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Exploring Family History in Saskatchewan

(A downloadable and printable .pdf version of "Exploring Family History in Saskatchewan" is available on this website in Services for Public, Information Bulletins.)

I. Getting Started

  1. Delving Into Your Attic Archives
  2. Interviewing Relatives
  3. Writing It Down
  4. Writing Letters
  5. Posting Electronic Mail
  6. Genealogical Societies
  7. Native Ancestry

II. Official Saskatchewan Sources

  1. Vital Statistics Records
  2. Court Records
  3. Land, Including Saskatchewan Homestead Index
  4. Municipal Records
  5. Church Records
  6. Cemeteries
  7. Records of Educational Institutions
  8. Federal Government Records
  9. Libraries
  10. Museums

III. Genealogical Sources at the Saskatchewan Archives

  1. Newspapers
  2. Biographies
  3. Family Histories
  4. Directories
  5. Government Publications
  6. Local Histories
  7. Private Records
  8. Oral History
  9. Pioneer Questionnaires
  10. Maps
  11. Photographs
  12. Military Records


I. Getting Started

1. Delving Into Your Attic Archives
For beginners in genealogical research or those wishing to add biographical information to their family history projects, sources within the homes of family members are the best starting points. Such documentary items are often the most valuable sources to be found in the entire research project. It is therefore important to be on the lookout for useful documents as relatives sort through their storage rooms and attics; and with each newly discovered cousin there is the potential that another attic archives can be explored.

Family Bibles were common in bygone decades. Generally pages were set aside for recording important family events such as births, marriages and deaths. This section was often between the Old and New Testaments or in the last pages of the volume. The family Bible was also used by many as a place to file keepsakes and important documents, so it is important to leaf through the pages to find any of these items.

Diaries, account books, and family letters are other documents frequently kept in the home. These are contemporary sources that provide information on events as they happened. They are also the best record of the personality traits and lifestyles of those who wrote them. Other relatives with whom ancestors kept in touch over the years may be mentioned as well.

Certificates are those official documents that are kept to prove an event has taken place. Such events include births, baptisms, confirmations, initiations, graduations, memberships, citizenship, military service, marriages and deaths. Governments, churches, educational institutions, clubs and societies usually issue these documents. Besides giving names, dates and places, certificates may provide information on parentage and other family relationships. They may also offer clues as to the social associations of an ancestor within the community.

Deeds and wills record the property of an individual. They are meant either to prove ownership or to transfer ownership to someone else. These provide valuable clues as to the residence and material well being of the person involved. Wills can also indicate the names and addresses of relatives of which the genealogist is unaware, and they may provide unique glimpses into the personal lives of family members.

Invitations and announcements often are keepsakes that stay in the family for generations. In the past it was customary to send announcements of marriages and deaths, and in more recent times birth announcements and wedding invitations have become commonplace. These items contain valuable genealogical information.

Photographs, besides being valuable documents in their own right, often have useful bits of information jotted on the reverse. Names, ages, and residences of individuals are sometimes given. At the end of the last century and the beginning of this century, it was popular among studios to mount their photographs on stiff cardboard on which was printed the studio's name and address. In the case of older pictures found in family collections, these can offer clues to the residence of family members.

Family and local histories and school yearbooks are sources that may be in the family bookcase or even packed away somewhere in storage. These can provide varying amounts of information on family members and the communities in which they lived. Given the chances for typographical and editorial errors in printed items, one must be cautious in accepting the accuracy of their contents.

Newspaper clippings of birth, marriage and death announcements, obituaries and stories of other events important to the family is another type of record often kept in scrapbooks or shoeboxes by an acquisitive relative. Again, the factual accuracy of newspaper accounts can leave much to be desired.

Numerous other family keepsakes may also provide clues for genealogical purposes: birthday and autograph books, embroidery samplers, and embroidered quilts, to name just a few.

2. Interviewing Relatives
Vital information about the family can be collected from relatives. Share your research with them and ask questions about other family members. Record vital information on a pedigree chart. Better yet, use an audio or even a video recorder to gather information and stories. In the past, taking notes while interviewing someone was often an arduous and time-consuming task. Compact cassette recorders now make the process easy and enjoyable.

3. Writing It Down
In all types of research the quality of the notes taken is most important. Adopting good note-making procedures is one of the most crucial links between the original source of information and the finished work.

Research notes, copies of original documents, correspondence and other relevant items should be retained. It is useful to record all sources consulted, including those, which did not prove useful. If a printed version of a family history is being prepared, proper citations of sources should be present.

4. Writing Letters
Whether one is writing to a relative or to a public records office, the most important rule to remember is to keep the letter short and to the point. A long, rambling letter will rarely get the positive attention and response that a short one will. No matter who the recipient, if unreasonable or excessive demands are made in the letter, the reply will be less than favourable. In the case of archives and other records repositories, time is limited in which an inquiry can be read and answered. A specific request can be answered quickly. Some background knowledge of the holdings of a record repository will help greatly in formulating a concise request for information. Mention any previous correspondence you may have had with the addressee in order to avoid unnecessary work. Also mention any sources from that particular repository that you have already consulted.

5. Posting Electronic Mail
As discussed above, ask a specific question and provide details. Craft your message as you would a proper business letter and be certain to provide your complete name and postal address. Record repositories require this information for statistical purposes and enquiries from anonymous senders may not be taken seriously.

6. Genealogical Societies
For the novice family historian, the greatest single source of help and encouragement is usually the genealogical society. Most provinces and larger cities have these societies, where members meet regularly to learn and discuss methodology and to share experiences and information. Often the society has a library and several experts in particular aspects of the field. In addition, these societies publish newsletters that contain helpful articles for their members. Tapping into this reservoir can be very beneficial for anyone tracing his family history.

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS) was formed in 1969 by a group of people who were interested in promoting the study of family history, preserving heritage documents and collecting materials for the study of this discipline. Today the society has branches throughout the province and members scattered throughout the world, the largest genealogical lending library in Canada and a professional certification program.

