Pearl Sklapsky-Holben – Linda’s Retelling

I have posted Linda Ducharme’s retelling of her Mother’s story, Linda’s own words describing the settling of the prairies, and the tribulations it brought. This tale tells of the life of Frank and Ettie Sklapsky and their children, and their life during that time. You can find the story under the “Family Info” menu item, and read this final section, termed appropriately “Linda’s Retelling”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it for you.


As indicated before, each of these sections, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at), just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line.

You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.


If anyone has any photos they would share with me please let me know.

Pearl Sklapsky-Holben

I’ve been fortunate to regain contact with Linda Ducharme, the author of “The Sklapsky Saga”. Linda had some computer problems and was out of touch for a while, but she’s back now and has graciously approved the posting of her Mom Pearl’s memoir on the public part of this site.

Along with that there is also a short writing that Pearl prepared for a book on the history of Eston, Saskatchewan. Not all was included in the book however, but it is included in it’s entirety on this site in a post called History Of Eston submission – by Pearl Sklapsky-Holben.

Last, and certainly not least, I will be posting Linda’s retelling of the story, her own words describing the settling of the prairies, and the tribulations it brought. This tale also tells of the life of Frank Sklapsky and his children, and their life during this time.

Each of these sections, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at), just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line. You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

Did I Say “Change”?

Well it’s been a busy time, and one not without some good and bad. Maybe disappointing is better – not bad.

I went to Kelowna a week or so ago with a purpose in mind. Yes, I know my purpose was to see my daughter and family but a secondary purpose was to see my Great-Aunt Aurla and other relatives. She, Aurla, is Charles Reeves youngest daughter. For those of you who just dropped in Charles is my paternal grandmother’s father. If you log-in to the family tree (soon to be online) you will be able to see the lineage.


Unfortunately, for reasons I don’t completely understand, we were unable to connect. In fact I wasn’t able to see any of the family who were present in Kelowna that week. I was, and am, disappointed of course. But c’est la vie, hopefully there will be other such opportunities.

On a positive note though I did hear from Aurla on her return home. She has graciously allowed me to repost the Charles Walter Reeves memoir. This is under the proviso that the memoir be accessible only to family, not the general public as it was before. This is more than fair, and one I had considered prior to it’s removal from the site.

So, where is this ‘family’ portion of the site you may ask? Well, it should be up shortly, maybe as soon as tonight (Sept.18), and I’ll post a notification to that effect once it goes live. Hopefully there won’t be too many glitches along the way. In addition to the memoir there will be access to a family tree with some, shall we say, more personal information regarding those on the tree. I look forward to any feedback.

Once I get the ‘family’ side of the site available you will only be able to get in by using a log-in name and password. I can assign such (likely) or perhaps allow those interested to choose their own. Let’s see how it shakes out……..

Changes coming ……..

Since I developed this site I have been pondering some possibilities, mulling over the various options to maintaining the privacy of individuals while still providing as much info and family history as possible. It seems to me the only real way is to provide a log-in and password to those who are interested. Access to the secure portion of the site would give those individuals the ability to see more in-depth family history and at the same time keep that same information private and away from the general public. The original, public, site would remain virtually untouched, it’s only if you wished to view the more sensitive data that you would have to log in.

As an example:

  • birthdates and other personal information could then be posted (if acceptable),
  • family member birthplaces or past residences could be shown. This refers primarily to those of the older generations who are deceased,
  • individual’s photos may be shown on the secure site, if that was acceptable,
  • other, more personal, information such as war history or service records,
  • noted life events.

Most of these points would only apply to those of the family we are researching, not generally the living.

So for any that are reading please let me know what you think. I may still contact any of you whose email address is known to me. Hopefully as summer winds down I’ll have more time to put into this project. I appreciate your input.

Just a quick note…

Just a quickie update to say I’ve made contact with some more cousins. This time they are on the Sklapsky side, all kin of my Grandfather’s (Frank Sklapsky’s) brother Norman Sklapsky. Most live in Prince Rupert.

I look forward to picking their brains. Already some of the blanks in my family tree are becoming filled.

New “Old” Photos Added

Some progress has been made on the genealogy front with the addition of  new ‘old’ photos to the Photo Gallery. For those of you that are not aware of this feature you can click on the words “Photo Gallery” in the menu at the top of any of the website pages, in this case the Blog page. That will take you to the website location where all the photos are stored. There are Madden photos as well as Genealogy photos. As with the blog and website in general it is a dynamic site, that is the photos may change a bit over time, if I do some cataloging or adjustments to the pictures.

As I’ve mentioned before I got many photos from family that I’ve scanned and begun organizing. In some cases I’m not really sure who the family is in the picture, with that I’d like some help and feedback. Also some of the photos seen in this post may not (or may) be seen in the Photo Gallery yet.

In this case I know who this is in the photo below. I always have a warm feeling looking at old pics. Where the picture was taken I’m not sure.

