Hello all, sorry for my tardiness in maintaining active posts. You know, life gets in the way.

My focus over the last couple weeks has been Murphy/Gibeault and related families. These are all on my wife’s side. Primarily I’m just trying to fill in blanks using a book called “Gibeault/Beaudry Family History”.

My sister-in-law Fran(ces) was kind enough to share a number of photos she acquired after my Mother-in-laws passing and I scanned them all to maintain a record. If you know me you know I love photos, particularly old ones.

So in addition to the family history info incorporated in the book there were additional photos. All are photocopies, and not very good either if truth be known, but at least I have access to them. I would really like to share them and my dilemma is how best to do that. I am more than willing to purchase another domain, or happy to use one of mine, but how will I get the best bang for my buck when/if I do that? Facebook is always an option, and I may take advantage of that, but I feel some reservation there. Unfortunately it’s probably the media most likely to attract the most viewers.

I’ve also made contact with the Federspiel/Symons side, the Reeve (wife’s side) and the Reeves side, in addition to a connection to the Gale/Diebert. I hope I haven’t left anyone out. What this means is a rapid infusion of names and family tree member.

I will now have to update the Family tree associated with this site (Family Tree), as it is sadly much out of date. I would like to improve this situation however until I can determine the best way to secure the info of living members I will have to postpone attention. Then there is of course my ADD tendencies which complicate my life when it comes to completing projects started with good intentions, the Family tree being one.

I’m still happy to share the Ancestry tree (Ancestry – Sklapsky Family tree). Unfortunately I think the hoops created by Ancestry when viewers attempt to access the tree are onerous for most. I think joining Ancestry, even though it’s free, prevent casual viewers from taking advantage of the site. That’s the primary purpose of my creating the Family tree attached to this site. The downside is that it creates additional load on me from a maintenance point of view.

Whatever all this means to you is personal. My goal is to provide, yours to access if you choose.

Take care all…..

The Walter Reeves Family – by Eleanor (Reeves) Renshaw

On my recent trip to Grimshaw for my Aunt Muriel’s funeral I was introduced to a book, titled “Neville – The Golden Years, 1900-1980. My cousin Beverly had seen it on my Aunt Joyce’s shelf with some other family history books. In it was this piece written by my Great-Aunt Eleanor (my paternal Grandmother’s sister) around 1979 or so. It ties in with Walter Reeves memoir, also on this site.



by Eleanor (Reeves) Renshaw

In the fall of 1909 my father, Walter Reeves, decided to go to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, to file on a homestead, W 1/2-s7-t-12-R11 w of 3rd, about three miles north and four miles east of where Neville now stands. In 1910 my mother and three children emigrated from Minnesota to Canada along with the Bradley family.

Mr. Bradley, and father shipped their household effects, cattle, a team of horses, two wagons and father’s 4000 feet of lumber in a freight car. Because they were emigrating to Canada they were allowed settler’s rates, which amounted to $73.00.

When father arrived, he hired Mr. Bradley to haul our household effects, lumber, etc. to our homestead site 35 miles southeast of Swift Current. To pay Mr. Bradley for the trip father gave him one of our milk cows.

Because our house was not yet built, Joe Bonner allowed us to stay in a small shack near his place, that belonged to a young man by the name of Bert Robinson, who had recently homesteaded the quarter just south of Joe Bonner’s and hadn’t come to live there yet.

Because there had been little rain recently, and there was danger of prairie fires and because the ground was too hard and dry to plow a furrow, father and mother managed to carefully burn quite a wide fireguard around the house and barn.

In about June of 1911 I can remember how pretty the prairie was. There must have been plenty of rain as the grass was green and luxuriant, crocuses made a purple carpet everywhere, and the wild prairie roses scented the air with their fragrant perfume. As we ran over the hills north-east of our place we found a small patch of double roses and we never found any anywhere else.

This spring of 1911 bright new shacks dotted the prairie in every direction. Sometime in the spring of 1912, my brother Bert and I began attending Daybreak school, about four miles west of us. We all walked to and from school every day, unless the weather was bad, and never seemed to get too tired.

About the beginning of 1914 our school district of Mosquito Creek was formed, and the school house built.

The highlight of the school year was the Christmas Concert. We always had a good one. There were plenty of children to take part, and a number of them had a real talent in acting, singing or reciting. Our teachers had the ability to choose material suitable to the talents of her pupils. The school house was usually full of interested parents and many visitors from other districts. A dance usually ended the evening’s entertainment.

In 1915 Uncle Clarence Reeves bought Allen Graham’s farm, house, machinery and stock. His younger children Grace, Beth and George who had come from North Dakota, and who had stayed a short time with us, now moved into a home of their own.

