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Fast Forward to the Past - Family history

Are you interested in exploring your family tree? The Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS) has monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month (except for July and August) at 7:00 PM at the Yorkton Public Library.

Are you interested in exploring your family tree?  The Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society (SGS) has monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month (except for July and August) at 7:00 PM at the Yorkton Public Library.  Any interested genealogists are welcome, no matter what your stage of research.  You will find fellow genealogists who can offer ideas and advice on how to proceed, file and store your research.

If you would like to combine a holiday with genealogy research, please visit the Sask. Genealogy website (, click on the “education” tab, then click on “2018 Salt Lake City Trip” for full details on a bus trip to Salt Lake City with the Medicine Hat  Genealogical Society and the SGS.  This trip, May 27 to June 3, 2018, will give you six full days to research millions of free-to-access materials.  Registration is limited so don’t delay.

In genealogy research, there is a vast amount of information online, but there is still a place in your genealogy research for a collection of  good reference books.  History buffs and genealogists lost a great writer when Mr. Bill Barry passed away in October 2015, but his books are wonderfully informative and entertaining on Saskatchewan history.  Of interest to people of Ukrainian descent is the book “Ukrainian People Places”, published in 2001. As well as Ukrainian, this book  also includes information on Polish, German, Mennonite, Hutterite and Doukhobor  place names that became part of Saskatchewan history, adding more depth to your genealogy research.

The book has sections on the various “oblasts” or regions contained in Ukraine, and the Saskatchewan names that came from these locations. For example, from Ivano-Frankivs’ke (Southern Galicia) comes names like “Jablonow” which was later changed to Wroxton, and Brena which was north-east of Canora.

From L’viv, Stawchan was north of Rhein; Mostetz was north of Calder.  From Ternopil comes Olesha, south-west of Buchanan;  Wolkowetz, east of Sheho; and Chechow, west of Preeceville.  There is also Dobrowody north-east of Rama, and Jaroslaw, part of Galicia that is now in Poland.  Many are familiar with the country church, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary that once stood at Jaroslaw, west of Yorkton.   

Famous place names also came from famous people:  St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Park; Mohyla Ukrainian Institute; Kvitka, a post office south of Jedburgh, named for the Ukrainian novelist Gregory Kvitka, and Mazepa, south-east of Canora, named after a famous Cossack leader.

This wonderful and informative book is fascinating on many levels: as part of Saskatchewan history, and of great interest to Ukrainian descendants who can add a new dimension to their family research by learning more about where their ancestors settled.  The book is an extra-special record of Saskatchewan history because many of the places listed no longer exist.

Mr. Barry’s book connects the old country to the new country, enabling us to see the hope and optimism of the prairie’s new settlers, while helping us feel their homesickness and nostalgia for the countries they left behind.  This book would be a wonderful addition to your genealogy reference collection.

Every family has a story: discover yours with the Yorkton branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society!