(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
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
3. Writing It Down
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
5. Posting Electronic Mail
6. Genealogical Societies
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:
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
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
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
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.
7. Native Ancestry
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:
II. Official Saskatchewan Sources
1. Vital Statistics Records
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:
Telephone: (306) 787-3092
2. Court Records
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
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 email@example.com.
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:
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
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
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
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
The Registrar, Saskatchewan Diocese
The Archivist, Saskatoon Diocese
Jeannette Brandell, Library
Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church
Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Presbyterian Church of Canada
United Church of Canada
United Church of Canada
Roman Catholic Church
Saskatoon Diocese, Catholic Pastoral Centre
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Eparchy of Saskatoon
Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives
6. Cemetery Records
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
For links to Saskatchewan Museums, visit www.sasksearch.com/travel.
III. Genealogical Sources at the Saskatchewan Archives
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.
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
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
6. Local Histories
7. Private Records
8. Oral History
9. Pioneer Questionnaires
12. Military Records