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It is likely that there were more than 10,000 souls living in Mennonite households in southwest Saskatchewan
in the five year period following the First World War of the twentieth century. Of these only a portion of them
were living on the Swift Reserve southeast of the present city of Swift Current. Much of that history has never
been identified, collected, preserved, or organized so that it can be accessed for research. Ed Schmidt is actively
collecting names (phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses) of persons who have already engaged in
genealogy, church and community history of Mennonites in southwest Saskatchewan for the August 6 event.
However, new options currently exist that were not available even a few years ago.
The storage of information that is emerging in the digital processing era is creating new and creative ways to work with “family” collections of materials and objects. The digital scanners and cameras have become marvelous tools to engage. The Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS) has an Archives in connection with the Bethany Manor Fellowship Centre in Saskatoon. Using the Archives – office as a base, MHSS is putting in place a large local capacity digital storage space which will have the capacity to be accessed from the web at various levels. There will be levels that only authorized people will be able to access. There will be other areas of information storage that can be accessed for research purposes. There will be additional areas that can be searched and from these results people around the globe will be able to become informed about Saskatchewan’s Mennonite history – which is exceedingly broad and diverse.
The first event being organized in setting the platform for this information storage and research will take place the “long week-end” Monday, August 6, 2007 between 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Herbert New Horizon at 605 Herbert Ave., Herbert, Saskatchewan ($15 registration per person or $25 per couple will include the noon lunch – additional donations to MHSS will be solicited and receipted.)
Dr. Tim Janzen from Oregon has conducted many major genealogy workshops for Mennonites across North America. Tim will be making presentations at the August 3 to 5 Fehr Reunion in Wymark, Saskatchewan.
In the forenoon in Herbert, Don Fehr will present work in progress on the Reinlaender Gemeinde Project and background on doing Mennonite church books projects.
Tim Janzen will introduce genetic genealogy and the Mennonite DNA project. The afternoon will focus on Mennonite genealogy related topics, particularly with an emphasis on Mennonite genealogical materials that have become available in the past 10 years.
Inter-twined in all of this will be the attempt to identify people who are motivated to use their digital cameras and methods of their employment will be explored to gather family histories. It is the privilege of MHSS to benefit by engaging these men to engage in the workshop in Herbert.
[last updated - Aug/26/2021]