Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Wider Circle of Friends

Having mentioned, the other day, my lack of resources for following our immigrant Ryan family from their last home—the pre-1900 Walsh County settlement in what became the state of North Dakota—in their return to Canada, I've since realized my brief hiatus yesterday allowed me to find some well-timed resources for this latest Canadian foray.

Whatever happened to Edward and Johanna Tully Ryan and their extended family, I cannot fully tell at this point. It is obvious that their son Dennis died, leaving a widow and several children. It is just as likely that one of the Ryan daughters likewise died. As we'll soon see, her mother-in-law may also have died in that period of time between Dennis' 1892 death and her own by 1900, as well as some other Guinan relatives. In fact, though I can't yet figure it out, Ryan matriarch Johanna herself may have died in North Dakota by that same date.

There is a lot that could be settled, if only I could contact a cemetery office for the Catholic cemetery in Grafton—or possibly the larger Walsh County area.

In the meantime, while I search further for answers there, another option is to follow the remainder of the family north as they moved back to Canada—first, apparently, to Winnipeg, and then to various remote farming communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Last I had looked, however, there weren't enough resources online to assist me in even formulating an educated guess as to what became of the Ryan children's own grown children.

Taking this quandary as a prompt to revisit what I had found the last time I journeyed down this path, I was heartened to discover much more has been added to online resources. For one thing, an entire set of Catholic records for Saskatchewan has been put online by—good news, indeed, for this researcher.

Just as I had found for marriage and death records of Ryan family members who had settled in the province of Manitoba, the office of vital statistics for the province of Saskatchewan—and later, as some of the family's descendants headed even farther west to British Columbia—has been adding records to their online resources. In addition, apparently for some parts of western Canada, rather than Catholics being buried in a cemetery run by the local church, burials for all faiths were sometimes made in a city cemetery, of which certain portions were designated for specified religions. Happily, those city cemeteries sometimes included online listings of those buried within their realm.

The most serendipitous of my findings this week, however, was the discovery that @marksology—a.k.a. Kenneth R. Marks, the consummate pursuer of free historic newspaper resources worldwide—had just posted to his blog, The Ancestor Hunt, an updated listing of online historical newspapers in Saskatchewan.

Those are the kinds of friends a genealogy researcher can really use on her side. I am now in researcher heaven.


  1. How exciting! Online info changes everyday...I think you said that one day!! :)

    1. Well, bring 'em on! I'm certainly benefiting from those changes with this one :)

  2. Don't forget the Catholic records for Poland! You might find Anna K.!

    1. I'm almost hesitant about jumping across the pond and into those foreign language records, Iggy. Yes, I might find some Kusharvskis in Poland, that is true. I did pick up some great resources for Polish research while away at conference. Maybe it's time for a test drive :)


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