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.


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

2. “Doukhobors in the 1930 Cummins Rural Directory Map of Saskatchewan”, database, Doukhobor Genealogy Website ( : 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.


  1. Just wanted to say that I am enjoying following your Canadian Russian heritage and hope you discover more in this line. I bought the Fred Hoffman book to learn how to decipher the Russian in records.

    1. So glad to hear that you like this series of articles about my husband's Russian ancestry. It's a bit challenging to write about his side of the family (few records exists), but it's helped both of us to get a better understanding of his relatives.