of Alberta


  1. Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, 1979, 2 pages

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    Accession 2013.007

    Title and Description

    Gem Mennonite Brethren Church fonds, 1979, 2 pages

    Administrative/Biographical History

    The Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, located at Gem in central Alberta, had its beginnings in November of 1928 when 25 Mennonite families, immigrants from the Ukraine and Siberia, settled there, some of whom were Mennonite Brethern, some Evangelical Mennonite Brethren and some  General Conference Mennonites.  On 2 June 1929 the Mennonite Brethren congregation was organized with 35 members and with H. K. Siemens as leader.  They met in the school every Sunday for worship together with the members of the other two branches.

    In 1932 a church was built, which was enlarged a few years later.  In 1952-3, because of its unsatisfactory location and poor condition, it was sold and a new one was erected.  An important milestone was the opening of the Bethesda Bible School on 12 November 1933 which, with a few interruptions, served until 1957,  On 16 December 1934, P. P. Doerksen was chosen as leader of the congreation.

    The membership in 1953 was 130.  The congregation continued to grow, in spite of the fact that the subsidiary congregation in Countess became an independent congregation in 1939, and many members moved to British Columbia.  In 1942 all the members of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren congregation formally united with the Mennonite Brethren congregation.  The language of worship is English, the transition from German to English occured in the 1950s

    The congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary on 4-5 August, 1979 and its 75th anniversary on 23 May 2004.

    Scope and Content

    The content consists of the bulletin of the 50th Anniversary of the Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, 4-5 August, 1979,

    Source of Acquisition



    Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, 1929-1979, (Gem, Alberta: Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, 1979.)
    GAMEO Gem Mennonite Brethren Church.
    John A. Toews, A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church, (Fresno:CA: Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1973.

  2. Stauffer. Harry, fonds, 4 m., 1923-2004

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    Accession 2013.026

    Title and Description

    Stauffer, Harry, fonds, 4 m. 1923-2004.

    Administrative/Biographical history

    Harry Stauffer, the oldest child of Ben and Nora (King) Stauffer, was born on the family farm near Tofield, Alberta, on 5 November 1920.  When Harry was three and one half years old his father was killed in a farming accident, which caused him to begin farming at a very young age.  Harry attended school at Grand Forks School near Tofield.
    Gladys (Reist) Stauffer was born at Youngstown, Alberta on 27 July 1920.  She was the oldest child of Abe and Alma Reist.  In 1924 the family moved to the Carstairs area where Abe Reist also served as a part-time pastor.
    Harry and Gladys first met when attending winter Bible schools and were married on 16 March 1944.  After their marriage they moved to the Stauffer home place near Tofield and became members of the Salem Mennonite Church.  They participated in many activities of their church and conference.
    Harry Stauffer, despite a lack of formal training enjoyed history and actively reseached and recorded a great variety of aspects of the history of his home church  (Salem Mennonite Church), and of the Northwest Mennonite Conference (formerly the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference).  He served as unofficial historian and collector of historical and archival material pertaining to the histories of both the church and conference.  He was a member of the Historical Committee which commissioned Ted Regehr to write the centennial history of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.
    Harry Stauffer died in March of 2005, leaving a large collection of historical material which was stored in a special small office of the Salem Mennonite Church.  Ted Regehr was invited to review and select for permanent retention material deemed worthy of permanent preservation.  The items selected were donated by Joseph Voegtlin on behalf of the Salem Mennonite Church to the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta archives in 2013.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists Northwest Mennonite Conference (Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference) annual reports, conference newsletters and special files, subject files and bulletins ofthe Salem Mennonite Church at Tofiled (Harry’s Stauffer’s home church), and subject files and bulletins of other member congregations of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.  sThere is also a collection of Northwest Mennonite Conference Newsletters, reports and documents from the Salem Mennonite and other conference churches, and a large collection of church bulletins.
    The material was received in a somewhat disorganized state and was sorted and arranged by the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta archivist..

    Source of Acquision

    Gift by Joseph Voegtlin on behalf of the Salem Mennonite Church and the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

    Finding Aid

    See attached file list.

    Related material

    Northwest Mennonite Conference fonds, Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives.

    T. D. Regehr fonds, Material gathered for the writing of the conference’s centennial history, Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives

    T. D. Regehr, Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest.  Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1903-2003, (Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2003.

    Joseph Voegtlin, ed., A Mennonite Mosaic.  A Century of God’s Faithfulness at Salem Mennonite Church, Tofield, Alberta, 1910-2010 (Tofield: Centennial Book Committee, Salem Mennonite Church, 2010)

    Ezra Stauffer, History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, 1960.

