Monday, March 24, 2014

Cecile Turgeon and Joseph M. Schmidt (1960s)

My parents - Cecile Turgeon and Joseph M. Schmidt - met in the early 1960s at the University of Saskatchewan, in St. Thomas More College.  Both had had previous careers (she was a secretary first and then went for nurse's training, and he was a school teacher first and then went to law school), and so they were both mature students.  

In this photo, they are in the bridal party for some friends, Ruth and Larry (1961).  According to the back of the photo, they got engaged to be married themselves the very next day.

Each of them came from a family with a long history of farming, and went on to take professional training in a non-agricultural sector.  They had strong ties to their heritage their whole lives though:  she loved nothing more than a trip down the back roads in the car to go berry-picking, and made the biggest bonfires you ever saw.  He bought farmland as soon as he could, as an adult, even though he never farmed it himself, and got excited every Spring about planting a giant vegetable garden.  We were always watching the skies for rain or hail, and driving out to check on the crops.

Look at them prairie folks in their fancy dress clothes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stolen Steering Wheel!

Just in case you think this blog is going to be all serious business, here is some levity.

I never heard this story directly from my parents, but clearly in 1963, my father's car was vandalized.  His steering wheel must have been a beauty.  This is the news article from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.  This clipping was found in my grandmother's bible (my father's mother), among her other family mementos.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

George Kambeitz, 1834-1914, and Marie-Anna Kambeitz (nee Bertram), 1838-1930, Kandel, Kuts., Russia

On my father's side, we have this very old photograph of my great-great-grandfather (he was my father's father's mother's father).

George is the one standing next to the plinth, in the back.  The imprint at the bottom says that the photo was taken in 1862, and then it says (in Russian) "Kishinev" and "Kharlampievsk".  "Kishinev" is another way of saying "Chisinau", which is the capitol of Moldova.  "Kharlampievsk" is the name of a church in Kishinev, and might also be the name of a saint. (Thanks Sarah, for the Russian research!)  I am not sure yet which army these men were in, and what they were fighting for.

I know that most of my German ancestors were Black Sea Catholic Germans from Bessarabia, somewhere near Odessa.  I haven't put all the geographical pieces together yet, but in terms of who is related to whom, George B. Kambeitz from Alberta has done all the Kambeitz family history research and has put it on the web!!  According to this research, George Kambeitz in this photo might also have been named "Johann George Kambeitz".

George Kambeitz from this photo was born and died in Kandel, Kuts., Russia.  His father before him, Franz-Joseph Kambeitz, was born in Durmersheim, Rastatt, BA (the Gazeteer currently puts Durmersheim in South Baden, Germany), but moved during his lifetime to Kandel.

George from the photo married Marie-Anna Bertram.  Here is a nice photo of George and Marie-Anna in their later years.  Marie-Anna is my father's father's mother's mother.  She was born in Selz, Kuts., Russia, and died in Kandel, Kuts., Russia.

George and Marie-Anna had nine children, one of whom was Anna-Maria Kambeitz, my great-grandmother.  She was born in Kandel, Kuts., Russia, in 1872 and died in 1939 in Kandel, Kuts., Russia. Anna-Maria Kambeitz married Peter Schmidt, the son of Johann Schmidt.  Anna-Maria and most of her siblings stayed in Russia, but at least two others came to Canada (Anton Kambeitz, 1870-1957, and Maria-Anna Kambeitz, 1883-1959).  Her son Paul Schmidt was born in Kandel, and then came to Canada.  He homesteaded south of Liebenthal with his wife Anne-Marie (nee Gross), on the farm that my father grew up on.

I am not sure who this woman is, but there are many copies of this picture in my treasure trove.  She was obviously important.  I wonder if this is Anna-Maria Kambeitz (1872-1939), daughter of George and Marie-Anna, and mother of Paul Schmidt, my grandfather?  She looks to me a tiny bit like both George and Marie-Anna from the photographs above.  Or perhaps I am doing some wishful thinking.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lucille Bergeron, from Sherbrooke, Quebec

Lucille Bergeron was my great-grandmother on my mother's side (she was my mother's father's mother).  This is a precious tin-type photograph that we have of her.

Lucille Bergeron was married to Pierre Turgeon.  At the age of 41, she was walking under a ladder on a construction site in Sherbrooke, PQ, and a brick fell and hit her on the head, killing her.  Pierre never remarried.  After she died, her daughters stayed in the East, and all her sons went west.  They might also have gone to the U.S. for a while before moving to Saskatchewan.

I don't yet know the names of all of her daughters (there were four or five of them), but she was the mother of sons Alfred, Albert, Philip, Johnny, and Ed Turgeon.  Her son Alfred Turgeon was my grandfather (we called him Alfred Sr., or 'Fred').  He spent most of his life in Crystal Springs, SK., first on the farm and then in a house he built in town.