1919 was a very dry year, not even potatoes grew. Mother tried to serve beans or rice and how tired we were of such a restricted diet. Fortunately we had milk, butter and cream of our own.

Because of the crop failure, father went to the Regina area to work during the threshing season and mother cooked for the threshers in a cook car.

On December 1924, I, Eleanor Reeves, married Pearly Renshaw and we lived in the Neville area for four years. We moved to Northern Alberta. We had three boys and two girls. Through all these intervening years our sons and daughters have brought us much joy.

Pearl died in 1971. My sister Berniece and I decided we would live together. My brother Bert, who is retired, and his wife, Grace, also live in White Rock.

Wilbur and his wife, Dolores, have five children, all grown.

Laurel and her husband, Lee Hacker, are both retired and live north of Pasco, Washington, U.S.A..

Aurla and her husband Milton Magee live in Kent, Washington, U.S.A..

I am sure that when any of us, who are children of the early settlers of Neville, turn our memories back to those homesteading days of the early 1900’s, we think with pride and reverence of our parents, their strength of character, and perseverance through hardships, and disappointments, and the universal sense of caring for the welfare of others in surrounding neighborhoods.

Good News

Well,  I’ve received a piece  of good news this morning, and NO I didn’t win the Lotto. That would be nice however.

A few days ago I was looking through some family history files and I came across a photocopy from a section of a book I have called “Land of Hope and Dreams – A History of Grimshaw and Districts”. This particular section was on Frank and Bernice Sklapsky, written by Bernice Sklapsky. At any rate I thought to myself, “self, wouldn’t that be neat if I could post that section, or others, on this site for others to read”. It might be interesting for those who’ve maybe never heard of, or seen, the write-up. Wouldn’t it, huh?

So I looked up the publisher and tried to make contact. Unfortunately the “Grimshaw and District Historical Society” is no longer, at least it has no presence on the ‘net’. After a bit of poking around though I ultimately contacted an officer for the town of Grimshaw and after a couple of days got a reply. The society is now non-operational but this helpful person gave me contact info for someone who used to be in the society. Long story short they think it will be fine for me to post the articles, ain’t that swell?

So I’ll have to do the old scan/convert/transcribe the paper version to enable posting here but once it’s done we’re one step closer to having the ‘big picture’. This section is, of course, on Frank and Bernice but if other family is mentioned I may get that too.

Frank and Bernice
Frank and Bernice


Coming Soon, to a Blog Near You

Hello again, I hope you are all keeping well.

I just got back a couple days ago from another trip to Kelowna, spending a few days there, bonding with the ‘fam’. You can read about some of it on my last post Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. I’m constantly amazed how that little guy can affect me.

My focus over the last number of days, since I returned, has been in getting another memoir converted to a digital format for posting on this site. Prior to getting back onto the road I was in touch with Linda Holben-Ducharme (daughter of Pearl Sklapsky-Holben). Linda has graciously allowed me to extract her Mom’s memoir from her book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. The book covers much of the early Sklapsky family history, spanning the early 1800’s to the 1900’s. There are a number of family trees in the book and stories of many of the family members.

One such entry was a memoir that Linda’s Mom wrote. Linda’s Mother is Pearl Sklapsky, the youngest of Frank Joseph Sklapsky Sr.’s 11 children. She relates about their life and covers their move from Michigan to Saskatchewan.

If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at lindadyucharme1946(at), and replace the (at) in the address with @ and put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line. You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

Dad and Madden
Dad and Madden

I’m not sure why my current interest with family history but all I can hope is that some day this info will be of use to someone. I guess in many ways it already has, just gotta keep up the momentum.

Dad's new duds
Dad’s new duds

Totally unrelated (in a sense) was one of my visits with Dad. I took him to get some new jeans. He also picked out a stylin’ hoodie. I just thought he looked cute and thought I’d share.

Some Changes Afoot

Well there have been some interesting things transpire here, for those of you that follow.

First off I was contacted by a descendant (I assume) of one of the founders of the Sauntry-Cain sawmill, a saw-milling and logging endeavour where my Great-Grandfather Charles Reeves worked back in the late 1800’s. Mary, the family member, wanted to use some portions of Charles memoir in a book she was preparing on history of the Sauntry-Cain logging operation. I contacted family members to ensure my sharing of the information didn’t overstep any boundaries.

Fortunately I will be able to share portions of the memoir with Mary, in order that they be used as part of her documentation on the history of the company. Unfortunately I was also requested to remove the memoir from this site.

I fully support that decision. It was never my intent to share personal information or minimize the special nature of that document. Perhaps in the future we can find some compromise so the effort Charles put in can be shared by a wider audience.