Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surname Saturday: Poznekoff

Polly Cazakoff and Wasyl Poznekoff
Polly (Poznekoff) Cazakoff with her brother Wasyl Poznekoff

My husband’s maternal grandmother was Polya (Polly) Poznekoff (1887-1971), wife of George Cazakoff. I recently wrote about her here.

Polly was about 12 years old when her widowed father Iwan (John) Poznekoff, and her brothers and sisters immigrated to Canada in 1899.

The surname Poznekoff is the English spelling for Poznyakov or Pozdnyakov. It originates from the word poznii or pozdnii, which means “late”. [1]

According to the Doukhobor Genealogy Website, there were “two unrelated branches of Pozdniakovs among the Doukhobors” in the 18th century living in the Russian provinces of Sloboda-Ukraine (Kharkov) and Tambov. [2]

By 1905 in Canada, most Poznikoff families lived in what was known as the North Colony in Doukhobor-established settlements surrounding Arran, Saskatchewan. [3]

Today, Poznekoff is one of the most common Doukhobor surnames in Canada. [4] English spelling variations include Pozdnekoff, Poznikoff, Pozney and Poznikow. [5]

Poznekoff should not be confused with Postnikoff, a similar-sounding Russian (Doukhobor) surname.

Sources:

1. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Surnames.htm : accessed 20 March 2014), entry for Pozdnyakov.

2. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website, entry for Pozdnyakov.

3. “Village-Surname Index for the 1905 Doukhobor Census”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/SK-Villages-Families.htm : accessed 20 March 2014).

4. “Guide to Doukhobor Names and Naming Practices”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Guidenames.htm : accessed 20 March 2014).

5. “Origin and Meaning of Doukhobor Surnames”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website, entry for Pozdnyakov.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: #15 Ann Cazakoff – How Doris became Ann

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 15th week of this challenge, I chose Ann Cazakoff (1926-1980).
Ann Cazakoff Demoskoff
Ann Cazakoff, about 1942

Ann is the late mother of my husband, Michael. She was born on 11 March 1926 at her parents’ homestead property in St. Philips RM near Kamsack, Saskatchewan. [1] Ann was the ninth child and only daughter of George Cazakoff and his wife Polly Poznekoff, Russian Doukhobor immigrants. I recently wrote about George and Polly for 52 Ancestors; their stories can be read here and here, respectively.

Interestingly, Ann’s name at birth was not Ann. It was Avdoty, a “popular form of Evdokiya”, which means ‘benevolence’ or ‘kindness’. [2]

Ann was known as Avdoty in Russian and as Doris in English. (For a list of Russian to English names among Doukhobor immigrants, see Russian-English Names Cross-Index at the Doukhobor Genealogy Website.)

When she was very young, Ann was sick for “almost a whole year” and “could not sit up in the bed”’. A relative told her mother “why don’t you change her name [… because] Doris isn’t her name”. After her name was changed to “Annie” she got better and started walking. [3]

My father-in-law Bill told this story to his son Michael and I a few years ago. Bill didn't remember too many details, since many years had passed when Ann had originally told him the circumstances of how her name was changed.

Sources:

1. Province of Saskatchewan, birth registration no. 3076 (1926), Avdoty Kozokoff [sic]; Vital Statistics.

2. “Russian Female Names Among the Doukhobors”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Russian-Feminine-Names.htm : accessed 10 April 2014), entries for “Avdot’ya” and “Evdokiya”.

3. Bill Demoskoff (Grand Forks, British Columbia), telephone interview by Yvonne Demoskoff, 25 January 2011; transcript privately held by Yvonne Demoskoff, [address for private use,] Hope, British Columbia, 2011. Bill spoke from personal knowledge of the time his wife Ann told him why her name was changed.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Vimy Ridge Day

April 9 – Vimy Ridge Day – has been a national day of remembrance in Canada since 2003. It commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I in which “Canadians from coast to coast fought in a battle together [for the first time] against a common enemy”. [1]

Vimy Ridge was “Canada's most celebrated military victory”. It took place 9 – 12 April 1917, 97 years ago. [2]

3,598 were killed in the Canadian Corps during those four days in April. [3] On the first day of battle, there were 7,707 casualties, making it “the single bloodiest day of the entire war for the Canadian Corps, and the bloodiest in all of Canadian military history”. [4]

I won’t pretend to say I know a lot about this important battle, because I don’t, but after reading a few articles, I wanted to post something on my blog as my way of remembering the sacrifice that Canadian soldiers made in those terrible days of the Great War.