The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society has the following program and services that can help you trace your ancestors:

  • Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Bulletin
    The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Bulletin is a quarterly journal designed to inform the membership about genealogical resources in Saskatchewan and throughout the world.
  • Saskatchewan Genealogical Library
    SGS Library is the largest genealogical lending library in Canada. The collection consists of books, gazetteers, maps, indexes and copies of actual records to help the family historian to search their roots from Saskatchewan to other parts of Canada and throughout the world. The public is most welcome to come and study the books but only members can borrow the books and use the extensive microfilm/microfiche collection. Members who live anywhere in Canada are able to borrow books through the mail.
  • Saskatchewan Cemetery Program
    The Saskatchewan Cemetery program was undertaken to locate and record burial sites in Saskatchewan. To date SGS has located more than 3,100 cemeteries and/or burial sites in 299 Rural Municipalities in the province. SGS has cemetery records for more than half of these sites. This is an on- going program.
  • Saskatchewan Obituary File
    The SGS Obituary File contains about 600,000 obituaries from Saskatchewan newspapers. The majority of the obituaries date from 1983, but there are obituaries dating back to the 1880's. This is an on-going program that is added to weekly.
  • Saskatchewan Residents Index (SRI)
    SRI is a database. It is an ongoing program to index the names found in the cemetery collection, local history books, Cummins Maps, Voters' Lists and other books that list Saskatchewan residents. Currently there are about two million names in the database.
  • Saskatchewan Heritage Resources Directory (SHRD)
    SHRD is a new project designed to locate and identify heritage resources in Saskatchewan. This program will be placed on the Internet in the next few months.
  • Education
    Workshops are provided through SGS Library, the branches around the province, community colleges, the Internet and at special events such as the annual meeting, the annual seminar and the Family History Fair. Certification courses are offered to members who wish to become certified Saskatchewan researchers or instructors.
  • Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Research Services
    The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society offers a Basic Research Service that checks homestead indexes, cemetery indexes, local histories, the obituary file and the Saskatchewan Residents Index. The applicant or a researcher supplies a written report that lists the findings and makes recommendations for further research that can be conducted. Some branches of Saskatchewan Genealogical Society offer research services for their particular area. SGS has a list of the branches that provide this service or you can contact them directly.

An excellent research tool, Tracing Your Ancestors in Saskatchewan: A Guide to the Records and How to Use Them, Laura M. Hanowski, ed., is available for purchase from the Society. It contains the most comprehensive review available of genealogical sources pertaining to Saskatchewan and is highly recommended for novice and experienced family historians.

Information about the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, its programs, services and useful links to other family history sites can be gleaned at www.saskgenealogy.com. Researchers can contact the library at the following address:

Saskatchewan Genealogical Library
1870 Lorne Street
Post Office Box 1894
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3E1

Tel. (306) 780-9207
Fax (306) 781-6021


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) genealogical libraries, with five locations in Saskatchewan are very useful sources of information. A collection of standard reference books and indexes of names, places and subjects can be consulted there. Microfilm copies of original genealogical record sources from around the world can be borrowed from the vast collection in the Church's main library in Salt Lake City. One does not need to be a member of this church to make use of its facilities. It is best to arrange for a personal visit to discuss research objectives since the staff will not undertake research projects for individuals. More information can be obtained from:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Saskatchewan Family History Centres
555 Sangster Blvd., Regina SK Tel. (306) 543-2782
428-10 Street East, Saskatoon SK Tel. (306) 343-6060
820-1st Street West, Kindersley SK Tel. (306) 463-3201
15 West Park Drive, Moose Jaw, SK Tel. (306) 692-3246
452-30 Street East, Prince Albert SK Tel. (306) 763-7874
Website: www.familysearch.org

A chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia is active in Regina and offers many services to those researching their German ancestry in Russia and other regions of Eastern Europe. The Regina chapter holds monthly meetings at 7:30 P.M. the first Wednesday of each month with the exception of January, July and August, at the German Canadian Harmonie Society, 1727 St. John Street, Regina. Members also have access to the AHSGR's library at its international headquarters and receive a genealogical newsletter from the headquarters. More information can be obtained from:

The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
67 Schneider Crescent
Regina, SK S4R 7R6

Johannes Graf, Secretary, Tel. (306) 545-9810

Those with Loyalist ancestry can receive valuable advice and research assistance from the Regina Branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. The Association emphasizes genealogical research and publishes its own historical journal. The Regina branch holds quarterly meetings. For more information contact:

Mrs. Lorna Mackenzie, U.E.
14 Bothwell Crescent
Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 5W5
Phone: 306-545-1200

7. Native Ancestry
Although Indians lived in what is now known as Saskatchewan for many generations prior to the arrival of Europeans, their history has been recorded in written form only since the fur-trade era. In many instances, however, family history has been passed from generation to generation by word of mouth, or oral tradition. This method is a valid historical resource and has been recognized in legal proceedings. If you are tracing your Indian ancestry begin by talking to your parents, grandparents and Elders.

Contacts between Indians and Europeans in the course of the fur trade activities very often led to mixed marriages and the growth of the Métis population in Western Canada. Often these people became employees of the fur companies. Many details about their lives, sometimes dating back to the 18th century, can be obtained from the records of those companies. Most important of these is the Hudson's Bay Company, whose archives are housed at the Archives of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Another useful source of genealogical information on fur traders and their descendants is the Charles Denney collection of genealogical tables, research notes and other reference materials at the Glenbow-Alberta Institute Archives in Calgary.

When the Canadian government wished to open up the West for agricultural settlement, treaties were negotiated with the various Indian peoples. From that point, detailed records of treaty or status Indians (according to the Indian Act) have been maintained by the Government of Canada, and have proven to be a valuable source for genealogical research. The federal government also recognized the right of the Métis to share in the compensation awarded their Indian kin for the loss of their traditional hunting and trapping territory. Money and land scrip was issued to those who could prove their part-Indian ancestry. The SAB has a microfilm copy of parts of the National Archives' index to individuals receiving Metis scrip. This index may include such information as dates of birth, place of residence and names of family members for individuals receiving scrip.

