Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Bill and Pauline

William Demoskoff and Pauline Demosky


My father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff with his cousin Pauline Demosky, about 1941.


Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Luchenia Demoskoff

Luchenia Demoskoff gravemarker
Luchenia Demoskoff gravemarker

Luchenia was my husband’s paternal grandmother. I recently wrote a brief article about her; it’s available here.


Fifty-four years ago, Luchenia died in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on 28 April 1960; she was 74 years old. She was laid to rest next to her husband in Tolstoy Doukhobor Cemetery, north of Veregin, Saskatchewan, on 4 May 1960.

Luchenia’s Christian name “Lukeria” is a variation of Luchenia. As for her married surname, it was “Demosky”. I believe her sons George and William (who changed their surname to Demoskoff in 1940) were responsible for modifying their mother’s name when a marker was chosen for her. They were probably also responsible for changing their father’s surname on his gravemarker, which I’ve written about here.

Luchenia’s gravemarker reads:

DEMOSKOFF
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
LUKERIA N.
1885 – 1960
SWEET BE THY REST

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, April 28, 2014

How Many First Cousins Do You Have?

Last week, my mother watched a TV show in which a guest was asked how many cousins she had. She replied “25” and the host said that was a lot.

Mom hollered at me (she was downstairs in the family room) to see if I knew how many cousins she had. She knew it was a lot, but didn’t know the exact count. So, off I went to get my genealogy files and start calculating.

Young girl playing with an abacus

By the time I was done, I had counted an incredible (well, incredible at least to me) 143 first cousins!

Here’s the breakdown.

Paternal Side:

Mom’s father Eugène Desgroseilliers was the eldest of 14 children, but only some of them had children. Eugène’s sister Flavie had 8 children, while brothers Roméo had 5, Léonidas had 12, Léandre had 5, Ovide had 7, Ovila had 6, and Joseph had 7. That’s a total of 50 paternal first cousins.

Maternal Side:

Mom’s mother Juliette Beauvais was the third of 16 children, and most of them had children. Juliette’s sisters Agathe had 8 children, while Lorette had 7.* Brothers Ovide had 16, Oscar had 11,† Léger had 15, Romuald had 4, Emile had 4, Martial had 7, Réal had 15, Aurèle had 4, Joseph had 6, and Jean-Marie had 3. That’s a total of 93 maternal first cousins.

* Lorette married Eugène’s younger brother Ovide and had 7 children, so I didn’t count them in the maternal total.

† Oscar had 11, possibly 14, children, but I used the lower number to count them.

Some of Mom’s aunts and uncles lived in the same towns she did as a child, and she got to know those cousins. A few relatives lived further away from her family, so she didn’t meet them until she was an adult, but there were other cousins she never met and didn’t know anything about them. Now and then, though, Mom’s older sister Madeleine (because of where she lived and how much she travelled) would get news of those distant cousins and share the details with her sisters.

Tell me, dear readers, do you know how many first cousins you have?

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Sisters Priscille and Domitille Belair

My paternal grandfather Fred Belair’s half-sisters Priscille Belair (1900-1939) and Domitille Belair (1901-1973) both died in the month of April and were buried on the same day, 34 years apart.

I found these genealogical details when I travelled to the province of Quebec in the late 1980s and located their church burial records in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham in Gatineau County. If I wanted to see those same records today, I would view them in the “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967” database at Ancestry.ca.

Priscille Belair

Burial record of Priscille Belair
Priscille Belair’s burial record, 1939 [1]

Priscille was the elder of the two sisters. She died relatively young on 24 April 1939. Her death at 39 years old must have been a devastating loss for her husband Aldoria Meunier, by whom she had 13 children, as well as their surviving 10 children, including the youngest, Marie Rose, who was only six weeks old.

Priscille’s burial record states that she died in Hôpital Sacré-Coeur of Hull (about 30 minutes from Masham), but does not give the cause of death; RC church records rarely do. I wonder if her death had something to do with her last pregnancy or the birth of her last child.

Domitille Belair

Burial record of Mathilde Belair
Mathilde Belair’s burial record, 1973 [2]

Domitille, also known as Mathilde, was a month short of her 72nd birthday when she died on 10 April 1973. She too died in hospital, but in the General Hospital of Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, according to her burial record.

By her first husband Norbert Martineau, Domitille had five children. (I’ve written about the couple’s wedding day in Wedding Wednesday: Martineau - Belair.) Domitille married André Renaud in June 1972, one year after Norbert’s death.

The Sisters' Funerals

Both sisters were interred in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, where they were born and raised.