Map of North Western Europe during First World War
(Canadian War Museum: The Battle of Vimy Ridge) 

Looking over crest of Vimy Ridge on Vimy Village
Looking over crest of Vimy Ridge on Vimy Village.
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-001290)

Canadians advancing through German wire entanglements Vimy Ridge
Canadians advancing through German wire entanglements - Vimy Ridge. April, 1917.
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/)

29th Infantry Batallion advancing over "No Man's Land" Vimy Ridge
29th Infantry Batallion advancing over "No Man's Land" through the German barbed wire and 
heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge
(Photographer: W.I. Castle/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-001020)

Bringing in our wounded Vimy Ridge April 1917
Bringing in our wounded. - Vimy Ridge. April, 1917
(Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/)

To learn more about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, see the following online resources:

• Canada at War: Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917   

• Canadian War Museum: The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917 

• The Canadian Encyclopedia: Vimy Ridge  

• Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Battle of Vimy Ridge 

Sources:

1. “Vimy Ridge Day Act S.C. 2003, c. 6”, Justice Laws Website (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/AnnualStatutes/2003_6/page-1.html : accessed 5 April 2014).

2. Richard Foot, “Vimy Ridge”, The Canadian Encyclopedia (http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/vimy-ridge/ : accessed 5 April 2014).

3. Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918, 2 vols. (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2008) 2: 142.

4. Cook, Shock Troops, 2: 143-144.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 CITE!

I’m participating in Dear Myrtle’s 3 – 2 – 1 Cite: The ‘Ragu’ Challenge. It’s where you take 3 documents, write about them in 2 paragraphs, having to do with 1 event, and make sure you “CITE those sources”.

For the 1 event, I chose my grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair’s date and place of death.

Here are the 3 documents with their sources:


1. Julie’s death certificate.
Death certificate of Julie Belair

Source: Province of Ontario, death certificate, no. 1967-05-012379 (1967), Julia Bélair [sic]; Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay.

2. Julie’s burial record.


Burial record of Julie Belair

Source: Julia Vanasse burial certificate (extrait du Régistre des sépultures) [extract from the burials register] (1967 burial); issued 1988, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Catholic Church [now Notre-Dame de la Paix], Timmins, Ontario; privately held by Yvonne Demoskoff, [address for private use,] Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

3. Photograph of Julie’s gravemarker.


Gravemarker of Fred Belair and Julie Belair

Source: Fred and Julie Belair gravemarker photograph, 2007; digital image, supplied by Joan Laneville, [address for private use,] Timmins, Ontario, Canada, 3 September 2007. Joan asked her daughter Carol to photograph her parents’ grave marker and then email a digital copy to her niece Yvonne.

The 2 paragraphs:

My paternal grandmother Julie died on 19 March 1967 in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. The above three records provide this information. I ordered my grandmother’s death certificate in late 2008 and received it by mail on 12 January 2009. It states my grandmother’s name and her date and place of death. Other details include her marital status, her age, and when her death was registered. The certificate, a certified extract from her death registration, was issued by the Office of the Registrar General. Some twenty years earlier, I sent a letter to my former parish church in Timmins asking for a copy of Julie’s burial record. The church’s secretary replied with a certified extract that gives the date and place of my grandmother’s funeral. The extract also provides her date of death, but not place of death. The last record is a digital photograph showing my grandparents’ gravemarker. My grandfather made the arrangements for the marker. Later, when he passed away, his elder daughter, my Aunt Joan, had his name and dates of birth and death added to it.

