologist, and church had a successful meeting
but the question of who is to pay has yet to be resolved. The developer needs
to build a ramp for parking stalls soon. The archaeologist is waiting for the
ground to freeze as this will better the chances of removing the caskets intact.
Then comes the time consuming and hence costly work of identifying gender, age
and other data.
Hill mentioned that he was hoping to establish the date of the Forestry cemetery by discovering the earliest date of the Presbyterian plot in the South Hill Cemetery. Barb Beck was keen to sort the data we have and may have already delivered an answer. Eventually the remains will be reburied in South Hill.
Hill explained that it is not unusual to build on cemeteries. He listed New York as having 900 known gravesites and London 5000. A member mentioned that in La Ronge gravesites were found when a new post office was constructed. Hill is wondering if perhaps the cemetery was used for an epidemic like the influenza epidemic in 1889-90 or a later diptheria epidemic. One area in particular looks crowded. (Returning to Rev. Nisbet, Hill mentioned that the Reverend successfully inoculated 150 Indians against the smallpox.) An epidemic might explain how the cemetery was forgotten. The puzzle remains though how this cemetery land was "lost".
It is our tradition to feast and make merry in December. This year was no exception. Below is A. Jones with his "Works of Art". Art is a wood turner and carver and his gifts are usually stolen at least once in our crazy exchange. Thanks again to G. Crosland for donating her time and talent. Her "Carolers" Fundraiser was very successful. Thanks to all members who sold tickets.
sponsor, Digitell Legacy Productions,