Saturday, 11 November 2017

Official and Unofficial Placenames

In Saskatchewan, a dissolved hamlet is an unincorporated or unofficial community of residents that is under the jurisdiction of a rural municipality. These may be referred to at times as Saskatchewan Ghost Towns. What differentiates an unincorporated area from an official or incorporated placename? Old house
"We are addresses in ghost towns. We are old wishes that never came true." Pete Wentz
Rural areas or sparsely populated villages may prefer to stay unincorporated. Unincorporated villages do not govern themselves or provide their own municipal services. Instead, these services are provided by a larger nearby town or usually the rural municipality in Saskatchewan. They also must follow the rules and regulations of the larger town or RM, as they do not have their own administrative officials. Typically, unincorporated villages are very small. They may be rural areas, or small towns between larger towns. Either way, they do not have the population to sustain the expense and time required to set up all the services an incorporated village requires. In Saskatchewan, there should be 25 separate dwellings within a land area of 640 acres to qualify for incorporation. There are a few villages in Saskatchewan with fewer than 100 residents.

According to the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, "When asking for incorporation, the Department of Municipal Affairs may historically have lists of petitioners asking the Minister for incorporation: In the case of rural municipalities, each petitioner was required to give the legal land description of his home farm. For urban municipalities, each petitioner had to state an occupation and often provided the legal description of their lot. There also may be special municipal census records outside of and over and above the National census taken every five years. Beginning in 1914, legislation required that a census be taken in hamlets that were petitioning for incorporation as a village. The census included the name and address of every resident." Three of these census are online Duff 1920, Insinger 1921, and for Neudorf 1901

  In Saskatchewan, a hamlet is an unincorporated community that is under the jurisdiction of a rural municipality. It has at least five occupied dwellings situated on separate lots and at least 10 separate lots, the majority of which are an average size of less than one acre. The people of an organized hamlet may request that the hamlet be incorporated as a village or resort village. In order to qualify, the hamlet must have been an organized hamlet for at least 3 years, have a population of at least 100 in the most recent census, and contain at least 50 separate dwelling units or business premises. The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes three different types of hamlets – generic "hamlets", "special service areas" and "organized hamlets"
On occasion a deer would gallop through the streets or a bird alight on the tall black lampposts, but other than that the only noise was the wind. At the train station stood seven high-speed engines with multiple high-class carriages but the clock on the wall had long given up on telling the time. By anomaly it topped the nations charts for lack of crime, smallest hospital wait-lists and lack of children failing in school. It was a ghost town, or perhaps a ghost city. Built in the belief that people would come and industry follow. They just never did. Angela Abraham
Old Farmhouse Old Farmhouse
 Incorporated villages are those that are self-governing with their own administrative body, and major decisions are voted upon by the people who live there. These villages also provide their own municipal services, such as fire and police. Since setting up these services and administration is time-consuming and costly, villages must have enough taxpayers to afford the expense and effort of being incorporated. Some states and provinces allow villages to incorporate but only provide some of the administrative and municipal services, allowing other services to be supplied by a larger, neighboring town or rural municipality. Following incorporation as a village, the land area has a name and boundaries, and a council is elected with elections Taxes collected go to the new municipality, rather than to the RM council. The RM council has no authority over the village, rather the new bylaws, and local improvements and duties are decided by the village council according to the The Tax Enforcement Act and Municipal Administration guidelines The Government of Saskatchewan incorporation process to establish either a village or resort village from hamlet status which then proceed according to the municipalities act

In Saskatchewan, towns are formed from villages or resort villages with a population of at least 500 people. However towns with populations below the limit may, however, revert to village or resort village status if the town council requests it. In Saskatchewan, towns must have a population above 5,000 in order to be granted city status. Another municipality in Saskatchewan is a rural municipality (RM) is created by the Minister of Municipal Affairs by ministerial order via section 49 of The Municipalities Act. According to the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities,

 "In 1883, the federal government gave the legislative council of the North West Territories the authority to make laws respecting local government. .... Those areas that did not form municipalities were organized as Local Improvement Districts (LID's) and, Statute Labour and Fire (SLF) Districts." Historically it was found that a failure of the LID and SLF larger than the 36 square kilometers originally allocated for RM administration was a bit hard to maintain during the era of horse and buggy.

