[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] farmers got land grants and tree grants

Charlotte Dubay hoeserhistory at aol.com
Sun Sep 15 15:05:37 PDT 2013

Randy wrote:

The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up the western USA.  The Act was enhanced in about 1872 with the Timber Culture Act.  At the same time Canada was going through the Dominion Lands Act.  If the family was not originally farming types this may explain their change of work and where they lived.  Free land.
Also in the 1870s was the Long Depression.

Yes, Randy, all four of my lines were farmers. But my Russian ggrandfather and his children got free land in both Canada AND America. It seems like they lived like gypsies most of their lives: From SD, 4 sons and a daughter went with this father to SK Canada, and homesteaded there. The children later returned and homesteaded in America! They also got extra land from the "tree" grants that were available for a few years. Plant the trees and you got what, 160 more acres? Something like that. My grandmas and all the other kids would get out and plant row after row of trees. (they made many "wind rows" that way.) The tree grant wasn't offered for too many years, but homestead land was well into the mid 1900s. 

Three grgrandpas didn't file first papers, so the kids had to individually file for citizenship to get land. My grandma filed as a single woman both in Canada - where she got a land grant - and later changing her naturalization to America and getting a land grant in ND. She sold her Canadian land to a brother for $1600. Then she later married an American born man. (Her sisters just married American born men. hah) But, of course, they all kept their lands in both countries. They vagabonded for years before they settled. And even then the Russian-German men left the homesteads for months while gambling and horse trading to the west - while Mama and children did the farm chores! My Russian-German greatgrandfather, in 1920 as an old man, finally renounced Canada and became an American citizen...quite a family. (The families who stayed on the homesteads, are now all pretty well-to-do because of the land. We who went to the cities? Not so good!) 

Charlotte DuBay
hoeserhistory at aol.com

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