[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Research Material at Alberta Provincial Archives

Ron Neuman ron at neuman.ca
Thu Mar 9 19:43:50 PST 2006

I spent some time at the Provincial Archives of Alberta in Edmonton 
this afternoon looking at a source that I have never previously 
used  in my many years of researching.

Alberta celebrated its 75th Anniversary as a province of Canada in 
1980 (yes, the 100th anniversary was last year), and the Provincial 
Government had two special sets of medallions casted by the federal 
mint at Fort Saskatchewan for the occasion.  Gold medallions were 
presented to those citizens of the province who had been born in 
Alberta prior to 1905.  Silver medallions were presented to those who 
were born prior to 1905 (outside of Alberta) and subsequently moved 
to Alberta.  Citizens were required to fill out an application form 
with some basic information in order to qualify for a medallion.

The collection of these application forms resides at the Provincial 
Archives (Accession Number 82.66).  The collection is comprised of 
the original hand filled forms that were submitted to the Provincial 
Government in 1979/1980 by citizens of Alberta, and generally they 
were filled out by the applicant or someone in the applicant's family.

The information is fairly basic, but is very useful if you are trying 
to trace the place of birth of one of these oldtimers.  The 
information on the form includes name, birth date, age, place of 
birth, current address, place where the applicant lived prior to 
1906, and how long they had been in Alberta.

The birth dates are filled out in ALL cases, as well as the place of 
birth, and current address for 1980.  The quality of information for 
the place of birth is quite varied.  In some cases there is good 
detail (for example - Antinufka, Wladimir, Poland/Russia; or 
Sampolno, Russian Poland; or Josefin, Ukraine, Russia), and in some 
cases fairly vague (for example - Russia; or Poland).

I presently have a project underway of sorting out the many Neumann 
families who settled in the South Edmonton farming area, and these 
records are proving to be quite useful.  I found 16 Neumanns who 
received silver medallions, and 2 who received gold medallions (and 
of the 18 records, 13 provided reasonably good detail on place of birth).

If you plan on using these records, it is wise to remember that this 
collection contains only those people who applied for a 
medallion.  Not everyone who was eligible for a medallion actually 
applied for a medallion.

A third form of recognition was also distributed in 1980 - the 
Pioneer Pin.  It was given to those residents of Alberta who had been 
born in Alberta between 1906 and 1916.  I did not see an index of 
those people in the record system, but I will check with an archivist 
the next time I visit the Archives.

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