Your Assistance Requested
Often the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan receives questions we cannot answer, requests for information we may not have, help in completing a project, or archival materials that we cannot identify. We know our members and web site viewers are knowledgeable and resourceful and are both willing and able to help.
This section of our web site is devoted to these issues. We invite you to respond with information, suggestions, comments, or ideas. If you are able to help with the requests below, please use this form to contact us. We will gladly forward your helpful answers.
Comments or questions are welcome.
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We have collected a number of used book requests on the above page. Could you help out?
Agie (Klassen) Husul has been banging her head against a brick wall the past nine years, trying to find out more about her Klassen line, and is putting together a book. However, she hasn't been able to trace back any further than her 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Klassen (1841-1913) and his immigration record.
Agie writes; "The only other possible clue I have regarding Isaac & Agatha (Wieler) Klassen was found in a book entitled Mennonite Migrations (and The Old Colony) by Henry Schapansky, which I have translated here using Bing Translation - Since 1870, deacon in Neplujewka from Steinau. According to (Q. 12) possibly a son of Isaac Classes - (# 192 029), the Agatha Wiehler, married and a grandson of Isaac classes 1778 - (# 198 596) of Neuendorf. I have tried every angle I can think of to find another clue but I come up empty each time."
Hilda Voth, a volunteer at our Archives has tried to help Agie, but couldn't get further either. Perhaps there is someone out here, reading this, who has been through this hard research and can give Agie some helpful clues or answers.
Use form above to ask to be connected to Agi by email.
Request 2014-7-10: Solving a Sawatzky Mystery
Sandra Buck writes, asking for assistance in solving her Sawatzky Mystery. She has some photos from her grandmother's photo album, but no names or dates. However, she has provided the following information about her Sawatzky relatives, which may help you to recognize a connection to your clan. Or perhaps you have met and known some of these people.
Sandra sent in a batch of ten photos and what little information she has about this part of her heritage. This takes quite a bit of space, so it is placed on a separate page. Just click here: Solving a Sawatzky Mystery to see it.
Peter Goertzen, phone: 604-574-5795
Peter, from Surrey, BC., writes an appeal to all with Goertzen family lines;
"It has been over thirty-seven years now since the first Goertzen Book and there have been many improvements of history information. Many wonderful people have undertaken in publishing and working at preserving our history in many individual forms. It is my desire to gather all the necessary history information that relates to our family with the intention of publishing another new Goertzen Book and this would include complete family tree updated information. I do believe that many others may feel the same way.
At present, I am working on updating the existing family tree information of the Goertzen Book 1993 Edition so as to publish a complete updated Goertzen Book.
Peter has sent us a copy of the letter he was sending out to those he knew who had Goertzen connections. If you would like a copy use, our form to ask for Assistance (above) and we'll be happy to send it to you. He realizes that history books often take several years, so you may still be in time to contribute - and probably gain information for your own research in these family lines.
Also, Peter Goertzen adds,
"Lastly, I would like to complete the other three family lines if at all possible:
Anna Goertzen and Johan Hiebert (1832-1910) (1830-1907)
Helena Goertzen and Jacob Fehr (1841-1925) (1841-1929)
Isaac Goertzen and Agatha Andreas (1844-????) (1843-????)
Peter writes, " I received an e-mail from Jacob and Maria Andres on Thanksgiving Day telling me that they are from the missing family line that I want to complete for this new book. They are Gerhard Goertzen 1837-1916 (Helena Reddekop 1835-1905) his brothers and sister's.
I trust that we will all be able to give them a warm welcome and include them in any future reunion's. They have not been aware that their is a Goertzen Book so their is alot of catching-up to do.
I do hope that at some point there will be enough interest to have a research team as this work is more then just for one person to complete.
Susan Braun, phone: 306-239-4201
Susan is looking for her grandmother's old German Bible. It is in large print and it has the Jacob and Maria Berg's family tree in it. This family lived in the Blumenthal, Saskatchewan area, east of Hague. It was sold first at a closed family auction, but later most likely sold at a garage sale in Saskatoon. This would be a couple of years ago, so it may have changed hands a few times since then. This Bible is very important to Susan, and if at all possible, she would love to get it back. You may call her at the phone number above, or use the contact form on this page, and your email will be forwarded to her.