One record provided both the date and place of death, while the other two records stated her date or year of death. I believe that the death certificate is the one with the most genealogical weight, because it is more complete than the burial record and the photograph. Although errors could have crept in all three records (for example, an incorrect year of death engraved on the marker), all the records are in agreement with each other.

Last but not least, I’ve posted my article on my blog and I’m going to also share it on DearMYRTLE's Facebook Group.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Mystery Monday: The Death in 1900 – or Not – of Mary Gertrude Vanasse

In the summer of 1891, a little girl was born to John and Dinasse (Ranger) Vanasse in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec. She was the couple’s first of seven children; three sons and three more daughters were born between 1891 and 1912. She was also a first cousin of my paternal grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair.

At her baptism two days later, on 23 August 1891 in Chapeau’s church, she received the names Mary Gertrude. Her godparents were her maternal uncle Evangéliste Ranger and her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Frappier. They could not sign their names in the parish register, unlike the father, who wrote his name in a clear and legible hand. [1]

John and Dinasse suffered a tragedy on 11 April 1900 when one of their children died. According to St-Alphonse’s sacramental register, the child who died was “Mary Gertrude Vanasse”. The burial record adds that she was 8 years old and the daughter of John Vanasse and Dinna [sic] Ranger. (“Dinna” is a variation of Dinasse.) [2]

Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial record
Burial record of Mary Gertrude Vanasse (cropped image) [3]

Based on this information, there’s no reason to doubt who died that April day – or is there?

I believe there is room for doubt, especially because a marriage record exists for Mary Gertrude. On 8 August 1911, Mary Gertrude, “daughter under age of John Venasse [sic] and Dinasse Ranger” married Hector Marchildon in Chapeau’s St-Alphonse church. [4]

The daughter who married was under age, according to her marriage record. Since matrimonial majority was 21 years at this time in the province of Quebec, Mary Gertrude would have been born after 8 August 1890. [5] All of John and Dinasse’s daughters were born after this date, but only one of them was named Mary Gertrude, the eldest. The other daughters were Anna (b. 1897), Mabel (b. 1899) and Clara (b. 1907). I don’t think it’s a case of mistaken identity, say, for example Anna who married instead of Gertrude. Even though Anna was old enough to marry at 14 years old, it’s not her, since she married for the first time in July 1917. [6] As for Mabel and Clara, they were only 12 and 3 ½ years old, respectively.

So, if Mary Gertrude didn’t die in 1900, who did?

I have a theory that the child who died in 1900 was Mary Gertrude’s younger brother Michael John, who was born on 10 December 1895. [7]

Although I haven’t found a burial record for him in St-Alphonse’s registers, at least not one that explicitly states his name, it seems more likely that it was Michael John and not Mary Gertrude who died on 11 April 1900. I've located the death or burial dates for the other siblings (Isaac, Anna and Mabel) who were born before 1900, so it isn't one of them. Also, Michael John, who would have been 5 ½ years old, does not appear in his parents’ household on the 1901 census [8], suggesting he is not alive.

The fact that Michael John wasn’t enumerated with his parents on the 1901 census schedule doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s the child who died in 1900, but the fact that his sister Mary Gertrude married in 1911 means that she couldn’t be the one who died in 1900 and whose name appears in that burial record.

It's difficult to image that St-Alphonse's parish priest would get a child's name, age and gender wrong in its burial record, but it seems to be the case in this situation.


Sources:

1. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1890-1893, p. 57 (stamped), entry no. B.50 (1891), Mary Gertrude Vanasse baptism, 23 August 1891; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 July 2010).

2. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1900, p. 10 recto, entry no. S.17, Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial, 12 April 1900; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010).

3. St-Alphonse, parish register, 1900, p. 10 recto, Mary Gertrude Vanasse burial, 12 April 1900.

4. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1911, p. 13 recto, entry no. M.10, Hector Marchildon – Mary Gertrude Venasse [sic] marriage, 8 August 1911; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010).

