The e-newsletter page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1


In this archive May~Jun~Jul~Aug 2006
Volume 23 Number 2 of 3
City of Gaols
Sensational Collages
Prince Albert Branch Surname Search
HBC Rewards

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City of Gaols

Fred Payton gave a fascinating talk on Prince Albert's Territorial Gaol. He began with a humourous comparison of Saskatoon and Prince Albert saying if Saskatoon was the "City of Bridges" then Prince Albert would be the "City of Gaols." As our thirteenth Prime Minister, the Honourable John Diefenbaker suggested, Prince Albert is made up of "persons of conviction." Payton explained that when he was contacted the query was about graves in Kinsmen Park (formerly Bryant Park or, as his nieces call it, "Uncle Fred Park"). The query asked if the rumoured graves were from the provincial jail. When Payton said he thought that if there were graves in the park, the time frame would suggest the little-known territorial goal.

In 1886, the brick with stone foundation courthouse and gaol, were built at the south end of Church Street (now Central Avenue) at a cost of $19,000.00. The cellblock may be under the current courthouse parking lot. Payton believes that the gaol's cistern may be in a nearby backyard.

The Prince Albert Directory in 1888 boasted 5,373 souls within the Prince Albert District, with around 800 living in Prince Albert itself. Prince Albert enjoyed many advantages-- surrounding fertile agricultural land, abundant cheap fuel, large tracts of timber, luxuriant unlimited hay, plentiful fresh water, reasonable rents and good wages.

It had two protestant schools, one separate school, a high school, and a college, as well as a convent. Parents of the students attending Central School (then located near the west end of the Gateway Mall) protested vehemently when the gaol's hangings were ill-timed. Students would be able to see the still hanging body at recess. The timing was duly corrected so the hanging and the body disposal occurred well before school.

Payton also added that Prince Albert had 5 churches, a Presbyterian, two Anglican, a Roman Catholic and a Methodist. It had 2 ranchers, a saddlery, a tailor, 3 tinsmiths, a bakery, 3 sawmills, a grist mill, 2breweries, 2 watchmakers, a milliner, 3 carpenter shops, a carriage shop, a gunsmith, 2 wholesalers, a brickyard, a printing office, 3livery stables, 2 paint shops and 2 photographers. It also had 2hotels, 6 saloons and several boardinghouses. For professionals, it had 2 physicians, 6 lawyers (note the number of saloons?), and a dentist. For societies it had a Board of Trade, St. Andrew's Society, the Masonic Lodge, curling, cricket, lacrosse clubs, a brass band and others.

It had a goodly number of public officers. The courthouse and gaol had its necessary judge, sheriff, deputy sheriff, clerk and caretaker. Crown land, timber, telegraph, registry, inland revenue and post office all had their necessary officers as did Dominion Public Works, Council Chamber and the police barracks.

Payton found surprising little on the territorial gaol itself. From 1886 to 1891 it appears that the gaol had no inmates. (Perhaps there were enough churches.) G. D. Northgraves, possibly the father of Hugh Montgomery's second wife, was caretaker of the gaol and courthouse and Montgomery became its warden for a 12-18 month period. Montgomery returned to real estate and it is possible his wife became warden. The last hanging may have been of Sergaent Wilson. In the autumn of 1911, the territorial gaol was not likely to be any longer in use as the first inmates for the federal penitentiary arrived.

Payton hopes to visit the Ottawa archives to gather more information that will confirm or deny his suppositions.

Sensational Collages

Shirley Carriere of Sensational Visual Services Inc. presented the advantages of doing genealogical, family and personal collages for our March program. She explained the power of a collage to tell a story. A collage presents faces, places, and times. By removing backgrounds one can often expand the number of faces included. By adding maps, emblems and buildings, one can establish connections to locations. By including dates as well as names, the viewer is given a time frame.

Collages have some noteworthy advantages over photo albums. First, they are always visible and, second, they are not limited by the size or material of the original. A university degree can be drastically reduced in size and a medal can be photographed and included. Another advantage is they are "all in one". For example, a personal collage can be a collection of firsts: first steps, first bike ride, first lost tooth, first car, etc.

Because of the power of the Adobe Photoshop program she uses, Carriere can do sepia tone, black and white, or colour collages. Carriere pointed out that the quality of the original media determines the quality of the collage. Her printer's maximum size is 13" x 19" with anything larger being printed in Saskatoon. Cost usually ranges from $200 to $300 depending on the number of images and the time for photo restoration. At $25 a copy, families are finding that a cost sharing arrangement makes it affordable. An individual in a family of four could have a sensational collage for $75 to $100 dollars.

Sensational Visual Services Inc. does collages for all occasions: weddings, family ancestry, life stories, anniversaries, grudations, memorials, pets, babies, childhood, sports, teams, tripsand relatives. To contact Carriere call 306-764-5094 or email svsgraphics@shaw.ca.

Prince Albert Branch Surname Search

To support your genealogy, Heirlines would like to publish a problematic section of member’s surname search. The member’s surname list will be published in September's newsletter and e-news. Send your information on paper to N. Carswell before summer arrives, or, better yet, email it. Give information about known generations before the missing person(s).

The following example is a section of a "Register Report" from the Reunion program. Please keep your submission to one page. Delete all birth dates for living persons.

"Wanted by N Carswell information on Wilhelm Ziebarth and Marie Meis(s)ner or others listed here.

1. Marie Meis(s)ner. Born in 1839. Marie died in 1923; she was 84.
Marie first married Wilhelm Ziebarth. Wilhelm died in 1865.
They had one child:
2 i. Edward Julius (1863-1933)
Marie second married Wilhelm "William" Klingbeil.
They had the following children:
3 i. Augusta Emilie (1866-1916)
4 ii. Ernestine (1871-1915)
5 iii. Helena "Lena" "Caroline" (1880-1924)


HBC Rewards

Richard Bremner provided information in April on the Red River Settlement and the rewards of having an ancestor employed by the Hudson Bay Company (HBC). Formed in 1670 by royal decree, their company records of biographical sheets are the most complete bar none up to 1960 when they limit themselves to administrators and managers. The HBC archives are part of the Manitoba archives.

The HBC was instrumental in developing the West. In June, the company would sail up the eastern coast of England, by Iceland and Greenland and then into Hudson Bay. The HBC recruited many hardy able-bodied men from the Orkney Islands. It ran seven forts with the main one being York Factory by Churchill. Many employees of the French Northwest Company joined the HBC when invited in 1822.

The able-bodied men being able-bodied, often had children with First Nation women. The children were called "Half-breed" or "Metis". (The term "Half-breed" indicates the father was English or Scottish. The term "Metis" indicates the father was French.) Researching maternal lines can be difficult as First Nations women did not have surnames and so often are listed simply by a first name, "Indian" or specific First Nation, for example, "Cree". However, the HBC did keep track of widows. The widow of a boat swain, one of a crew of eight for a York boat, who died in 1836, is listed in 1842.

The HBC also did censuses prior to the first one done for the 100 square miles around Winnipeg in 1870. Excellent records were also kept by St. John's Anglican Church, and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church. Other valuable resources include Spragg Frye's The Genealogy of the First Metis Nation, Gail Morin books, and www.othermetis.net.

Old maps of Manitoba show the riverlot system similar to the system used in New France. These long narrow lots ensured river access for each settler. Approximately 85% of the Metis who were given land script accepted a payout. Unfortunately, dishonorable schemers purchased much of it. Descendents of Metis who didn't sell, are currently in negotiation.





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created Jan 2001 modified Oct 2006