Joan Williamson, phone: 306 778 3435
The 100th anniversary of Neville, the little community where I grew up, is happening in July of this year. I have arranged a bus trip for my extended family to visit ancestoral and family home sites in the immediate area. We are also visiting PELLA MENNONITE Church which has been abandoned for a few years but we all remember that little church which was in a rural location about 4 miles southeast of Neville. I have tried unsuccessfully to find out some historical facts about the church such as when it was built and the congregation it served. Just recently I found an older lady who attended services at Pella but she doesn't know any of the history. Would you have any information in your archives relating to this particular church? I would appreciate knowing anything about Pella which I will make available to people in Neville who will preserve it for the future.
Glen Ediger, phone: 316 288 1066
I am conducting historical research on threshing stones. I am trying to find all the threshing stones in North America.
Today I ran across a book that includes a picture of a threshing stone in Saskatchewan. This is exactly consistent with threshing stones used by Mennonites, in the Ukraine and later in Kansas. I found this in a book titled "Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead: Recipes and Recollections", by Habeeb Salloum. It also includes a picture from 1930 on page252. "During the previous year, one of our Ukrainian neighbors who had pioneered in Saskatchewan long before my parents arrived had come for a visit and had seen us using a stone boat for threshing. He told my father that during his early years of homesteading he had employed a threshing stone which was pulled by a horse over the spread-out grain. It had lain in his yard for many years and, if we wanted it, it was ours to use."
So my question is; does anyone in your organization know of any threshing stones in your community, or information about the use of them there? Please respond and let me know who I could talk to about this subject. Thank you.
Phone: 316-288-1066 or email. [email only available by request using form on this page].
Walter Epp, of Lake Head University,
I will be conducting archival research at the University of Saratov, Russia during the month of June, 2012. My research will focus on the Am Trakt Mennonite settlements, particularly Lindenau, where my Nickel ancestors emigrated to in 1857. I am interested in communicating with anyone with knowledge of or interest in the Am Trakt settlements. Please contact me at 807 476 7335 [email only available by request using form on this page]
Mr. Cliff Boldt of Union Bay, B.C.
in cooperation with Phyllis Siemens of Hepburn, Saskatchewan is seeking information about the McIntosh Co-op Farm at Hepburn. I'm certain persons willing to share stories, recollections and photographs would be very much appreciated.
Helmut Froese - phone: 604-823-6288
Greetings: I am looking for info on my father Gustav Froese born in Russia. He came to Canada in 1927. Settled in Rosthern, Sk. My mother's name was Anna, nee Siebert. Would you be able to help me find some information? I would sure appreciate that. Thank you.
Kim Schellenberg has contacted the MHSS Archives with this request:
"I am looking for pictures of the Mennonites from the Mullingar, Saskatchewan community from around the 1930's. I am doing research to retrace the trail my great-grandparents took to homestead in the Mullingar district in 1934. Their names were Earle & Alice McDonald, and their daughter Laura kept a diary of their trip. My family weren't Mennonites, but, as you can probably tell by the last name, I have been married for nearly 20 years to a wonderful man of Mennonite heritage. Photographs of both the town and the Mennonites of the area from around 1934 would be so very helpful!"
If you have photos and you would like to share please contact:
17 Holt Street Red Deer,
Alberta T4N 5Z6
[We don't publish email addresses to protect them.
Please use the form on this page, and we will forward your messages to Kim].
Neil Klassen of British Columbia is planning to republish the English language book by H. J. Willms: At the Gates of Moscow (Columbia Press, Yarrow, B.C. 1964). This book was first published in a German edition, Vor der Toren Moskaus, (Columbia Press, Yarrow, B.C. 1960). His planning involves the reprinting in high quality of all 34 photographs contained in the original book. This requires locating the original photographs. Unfortunately the group needs help in locating them. Do you have any? The MHSS Archives has examined its collection of photographs but we don't hold any.
If you can help, please let us know via the form above, and we will forward this to Neil Klassen
One of the most interesting early Saskatchewan Mennonite photographs is that of the Peter Regier farm at Tiefengrund taken in 1903. See below.
The MHSS archive has a good copy of the photograph made from the original. However some of the detail is not very clear. We would like to make a high quality scan of the original photograph or of the original negative. If anyone has a clearer copy of the original that we can use for a scan, or knows of the original negative please contact us.
[Here we will post information and comments from our members and viewers in response to the requests for assistance. They are posted with our sincere appreciation and great thanks].
Note: 5/7/09 - Victor Wiebe has received some good suggestions regarding the Regier photo above from Tiefengrund. Thank you!
Note: 12/6/2009 Al Rempel wrote with a reply to Helmut Froese's request, naming numbersin the GRANDMA database. Thanks.
There is another form to reach the Maintainers of the MHSS Cemetery Site
Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
Archive Hours: Monday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.