Significant records have been preserved at the Library and Archives Canada and make up the historical collection of the federal Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), Record Group 10 (RG10). The publication, Indian Affairs Records at the National Archives of Canada: A Source for Genealogical Research, by Bill Russell (Toronto, 1998) treads a great distance in helping to understand this vast collection. Another valuable, but somewhat dated guide to federal government records relating to Indian and Métis genealogy is Indian History and Claims: A Research Handbook, Volume One, by Bennett Ellen McCardle (Ottawa, 1982). Inquiries about obtaining genealogical information about Indians and Inuit can be directed to the following institutions:

  • Elders, members of Aboriginal band councils and Indian governments;
  • Library and Archives Canada, http://www.collectionscanada.ca/index-e.html for more detailed information about records relating to the First Nations in Western Canada, please consult the LAC's Aboriginal Peoples Guide to the Records of the Government of Canada at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/02/02012001_e.html. An online research tool called ArchiviaNet allows the researcher to access a vast amount of information and databases. For the most part, ArchiviaNet contains finding aids to guide researchers through the holdings of LAC. In recent years LAC has digitized certain documents and these are available through its website. It is best to check on a regular basis for new material. As part of its diffusion programme, a significant portion of the RG10 has been microfilmed and can be borrowed through a local library. Certain of these films are also available at the Regina location of the Saskatchewan Archives, the libraries of the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Regina;
  • The various provincial archives. These institutions may hold not only copies of microfilm originating from LAC, but also unique records relating to provincial government programmes for Aboriginal peoples and private records of Indian leaders, clergy, educators and others. Links to Canadian Archives are found on www.usask.ca.
  • The provincial vital statistics offices for the birth, marriage and death records. Access and fees vary from province to province. In British Columbia and Ontario, earlier records have been transferred to the provincial archives.
  • Church archives because of the early involvement of Christian denominations in missions to Aboriginal peoples and in their education.


II. Official Saskatchewan Sources

1. Vital Statistics Records
Civil registration of births and deaths in Saskatchewan began in 1888 and in the case of marriages in 1878, in accordance with ordinances of the North-West Territories. However, due to difficulties in developing an effective system in the early years, the registration of vital events was not complete until approximately 1920.

Registrations of vital events, which occurred in Saskatchewan, are filed with Vital Statistics, Saskatchewan Health. Please do not forward requests for these records to the Saskatchewan Archives. Direct public access to vital information is not available at the present time. Departmental policy stipulates that genealogical photocopies of birth, marriage or death registrations are restricted to family members for genealogical research only. A reason must be provided when a genealogical photocopy of a registration is being requested. When requesting a genealogical photocopy of a birth or marriage registration, the client must also indicate whether the individual is deceased.

A genealogical photocopy of a registration of a vital event contains all of the information that appears on the original registration, with the exception of the genealogical photocopy of a registration of death, which does not show the cause of death. It should be noted that the Division of Vital Statistics is not prepared to handle general searches pertaining to events where the necessary identifying information cannot be provided. All vital events are registered separately, and no cross-references are made between them to establish family relationships. Therefore, sources other than registration records should be consulted for genealogical information wherever possible.

Since the privacy of individuals and their families must be considered, information regarding living persons will not be released for genealogical purposes except to the individual concerned or to his or her agent. Information regarding deceased persons will not be released to persons other than immediate family members or next-of-kin.

Requests for record searches should be submitted on prescribed application forms which are available from the Division of Vital Statistics. The current fee for a three-year record search and the subsequent issuing of a certificate or report of the search is $50.00. This fee should be submitted with the application in the form of a cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Health.

Record searches for purposes of genealogy are handled only as time permits. Therefore, applicants should not expect to receive results of record searches immediately following application. Applications will be processed more quickly where full and accurate identifying information is provided.

Vital Statistics information and application forms are available online at: www.health.gov.sk.ca.

Enquiries can also be made by conventional mail or telephone. The address of the agency is as follows:

Vital Statistics
Saskatchewan Health
1942 Hamilton Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3V7

Telephone: (306) 787-3092
Toll Free: 1-800-458-1179 (In Saskatchewan only)
Fax: (306) 787-2288

2. Court Records
The administration of justice in the area now called Saskatchewan dates from the period prior to the transfer of Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada in 1870. In these early years the Hudson's Bay Company had the responsibility of bringing offenders before its General Court in the Red River settlement.

In 1873 the first stipendiary magistrates and justices of the peace were appointed in the North-West Territories. More serious offences were usually tried before the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. This system continued until 1886, when Dominion and Territorial legislation provided for the establishment of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories and five judicial districts. After the province came into being in 1905, the territorial court system was continued until 1907. That year the province created a new court system including the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan, District Court and Supreme Court of Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Legislature dissolved the Supreme Court in 1915 and replaced it with the Court of King's Bench (or Queen's Bench during the reign of a queen) and the Court of Appeal, while the District and Surrogate courts continued to operate as before. By 1958 the number of judicial districts had increased to 21. In that year these districts were dissolved and, in their place, there was established just one judicial district, comprising the whole province, with 21 judicial centres.

In recent years the judicial system in Saskatchewan has been significantly reorganized. At present, there are three levels of court: the Provincial Court; the Court of Queen's Bench; and the Court of Appeal. There are 13 permanent judicial centres in the province. Addresses can be found at www.saskjustice.gov.sk.ca.

Court sessions below the level of the Court of Appeal may be held in any judicial centre in the province. Provincial legislation determines which court has jurisdiction to hear a case. Generally speaking, criminal offences and claims involving large amounts of money are tried in the Court of Queen's Bench. Other cases involving civil law are tried in lower court. The Court of Queen's Bench, the Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court of Canada may hear appeals.

Records of court proceedings are created and maintained in the judicial centre in which the case is heard. Each court jurisdiction maintains its own series of files. These are kept strictly in numerical sequence by the year court proceedings began. Reference to a procedure or docket book is therefore necessary in order to retrieve the file for a particular court action. The procedure or docket book names the plaintiff or claimant and the defendant states the type of action, lists the documents filed and the date they were filed, and provides the file number. Each book is indexed alphabetically. The type of documents in court records can vary greatly. Normally there is a statement of claim or complaint, a copy of the writ of summons, a statement of defence, and the judgement of the case. There may also be exhibits, affidavits, declarations, depositions, copies of subpoenas, examinations for discovery, information, notes of justices of the peace, and writs of execution. Usually a transcript of proceedings is made only in cases appealed to a higher court.

The Saskatchewan Archives holds a large volume of records of the Supreme Court of the North West Territories, the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, the Court of King's Bench, and the District Courts. While most court records are accessible to the general public, certain ones, such as those relating to adoption proceedings and court actions involving young offenders, are not. Because of the arrangement and storage of court records, inquiries must be specific. The name of the plaintiff or the defendant, the place of the trial, and the year of the trial should be known before the researcher approaches the judicial centre or the Saskatchewan Archives for information.

