If you’re looking for records in SK, good luck.
OK, kidding, but what a difference from the home provinces for my husband and I (Ontario and BC, respectively). Where can you go aside from Ancestry? I’ve been digging into the province’s resources since moving here, and so far, here are my top 5 online sites for Saskatchewan, which I’ll roll out from last to first..!
Here is the site for SK’s online lookup for birth, marriage, and death records. To date, I have been unable to locate any records more recent than 1908, but it’s a start.
Oh, how I wish every probate record was here! If you’re lucky enough to have an ancestor whose probate records are here, it is like Christmas. Family Search is free to join and a must have tool in the toolkit.
It was a shock to discover the 1921 Canada census counted people in mental institutions. The trick is finding them. The link takes you to my site of SK-based links, where I describe how to find records of the North Batteford Provincial Mental Hospital for free on Library and Archives Canada, and also using Ancestry. There are 25 pages of patients listed.
The other hospital, Weyburn Mental Hospital, is unfortunately not available in the 1921 census, as it was completed too late for the census (so close – December, 1921).
So many SK records are rural. If you can read a legal land description, you can read census documents by who occupied that particular parcel of land over the years. (I’ll write more on this technique in my next blog post). Check out this great How To site from ISC on Land Descriptions and where they came from, then find the rural address with the above free link.
Having spent half a dozen days at the archives, and at least 4x as many hours online, I will tell you the Archives are my goto SK tool. The site helpfully explains what’s available for the genealogist, and then goes on to explain just what you’re looking at. Not every archive is so thorough. There are homestead records, municipal documents, newspapers, and the list is extensive. If you’d like to skip all the reading and go straight to the search engine (like I did the first few times), the search works beautifully.
If you’re in Saskatchewan, you can drop by either the Regina or the Saskatoon office, and if you alert the archivists well beforehand, they’ll pull records for your arrival. In addition, the two offices share microfiche, so you can request to have the microfiche sent to the office most convenient to you, for free.
The best part? The Archives are staffed with knowledgeable, friendly, and very helpful archivists who take the time to answer questions and, for a small fee, copy documents.
I am running my first ever SK-based genealogy contest! Got a good story and some semi-deep roots in SK soil? You might be eligible for a free genealogical search. Check out the contest details here. Contest ends in two weeks: July 21!