Saskatchewan History

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Canada > Saskatchewan > Saskatchewan History

This information can help you determine significant culture, ecclesiastical, and political events in the history of Saskatchewan. You will need some understanding of the historical events that affected your family and the records about them. Learning about wars, governments, laws, migrations, and religious trends may help you understand political boundaries, family movements, and settlement patterns. Records of these events, such as land and military documents, may mention your family.

Your ancestors’ lives will be more interesting if you learn about the history they may have been part of. For example, in a history you might learn about the events that occurred the year your great-grandparents were married.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1670: Today’s Saskatchewan was a part of the territory given to the Hudson’s Bay Company. The early history of this province was linked closely to the fur trade.

1774: Cumberland House, the first trading post, is established by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

1821: North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company are united.

1870: Rupert’s Land bought from the Hudson’s Bay Company and organized into the Northwest Territories.

1875: The territories are organized under the government.

1882: The southern region of the Northwest Territories was divided into four districts; two were named Assiniboia and Saskatchewan. They covered the southern half of today’s Saskatchewan.

1882: North West Mounted Police headquartered at Regina.

1885: Northwest Rebellion outbreak.

1885: The Canadian Pacific Railroad was completed. Many immigrants began to settle in southern Saskatchewan.

1899: More than seven thousand Doukhobors from the Crimea immigrated into southern Saskatchewan.

1905: The Province of Saskatchewan was formed.

1907: University of Saskatchewan is founded in Saskatoon.

Historical Sources[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has some published national, provincial, and local histories. See the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog Surnames Search under:

  • A Short History of Canada [1]
  • The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712–1857 [2]

Canadian Sources[edit | edit source]

Encyclopedias also include excellent articles on the history of Canada. Many books and articles on Canadian history are listed in these annotated bibliographies:

  • A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. I. Beginnings to Confederation. [3]
  • A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. II. Confederation to the Present. [4]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are some of the most valuable sources for family history research. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of early settlers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search.

Published histories of towns, counties, districts or other municipalities, and provinces often contain accounts of families. Many district, county, and town histories include sections or volumes of biographical information. These may give information on as many as half of the families in the area. A county history is also the best source of information about a county’s origin.

The Family History Library has about 300 district histories from the Prairie Provinces and fewer township and county histories from the rest of Canada. Similar histories are often at major Canadian public and university libraries and archives.

Bibliographies that list histories for some provinces are in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Morton, Desmond. A Short History of Canada. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1983. FHL book 971 H2md.)
  2. MacNutt, W. S. The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712–1857. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1965. (FHL book 971.5 H2mws.)
  3. Muise, D. A., ed. A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. I. Beginnings to Confederation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. (FHL book 971 H23r v. 1)
  4. Granatstein, J. L., and Paul Stevens, eds. A Reader's Guide to Canadian History. II. Confederation to the Present. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. (FHL book 971 H23r v. 2)