Saskatchewan Provincial Records (National Institute)
The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in December 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Canadian Ancestors by Doris Bourrie, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Saskatchewan Provincial Records
Saskatchewan, like the other prairie provinces, was originally part of the territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and mainly populated by those engaged in the fur trade. In 1869 an agreement was reached between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Dominion of Canada to transfer Rupert’s Land (which included Saskatchewan) to Canada. In 1870 Saskatchewan became part of the North West Territories. It separated from the North West Territories in 1905 to become the province of Saskatchewan. There are two separate archives for this Province. The Regina archives holds records that cover the central to southern portion of the province, while the Saskatoon archives holds most records for the central to northern portion.
Some information on records of genealogical interest may be found under the About our Collections tab.
Nominal census records exist for 1881, 1891 and 1901.
The recording of vital statistics began for marriages in 1878, births and deaths, in 1889. However many events were not recorded, and it was not until the 1920s that registration became more complete. There is no direct public access to these records. A genealogical photocopy of registration may be requested from Saskatchewan Health. Explain the reason for your request, and indicate if the individual is deceased. There is a special application form available from the department for certificates, and searches. Make sure you enquire as to current charges, which must accompany your completed application, contact:
The Federal Department of the Interior Homestead files prior to 1930 are in the custody of the Saskatoon Office of the Archives. Microfilm copies are available at the Regina Office. These records have an alphabetical index of homestead entrants. The Saskatoon Office also holds the provincial Department of Agricultural grant and homestead files after 1930. Copies of the patents and records of subsequent land transactions are located in the appropriate district Land Titles offices.
The Saskatchewan Homestead Index and Records have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available through the LDS family history library. The Library and Archives Canada website has a searchable nominal database of those who applied for homesteads under the Dominion Land Act. This will provide you with the proper land location and file number. However, the Library and Archives Canada does not hold the actual records. Early records may be divided into three main types:
- The application for entry on land, which may contain some personal information. Not all of these applications have survived.
- A sworn statement by the homesteader as proof of meeting settlement requirements.
- Notification of receipt of patent.
Other documents which may occasionally be found in the homestead records are: deed of abandonment; notification of cancellation; inspection reports; declaration of homesteader’s progress; copy of wills and sometimes naturalization certificates.
Wills and Estate Records
Probates filed before 1958 will be found in one of the fourteen permanent Surrogate Court locations, whichever was nearest to the residence of the deceased. After 1958 wills could be probated in any of the jurisdictional centres in the Province, so it might be filed in the centre closest to the residence of the deceased, or in the centre closest to the residence of the executor. Copies of all probates are filed with the Surrogate Registrar at the Regina Court House. There is a charge for a search, and you must know the name of the deceased, date of death and place of residence.
Addresses for the various branches of this Society may be found using the About SGS button. The Programs/Services button will provide information on basic research services provided, and fees. The Major Collections and Special Collections buttons provide information on holdings of the Society, their library collection and other useful information. There is also a Rural Municipality (RM) locator to help determine what area certain records might fall under. Their cemeteries list (searchable by name/cemetery; surname, RM, etc.) also provides a number of cemeteries which have websites available. Many of the pages on this site also have a button to provide a Printer Friendly Version of the page, for downloading.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Canadian Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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