Priscille’s funeral took place on 27 April 1939. Father Filiatreault, who performed the ceremony, noted in her burial record that Priscille was “munis des derniers Sacrements de l’Eglise”, meaning that she received the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. A priest, possibly Sacré-Coeur Hospital’s chaplain, administered the last Sacraments: Penance (confession), Anointing of the Sick, and Viaticum (communion), and offered prayers and readings for the dying. [3]

Domitille’s remains were transported from Kingston to Ste-Cécile-de-Masham. Her funeral took place there on 27 April 1973, with Father René Soucy of Masham as the celebrant.

Priscille died many years before I was born, so I never knew her. Although Domitille lived in Kingston when I was a young teen and lived a few hours north in Timmins, I don’t believe we ever met.

Sources:

1. Ste-Cécile Roman Catholic Church (Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec), sacramental register, p. 255, entry no. S.9, burial of Priscille Bélair [sic], 27 April 1939; parish rectory, Ste-Cécile-de-Masham. (My husband and I made photocopies of selected baptism, marriage and burial records from the sacramental registers when we visited Ste-Cécile in the late 1980s, but we unfortunately didn’t note which volumes we used.)

2. Ste-Cécile Roman Catholic Church (Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec), sacramental register, p. 78, entry no. S.11, burial of Mathilde Bélair (Renaud) [sic], 27 April 1973; parish rectory, Ste-Cécile-de-Masham. (My husband and I made photocopies of selected baptism, marriage and burial records from the sacramental registers when we visited Ste-Cécile in the late 1980s, but we unfortunately didn’t note which volumes we used.)

3. Reverend Peter M. J. Stravinskas, editor, Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia (Huntingdon, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1991), 572, “Last Sacraments”.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your "Real Life"

It’s Saturday, and Randy over at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge for his readers!

Tonight’s challenge is: Your "Real Life”.

Randy asks his readers to “tell us about your "real life" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research […]” and to “write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post”.

I had to think about it this for a minute; I mean, do I have a “real life” beyond genealogy? :-)

I sure do! Here is a sampling of how I spend my time when not doing genealogy:

Scrapbooking – I love to scrap photos and stories of my son Nicholas when he was a little fellow, but I spend less time on this hobby than I used to.

Royalty – I used to devote many hours to researching and compiling royal and noble family trees, and was active in Usenet newsgroups like alt.talk.royalty in the 1990s and early 2000s. I even created a royalty website, but haven’t (I’m sorry to admit) maintained it for some years.

Reading – I have eclectic taste in books, but my favorites are biographies, history, and topic-specific works, like Tiaras, Past and Present, by Geoffrey Munn (2002) and The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, by Henry Petroski (2000). I have quite a collection of royalty books that are stored in IKEA bookcases in the spare bedroom in the house; when people see this room, they call it my library. The oldest book I own is an 1886 edition of Almanach de Gotha. This genealogical book has 1104 pages, and measures a petite 13 x 9 cm (about 5 x 3½").

Television and Movies – My husband and I are big fans of old Sherlock Holmes movies (the ones starring Basil Rathbone) and the Granada Television series starring Jeremy Brett. During our trip to London in 2008, we toured the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street. We also love to watch Agatha Christie TV adaptations, in particular the Hercule Poirot series with David Suchet.

Family – I love being with my family, so I take as many opportunities to invite them for the holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Since we all love card and board games, we also tend to get together on weekends for poker or Scrabble, Pictionary and Rummoli.

Art and Music – Living in a small town doesn’t stop Michael and I from driving 1-2 hours to nearby cities for events like concerts (we recently saw “The Nylons”, Canada’s a cappella group) and art exhibits.

How do you spend your “real life"?

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

The Hull - Ottawa Fire of 1900

26 April 1900 promised to be a ‘fine’ day for Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, according to the weather report. [1]

By mid-morning on that spring day, fate decided differently.

About 11:00 a.m., 114 years ago today, a fire broke out in Hull, opposite Ottawa. The origin: a burning chimney in the house of A. Kirouac on Chaudière Street. [2] The fire spread quickly throughout Hull, and by 1:00 p.m., “it is thought that the whole city […] will be destroyed”. [3]


Hull Ottawa Fire of 1900
View of Queen Street looking west during the Hull - Ottawa Fire of 1900.
(Library and Archives Canada / PA-120334)

The fire destroyed almost everything in its path as it accelerated beyond Hull to nearby islands in the Ottawa River where lumber companies stored their stacked lumber. From there, the fire reached the city of Ottawa. Fierce winds swept “sparks and flaming shingles in many directions and frequently caught in sections a considerable distance remote”. [4]