The probate records kept by the Surrogate Courts are the most informative court records from the genealogical standpoint. In the will filed in these records, members of the family of the deceased are usually mentioned and an indication of his material wealth and the ultimate division of the estate can be determined. Even when someone has died intestate (without leaving a will), probate records of the administration of the estate may list property and legal heirs, and may designate one or more executors. Probate records created before 1958 will be found in the Surrogate Court of one of the 14 permanent court locations nearest to the residence of the deceased. Since 1958, wills can be probated at any one of the judicial centres in the province, and genealogists might now look in the centre closest to the residence of the executor of the will as well. Copies of all probated wills are also filed with the Surrogate Registrar at the Regina Court House, but are accessible only if the full name of the deceased, the date of death and the place of last residence can be provided. There is a charge for this search.

For more information about accessing court records, please see our Information Bulletin entitled "Court Records.


3. Land Records

Search the Saskatchewan Homestead Index

Land Titles
Documenting an ancestor's ownership of a piece of land in Saskatchewan is an important but sometimes time-consuming task for the genealogist. Very often, family or local government records are incomplete and the only source of information is the Land Titles Office of the Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan (ISC). There are ten land registration districts in Saskatchewan, served by eight Land Titles Offices.

Every legal transaction involving the transfer of title to land is registered in the appropriate Land Titles Office. The land titles registry is a chronological filing of all documents relating to the land in a particular land registration district. Therefore, the documents pertaining to a single piece of land are not necessarily filed together.

In recognition of the limitations of the current land titles system, ISC has undertaken the Land Titles Automated Network Development (LAND) Project to convert the current title information and general record into electronic form. This will allow a greater variety of search criteria to be used. It will also allow for searches of the entire database from anywhere, without the requirement to work through a specific Land Titles Office. The LAND Project was launched in May 2001 and will continue to be implemented in stages.

To access LAND information or to locate addresses of local Service Centres throughout Saskatchewan, visit the ISC website at www.isc-online.ca or call the Customer Call Centre in Regina at (306) 798-0641 or toll free at 1-866-ASK-ISCA (1-866-275-4721). E-mail inquiries can be directed to ask@isc-online.ca.

Homestead Records
The Saskatchewan Homestead Index is a file locator database to the homestead files at the Saskatchewan Archives. It contains 360,000 references to those men and women who, from 1872 to 1930, under the terms of the Dominion Lands Act, took part in the homestead process in the area now known as Saskatchewan. Also included are those who bought or sold North West Métis or South African scrip or received soldier grants after World War One.

The database may be searched by name, by land location or by additional remarks, for example, about name changes or the name of the legal representative should the applicant have died. Special grants, such as the Métis scrip can also be identified by searching the remarks field.

Search the Saskatchewan Homestead Index

The files commonly referred to as the "homestead files" held by the Saskatchewan Archives were created by the head office of the Dominion Lands Branch, Federal Department of the Interior, when it was in charge of land settlement, 1871-1930, and by the Lands Branch of the Saskatchewan government after 1930.

Each file pertains to a specific quarter section or other portion of land available for settlement under the provisions of the Dominion Lands Act. It provides information on settlers seeking to obtain title to the land and basically covers the period from date of entry until the grant of patent, at which time the file was closed unless there were seed grain liens against the land.

The files contain information pertaining to various types of land grants: homesteads, pre-emptions, purchases on time sales, scrip grants to North West Métis and South African volunteers, and grants made to veterans of the 1914-1918 war. They also contain information on river lots, northern settlement and pasture leases, as well as incidental information relating to Indian reserves, lands obtained for school sites or churches, and crown lands set aside for specific purposes.

Three basic documents completed under the provisions of the Dominion Lands Act, and included in the homestead files are:

  • application for entry: the homesteader signed this form when he applied for entry on the land and gives the land location of the homestead, the date of entry, and the applicant's nationality. It also can provide the place of birth, previous residence and occupation, and a list of ages of family members but not their names. Applications for entry were not retained in every file. The homesteader also signed an affidavit in support of the application for entry. If the homesteader had previously made entry on a homestead, the date of entry and land description of this land are given on the affidavit.
  • sworn statement in support of application for patent: this was signed by the homesteader providing proof that he had met the requirements of the Dominion Lands Act. The information provided includes the name, age and citizenship status of the homesteader, length of residence on the land and the number of family members residing with him, cultivation done on the land, stock held, and the value of his dwelling, buildings and other improvements. If the homesteader had been naturalized, the date of certificate of naturalization is usually written on the sworn statement. On the reverse side of the document are the sworn statements of two witnesses verifying the information provided by the homesteader in his statement.
  • notification of patent: this is a notification from the Lands Branch to the homesteader that patent was issued in his name and that he was eligible to apply for a certificate of title at the Land Registration District office. The date that patent was issued and the postal address of the homesteader are given on this document.

Other documents sometimes contained in files are declarations of abandonment, notification of cancellation of entry, inspector's reports, statutory declarations of the homesteader's progress, copies of wills and naturalization certificates, and correspondence regarding a variety of subjects, particularly seed grain liens or interpretation of homestead law. Infrequently, statutory declarations regarding nationality, township maps and even photographs have been found in files.

The series of land grant files for the period after 1930 tend to provide more detail than the earlier series. Names and ages of family members are sometimes provided, and correspondence and inspector's reports offer more insight into the homesteader and his work on the land. A file in the pre-1930 homestead records can be located either by the full name of the homesteader or the legal land description of the homestead. Both should be provided if they are known. If the legal description is not known, the name of the nearest village or town is useful in making the search. In order to locate a file for a homestead grant after 1930, the legal land description is required. The basic documents in the records up to 1930 were copied on microfilm by the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The microfilm copies are available for use in the Regina office of the Archives; the original files are in the Saskatoon office.

Fiats for Patents
Are the formal orders that letters patent be issued in the name of the Crown to a Grantee. The fiat document provides the required information necessary to prepare the grant. A typical fiat includes the name, address and occupation of the grantee, legal description and size of the grant, type of grant, and both fiat and final grant number. This series is organized by township and range and held by the Regina Office of the SAB. As the records are kept at an off-site facility, requests to examine must be made several days in advance.

Township Registers
These registers were the Department of the Interior's (and the provincial government's after 1930) principal index to disposals of Dominion lands. These are organized by meridian and range, and within the volume by township, section and quarter section. A complete set, in original form, is available at the Regina Office of the SAB. Entries are dated from the early 1880's to the 1980's. Notations for each transaction include date of entry (application for grant), name of grantee or assignee, date of patent and notations if applications were cancelled.