 "in 1905, the provincial government established the Spencer Commission to develop a standard framework for local government organization. This was in response to the increasing demands being placed upon local councils by the seemingly endless influx of settlers. By 1907, the Commission had held meetings throughout the province at which it solicited the opinion of the people as to: what responsibilities and authority local councils should have; how large rural municipalities should be; how many councillors were required in each rural municipality; and how often elections should be held, among other things."SARM The Spencer Commission resulted in ..... "The first legislation specifying the powers of rural municipalities, towns, villages and cities in Saskatchewan was passed in 1909. " Municipal Council Member’s Handbook Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs

 An RM may have its office in a town or village, which has its own separate and distinct civic administration, but the RM administers the rural affairs of a large land area including rural residents, unincorporated areas or ghost towns. The RM administers the remaining population of the ghost town providing any needed civic infrastructure, safety, health, educational, or tourism affairs. Localities with small populations are enumerated in census taking by Statistics Canada as a population belonging to the RM. Decayed Building Historically an RM began as a SLF when the fear of grass fires threatened the lives and livelihood of local homesteaders of Saskatchewan. These Fire Districts became known as Local Improvement Districts LID. LIDs were exactly that - seeking to improve the local community, establishing cemeteries, honouring war dead, providing health care, roads, bridges. Later LIDs were seen as very large areas, and the concept of the Rural Municipality began which started out as nine townships, or administering an area six miles by six miles in area, which could more readily serve the rural population with administrative and infrastructure services such as education, telephone, water, sewer, recreation, lighting in addition to the services of the Fire District and LID.

 Unincorporated communities include hamlets and organized hamlets within rural municipalities and northern settlements within the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District NSAD. Unincorporated communities In land law, an unincorporated community is a populated place that is not within any incorporated municipality, but are within the jurisdiction of a rural municipality, county or other political subdivision. Residents in an unincorporated community pay taxes to the RM, and rely on the RM, reeve and councillors for the bylaws, administrative decisions, infrastructure, and emergency services such as fire and police and the like. Though some incorporated communities do have emergency services shared or supplied by a larger town or RM.

When incorporated, a collective group of residents in the community have a little more control over their local neck of the woods. According to the 2016 census of population just recently released, a determination can be made about the status of placenames whether they are official or unofficial, hamlet, village, town, city or rural municipality.

Here is an example of Watson incorporating from a village to a town.

 Dunblane is an example of a community which incorporated as a village in 1916, and then when population dwindled, the village officially disorganised in 1975 - or became an unincorporated or unofficial area.
The ghost town was out of place in the rolling hills of yellowing grass. The old road was barely discernible through the flora that had colonized it .... The only welcome was the howl of the wind and the only future of the town was to be slowly beaten by the weather and eventually succumb to gravity without even a witness or person to mourn its passing. Angela Abraham
________________________________________________________________________________ Related Posts: 1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation :: Rural Municipalities explores Rural Municipality placenames which are no longer in existence

Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan

 Saskatchewan Evolutionary Changes Maps and the lost Placenames

 Country Roads Leading Home

 Where were Saskatchewan homesteads located?

 How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

  Locate Your Saskatchewan Place-name Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again! Saskatchewan Ghost Towns… Do you have oral history about a Saskatchewan placename not on a current map? How do you find those communities which were once dotted around the prairie every six miles or so? ________________________________________________________________________________ All rights reserved. Copyright © Julia Adamson All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. .. Peace and love be with you. Namaste. ________________________________________________________________________________ Follow me on Sask Gen Web, 500 px, Word Press, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, Flickr, and Flickriver ________________________________________________________________________________ Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver _________________________________________________________

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Maps and the Genealogist

Old Newspaper article National Railways Western Lines Map depicting Port Arthur / Fort William and Churchill to Prince Rupert and Vancouver Island. BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario Larry Walton

“In cartography, as in medicine, art and science are inseparable. The perfect map blends art and science into an effective tool of visual communication.” ~ Dr. Keith Harries

How to travel to a homestead or unofficial placename in Saskatchewan or Western Canada. How to determine distances between contemporary placenames and ghost towns. Do you have an historic document or correspondence which has a placename that you have not heard of previously? The homestead or locality which does not appear on a modern map are an enigma to the traveller trying to find the ancestral home. The genealogical researcher may wish to locate a local history book, or cemetery to glean more information about their family tree, however where would one locate the Saskatchewan place name "End Lake" or "Roderickville" for instance? One very excellent resource is Geographical names in Canada | Natural Resources Canada Looking up a placename for any locale in Canada will produce the latitude and longitude along with a map, legal land description along with nearby placenames and the distance from the longitude / latitude supplied or the distance from the placename searched. Another is the Online Historical Map Digitization Project showing maps, atlases and gazetteers from 1862 to the mid 1950s, genealogists and historians can find a variety of maps are a valuable reference tool for information about places, place names and their locations. Old Newspaper article National Railways Western Lines Map British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan Manitoba, Ontario.  By Larry Walton