Hull Ottawa Fire of 1900
Hull Fire showing bridge on Ottawa side looking toward McKay's Mill.
(Horatio Needham Topley (1847-1910) / Library and Archives Canada)

By late afternoon, the great fire was consuming Ottawa’s working-class residential neighborhood of LeBreton Flats, located west of the federal parliament buildings. The fire might have continued through the city if it hadn’t been for “the sudden shifting of the wind from the north-east to the east”, which saved the rest of Ottawa. [5]


Hull Ottawa Fire of 1900
View of LeBreton Flats looking north after the Hull - Ottawa Fire of 1900.
(Library and Archives Canada / PA-121784)

Twelve hours after the fire began half of Hull and 20% of Ottawa were reduced to ashes. [6] Over 15,000 were left homeless, about 8,000 were destitute; there were 7 fatalities. [7]


Plan Showing Extent of Ottawa – Hull Conflagration, Thursday, April 26th, 1900 [8]

Some of my paternal grandfather Fred Belair’s relatives lived in Ottawa during the 1880s to 1910s, like his great-uncle Denis Belair and his family. I checked the list of fatalities as reported in the Evening Citizen, but I didn’t recognize any of the names. [9]

For more information about the Great Fire, see the following online resources:

Great Hull Fire of 1900 at Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine 

1900 Hull–Ottawa fire at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia 

Sources:

1. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 26 April 1900, p. 7; digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 April 2014), Newspapers & Publications Records.

2. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 26 April 1900, p. 1. The fire broke out at about 11:00 a.m., according to the Evening Journal, but other sources like Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine  say it began at about 10:00 a.m.

3. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 26 April 1900, p. 1.

4. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 26 April 1900, p. 1.

5. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 27 April 1900, p. 1; digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 April 2014), Newspapers & Publications Records.

6. “Great Hull Fire of 1900”, Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine (http://outaouais.quebecheritageweb.com/article/great-hull-fire-1900 : accessed 24 April 2014).

 7. The Ottawa Evening Journal, 27 April 1900, p. 1. Also, The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario), 27 April 1900, p. 1; digital images, Google News (http://news.google.com/newspapers : accessed 24 April 2014), News Archive Search.

8. Wikipedia contributors, "1900 Hull–Ottawa fire", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1900_Hull%E2%80%93Ottawa_fire : accessed 24 April 2014).

9. The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario), 27 April 1900, p. 1.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #17 Wasyl Demosky

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 17th week of this challenge, I chose Wasyl Demosky (ca 1883-1933).

Wasyl, my husband’s paternal grandfather, was born in Russia in about 1883. He was a younger son of Mikhail (Michael) Demofsky (Demosky) and his wife, whose name is unknown to my husband’s family.

Wasyl, his widowed father and other relatives immigrated to Canada from Russia in 1899 and settled in what became the province of Saskatchewan on land set aside by the federal government for the use of Doukhobor pacifists like themselves.

In about 1903, Wasyl married Luchenia Tomelin, a Doukhobor immigrant. I recently wrote about her here.

Wasyl Demosky (Demoskoff) family portrait
Demosky (Demoskoff) family, 1920s

This family portrait was taken about 1926 to 1928. Wasyl and Luchenia (in traditional Doukhobor dress) are sitting. Their youngest son Bill (my father-in-law) stands between them. At the back are (left to right) Mabel, Pete, Fred and George.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Howard and Normande

Howard Handy and Normande Desgroseilliers on their wedding day in April 1957

Remembering my maternal aunt Normande, who passed away nearly one year ago, and uncle Howard, who married 57 years ago in April 1957.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: Vital Records Aren’t Always Accurate

Author and genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills has stated that “as researchers, we can take no record at face value”. [1]

That statement is solid genealogical advice, but I didn’t think I would need to apply it to my father-in-law’s marriage registration record. After all, I figured that Pop – as the informant of his own marriage – would provide accurate and reliable details.

Except that I was wrong, because Pop hadn’t been fully accurate on that record.
Marriage registration of Bill and Ann Demoskoff
Bill and Ann Demoskoff's marriage registration (cropped image)

About a year and a half ago, I thought it would be nice to send away for my husband’s parents’ marriage registration. We both knew when and where his parents married, because Pop told us when we asked him many years ago. He said he and Ann married on 1 June 1952 at her father’s farm near Kamsack, Saskatchewan.

When Michael and I told his father that we requested the registration and were looking forward to receiving it, he asked why we bothered to order it. The way he looked at it was since he had already told us when he married, we didn’t need to get it in writing, so to speak.