Township Plans
These are "legal survey plans" and are preserved in the Regina Office of the SAB. The plans were completed and printed in Ottawa and bear a reproduction of the signature of the Surveyor General. These plans were utilized in regulating the granting of homesteads and other grants under the Dominion Lands Act. While certain of these plans contain information on existing settlements, no information is provided on individual settlers. Information is given on the various subdivisions, water areas, vegetation, soil quality, vegetation, roads and trails. An analysis of successive editions (re-surveys), may show change in land use over time.

The early records of the Dominion Lands Branch are scattered in various repositories across Canada. Copies of the original letters patent are held at LAC. These may also be available in Land Titles offices, although confirmation is necessary. An online searchable database containing a list of all land patents issued by federal offices, except for Indian reserve titles, is available on ArchiviaNet at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/0201_e.html. This speciality database relates exclusively to Letters Patent issued by the Lands Patent Branch of the Department of the Interior. The records refer to grants issued in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia, c. 1870-1930. The Glenbow Library and Archives, Calgary holds records of the sale of land by the Canadian Pacific Railway. A searchable index, by legal description or the purchaser's name can be accessed at www.glenbow.org.

Researchers will attain a greater degree of success in locating their ancestor's land records if they garner a good level of understanding of the administrative history of the Dominion Lands Branch. Two excellent sources are recommended: Kirk N. Lambrecht, The Administration of Dominion Lands, 1870-1930, (Regina, 1991), and; Irene Spry and Bennett McCardle, The records of the Department of the Interior and Research Concerning Canada's Western Frontier of Settlement, (Regina, 1993).

4. Municipal Records
Almost as soon as settlement began, the need for local government was apparent. The first attempt by the Government of the North-West Territories to allow unincorporated communities some form of self-government was The Municipal Ordinance of 1883. However, it was not until more adequate legislation was passed in 1893 that the movement began in earnest to incorporate village governments. A major revision regarding the establishment of local governments came in 1908 and 1909. The powers of village, town and city governments were clearly established through new provincial legislation. Another significant development affected rural government. Existing small local improvement districts were dissolved on 13 December 1909 and a grid of rural municipal boundaries was imposed on Saskatchewan, which basically remains intact today. The boundaries normally enclosed nine townships, which remained a Local Improvement District until the residents petitioned the Minister of Municipal Affairs for incorporation as a Rural Municipality.

Some records of rural municipalities, villages, towns and cities can be very helpful for those tracing their ancestry. However, since most local government offices are not able to provide extensive research services for genealogists, it is best to arrange a personal visit. Possibly such a visit could be planned in conjunction with a vacation, should the office be some distance away. If a personal visit proves to be impossible, a letter asking for limited, specific information may bring a satisfactory response. Addresses of local government officials in Saskatchewan can be found in the Community Directory, at www.municipal.gov.sk.ca. A published Municipal Directory is also available from Saskatchewan Municipal Affairs, Culture and Housing, Corporate Services, 14th Floor - 1855 Victoria Avenue, Regina SK S4P 3V7, for the price of $11.00.

Assessment and tax rolls, municipal maps and voters lists for years gone by can provide invaluable leads. They will help to determine the legal land description of parcels of land once owned by a member of the family. With this information in hand, the researcher can go on to land titles and homestead records for more details. Municipal records will also give some indication of the extent and value of real property owned by the family member. Very often the municipality operates a cemetery for the community and will have records relating to burial. Even the record of the sale of a cemetery plot can be a valuable clue to the family historian. Usually the municipal clerk will know of relatives still living in the area or can suggest a local historical society that may be able to help find other genealogical information within the community.

Records from a number of rural municipalities have been preserved in the original or on a microfilm copy in the offices of the Saskatchewan Archives. The extent and type of records available vary from one municipality to another.

The cities of Regina and Saskatoon have established archives that are available to the public. Many of the records, which they hold, are a valuable source for family history purposes. Links to these two organizations, as well as to other Saskatchewan repositories can be found at www.usask.ca.

The Saskatoon office of the Saskatchewan Archives has municipal corporation files created by the Department of Municipal Affairs, dating back to the 1890's. The files relate to the incorporation of rural municipalities, villages, towns and cities in the province, and they usually contain a list of petitioners asking the Minister for incorporation. In the case of rural municipalities, each petitioner was required to give the legal land description of his home farm. For urban municipalities, he had to state his occupation and he often provided the legal description of his lot. Beginning in 1914, legislation required that a census be taken in hamlets petitioning for incorporation as a village, and this enumeration may be found in the municipal corporation file. Undoubtedly this is a valuable document for the genealogist as it provides the name, age and address of every resident.

Another potentially valuable source to the genealogist is a series of files in the records of the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section) in the Saskatoon office of the Saskatchewan Archives. Legislation passed in 1940 allowed councils of rural municipalities to enroll all resident farmers as members of the U.F.C. (the legislation was repealed in 1950). For those rural municipalities that did enroll under this plan, voters lists are on file in the U.F. C. records, providing the name and legal land description of residence for all voters in the municipality.

5. Church Records
More than any other types of institutions, religious organisations have been scrupulous in recording vital information. Important rites, such as baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials, have usually been dutifully recorded in the parish register very soon after they were performed. These record the names of the key participants, as well as names of parents or other family members, vital ages, dates and places that all are so important to the family historian. However, we must take into consideration that, like vital statistics registrations, church records often contain information bearing on the privacy of the individual. These records may, therefore, be considered confidential, and the church that maintains them may restrict access.

Very often the major problem for the genealogist is finding the records of the church in which his family were members. In many instances the church may have closed and the parish registers transferred elsewhere. Some denominations regularly transfer congregational records to a central repository, while other denominations with a less formalized hierarchical structure may not do this.

The Saskatchewan Archives has in its custody many original and microfilm copies of parish registers. Most of these are from United, Anglican and Presbyterian churches in the province, but other denominations are represented as well. Since in most cases access to these records is subject to the permission of the Conference or Diocese, the researcher should contact the appropriate church body first.

Unless one definitely knows that the church to which his family belonged is still open, it is best to write to the central office or archives of that denominational body with one's inquiries. If necessary, the letter will usually be forwarded to the appropriate congregation. Listed below are addresses for the major church bodies represented in Saskatchewan.