5. Hélène Lamarche and Guy Desjardins, “Majorité matrimoniale et majorité civile”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française, 56 (printemps 2005): 31; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013). The “Code civil du Bas-Canada 1866 (art. 115)” fixed the age of majority, that is, the legal age at which parental consent was no longer required for marriage, at 21 for boys and girls.

6. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1917, p. 11 verso, entry no. M.13, Adolphe Chassé – Anna Vanasse marriage, 28 July 1917; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 July 2010). Anna is described as “daughter under age” of her parents, which indicates a first marriage. Had she been a widow and married subsequently to a previous marriage, custom dictates that the name of her late husband is stated in the record instead of the names of her parents.

7. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1895, p. 26 recto, entry no. B.86, Michael John Vanasse baptism, 10 December 1895; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 July 2010).

8. 1901 census of Canada, Chichester, Pontiac, Quebec, population schedule, sub-district I-1, p. 6, dwelling 50, family 50, John Venance [sic] household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 May 2011). Only four children are listed in this family: Gerty (10), Isaac (7), Annie (4) and Mabel (2).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Genea-Selfie Photo

It’s Saturday, and Randy over at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge for his readers!

Tonight’s challenge is “Your Genea-Selfie Photo” – take a self-portrait with something genealogical in it. Randy got the idea from The Gould Genealogy blog, Genealogy & History News, which is running a photo contest for the month of April. 

I used my husband’s iPhone 5C, because it’s easier to take a selfie with it than my older model iPhone.

Here‘s my “genea-selfie photo”:

Yvonne Demoskoff


I’m standing in front of one of my genealogy bookcases in the spare bedroom in my house and holding three booklets about my family that I researched and self-published in 2010 and 2011.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, April 04, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 George Cazakoff – Landowner

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 14th week of this challenge, I chose George Cazakoff (1884-1958).

I recently wrote about my husband’s maternal grandfather here. In that post, I briefly touched on George being a landowner.
When George first immigrated to Canada in 1899, he didn’t own land, because as a Doukhobor, he lived a communal lifestyle. Within a few years of the Doukhobors' arrival, the Canadian government changed its policy of allowing communal landowning. This decision prompted a crisis in which many Doukhobors left Saskatchewan to follow their leader to British Columbia, while others chose to remain in the province as independent Doukhobors. George stayed and eventually applied for land as an individual farmer.

In October 1918, he took out a homestead entry, specifically NW 17-31-32-1, situated in the Lily Vale School District, about 10 miles northwest of Kamsack, Saskatchewan. [1] This northwest quarter section is 65 hectares (approximately 160 acres).

By 1930, he was still there, but now had two more quarter sections – the NE and the SW quarters. [2] Later still, George acquired a portion of the SE quarter (not shown on the image below). [3]
George Cazakoff land property map

I created a land map showing where George’s property was located in 1930 and those of his closest neighbors. See the results in the above image. Blank areas on the map indicate other, non-Doukhobor owners.

In 1954, George retired from farming and moved to Kamsack. He died there in 1958.

Sources:

1. “Grant Search”, database, ISC (Information Services Corporation) (https://www.isc.ca : accessed 11 June 2013), entry for George W. Cazakoff.

2. “Doukhobors in the 1930 Cummins Rural Directory Map of Saskatchewan”, database, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org : accessed 23 April 2009), citing the 1930 Cummins Rural Directory Map of Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan Archives Board, Regina, Saskatchewan; Map Nos. 147-149, 168-172, 189, 193, 195, 202, 203, 218-220, 234, 235.

3. History Coming Alive: R.M. of St. Philips, Pelly and District, 2 vols. (Pelly, Saskatchewan: St. Philips/Pelly History Book Committee, 1988), 1: 118.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Father and Son

Maurice Belair and Fred Belair

My grandfather Fred Belair (right) and my Dad, his son, Maurice, in Timmins, Ontario, 
about 1969.


Copyright © 2014 Yvonne Demoskoff.