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