Church Archives Addresses

Anglican Church of Canada

The Archivist, Qu'Appelle Diocese
1501 College Avenue
Regina SK S4P 1B6
Phone: 306-522-1608
Email: tpowell@archives.gov.sk.ca

The Registrar, Saskatchewan Diocese
1308 - 5th Avenue South
Prince Albert SK S6V 2H7
Phone: 306-763-2455

The Archivist, Saskatoon Diocese
Box 1965
Saskatoon SK S7K 3S5
Phone: 306-244-5651
Email: anglicansynod@sasktel.net

Baptist Church

Canadian Baptist Archives
McMaster Divinity College
1512 St. James Street
Hamilton ON L8S 4K1
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23511
Email: cbrecord@mcmaster.ca
Website: divinity.mcmaster.ca

Lutheran Church

Jeannette Brandell, Library
Lutheran Theological Seminary
114 Seminary Crescent
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon SK S7N 0X3
Phone: 306-966-7850

National Secretary
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
302-393 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone: 204-984-9150
Email: dstorch@elcic.ca

Manitoba-Saskatchewan District
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1927 Grant Drive
Regina SK S4S 4V6
Phone: 306-586-4434
Email: mholm@accesscomm.ca

Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church

Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
9 St. Johns Avenue
Winnipeg MB R2W 1G8
Phone: 204-586-3093
Email: consistory@uocc.ca

Methodist Church
(see United Church of Canada)

Presbyterian Church
(see also United Church of Canada)

Presbyterian Church of Canada
Administrative Offices
30 Wynford Drive
North York ON M3C 1J7
Phone: 416-441-1111 ext. 310
Website: www.presbyterian.ca/archives/contact.html

United Church of Canada
Saskatchewan Conference

United Church of Canada
Saskatchewan Conference
418A McDonald Street
Regina, SK S4N 6E1
Fax (306)721-3171
Email: ucskco@sasktel.net

Roman Catholic Church

Regina Archdiocese, Diocesan Centre
445 Broad Street North
Regina SK S4R 2X8
Phone: 306-352-1651
Email: rgerritsen@archregina.sk.ca
Website: www.archregina.sk.ca

Prince Albert Diocese, Chancery Office
1415 - 4th Avenue West
Prince Albert SK S6V 5H1
Phone: 306-922-4747
Email: arch@cec.pacsd6.sk.ca
Website: www.padiocese.sk.ca

Saskatoon Diocese, Catholic Pastoral Centre
100 - 5th Avenue North
Saskatoon SK S7K 2N7
Phone: 306-242-1500
Toll free: (In Sask.) 1-877-661-5005
Email: bishopoffice@rcdiocesesktn.sk.ca
Website: www.rcdiocesesktn.sk.ca

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Eparchy of Saskatoon
866 Saskatchewan Crescent East
Saskatoon SK S7N 0L4
Phone: 306-653-0138

Mennonite Church

Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Canada
77 Henderson Highway
Winnipeg MB R2L 1L1
Phone: 204-669-6575
Email: cmbs@mbconf.ca
Website: www.mbconf.ca/mbstudies

Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives
600 Shaftesbury Boulevard
Winnipeg MB R3P 0M4
Phone: 204-888-6781 ext. 243
Website: www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives

6. Cemetery Records
Due to lack of government regulations until the passing of the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Act in 1955, not all records of burials have been preserved. For the most part, those records, which survived, are maintained at the local level. The researcher therefore, will need to check with a church, village, town or municipality office or city hall. Churches, newspaper obituaries and funeral homes may hold information necessary to locate a burial plot. This information is also provided on death registrations after 1916.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Cemetery Program Since 1975 the SGS has been active in listing tombstone inscriptions in the province. To date, 3,200 cemeteries have been located and about half of these have been transcribed. The lists of these cemeteries, location, jurisdiction, date of transcription, and the date of the first and last burial in the cemetery can viewed at /www.saskgenealogy.com. There is a fee to have the records searched. Information about this service is available on the SGS website. Saskatchewan cemeteries that have records of burials on the internet can also be found on the SGS website.

7. Records of Educational Institutions
From the early days of settlement until the 1960's there were thousands of school districts in the province, the majority of them rural. It can be a problem to determine where family members attended school but, if the land description of the home farm is known, the municipal office in the area or the Saskatchewan Archives can help to pinpoint the school district in which they lived. From a genealogical standpoint, the most valuable record kept by the local schools is the attendance register of pupils. The register provides a list of all children enrolled in the school, along with their ages of dates of birth and sometimes the names of their parents or guardians. Unfortunately these records are not always readily accessible. In fact, in most instances they were simply lost or destroyed, or they were kept by the last secretary-treasurer when the school closed. In a few cases the records have been deposited with the Saskatchewan Archives or a local museum or library. Regulations stipulate that attendance registers are to be retained by the School Division office in the area concerned, and most of them are to be found at this source. As with all provincial and local government records, The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act governs access to attendance records. Permission for access to these records in the Saskatchewan Archives must be obtained from the Provincial Archivist. A Directory of School Officials is available from Saskatchewan Education, 2220 College Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3V7, or one can find addresses in the Canadian Almanac and Directory.

The Regina office of the Saskatchewan Archives holds a file, created by the Department of Education, for each school district established in Saskatchewan. While these files do not contain the names of pupils, they frequently include information concerning the activities leading up to the school district's formation such as the original petition and the names and residences of the first ratepayers. School Officials forms, which include the names of the trustees and other officials, some annual reports, and a few superintendents' reports are found in most of the files. Also included in the Department of Education records are inactive Teachers Register Sheets, 1912-1938, which show the date and place of birth and educational qualifications of the teachers listed.

Generally speaking, student records from institutions of higher education are not accessible to the public. Nevertheless there are quite often yearbooks and student newspapers that offer information on individual students. These are available in the archives of the two universities and in college libraries, and some have been collected by the Saskatchewan Archives.

8. Federal Government Records
A number of records of genealogical value, created by the federal government, have been transferred to Library and National Archives Canada in Ottawa. These include early census enumerations, military lists, land records and passenger lists. A detailed description of these sources is given in Tracing Your Ancestors in Canada (Ottawa: National Archives, 1998), a free booklet available from the National Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N3. The Library and Archives Canada website at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/publications/index-e.html contains an excellent introduction to these sources as well as general guidelines to genealogical research.