We received the “Registration of Marriage” record from the province of Saskatchewan in October 2012. [2] Something immediately stood out when we looked at it. The “Place of Marriage” was a land description: SE 1-35-32-W1, only, it wasn’t the description for Ann’s father’s property as we knew it. Her father George’s property was NW 17-31-32-1, and had been since 1918, and still was at the time of her marriage. What was going on? Where had Bill and Ann married?

Michael called his father to ask him. Pop, who was in his mid-90s at this time, gave it some thought, and proceeded to tell his son that he and Ann married in two places.

That detail didn’t make sense to my husband, so he asked his father for clarification. It turns out that the marriage ceremony took place on the Cazakoff family property at NW 17-31-32-1 like he originally told us, but that afterwards, the bride and groom and their guests had the wedding meal and festivities at another location – at SE 1-35-32-W1, where Pop resided as a lodger. In Pop’s mind, his marriage therefore occurred in “two places”. (For some additional information about Bill and Ann’s wedding, see Wedding Wednesday: Demoskoff – Cazakoff.)

The day after their wedding, Bill and Ann drove to nearby Arran, the rural municipality seat, to register their marriage. When he was asked for the “place of marriage”, he replied “SE 1-35-32-W1”, even though that’s where the wedding feast was held, not where the wedding ceremony took place. Now that he was of an advanced age with a somewhat poor memory, he couldn’t explain to his son why he gave the wrong location to the clerk that day in June 1952.

Here’s what I learned from this exercise:

  • Don’t solely depend on a family member’s memory for dates and places of events.
  • Order vital records where and when you can.
  • Check the received records for inconsistencies.
  • Get clarification for questionable details.

And most of all, don’t take ‘records at face value’ :-) 

Sources:

1. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007), 33.

2. Province of Saskatchewan, marriage registration, no. 001562, William W. Demoskoff – Ann Cazakoff marriage, 1 June 1952; Department of Public Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Saskatchewan.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Easter greeting


A blessed and happy Easter, everyone!

Joyeuses Pâques, tout le monde!



Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #16 Luchenia Tomelin – Doukhobor Immigrant

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 16th week of this challenge, I chose Luchenia Tomelin (1885-1960).

Family tradition says that my husband’s paternal grandmother Luchenia was born in October 1885 in Tiflis in the Caucasus region of the Russian Empire, now Tbilisi, Georgia. Her birth was probably not registered with the civil authorities, because her parents, Nikolai and Maria (Terichow) Tomelin, were Doukhobors. This pacifist sect’s religious beliefs clashed with the Orthodox Church (they rejected the sacraments and the priesthood) and with the government (they often refused to register births, marriages and deaths, since these events concerned “only the individual and God”). [1]

On 12 May 1899, a group of nearly 2,300 Doukhobors, including the Tomelin family, left the Russian port Batum for Canada, seeking a life free from intolerance. They sailed on the S.S. Lake Huron, and arrived at Quebec City on 6 June 1899. [2]

Two groups of Tomelin families appear on the ship’s passenger manifest. Luchenia’s family group consisted of her parents Nikolai and Maria, her siblings Marfa (Martha), Osip (Joseph) and Maria, her paternal grandmother Anna, her paternal uncles Ivan and Nikolai, and her paternal uncle Vasily, his wife and their three children.

Lake Huron passenger manifest
Lake Huron passenger manifest (portion)

In the above image, which is a cropped portion of a page from the Lake Huron passenger manifest of May 1899, Luchenia’s name is the fourth from the top; she is 13 years old. [3]

Once in Canada, the Tomelin family and the other Doukhobor immigrants travelled by train to settle on lands reserved for them in the North-West Territories, now in the province of Saskatchewan.

Two years later, Luchenia and her parents were enumerated on the 1901 census of Canada living in the Doukhobor settlement Moiseyevo (aka Khristianovka), a little to the west of Buchanan, NWT. [4]

About 1902 or 1903, Luchenia married Wasyl Demofsky, a Doukhobor immigrant like her. The couple’s first child Anastasia, known as Nastya or Tyunka as a child and later as Mabel as an adult, was born in December 1903 or 1904. Four sons soon followed: Pete, Fred, George, and William (Bill), my husband’s father.


Luchenia Demoskoff with sons George and William
Luchenia with her sons George (left) and William (right), about 1917

After Wasyl’s death in 1933, Luchenia lived with her unmarried children. She suffered a stroke in 1938 or 1939, according to her youngest son William. It became progressively more difficult to care for her, especially after her daughter Mabel moved to Edmonton, Alberta. Luchenia’s sons decided she would do better in Mabel’s care, and so she went to live with her and her husband Louis.