Check the two Atlas of Saskatchewan books along with Bill Barry's Geographic Names of Saskatchewan for placenames and their locations book ISBN1-897020-19-2. Saskatchewan local history directory : a locality guide to community and church histories in the Prairie History Room, Our Towns: Saskatchewan Communities from Abbey to Zenon Park By David McLennan and Saskatchewan Ghost Towns are other major resources to help you on your way with your preliminary research online. Search Saskatchewan Placenames amalgmates placenames from the National Archives resources, various books and atlases, and historical maps. An historical location may be defined by the legal land location. How easy is it to locate Roderickville located at section 20 township 15 range 10 West of the third meridian? 
“A map is the greatest of all epic poems. Its lines and colors show the realization of great dreams.” ~ Gilbert H. Grosvenor

Roderickville appears on Larry Walton's Canadian National Railways Western Lines Map a part of the Online Historical Map Digitization Project and Roderickville also shows up in Geographic Names of Saskatchewan. It then becomes apparent that Roderickville is located just west and south of Swift Current near Rush Lake on the Canadian National Railway. Travelling to Roderickville, now becomes much easier with such bearings. Obtaining a modern Rural Municipality map then provides current roads for the area. The determination of which Rural Municipality needs to be contacted can be derived from one of these maps which will help locate the legal land description, in this case section 20 township 15 range 10 West of the third meridian for Roderickville. This legal land location can be identified by

Rural Municipality Coulee No. 136
Latitude Longitude
50.273554 -107.345313
50° 16.413' N 107° 20.719' W
50° 16' 24.79" N 107° 20' 43.13" W
Township Road 154 Range Road 3105
MGRS/USNG UTM NTS 13U CR 32882 71677 13N 332882 5571678 C-28-C/72-J-6
So by entering in the degrees longitude and latitude into Geographical Names of Canada, the determination is made that: Neighbouring placenames to Roderickville are
  • Braddock 24-13-11-W3 is a nearby Locality 19 kilometers
  • Burnham 16-15-11-W3 is a nearby Locality 9 kilometers
  • Coulee No. 136 is a nearby Rural Municipality 13 kilometers
  • Fauna 16-11-W3 is a nearby Railway Point 16 kilometers
  • Hallonquist 25-13-10-W3 is a nearby Hamlet 19 kilometers
  • Herbert 17-9-W3 is a nearby Town 19 kilometers
  • Neidpath 1-15-10-W3 is a nearby Hamlet l 9 kilometers
  • Rush Lake 1-17-11-W3 is a nearby Village 15 kilometers
By contacting the individual Rural Municipality for their map, driving on township and range grid (gravel) roads becomes very easy to arrive at your destination. Saskatchewan Geographic Perspectives Do you wish to discover how to travel to an unincorporated hamlet? Pay attention to the road signs as you travel along the country gravel road. There is a pattern to the township and range Roads in Saskatchewan as are assigned by the Saskatchewan Provincial Standard System of Rural Addressing.