Bernice (Grandma) Sklapsky and her sister Aunt Eleanor
Bernice (Grandma) Sklapsky and her sister, my Great-Aunt Eleanor (Renshaw)

Another photo I like is:

Sklapsky Family
Sklapsky Family – left to right: Audrey, Verla, George, Bernice, Lou, Dallas, and Gene kneeling

These folks I know. Unfortunately Aunt Muriel (Gale) is absent.

(Grandpa) Frank Sklapsky and ??
(Grandpa) Frank Sklapsky and ??

This one above is of course my Grandfather Frank, my Dad’s dad. I’m not sure who the young girl is.

I’ll put a few more in a collage below. Just click on the photos to enlarge.

This was only a fraction of the photos I’ve scanned. I will continue to add and update. I should also add I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on updating the family tree which includes Sklapsky, Reeves, Olsen and a number of others. I’m not sure how wide I’ll go at this time. This research is done and recorded online on a site called I’m not sure at this time how visible the site is to those who aren’t members of I’ll look into making it more widely visible.

As always any comments are appreciated.

Life Goes On …..

It’s been a quite some time since my last confession, that being the confession of my activities and reporting of such on this site. You are likely aware of that fact, that’s it’s been some time, if you’ve been following.

I’ve been away, camping to be precise, then home and frittering about the yard, and a quick trip to Kelowna to see Madden and family (or maybe should be Ayron and family??). At any rate I’ve been occupied. It is my plan to get some photos posted of those events, very soon I hope.

All that being said I’ve also spent a great deal of time (read that ‘hours’) on collecting and updating family history. Needless to say there is a ‘bunch’ of info on there and my challenge is controlling myself and researching only portions of the family history that seem to be most timely. What is most timely though, that IS the question.

On the family front I received a nice email and photo from Lawrence Renshaw a couple weeks ago. I apologize Lawrence for not getting to this sooner. I’ve also heard from Sandra and most recently from Walter and Polley, also family members from the Renshaw side. So to date I’ve got the attention of the Gale’s and the Renshaw’s, I’m seeing a definite shortage of Sklapsky’s speaking up, so please don’t be shy if you’re out there.

In the meantime here’s a couple photos to wet your whistle.

Visit with Noreen

I just got back with another visit from my cousin Noreen, she’s my first cousin 1x removed, on my paternal grandmother’s side. The only way I know the specifics is by using a genealogy program to tell me. I’m not that smart.

Noreen and Stewart
Noreen and Stewart

She and her husband Stewart are very accommodating and gracious hosts. Each time we visit we talk family and the history of such, and each time I have come away with more photos to scan. On my last visit, prior to this one, I went home with a bag and box of photos and ended up getting about 125 old shots of many family members. This time I collected a few more.

To be honest some of the folks in the pictures I don’t know, and that’s where I will need to rely on other family to assist. Over time I’ll get them all cataloged and organized and will have most, if not all of the photos, in the gallery.

This project, the family history collection and family tree, has become an entity unto itself. While I thoroughly enjoy it, and get some fulfillment from it, the consumption of time is beyond what I expected. I’m not complaining though, it’s also brought me much enjoyment and I’m gratified to see that people are checking it out.

Noreen gave me some suggestions as to other possible photo collections so don’t be surprised if some day I come-a knockin’. Failing that I may be asking some of you to do some scanning for me. That’s once I get my plate cleaned off a bit first.

Have a great day.

A Stroll Through the Past

My stroll through the past continues. Yesterday I took a mental-health day and I used my time to look through some old photos of Noreen’s and scan those appropriate for my trip through history. I can’t describe how nostalgic it made me feel.

One photo in particular struck me, of the hundreds I viewed and scanned, and it was of Aunt Eleanor with a young girl. That little lady is probably well-grown now and likely has kids of her own. If you know who it is please let me know. I will ask Noreen as well, could be her daughter, or grand-daughter.

The photo caught me by surprise in a couple of ways, in the likeness of Aunt Eleanor and how I remember her best, and in my reaction to it. To say I was touched was a wild understatement. I was happy, and sad, at the same time.

Aunt Eleanor with friend

So many of the photos I looked at brought out some emotions in me, whether curiosity or sadness, happiness or delight. Almost all took me on a trip through time. I traveled to places I know not, to a time before my own, in some cases to visit family I never had the pleasure to meet.

Perhaps that is part of my yearning, to re-meet those I haven’t seen for so long, and to become acquainted with those I’ve never met. Perhaps it’s that clock within me that’s ticking away, telling me that so much time has passed and I should, no, NEED, to see those we call kin. Too much of the importance of family has been lost.

I suspect if we ask most people under 30, maybe even those under 40 or 50, if they see importance in history they likely reply with a no. I’m not talking Roman history or the history of civilization. I’m referring to family history. Something that was once taught and passed down through generations. It was part of our oral traditions.

Now that dialogue and the associated history is becoming less than a memory except for some. In our passage there’s becoming fewer and fewer to walk with, fewer to stroll through the past with. Where has that history, that story, gone? I’m feeling lost.