Area Coordinator Tim Geiger

Background: A considerable proportion of German immigrants to Saskatchewan came directly from German colonies in Russia, or indirectly via Russian-German settlements in the United States.

The Prelate Colony (1907–13). As the settlement process in St. Joseph’s Colony was nearing completion, a fourth major German Catholic colony—or rather a series of colonies—developed around Prelate in southwestern Saskatchewan. As early as 1889 a large Russian-German settlement of migrants from Volhynia and Galicia began to develop just across the border in Alberta; eventually a very extensive expanse of territory on both sides of the border (between Leader, Maple Creek and Medicine Hat) would be settled primarily by Russian-Germans. Beginning in 1908, Russian-German Catholics established a series of colonies and parishes on the Saskatchewan side, which included: the original parishes of Sts. Peter and Paul at Blumenfeld (1908); St. Francis Xavier at Prelate (1910); Prussia Colony, centered on Leader (1919); St. Anthony, serving Mendham and the Speyer district (1914); Immaculate Conception at Krassna (1911); Sacred Heart at Liebenthal (1914); St. Mary at Rosenthal (1913); St. Mary at Richmond (1912); Sacred Heart at Lancer (1918); St. Joseph at Shackleton (1916); St. Joseph at Josephtal (1915); Holy Trinity at Rastadt (1922); and Maple Creek (1913). Later parishes included St. Mary at Fox Valley (1929), St. John at Johnborough (1943), St. Mary at Lemsford (1948), Golden Prairie (1949), and St. Michael at Burstall (1969).


Books Available at GRHS Library in Bismarck, ND:
Title / Author: Notes:
Cemeteries of Saskatchewan Canada; Mack, Rosemary  
From Katherine to Khrushchev, The Story of Russia’s Germans Adam Giesinger, 1974 Chapter XVIII is titled “Relatives Overseas”
From the Steppes to the Prairies.  Msgr. George P. Aberle, 1993 Chapter XV is titled “The German Russians in Canada”
Memories of the Black Sea Germans.  Joseph S. Height, 1979 Chapter 13 is titled “From the Kutschurgan to Saskatchewan”
Our Heritage Recalled Prelate, Saskatchewan, 1908-1990; Prelate History Book Committee Copy located at Our Roots - Nos Racines Canadian Books online.
Paradise on the Steppe.  The Odyssey of a Pioneering People. Joseph S. Height, 1973.  
Tracing your Saskatchewan ancestors: a guide to the records and how to use them; Hanowski, Laura M.  
Ukrainian people places: the Ukrainians, Germans, Mennonites, Hutterites and Doukhobors and the names they brought to Saskatchewan Barry, Bill  


Topics of Interest of Early Days:

Name & Topic of Book: Author:
Historical Sketches of the Parishes of the Diocese of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan 1930 - 1955
The publication includes the parish of Prelate where a majority of the early settlers.."
Prepared by the Diocese of Gravelbourg
Interview with Barbara Schneider Risling
"I was six years old, and moved to Prelate, Saskatchewan.."
Conducted by Bob Dambach (BD)
19 July 2000, Scott, Saskatchewan
Interview with Sister Philomena Marty (SP)
"We are in the Blumenfeld church nine miles south of the little village Prelate.."
Conducted by Bob Dambach (BD)
July, 2000, Leader, Saskatchewan
Interview with Frank Joseph Kambeitz (FK)
"They could have had land in the Leader are and Prelate.."
Conducted by Bob Dambach (BD)
July 2000, Leader, Saskatchewan
Interview with Timothy Geiger (TG)
"they lived in Prelate and.."
Conducted by Bob Dambach (BD)
July, 2000, Leader, Saskatchewan