Many of these records are available in microfilm copy through the interlibrary loan service and are available to libraries that have microfilm readers. A local library should be contacted with regard to borrowing these microfilm sources.

Census returns contain the official enumeration of the Canadian population. For most provinces, the returns of 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, and 1911 are nominal, listing each person individually, with details as to age, sex, country or province of birth, religion, racial or ethnic origin, occupation, marital status and education. Portions of the 1851 census have not survived. Returns prior to 1851 are rarely complete for any geographical area and most list only the heads of households. For 1851, 1861 and 1871, there are also some agricultural returns, which list lot and concession numbers of farms, and provide considerable detail such as acreage, livestock and agricultural products. Additional schedules have survived for the 1871 census, including business/industrial returns and schedules of deaths in the preceding year. The 1901 returns also include date of birth, year of immigration and address or location of land.

The first nominal census to include all of Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia was taken in 1881, which incidentally is the first to include the area now Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Archives has a copy of the microfilm of the census of 1881, 1891, and 1901 for that part of the North West Territories now known as Saskatchewan, the 1906 census of the newly formed Northwest Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the 1911 census for Saskatchewan. Indexes for the 1881 and 1891 enumerations have been prepared by the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, and an index for 1901 enumerations prepared by the Alberta Genealogical Society, greatly simplifying research. Because of statutory restrictions over the use of more recent enumerations, 1911 is the latest census available for public research.

The census records themselves are a household-by-household listing in each enumeration district. Each resident is listed by name along with his or her age, country or province of birth, religion, ethnic origin, occupation and marital status. Where there is no alphabetical index to these records, the researcher must first establish the place of residence of the ancestors he wishes to research, and then he or she must be prepared to search through all residents of that place until he finds them.

Passenger lists
While federal immigration and citizenship records prior to 1917 are very sketchy, one very important source is the extensive collection of lists of passengers arriving in Canadian ports beginning in 1865. These lists were compiled under law by ships transporting people to Canada. The originals are now in the National Archives of Canada and have been copied onto microfilm for dissemination to the public. Passenger manifests of ships arriving at the following ports of entry are available:

  • Québec City and Montréal, Quebec: 1865 - 1935 (closed during the winter months) Arrivals at Montr�al between 1865 and 1924 are included in the Quebec lists.
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia: 1881 - 1935
  • Saint John, New Brunswick: 1900 - 1935
  • North Sydney, Nova Scotia: 1906 - 1935
  • These lists include mostly ferry arrivals from Newfoundland and St-Pierre et Miquelon, with a few passengers in transit from other countries.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia: 1905 - 1935
  • Victoria, British Columbia: 1905 - 1935 (includes some small Pacific ports)
  • via New York: 1906 - 1931
  • via eastern United States ports: 1905 - 1928
  • These U.S. lists include only the names of passengers who stated that they intended to proceed directly to Canada.

Researchers who live outside the Ottawa area can access microfilm copies in the LAC collections through the inter-institutional loan arrangement. An online searchable index is available on the LAC site on individuals who arrived in Canada 1925-1935. Click here to search the Immigration Records (1925 - 1935) database.

The Saskatchewan Archives has a copy of the microfilm of passenger lists for the ports of Halifax, 1881-1919, Quebec City, 1865-1926, Saint John, 1900-1918, and New York, 1906-1919. The SAB also holds border entry records for the period 1908-1918. Due to the time required to search these records, SAB staff cannot look for individuals on these lists.

The lists are arranged by date of arrival, so it is necessary for the genealogist to know approximately what date and in what port his ancestors arrived. Since the lists are not alphabetically arranged, the researcher must scan through them in order to locate the pertinent entries. The information given is generally the name, age, occupation and intended destination of each passenger. Unfortunately the origin of the immigrant is rarely provided.

Citizenship (Naturalization) Records
The Canadian Citizenship Act came into force on 1 January 1947. From 1763 to that date, persons born in the provinces and colonies of British North America were all British subjects. Being of equal status, immigrants from Great Britain and the Commonwealth did not need be to be naturalized. If they were not already British subjects, homesteaders had to become naturalized before were obtaining patent to the land.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada holds records of naturalization and citizenship from 1854 to the present. Unfortunately, the originals of records dated between 1854 and 1917 have been destroyed. However, a nominal card index has been maintained and provides information given at the time of naturalization. It includes present and former place of residence, former nationality, occupation, date of certification, name and location of the responsible court. The index rarely contains any other genealogical information. Records created after 1917 are more detailed, indicating the surname, given name, date and place of birth, entry into Canada, and in some cases, the names of spouses and children. Requests for copies of naturalization/citizenship records should be mailed to:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Public Rights Administration
365 Laurier Ave West
15th Floor

A Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada must submit each application for copies on an Access to Information Request Form. The request must be accompanied by a signed consent from the person concerned or proof that he/she has been deceased twenty years. Proof of death can be a copy of a death record, a newspaper obituary or a photograph of the gravestone showing name and death date. The request should include the following information: full name, date and place of birth, and if possible, the number of the Canadian citizenship or naturalization certificates. There are fees for searches and more information can be obtained by calling the Citizenship and Immigration Canada call centre at 1-888-242-2100 (toll-free). Website address: www.cic.gc.ca.

Military Records
The Library and Archives Canada houses military and civilian personnel records and has made much of this information available online at http://www.archives.ca . These records include pre-First World War records, First World War records (1914-1918), and post-First World War records, including the Second World War (1939-1945).

Over 600,000 Canadians enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I (1914-1918). The index to these CEF Attestation Papers is available online by searching the Soldiers of the First World War database. This database can be accessed through the Library and Archives Canada website's ArchiviaNet Online Research Tool.

E-mail inquiries are not accepted for post-First World War records. The request must be made in writing by mail or fax to the address below. A printed copy of the Application for Military Service Information form can be used to submit a request.

Personnel Records Unit
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N3
Fax: (613) 947-8456

9. Libraries
Many libraries in the province offer services of great value to the family historian. Their holdings often include genealogical reference books, atlases, gazetteers, newspapers, directories, local and family histories. Sometimes sources of information that can be found nowhere else will be available in the local library.

Many local libraries throughout the province maintain small archives collections. The public libraries at Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton have established local history rooms in which are collected printed and documentary items relating to their districts and sometimes the entire province.