In the spring of 1960, Luchenia died in hospital on 28 April 1960; she was 74 years old. Her body was returned to Saskatchewan, and she was buried next to her husband Wasyl in Tolstoy Cemetery near Veregin. [5]

Sources:

1. John E. Lyons, “Toil and a Peaceful Life: Peter V. Verigin and Doukhobor Education”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Lyons-Doukhobor-Education.pdf : accessed 1 April 2014), 87.

2. Steve Lapshinoff & Jonathan Kalmakoff, Doukhobor Ship Passenger Lists 1898-1928 (Crescent Valley: self-published, 2001), 49.

3. “Passenger Lists for the Port of Quebec City, 1865-1900”, digital images, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/passenger-lists/passenger-lists-quebec-port-1865-1900/Pages/introduction.aspx : accessed 28 March 2014), manifest, S.S. Lake Huron, 21 June 1899, p. 24 (penned), entry no. 1445, Lukeria Tomilin [sic], age 13.

4. 1901 census of Canada, Devils Lake, Assiniboia (east/est), The Territories, population schedule, subdistrict Y-1, p. 10, dwelling 61, family 133, Lucaria Tamelian [sic]; digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 31 May 2009).

5. Province of Alberta Department of Public Health, registration of death, no. 08-009495, Lucy Demosky (1960); Division of Vital Statistics, Edmonton.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Bunny

Outside view of bunny art work
Outside view of Bunny

This darling bunny clutching a bouquet of bright tulips was coloured by me when I was in my first years of elementary school. That was between 1963 and 1966 when I was at St-Joseph in Timmins, Ontario, in Kindergarten, Grade 1 or Grade 2.

I assume I did this art work around Easter (bunny and tulips suggest spring-time). It measures 25 cm high by 20 cm wide (about 10” x 7 ½”). The colouring is a bit off in the images (above and below), making it appear yellower and darker than it is in real life.

Inside view of bunny art work
Inside view of Bunny

My teacher – she could have been Madame St-Jean (K), Mademoiselle Dagenais (G1) or Soeur Lorraine Marie, s.a.s.v. (G2) – recorded the letter grade I received for lessons and subjects like Notre Père [Our Father], Conversation, Observation, Compter [counting], Ecriture [writing], and Conduite [behavior]. She also printed my name on the bunny's tummy.

My mother kept this art work with a few other elementary school items for me in an old-fashioned scrapbook. When I re-discovered these childhood souvenirs a few years ago, I was really pleased to see how well they stood the test of time. (There was some minor rust on the bunny’s ears where a staple used to be, and the remains of Scotch tape on its little foot, for example.) I transferred the bunny and my other schoolwork to their own sheet protectors so that they could last even more years.

It’s a real treat to have something tangible from my early years. I’m so grateful that Mom considered these school mementos worth saving.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surname Saturday: Poznekoff

Polly Cazakoff and Wasyl Poznekoff
Polly (Poznekoff) Cazakoff with her brother Wasyl Poznekoff

My husband’s maternal grandmother was Polya (Polly) Poznekoff (1887-1971), wife of George Cazakoff. I recently wrote about her here.

Polly was about 12 years old when her widowed father Iwan (John) Poznekoff, and her brothers and sisters immigrated to Canada in 1899.

The surname Poznekoff is the English spelling for Poznyakov or Pozdnyakov. It originates from the word poznii or pozdnii, which means “late”. [1]

According to the Doukhobor Genealogy Website, there were “two unrelated branches of Pozdniakovs among the Doukhobors” in the 18th century living in the Russian provinces of Sloboda-Ukraine (Kharkov) and Tambov. [2]

By 1905 in Canada, most Poznikoff families lived in what was known as the North Colony in Doukhobor-established settlements surrounding Arran, Saskatchewan. [3]

Today, Poznekoff is one of the most common Doukhobor surnames in Canada. [4] English spelling variations include Pozdnekoff, Poznikoff, Pozney and Poznikow. [5]

Poznekoff should not be confused with Postnikoff, a similar-sounding Russian (Doukhobor) surname.

Sources:

1. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Surnames.htm : accessed 20 March 2014), entry for Pozdnyakov.

2. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website, entry for Pozdnyakov.

3. “Village-Surname Index for the 1905 Doukhobor Census”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/SK-Villages-Families.htm : accessed 20 March 2014).

4. “Guide to Doukhobor Names and Naming Practices”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Guidenames.htm : accessed 20 March 2014).

5. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website, entry for Pozdnyakov.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: #15 Ann Cazakoff – How Doris became Ann

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 15th week of this challenge, I chose Ann Cazakoff (1926-1980).
Ann Cazakoff Demoskoff
Ann Cazakoff, about 1942

Ann is the late mother of my husband, Michael. She was born on 11 March 1926 at her parents’ homestead property in St. Philips RM near Kamsack, Saskatchewan. [1] Ann was the ninth child and only daughter of George Cazakoff and his wife Polly Poznekoff, Russian Doukhobor immigrants. I recently wrote about George and Polly for 52 Ancestors; their stories can be read here and here, respectively.

Interestingly, Ann’s name at birth was not Ann. It was Avdoty, a “popular form of Evdokiya”, which means ‘benevolence’ or ‘kindness’. [2]

Ann was known as Avdoty in Russian and as Doris in English. (For a list of Russian to English names among Doukhobor immigrants, see Russian-English Names Cross-Index at the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.)

When she was very young, Ann was sick for “almost a whole year” and “could not sit up in the bed”’. A relative told her mother “why don’t you change her name [… because] Doris isn’t her name”. After her name was changed to “Annie” she got better and started walking. [3]

My father-in-law Bill told this story to his son Michael and I a few years ago. Bill didn't remember too many details, since many years had passed when Ann had originally told him the circumstances of how her name was changed.

Sources:

1. Province of Saskatchewan, birth registration no. 3076 (1926), Avdoty Kozokoff [sic]; Vital Statistics.

2. “Russian Female Names Among the Doukhobors”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Russian-Feminine-Names.htm : accessed 10 April 2014), entries for “Avdot’ya” and “Evdokiya”.

3. Bill Demoskoff (Grand Forks, British Columbia), telephone interview by Yvonne Demoskoff, 25 January 2011; transcript privately held by Yvonne Demoskoff, [address for private use,] Hope, British Columbia, 2011. Bill spoke from personal knowledge of the time his wife Ann told him why her name was changed.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Vimy Ridge Day

April 9 – Vimy Ridge Day – has been a national day of remembrance in Canada since 2003. It commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I in which “Canadians from coast to coast fought in a battle together [for the first time] against a common enemy”. [1]

Vimy Ridge was “Canada's most celebrated military victory”. It took place 9 – 12 April 1917, 97 years ago. [2]

3,598 were killed in the Canadian Corps during those four days in April. [3] On the first day of battle, there were 7,707 casualties, making it “the single bloodiest day of the entire war for the Canadian Corps, and the bloodiest in all of Canadian military history”. [4]

I won’t pretend to say I know a lot about this important battle, because I don’t, but after reading a few articles, I wanted to post something on my blog as my way of remembering the sacrifice that Canadian soldiers made in those terrible days of the Great War.


Map of North Western Europe during First World War
(Canadian War Museum: The Battle of Vimy Ridge) 

Looking over crest of Vimy Ridge on Vimy Village
Looking over crest of Vimy Ridge on Vimy Village.
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-001290)

Canadians advancing through German wire entanglements Vimy Ridge
Canadians advancing through German wire entanglements - Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/)

29th Infantry Batallion advancing over "No Man's Land" Vimy Ridge
29th Infantry Batallion advancing over "No Man's Land" through the German barbed wire and 
heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge
(Photographer: W.I. Castle/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-001020)

Bringing in our wounded Vimy Ridge April 1917
Bringing in our wounded. - Vimy Ridge. April, 1917
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/)

To learn more about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, see the following online resources:

• Canada at War: Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917   

• Canadian War Museum: The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917 

• The Canadian Encyclopedia: Vimy Ridge  

• Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Battle of Vimy Ridge 

Sources:

1. “Vimy Ridge Day Act S.C. 2003, c. 6”, Justice Laws Website (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/AnnualStatutes/2003_6/page-1.html : accessed 5 April 2014).

2. Richard Foot, “Vimy Ridge”, The Canadian Encyclopedia (http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/vimy-ridge/ : accessed 5 April 2014).

3. Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918, 2 vols. (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2008) 2: 142.

4. Cook, Shock Troops, 2: 143-144.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 CITE!

I’m participating in Dear Myrtle’s 3 – 2 – 1 Cite: The ‘Ragu’ Challenge. It’s where you take 3 documents, write about them in 2 paragraphs, having to do with 1 event, and make sure you “CITE those sources”.

For the 1 event, I chose my grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair’s date and place of death.

Here are the 3 documents with their sources:


1. Julie’s death certificate.
Death certificate of Julie Belair

Source: Province of Ontario, death certificate, no. 1967-05-012379 (1967), Julia Bélair [sic]; Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay.

