? Our Family History

Family History

From Ireland's western shores to the shores of the Great Lakes, from Sweden's lakeshores to the rolling prairies of North America, from the farmlands of Flanders to the prairie flowers of North Dakota, they all converged at the heartland of Canada's breadbasket - Saskatchewan; these are the origins and legacies of my family.

Importance of Family History

I've created this website as a legacy for my family. I've always had an intense interest in history and genealogy, and by creating these pages I hope to be able to make my research accessible to family far and wide so they can learn about the rich culture and history that we all come from.

I am retired. I worked for Sproule Associates Limited, worldwide petroleum consultants, for over 38 years. Sproule evaluates oil and gas reserves for oil companies all over the world. My last job, of many, at Sproule was working for our Legal Counsel, plus Graphic Design for the company.

I have a son who is married and has three children. He and his family live just outside of Calgary, and he is a Geologist for a major oil and gas company. My daughter-in-law is a Corporate Paralegal. My grandsons and granddaughter are my delight.

All of my sisters and one brother still live in Saskatchewan. My brother, who lived in Calgary, passed away in October 2015 from cancer. We all really miss him and Mom.

I grew up in Elrose, Saskatchewan. I moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1970 and made my home there until 2009, when I moved to Cochrane, Alberta. Rural Alberta was my home for five years. However, I decided to return to Calgary in 2014 and purchased a condo in the northwest section of town, close to where my son and his family live.

The Olsons had a family reunion in August 2012 in Elrose. Most of the family were able to attend and the weather was excellent. I met my new grand nephew, Baby Jack, for the first time. He is so cute! We visited the Memorial Gardens in Elrose where there are trees planted in honour of my parents. We also visited the graveyard where our family is buried. My sister, Julie, and I stayed over at my youngest sister's place at Clearwater Lake. My sister and her husband, Cheryl and Larry, are excellent hosts. My cousins also stayed over and we sat up late and reminisced. It was so much fun.

My brother-in-law, sisters and I visited Quebec in June 2013 for two weeks. We visited the places of our ancestors - homesteads, cemeteries, locations of homes in Montreal, family churches, plus much more. We also visited family just outside of Montreal, which we really enjoyed. Our cousins, the Farlys are wonderful people. I wish we could have more visits with them.

We found the people of Quebec very welcoming and friendly. We never had a situation where somebody did not speak English. Many people went out of their way to help us, for example, the motel in Berthierville let us use their washers to wash our clothes before we checked out. Please do not believe those stories about French Canadians being rude or intentionally not speaking English when they could - they are not true!

I've been working on my family's history for many years. I find that family research is a constant striving to solve a mystery. It is better than reading a novel because the characters are real. I wish to bring these characters to life for my son and his children, as well as my nieces and nephews. I also wish to pay these courageous ancestors of mine the tribute they deserve for their courage and their sense of adventure for they all have something in common — they all moved from the security of their homes in the old country to a new land and created a quality life for their children and grandchildren.

I have been taking Genealogy courses online from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I have taken many courses associated with Irish genealogy as well as Saskatchewan, Sweden and Germany. I am now working on a course about research into my son's genealogy, of Germans who emigrated from Germany to Russia at the invitation of the Russian monarch. They were given concessions to settle in various locations in Russia, to settle onto farms. On the paternal side of my son's genealogy, the family moved from Stuttgart to Bukovina, and on the maternal side they moved from Germany to the Volga River valley.

There are several members of our family whose children have ancestry in this area of Europe. Several of their spouses had grandparents who came from areas of Russia so it is very interesting to research. My niece, whose father is Ukrainian, has ancestors in Bukovina who lived near my son's ancestors, and she is marrying a boy who has German ancestors from Bessarabia, which is right next door.

As yet, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies does not offer courses on Belgium but there are several for Canada and the United States.

I have written a story about the first of our ancestors in Canada - Antonei Farly and Marie Bastien. I have also completed a second story about Antonie's and Marie's son, Jacques Philippes Farly and his wife, Josette Dumouchel. They were very adventurous people and lived in interesting times. Both of these can be found in the Stories section.

I hope you enjoy your journey through My Family History and for those distant family members, I sincerely hope my research can assist you in your research.