Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.
Search Tip: How to use the Keystone database for First World War research
You can try limiting a keyword search by the dates of the war in the advanced search for archival descriptions. For example, if you’re interested in women’s roles during the First World War, you could use “women” as a keyword and insert “1914-1918” or “1914-1919” in the date range.
You could search the keyword “war” and use “1914-1918” or “1914-1919” as the date range in the advanced search for archival descriptions. This would save you from searching all the different names for the First World War.
You can use the date range in the listings/images database. A search for the keyword “war” and the date range “1914-1919” provides some interesting results. Many of these records relate to the First World War, but the results also include photographs of a tug of war in 1918.
Finally, don’t forget to search the Keystone database regularly. We’re constantly entering more descriptions and listings. Right now we’re focusing on records related to the First World War. Until that work is done, there are more records in our holdings which you can explore in person at the Archives or can contact us about. We look forward to seeing and/or hearing from you!
The Archives of Manitoba holds Manitoba probate records, including wills and estate files for individuals who died in Manitoba. They are often consulted by family members looking for information about their ancestors. Probate records are also a great resource for broader research of individuals and families over the course of Manitoba’s history, including Manitobans killed in the First World War.
Shown here are three pages from the probate file for Alexander Gold. Two are letters written to his mother telling her of his death, from Lieutenant Jack M. McEachern and from Private William Hunter who fought alongside him. The other is Gold’s will, glued to a piece of paper, together with another piece of paper showing his handwriting, submitted as ‘exhibit A’ in the file. These documents were used as proof of his death in the process of probating his will.
Archives of Manitoba, ATG 0064A, St. Boniface estate files, GR0461, File 843, Alexander Gold.
If you are interested in finding out more about wills at the Archives of Manitoba, have a look at our Guide to Probate Records. Included are name indexes for most regions in Manitoba – more will come as they are completed. The index for St. Boniface was added in June.
Search Tip: See the Guide to Probate Records on our website for more information on researching wills in Manitoba.
Information about the impacts of the First World War can be found in unanticipated places. For instance, this letter about marine insurance and war risks from Hudson’s Bay Company Secretary F. C. Ingrams to Stores Commissioner, H. E. Burbidge, is part of a series called “Correspondence with Stores Commissioners” dated 1890-1923. Most of the series is made up of correspondence concerning the management and operations of HBC saleshops, including files on staffing, store accounts, store inspections, and land matters. One might not expect to find a letter outlining the decision to insure against risks incidental to war in a place like this. This is a good reminder that when researching the impacts of the war, you might want to be broad in your research strategies.
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba, Correspondence with Stores Commissioners. F. C. Ingrams to H.E. Burbidge, 14 August 1914 (HBCA. A.12-S 520-1 folio 31)
Search Tip: Search “Correspondence with Stores Commissioners” in Keystone for more information.
Answering the Call of the Motherland
This panoramic poster depicts the “Canadian army setting sail to join British forces operating against Germany in the War of Nations.” It was part of a supplement to The Family Herald and the Weekly Star, Montreal, Canada in October, 1914. The poster is approximately 1.1 m x 30 cm and was donated to the Archives by Mrs. William Sandy of Winnipeg, sometime before 1975. The reproduction shown here was created from a black and white negative.
Archives of Manitoba, “Canada’s Rally to the Empire,” N9077.
Search Tip: Search “Canada’s Rally to the Empire” in Keystone for more information.