Monday, October 9, 2017

Colonial Approaches to Land Ownership

A very interesting look at how land became a comodity in North America AND how differntly Britain, France, and Spain colonized the New World. Thanks to Dave Obee for pointing me to this article

I'll be starting a new course beginning 17th October that will deal with land records created in Canada and the USA. Full details below:

Western Canada was primarily settled by homesteaders. Most were recent immigrants, and few had any farming experience. Many 'town' folks also homesteaded, to make ends meet. It is therefore, very normal to find homesteaders also included teachers, doctors, lawyers, ministers, and business owners/shop keepers within the term 'homesteaders'.

A file was created about each piece of land - not organized by personal names - so you need to learn how to locate and read legal land descriptions, using a special map that you'll each get to keep. There is a wealth of information within each file regarding the person(s) who farmed that piece of land. We have found details such as former residences, important dates, the size and cost of buildings, livestock, family details, signatures, personal correspondence, and even birth/marriage/death and divorce papers.

The fortunate students enrolled in this course will learn how to use the Internet to locate land details across Canada, and will also spend the last two classes doing hands-on research AT the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan in Regina ... with your instructor there to assist you every step of the way!

These students will also be treated to a private tour of the Archives 'hidden' records - those precious records that are only accessed through normally locked doors/drawers/cabinets!! An archive is very different from a library. In a library we browse the shelves looking at the books. A library is meant to disseminate information. An archive holds original materials - often one of a kind, available only in that one archive. An archives records are mostly held in the stacks, behind closed and locked doors. You need to fill out their forms properly, and then an archivist will go through those locked doors to retrieve what you have asked for. BUT how do you know what to ask for if you can't just browse the shelves? THAT is part of what this course will teach you.

What kinds of records might you find there? Things like local histories, Canadian censuses, biographies, provincial newspapers, fur trade, Metis, immigration, ships passenger lists, provincial settlement, rural life, urban life, economics, government, politics, court records, maps, architectural drawings, private records, border crossing, fire insurance, police, certain indexes to births, marriages, deaths etc. etc as well as audio/video and a huge collection of historical photographs. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Extensive computer use. Class size is limited to ensure I have the time to work with each person. Prior completion of Unpuzzling Your Past is strongly recommended as you will need all the skills learned in that course. Email if you have additional questions or to register if you miss Registration night. Pat Ryan

BTW, this course always fills very fast!

REGINA Classes
Tue, Oct. 17 7 - 9pm Arcola East Community Centre classroom session
Tue, Oct. 18 receive your emailed lessons (no classroom session)
Tue, Oct. 24 Sask. Archives, 3303 Hillsdale St, Regina 9:00am - noonish
Tue, Oct. 31 Sask. Archives, 3303 Hillsdale St, Regina 9:00am - noonish
COST: $200.00


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