It’s been 13 years…

Mom
Mom, me, and my boys

Madeleine Hogue (née Vaillancourt)

June 6, 1916 – October 21, 2006

An update on the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces

After waiting 5 years to have another Canadian census to “dig into” it’s no surprise that I have been busy trying to trace my people!  The digitized images are now available to search on FamilySearch and Library Archives Canada.

The images are indexed, which means they are searchable BUT of course there are some issues I have encountered. Some names have been incorrectly indexed, either due to illegible handwriting on the original document, or careless work by the indexer.  (Please note I VERY much appreciate the work of the genealogists who volunteer their time, as I have, to index records.) Unfortunately, there is no mechanism, at this time, to submit corrections to the index on either FamilySearch or Library Archives Canada.

So far I have found Girardin indexed as Givardni and Dumas as Duman.

The most surprising error so far has been the fact that I found a page that was digitized, but not indexed!  I couldn’t find my husband’s family with a search, no matter how creatively I tried to vary my search terms.  I found them by browsing, and lo and behold, that whole page of the census was not indexed!

A great bit of news…Library Archives Canada now has a listing of the 1926 census districts and a street index as well!  Go here.

Happy searching!

 

Navigating the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces

Yesterday Gail Dever announced on her wonderful blog Genealogy à la carte that the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces was now available on FamilySearch for browsing. Canadian genealogists have been waiting anxiously for this census to be publicly released.  Many of us were involved in indexing this project on FamilySearch, so that the census can be made searchable. That is supposed to be happening in March.

However, the document on FamilySearch is NOT searchable yet.  It is only a series of digitized microfilms, divided by province.  I was too excited to wait to find Mémère and Pépère in La Salle, Manitoba.

There is no listing for the census districts and sub-districts of the 1926 Census yet, at least not one that I could find.  These titles and numbers can change as boundaries are redrawn, but I checked the 1921 census to make note of the fact that they were enumerated in Manitoba, Provencher, District 34, Sub-district 26, Municipality of Macdonald, La Salle Village. Then I checked the 1916 census which told me they were living in Township 8, Range 2, East of the meridian. That’s important to know and you’ll see why.

Back to the FamilySearch record which, as I mentioned, is a series of digitized films. I jumped around, clicking on the camera icon, to understand how the information was presented.

1926 list

Excerpt of FamilySearch catalogue record for Canada, Prairie Provinces Census, 1926

At the start of each film there is an index card, in beautiful, clear writing, that says which districts and townships were being enumerated on the next pages.

Index card

I discovered you could toggle between a specific page and the whole film by clicking on the icon on the left that looks like a grid. In this manner I was able to scan through the film, checking each index card along the way. I did some quick browsing and found the listings for Provencher but couldn’t find La Salle.

I remembered that even though the whole census isn’t released until 92 years after the fact!!!!!!! the statistical analysis of the population is released much sooner. I found the link to a pdf of The Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926 : population and agriculture, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta published by what we now call Stats Canada. I noticed on page 9 (image 209) that the Manitoba Electoral Districts were listed in a particular order, and had both a Provencher District and a Macdonald District.

Electoral districts

Page 4, image 209 from The Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926 : population and agriculture, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta

Aha! Back to the FamilySearch digitized microfilm, I chose the 4th film from the top, assuming the census may have been filmed in the same order as the statistics tables (which appears to be true). I was looking for the District of Macdonald this time. Still nothing, and everything was West of the meridian. So I moved up to the 3rd film and continued the process.

Voila! There they are, still Township 8, Range 2 E in the Village of La Salle, only now it’s called Macdonald District 4, sub-district 1.

It was almost a whole day of work, but such fun! Think I’ll wait for the search function next month before I look for anyone else.

FYI, if anyone is looking to do the same for Saskatchewan and Alberta, you can check  The Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926 : population and agriculture, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta for the list of districts. Saskatchewan is on page 217, image 419 and Alberta is on page 519, image 723.

Happy searching!

Canada Day 2018

July 1st is Canada Day, our national holiday.  It celebrates the proclamation of the British North America Act, which took place on July 1st, 1867.

Of course our country is older than 151 years.  Our native ancestors were here long before that,  and many of our immigrant ancestors had a part to play in our history.

I thought I would celebrate today by referencing some of the historical events in which our forebearers took part.  Some of these events are mentioned on the Timeline part of this blog.

Some time before 1621 Olivier Le Tardif, my 9X great-grandfather, was an interpreter for the explorer Samuel Champlain.

15 of my ancestors are on the monument in Quebec City that honors  Lés Premiers Colons de Québec.

Another 9X great-grandfather, Gilbert Barbier dit Minime, was among the first settlers to be with Maisonneuve when he founded Ville Marie, now Montreal in 1641.

My 3X great-grandfather, Jean Baptiste Bernardin, came to Canada from France, and fought in the War of 1812.

In 1827 James McMillan, my 3X great-grandfather, and a Chief Factor with HBC, founded the fur trade fort at Fort Langley.

In the Red River Settlement, my Metis ancestors, the Hogue, McMillan, and Dease families were observers, and sometimes participants in the events that led to the Riel Rebellion.  William Dease, Sr., my 2X great-granduncle, was an opponent of Louis Riel’s.  Meanwhile Marguerite McMillan, my great grandaunt, was married to Jean Baptiste Beauchemin, who served on Riel’s Provisional Government.

In 1878 my 2X great grandparents, Paul Girardin and Marie Louise Bernardin, with their families, joined the hundreds of emigrants who came west to set up homesteads.  In their case, it was their second move, from Quebec to Massachusetts, to Manitoba.

These are only some of the stories that make up our country’s history, and my personal one.  No wonder I find genealogy so fascinating!

Happy Canada Day!

 

 

Father’s Day 2018

It’s been almost 46 years since my Dad died.  Pictures, of course, will always stir recollections, but other senses can also bring memories into sudden, sharp focus.

Dad worked for the Canadian National Railway as a welder.

Hogue Thomas b1909 welder

Thomas Hogue 1909 – 1972

In the summers, the railroad “gang” of ten sometimes worked in one location for an extended period of time. When this happened, my siblings and I often tented along side our Dads.   Our family had a big old canvas tent, the kind with a pole in the centre.

img011

For us children it was an exciting adventure…for Mom, probably not so much considering the work it would have involved!

The point is that the smell of a railroad track immediately makes me think of Dad, and those happy times.

img007

Hearing, as in songs, is well recognized as a memory trigger.  There are two songs, that for me, always conjure up my Dad.  The first is the Red River Jig, which I’ve talked about previously.

The other is an old tune called Cruising Down the River, which Dad used to sing to me when I was a child, changing the words to “with my Jackie by my side.” You can listen to the song here.

On my wedding day, we danced to that tune. I can’t find the picture of us dancing though.

img228

Dad and me