“I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

The other method to arrive at Roderickville section 20 township 15 range 10 West of the third meridian would be to use an online legal land converter which determines the latitude and longitude and the GPS bearing for any legal land location. Then plug this number into any GPS system. Ascertaining which localities are close to Roderickville and which Rural Municipality Roderickville is located within, also helps to know which cemeteries are nearby and which local history books are written for the area. Use any library catalogue and type in the rural municipality or larger municipality name. Genealogists may be interested in neighbouring cemeteries to locate an ancestor. In Saskatchewan, a number of the cemeteries are online by a variety of groups, as they are for many countries and provinces across Canada. The Saskatchewan Genealogy Society, for example lists cemeteries by rural municipality.
  • Village population of at least 100
  • Town population of 500 or more
  • City 5,000 residents.
Ghost towns are communities that no longer exist or former Villages/Towns that have become unincorporated hamlets. Delve into some historic maps and placenames which have disappeared from contemporary maps. Before the motorized vehicle was in common use, pioneers and homesteaders relied on horse and cart or ox and buggy for transport to take grain to market, or to drive into town for mail, groceries and supplies. So how far could a horse travel for example? How far a horse travels in one day - Cartographers' Guild suggests;
Horse / Horse and Cart Travel Distances
Geographic surface
Level or rolling terrain: Without a cart With a loaded cart
On Roads / trails 40 miles/day 64 kilometers/day 20 miles/day 32 kilometers/day
Off-Road (or unkempt trails etc)
Hilly terrain: 30 / 51 15 / 24
Mountainous terrain: 20 / 32 10 / 16
Level/rolling grasslands: 30 / 51 15 / 24
Hilly grasslands: 25 / 40 12 / 19
Level/rolling forest/thick scrub: 20 / 32 10 / 16
Very hilly forest/thick scrub: 15 / 24 7 / 11
Un-blazed Mountain passes: 10 / 16 5 / 8
Marshland: 10 / 16 5 / 8
According to Chapter 7 Settlement Evolution since the Late Nineteenth Century. Saskatchewan Geographic Perspectives by Hansgeorg Schlichtmann and M.L. Lewry, towns "were usually spaced 12 to 15 km apart along a railway line so that, in the age of horse-and-cart traffic, a farmer could make a round trip to town and back in one day. Along GTP lines (e.g. the Regina-Fort Qu'Appelle-Melville line) they were rather more closely spaced and, subsequently, more of them have declined or even disappeared more than towns on other trunk lines."

 Local Improvement Districts (LID's) and, Statute Labour and Fire (SLF) Districts improve the local community, establishing cemeteries, honouring war dead, providing health care, roads, bridges. The horse and cart were greatly assisted by the work of the early precursors to the RM and to the Department of Highways and the ensuing Rural Municipality formation. LIDs and SLFs were replaced by Rural Municipalites (RM) following the Spencer Commission findings. Roads were straightened in the 1960s following World War II as more families had access to motorized transport with improved technologies from World War II. When the veterans returned home, society made further improvements. These improvements phased out the need for travel by horse, horse and cart, and ox and buggy. Gradually the extensive railway system saw branch lines closing due to the same phenomena. The one room school house gave way to the consolidated school in town. Families shifted away from the rural farm following the drought and depression in the 1930s seeking economic recovery in the urban centres. The consolidated school also attracted younger families to urban centres and away from living a rural existence.

 "First, farms became larger and the rural population declined, so that the sales volume of small-town stores decreased and many businesses ceased to be viable. Second, motor vehicles became more affordable and highways were improved, thereby increasing mobility. Third, this mobility, along with greater disposable income, enabled rural people to purchase goods and services available in higher-order, more distant central places. Fourth, to achieve costs savings, many smaller grain elevators, and public service facilities such as schools and hospitals were replaced by larger ones, at fewer locations. ...A number of small settlements have disappeared." Schlichtmann

 Good luck on your journey, and have a lot of fun discovering where once there was a thriving and active community of settlers, which may no longer exist. What can be found today? Does the foundation of a store, or a school district flag pole still remain? Here is another mystery; McMichael near Melfort on Larry Walton's Canadian National Railways Western Lines Map. This placename of McMichael does not appear on contemporary maps, and is not discovered by Bill Barry in his book, so what is known of this placename that has disappeared? Are there any other placenames on historic maps which are not listed at Search Saskatchewan Placenames? Lost places collect placenames without a location, and the Search Saskatchewan Placenames seeks to update its listing with new additions as they are submitted.

 Have fun on your genealogical journey discovering what are the neighbouring communities of an ancestral ghost town. By locating a historic settlement it is easier to find resources such as local history books, libraries, museums, historical societies, cemeteries and perhaps a descendant still farming on the "Century Farm" to help discover further information for the family tree. If you are tracking down a historic placename in correspondence or a treasured historic letter, please bear in mind, that pioneers and settlers often referred to their placename where they lived as the name which may be indeed the one room schoolhouse district as it was an integral part of the new community, and settlers gathered together at the school house for meetings, dances, rallies, the Christmas play etc. Julia Adamson ________________________________________________________________________________ Related Posts: Country Roads Leading Home

 Where were Saskatchewan homesteads located?

 How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

 Locate Your Saskatchewan Place-name

 How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

 Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again! Saskatchewan Ghost Towns… Do you have oral history about a Saskatchewan placename not on a current map? How do you find those communities which were once dotted around the prairie every six miles or so? ________________________________________________________________________________ All rights reserved. Copyright © Julia Adamson All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. .. Peace and love be with you. Namaste. ________________________________________________________________________________ Follow me on Sask Gen Web, 500 px, Word Press, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, Flickr, and Flickriver ________________________________________________________________________________