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I will now have to update the Family tree associated with this site (Family Tree), as it is sadly much out of date.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…..

Research links

My OCD is getting the better of me. That, combined with my ADD is causing me some stress (both conditions self diagnosed haha). The trigger’s for this are the discovering of documentation and web links that have interesting and potentially helpful information on one side of my tree or the other. My challenge is keeping track of these sites, putting them “somewhere” and then remembering where that somewhere is. Seemed like on here might be a good place to start.

I came across this site by accident, I guess that’s how I come across most/all of them. It pertains primarily to the Hickman family.
George W. Hickman married Phenia S. Reeves, the connection here through my Paternal Grandmothers family. Lots of work done here.

This online book references Edwin Brown and his wife Susan Rose. I’ve had some difficulty with this family, the possible cross referencing of two different ‘Edwin Browns’ and ‘Susan Rose’ or ‘Susan Prophet’. Both Rose and Prophet are potentially the names of the mother of Mary Phenia Reeves-Brown. Again on the Reeves side. or

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.

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.

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.

I’m Baaaack

Like the prodigal son I’ve returned home. I brought Mom back from Edmonton yesterday and because my sister Brenda is doing so much better we felt now was the time.

Brenda woke up on Friday and while she is still a long way from ‘good’ she is doing much better, and actually improved over what the doctors had expected by this time. She was off all machines and could communicate a little through hoarse whispers and raised eyebrows. Funny, attitude can be found at all times and in all places.

While she is recuperating to the next stage of wellness we thought a reprieve would be in order for us. Mom certainly needed a break from the daily visits to Brenda’s bedside and I’ll admit I was yearning for one myself.

Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd
Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd

We came home in two days, leaving Edmonton on Saturday morning and stopping for a short time in Carstairs to visit my Auntie Muriel. At the same time we also had a brief visit with my cousin Linda and her husband Lloyd. I was really glad to be able to see them. Sometimes I feel like we don’t do that enough.

After our visit we got back on the road and headed south again to Okotoks, where we stayed overnight with my niece and family. It was one of their many busy weekends, with many sports events for their kids and my great-nephew Dryden’s First Communion on Sunday. We weren’t able to take part in any of the events but were with them in spirit.

Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn
Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn

The morning we left I was able to get my photo with a couple of my great-nieces though. Unfortunately I missed a photo with my great-niece Sawyer as she was already out in the morning, off to one of her ball games, but I did snag a couple pix with Sophia and Bretlyn. The boys were not really interested and were playing hockey downstairs.

Something about being with the younger ones makes me yearn to see my own family (I’ll admit it, I’m really thinking Madden), and I suspect a road trip is in order very shortly. It’s a strange power they have over us, it’s almost like I’m going through withdrawal. That being said I made my request known to the powers that be that I’d like frequent photos sent to me while I was in Edmonton.

Madden and Ayron
Madden and Ayron

The almost daily pictures and videos helped boost my spirits and recharged me somewhat. They also reminded me of the good things in our lives, something we too often forget. It inspired me and once I get my feet back on the ground at home I’ll be planning my next road trip to Kelowna. You can never go too long without a hug from your grandchildren, or that’s my experience anyway.

First I have a few things to put to bed. I’m waaay behind in posting the pages from the Reeves memoir, and I haven’t really even begun to scan all the photos Noreen F. was kind enough to lend me. It’s another mystery to me why I find it all so interesting, the history of our families. I’m not even talking just the Sklapsky side, there’s all facets of ‘family’, my parent’s families, their parents, my wife’s family, their parents, the list goes on. Ultimately I’d like to have a bit of it all here, on Kinda like one stop shopping.

Reeves-Sklapsky family
Reeves-Sklapsky family

On that note I’ll post one more photo. I know many of the folks in this picture, some I’m not sure of. Eventually this picture will be in the gallery and I’ll have most/all identified. If not I’d sure appreciate any help. As always an email or comment would be greatly appreciated.

Behind the Times

I’ll have to apologize, I’m behind the times, late in any Reeves updates or any other info for that matter. I seem to be a day late and a dollar short.

I hope to have a little more time to spend on the blog coming up. It’s not that my circumstances will have changed (sis is still quite sick) but more that my use of that time may be modified somewhat. Regardless I’m optimistic, and that in itself is a good thing. Optimism, or positivity (I like that word) is a good thing to have and build on.

Part of the issue is that I’m away from my home computer and with it the photos, Reeve memoir, and any other associated family history info I might want to use. C’est la vie, I may have to improvise. Work with me, not agin me, eh?

Old Family photos, New Family photos

I just added a few more Old Family photos to the Genealogy folder in the Gallery. Some you may have seen before.

I have a number of photos I downloaded for the Federspiel family, among others, but have not posted those yet. Until I get some family trees put onto this site they likely won’t mean much to anyone. I still have to wrap my head around how we are all connected, whether Reeves, Novak, Federspiel, Lott, or whomever. It’s become a large family.

So look at your leisure, I’ll post more when they’re organized.

I also put up some photos from Madden’s 1st birthday.