Places of Interest: Location: Comments:
Blumenfeld & District Heritage Site Box 34, 16km S of Prelate.
PRELATE, Saskatchewan S0N 2B0
St. Peter and Paul Church built in 1915. Guided tours available, museum within church. Grotto onsite - annual pilgrimage.
Smith Barn Site Box 39, 6.4km W of Leader on Grid 741. Follow signs. Turn N for 8km.
LEADER, Saskatchewan S0N 1H0
W. T. Smith Barn, built in 1914, was the largest barn built in North America (400 x 128 x 60 ft). Original foundation remains. Scale model and historical information available. Provincial Heritage Site.
St. John's Church and School Box 39
LEADER, Saskatchewan S0N 1H0
Phone: 306-628-3868/306-628-3995
Toll-Free: 1-800-424-8335 (Canada)
Original church built in 1911. Miniature replica onsite contains artifacts from the church. Original one room school house with period furnishings.
Ukrainian Museum of Canada 910 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 3H5
Phone: (306) 244-3800
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays & All Holidays (Ukrainian & Canadian)

Community Histories:
Several local history books are scanned and readable online. (Please note that not all local histories are online). The book highlighted below maybe available on-line, please check if you are interested in any presently on-line. When you select a book to read, there is also a search function at the right hand side of the page that will allow you to find a particular surname or word in the book. To begin searching for books, go to:

Book Title with link: Where book was found:
Our Heritage Recalled, Prelate, Saskatchewan, 1908-1990; Prelate History Book Committee Digital Copy at Our Roots - Nos Racines (see Internet help below #10)
For Members Only Index "The Past to the Present, 70 years, 1909-1979" Sceptre, Saskatchewan and the book at Our Roots Index by Mervin Weiss, Mar 2009, with focus on Germans from Russia


Name: Town:
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Blumenfeld, near Liebenthal
Seventh Day Adventist Church Leader
St. John's Lutheran Church Leader
Josephstal Catholic Church Liebenthal
Rosenthal Catholic Church Liebenthal
Sacred Heart Catholic Church Liebenthal
St. Johann's Catholic Church Liebenthal
Emanuel Evangelical Church Mendham
St. Anthony's Catholic Church Mendham

Cemeteries and Obituaries:

Rural Municipality of Happy Land Cemeteries: Includes Blumenfeld, Gascoigne, Leader, Liebenthal, Mendham, Prelate and Westerham
Obituaries from the Leader Weekly News

Rural One-Room Schoolhouses From The Past: Saskatchewan One Room School Project provides an online history for current generations to enjoy, preserve, and experience, our historical educational, architectural, and cultural, heritage. The one room school house of the late 1800s of the NWT and early 1900s provided education to a burgeoning population. This website honors the communities, teachers and students of that era. Check out the web site:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk/school/

Saskatchewan areas of German-Russian Settlement:

Liebenthal St. Joseph's Regina
Manheim Franzfeld Landau
Marienthal Freudenthal Leipzig
Vibank Baden Krassna
Wilkie Koenigsberg Spectre
Mendham New Kronsfeld Hatton

Map:  Saskatchewan Canada Maps
          1926 Saskatchewan Highway Map
          Saskatchewan City & Town Maps


Internet Help:

1. Saskatchewan GenWeb Site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk/
2. Mary’s Genealogical Treasures at  http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mtoll/sask.htm
3.  Leader - Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader,_Saskatchewan
             - Official Town of Leader Web Site
             - Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan for Leader
4.  Prelate - Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelate,_Saskatchewan
5.  Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan - Home
6. The Saskatchewan Homestead Index at http://www.saskhomesteads.com/
7. Search the 1911 Canada census at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/1911/006003-100.01-e.html  
8. Canadian Post Offices, Past and Present - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/post-offices/001001-100.01-e.php
9. Our Future, Our Past Digital Project of Books - http://www.ourfutureourpast.ca/loc_hist/
10. Our Roots - Nos Racines Canadian Books online at http://www.ourroots.ca/
11. Search the For Members OnlyGRHS Letters Archives  
12. Search the GRHS Online Obituaries Index


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