2. Julie’s burial record.


Burial record of Julie Belair

Source: Julia Vanasse burial certificate (extrait du Régistre des sépultures) [extract from the burials register] (1967 burial); issued 1988, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Catholic Church [now Notre-Dame de la Paix], Timmins, Ontario; privately held by Yvonne Demoskoff, [address for private use,] Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

3. Photograph of Julie’s gravemarker.


Gravemarker of Fred Belair and Julie Belair

Source: Fred and Julie Belair gravemarker photograph, 2007; digital image, supplied by Joan Laneville, [address for private use,] Timmins, Ontario, Canada, 3 September 2007. Joan asked her daughter Carol to photograph her parents’ grave marker and then email a digital copy to her niece Yvonne.

The 2 paragraphs:

My paternal grandmother Julie died on 19 March 1967 in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. The above three records provide this information. I ordered my grandmother’s death certificate in late 2008 and received it by mail on 12 January 2009. It states my grandmother’s name and her date and place of death. Other details include her marital status, her age, and when her death was registered. The certificate, a certified extract from her death registration, was issued by the Office of the Registrar General. Some twenty years earlier, I sent a letter to my former parish church in Timmins asking for a copy of Julie’s burial record. The church’s secretary replied with a certified extract that gives the date and place of my grandmother’s funeral. The extract also provides her date of death, but not place of death. The last record is a digital photograph showing my grandparents’ gravemarker. My grandfather made the arrangements for the marker. Later, when he passed away, his elder daughter, my Aunt Joan, had his name and dates of birth and death added to it.

One record provided both the date and place of death, while the other two records stated her date or year of death. I believe that the death certificate is the one with the most genealogical weight, because it is more complete than the burial record and the photograph. Although errors could have crept in all three records (for example, an incorrect year of death engraved on the marker), all the records are in agreement with each other.

Last but not least, I’ve posted my article on my blog and I’m going to also share it on DearMYRTLE's Facebook Group.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Mystery Monday: The Death in 1900 – or Not – of Mary Gertrude Vanasse

In the summer of 1891, a little girl was born to John and Dinasse (Ranger) Vanasse in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec. She was the couple’s first of seven children; three sons and three more daughters were born between 1891 and 1912. She was also a first cousin of my paternal grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair.

At her baptism two days later, on 23 August 1891 in Chapeau’s church, she received the names Mary Gertrude. Her godparents were her maternal uncle Evangéliste Ranger and her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Frappier. They could not sign their names in the parish register, unlike the father, who wrote his name in a clear and legible hand. [1]

John and Dinasse suffered a tragedy on 11 April 1900 when one of their children died. According to St-Alphonse’s sacramental register, the child who died was “Mary Gertrude Vanasse”. The burial record adds that she was 8 years old and the daughter of John Vanasse and Dinna [sic] Ranger. (“Dinna” is a variation of Dinasse.) [2]

Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial record
Burial record of Mary Gertrude Vanasse (cropped image) [3]

Based on this information, there’s no reason to doubt who died that April day – or is there?

I believe there is room for doubt, especially because a marriage record exists for Mary Gertrude. On 8 August 1911, Mary Gertrude, “daughter under age of John Venasse [sic] and Dinasse Ranger” married Hector Marchildon in Chapeau’s St-Alphonse church. [4]

The daughter who married was under age, according to her marriage record. Since matrimonial majority was 21 years at this time in the province of Quebec, Mary Gertrude would have been born after 8 August 1890. [5] All of John and Dinasse’s daughters were born after this date, but only one of them was named Mary Gertrude, the eldest. The other daughters were Anna (b. 1897), Mabel (b. 1899) and Clara (b. 1907). I don’t think it’s a case of mistaken identity, say, for example Anna who married instead of Gertrude. Even though Anna was old enough to marry at 14 years old, it’s not her, since she married for the first time in July 1917. [6] As for Mabel and Clara, they were only 12 and 3 ½ years old, respectively.

So, if Mary Gertrude didn’t die in 1900, who did?

I have a theory that the child who died in 1900 was Mary Gertrude’s younger brother Michael John, who was born on 10 December 1895. [7]

Although I haven’t found a burial record for him in St-Alphonse’s registers, at least not one that explicitly states his name, it seems more likely that it was Michael John and not Mary Gertrude who died on 11 April 1900. I've located the death or burial dates for the other siblings (Isaac, Anna and Mabel) who were born before 1900, so it isn't one of them. Also, Michael John, who would have been 5 ½ years old, does not appear in his parents’ household on the 1901 census [8], suggesting he is not alive.

