Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan

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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.

Request - 2020 - Venice School Photo - Naming Puzzle

This is a photo of both Venice School classrooms. We do not know the year, or all the names of the students. However, since it was published on the back cover of our Historian (2nd issue in 2020), several people have contributed to an effort to find out the names of everyone in the photo. It would be hard to make out the names if we tried to publish this photos again in the Historian. So, as editor, and the web-master for this site, I decided that the best plan may be to publish it here, and invite anyone and everyone, who might recognize someone in this photo to contribute what you know.

To see photo and some tentative lists of names... go to Venice School Photo Naming Puzzle

Comments or questions are welcome.

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Searching for Certain Used Books

We have collected a number of used book requests on the above page. Could you help out?

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.

We have lost touch with Sandra. But we can try to connect with her, if you do have an answer to these photos.

Request 2012-11-7

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.

Request 2012-7-11

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.

Request 2012-02-09

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].

Request 2012-04-18

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]

Request 2009-06-13

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.

Request 2009-05-20-A

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.
{This request was answered. Thank you!}

Request 2009-04-26

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:
Kim Schellenberg
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].

Request 1.

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

Request 2.

One of the most interesting early Saskatchewan Mennonite photographs is that of the Peter Regier farm at Tiefengrund taken in 1903. See below.

The Peter Regier farm at Tiefengrund, 1903

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.

{This request was answered. Thank you!}

Information Received

[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 numbers in 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. & by appointment on Wed. evening.