Special collections in the libraries of the two universities in the province include many valuable sources of published genealogical information. The extensive Anthony Becker collection of material on Germans in Eastern Europe is housed at the University of Saskatchewan library. The University of Saskatchewan library also has an extensive collection of French-Canadian genealogical source materials, such as Cyprien Tanguay's Dictionnaire G�n�alogique des Familles Canadiennes (also available at the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society library and, on microfiche, at the University of Regina library). Both university libraries purchase, whenever possible, all local history books published in Saskatchewan.

Another important service provided by libraries is interlibrary loan, whereby books and microfilm from other institutions can be borrowed through the local library. Records such as the Census of Canada in the Library and Archives Canada and newspapers held by the Saskatchewan Archives have been copied on microfilm and are available through the interlibrary loan system. Those interested in making use of this service should first contact their local library. If the local library does not have a microfilm reader, perhaps another nearby library does and the researcher may be able to use its facilities.

Links to Saskatchewan Libraries can found at Saskatchewan Libraries.

10. Museums
Museums can also be valuable institutions with which to check for local sources of family history. If a family heirloom has been donated to the museum collection, the museum files should have background information. Diaries, business records, photographs and the like may also be deposited in the local museum.

For links to Saskatchewan Museums, visit www.sasksearch.com/travel.


III. Genealogical Sources at the Saskatchewan Archives
In addition to the sources already discussed, the Saskatchewan Archives has a number of other collections which may be of interest to researchers tracing their family history. The following are brief descriptions of sources that should not be overlooked. It should be noted that this list is intended to serve only as an introduction to the diverse holdings of the SAB.

Researchers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with sources through consultations with staff, perusal of finding aids and personal examination of the records. With the exception of weekly newspapers and a few other records on microfilm, all materials must be used on SAB premises. Our Reading Room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, with reference service and stack retrieval from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reference publications and most records on microfilm are available in the Reading Room and may be used on a self-service basis. Materials preserved in the Regina office may be transferred for use in the Saskatoon office, and vice versa. Materials will usually be received three to four weeks after the request is made. Duplicating services -- photocopies, microfilm printouts, photographic reproductions and copies of audio and video tape -- are available at current prices. Copy orders will be sent out with an invoice. Pre-payment is required for orders exceeding $50.

Although specific requests may be made by letter, telephone, or e-mail, it is best to visit the Archives personally, if possible. Our staff time is limited and we are not able to make extensive searches on a speculative basis.

1. Newspapers
A large collection of Saskatchewan daily and weekly newspapers is available, mostly on microfilm, beginning with the Saskatchewan Herald (Battleford), first published in 1878. The Historical Directory of Saskatchewan Newspapers, 1878-1983 (Saskatchewan Archives Reference Series No. 4, 1984) lists all known newspapers published in the province and identifies those available at the SAB. Newspaper holdings are divided between the two offices by geographic location. A few newspapers are available in both offices. Weekly newspapers on microfilm may be borrowed on inter-library loan through public libraries.

2. Biographies
Saskatchewan and its People (Hawkes), History of Saskatchewan (Black) and Pioneers and Prominent People of Saskatchewan are available in both offices and an index to these publications is available in the Regina office.

Biographies of many pioneers for whom geographical features have been named were received from the Department of Natural Resources. Biographical files compiled by the old Saskatchewan Historical Society are in the Regina office. The Regina office also maintains files of biographies clipped from newspapers and other sources.

3. Family Histories
A number of published and unpublished genealogies of families connected with Saskatchewan have been donated to the Archives. The SAB welcomes further donations.

4. Directories
Henderson's Directories for Western Canada are available for the period 1885-1908. Henderson's city directories are available for most years for the major cities and for a more limited range of years after 1908 for some of the smaller cities.

Postal directories, business directories and single editions of various directories, such as the McPhillips Saskatchewan Directory of the Prince Albert and Battleford areas for 1888 and Wrigley's Saskatchewan Directory for 1921-1922, are available in both offices. The Parliamentary Guide and the Directory of Parliament provide biographical sketches of political figures. Early registers of professional associations, such as the NWT Medical Register for 1894, may also be helpful. The Regina office has a complete set of telephone directories since 1908.

5. Government Publications
The Sessional Papers of Canada include annual Civil Service Lists, which provide the names of all civil servants, the Militia Lists, and various reports, such as that on Metis claims in 1885 which lists the claimants to land in the settlements along the South Saskatchewan River. The Public Accounts of the Province of Saskatchewan list provincial civil servants. Name changes, notices relating to appointments incorporations, business partnerships and incorporations.

6. Local Histories
Many community, school district, church and institutional histories have been acquired, including approximately 1000 histories compiled by Saskatchewan schools as Golden Jubilee Projects in 1955. Many of these contain family histories, biographical sketches of local pioneers, lists of settlers, schoolteachers, elected officials and clergy.

7. Private Records
Personal papers and correspondence in many collections may have incidental information of value to genealogists. Diaries, reminiscences and letters originate not only with prominent figures but also with many ordinary people who helped to build the province. See also Our Collections - Private Records.

8. Oral History
The SAB oral history collection, one of the largest in Canada, consists of several thousand recorded interviews with early settlers, political and community leaders and with individuals from many social, ethnic and occupational groups. Most are biographical in nature. See also Our Collections - Recorded Sound Collection

9. Pioneer Questionnaires
In the early 1950s, the SAB circulated questionnaires to Saskatchewan pioneers on a number of facets of pioneer life including farming, diet, schools, churches, recreation and housing. The several thousand replies, which were received, are held in the Saskatoon office. They include some family information.

10. Maps
The Regina office has a set of Cummins Rural Directory Maps for the years 1917, 1920, 1922, 1926 and 1930 which show the owners of rural lands by quarter section. The Saskatoon office has copies of Cummins maps from 1920 and 1930. Other historical maps are also available.

11. Photographs
The SAB has an extensive collection of over a million photographs of individuals, communities, activities and events. They are indexed by name, place and subject.

12. Military Records
Although Canadian military records are held by the Library and Archives Canada, the Regina location has some records pertaining to Saskatchewan servicemen. The records of the Department of Public Works contain nominal rolls of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I. The names are arranged by battalion only. There is no name index to the entire collection. However, there is an alphabetical listing of those from Saskatchewan who died in World War I and World War II. Collections of the Regina Rifles Regiment, the Royal Canadian Legion, British Empire Service League, and the Saskatchewan Provincial Command, may contain biographical information on servicemen.



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