The fact that Michael John wasn’t enumerated with his parents on the 1901 census schedule doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s the child who died in 1900, but the fact that his sister Mary Gertrude married in 1911 means that she couldn’t be the one who died in 1900 and whose name appears in that burial record.

It's difficult to image that St-Alphonse's parish priest would get a child's name, age and gender wrong in its burial record, but it seems to be the case in this situation.


Sources:

1. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1890-1893, p. 57 (stamped), entry no. B.50 (1891), Mary Gertrude Vanasse baptism, 23 August 1891; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 July 2010).

2. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1900, p. 10 recto, entry no. S.17, Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial, 12 April 1900; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010).

3. St-Alphonse, parish register, 1900, p. 10 recto, Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial, 12 April 1900.

4. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1911, p. 13 recto, entry no. M.10, Hector Marchildon – Mary Gertrude Venasse [sic] marriage, 8 August 1911; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010).

5. Hélène Lamarche and Guy Desjardins, “Majorité matrimoniale et majorité civile”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française, 56 (printemps 2005): 31; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013). The “Code civil du Bas-Canada 1866 (art. 115)” fixed the age of majority, that is, the legal age at which parental consent was no longer required for marriage, at 21 for boys and girls.

6. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1917, p. 11 verso, entry no. M.13, Adolphe Chassé – Anna Vanasse marriage, 28 July 1917; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010). Anna is described as “daughter under age” of her parents, which indicates a first marriage. Had she been a widow and married subsequently to a previous marriage, custom dictates that the name of her late husband is stated in the record instead of the names of her parents.

7. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1895, p. 26 recto, entry no. B.86, Michael John Vanasse baptism, 10 December 1895; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 July 2010).

8. 1901 census of Canada, Chichester, Pontiac, Quebec, population schedule, sub-district I-1, p. 6, dwelling 50, family 50, John Venance [sic] household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 May 2011). Only four children are listed in this family: Gerty (10), Isaac (7), Annie (4) and Mabel (2).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Genea-Selfie Photo

It’s Saturday, and Randy over at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge for his readers!

Tonight’s challenge is “Your Genea-Selfie Photo” – take a self-portrait with something genealogical in it. Randy got the idea from The Gould Genealogy blog, Genealogy & History News, which is running a photo contest for the month of April. 

I used my husband’s iPhone 5C, because it’s easier to take a selfie with it than my older model iPhone.

Here‘s my “genea-selfie photo”:

Yvonne Demoskoff


I’m standing in front of one of my genealogy bookcases in the spare bedroom in my house and holding three booklets about my family that I researched and self-published in 2010 and 2011.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 04, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 George Cazakoff – Landowner

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 14th week of this challenge, I chose George Cazakoff (1884-1958).

I recently wrote about my husband’s maternal grandfather here. In that post, I briefly touched on George being a landowner.

When George first immigrated to Canada in 1899, he didn’t own land, because as a Doukhobor, he lived a communal lifestyle. Within a few years of the Doukhobors' arrival, the Canadian government changed its policy of allowing communal landowning. This decision prompted a crisis in which many Doukhobors left Saskatchewan to follow their leader to British Columbia, while others chose to remain in the province as independent Doukhobors. George stayed and eventually applied for land as an individual farmer.


In October 1918, he took out a homestead entry, specifically NW 17-31-32-1, situated in the Lily Vale School District, about 10 miles northwest of Kamsack, Saskatchewan. [1] This northwest quarter section is 65 hectares (approximately 160 acres).

By 1930, he was still there, but now had two more quarter sections – the NE and the SW quarters. [2] Later still, George acquired a portion of the SE quarter (not shown on the image below). [3]
George Cazakoff land property map

I created a land map showing where George’s property was located in 1930 and those of his closest neighbors. See the results in the above image. Blank areas on the map indicate other, non-Doukhobor owners.

In 1954, George retired from farming and moved to Kamsack. He died there in 1958.

Sources:

1. “Grant Search”, database, ISC (Information Services Corporation) (https://www.isc.ca : accessed 11 June 2013), entry for George W. Cazakoff.

2. “Doukhobors in the 1930 Cummins Rural Directory Map of Saskatchewan”, database, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org : accessed 23 April 2009), citing the 1930 Cummins Rural Directory Map of Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan Archives Board, Regina, Saskatchewan; Map Nos. 147-149, 168-172, 189, 193, 195, 202, 203, 218-220, 234, 235.

3. History Coming Alive: R.M. of St. Philips, Pelly and District, 2 vols. (Pelly, Saskatchewan: St. Philips/Pelly History Book Committee, 1988), 1: 118.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.