    Notes:  Accession 2013.026

    File List:

    I. Incomplete set of Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference/Northwest Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, some with supplemental material.  Included with the reports of conferences which Harry Stauffer attended are various supplementary reports, letters and documents.

    Box 1

    1-1 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, 1923-1949.
    1-2 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Annual Reports, 1950-1959.
    1-3 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, Board and Conference Reports, 1960-1969.
    1-4 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Reports, 1970-1971.
    1-5 Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference Reports and draft conference constitution, 1972-1974.
    1-6 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1875-1978.
    1-7 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1979-1982.
    1-8 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1983-1987.
    1-9 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1988.
    1-10 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1989.

    Box 2

    2-11 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1990.
    2-12 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1990-91.
    2-13 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1992.
    2-14 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1993.
    2-15 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1994.
    2-16 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1995.
    2-17 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1996.
    2-18 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1997.
    2-19 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1998.
    2-20 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 1999.
    2-21 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2000.
    2-22 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2001.
    2-23 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2002.
    2-24 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2003.
    2-25 Northwest Mennonite Conference Reports, 2004.

    Box 3

    Congregational Profiles and Incomplete set of Conference Newsletters

    3-26 Congregational Profiles, 1988.  These were one-page profiles of the congregations and used as bulletin inserts.
    3-27 Newsletters, 1967-1976.
    3-28 Newsletters, 1977-1980.
    3-29 Newsletters, 1980-1983.
    3-31 Newsletters, 1985-1989.
    3-32 Newsletters, 1990-1993.
    3-33 Newsletters, 1994-2002.

    Special Conference files

    3-34 Spying Out The North, 1946, 120 cm x 80 cm poster of photographs with commentary of an exploratory mission trip to Northern Alberta.
    3-35 Statements by serveral ministers regarding conference doctrines, policies and practices.

    Salem (Tofield) Mennonite Church subject files and bulletins

    The Salem Mennonite Church was started in the spring of 1910 by several families from Nebraska.  The initially met in homes but built their first church building, later enlarged, in 1915 on a site 14 Miles south-east of Tofield.  The joined the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference (later renamed the Northwest Mennonite Conference) in 1915.  In 1988, with the support of other member congregations of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, the Park Mennonite Church, was established in nearby Sherwood Park.

    3-36 Salem Mennonite Church Declaration of Incorporation, 1937.
    3-37 Salem Mennonite Church constitution and constitutional amendments.
    3-38 Salem Mennonite Church Governance Models.
    3-39 Salem Mennonite Church job descriptions and church governance.
    3-40 Salem Mennonite Church Blue Print of the Church building.
    3-41 Salem Mennonite Church celebrations.  Includes program and newspaper clippings of the dedication of the new church building, and programs of the 60th, 70th and 100th anniveresaries
    3-42 Salem Mennonite Church Minute book, 1941-1975.
    3-43 Salem Mennonite Church, minutes, reports, correspondence, 1997-2004.
    3-44 Salem Mennonite Church, minutes, reports, correspondence, 2005-2010.
    3-45 Salem Mennonite Church, Membership record book.
    3-46 Salem Mennonite Church, Membership Transfer Records, 1967-1984,
    3-47 Salem Mennonnite Church, Certificates of Membership, 1962-1982.

    Box 4

    4-48 Salem Mennonite Church, Directories, 1971, 1990, 2005
    4-49 Salem Mennonite Church, Deacons’ Record Book, 1924-1944.
    4-50 Salem Mennonite Church, Pastoral letters, 1975-2001.
    4-51 Salem Mennonite Church, Policies and Procedures – sexual or physical harassment or abuse.
    4-52 Salem Mennonite Church, Youth Fellowship, games, socializers, party games, leadership guidelines. stunts.
    4-53 Salem Mennonite Church, Funeral and Cemetery Policy and Register of Burials.
    4-54 Salem Mennonite Church, Record of grave diggers, 1932-1971.
    4-55 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1968-1971.
    4-56 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1972-1974.
    4-57 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1975-1977.

    Box 5

    5-58 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1978-1980.
    5-59 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1981-1983.
    5-60 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1984-1986.
    5-61 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1987-1989.
    5-62 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1990-1992.
    5-63 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1993-1995.
    5-64 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1996-1998.

    Box 6

    6-65 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1999-2001.
    6-66 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 2002-2004.
    6-67 Salem Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 2005-March 2006.
    6-68 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1988-1989.
    6-69 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1991-1992.
    6-70 Park Mennonite Church, Bulletins, 1993-1994.

    Box 7

    Mount View (High River) Mennonite Church subject files

    The Mount View Mennonite church was one of the three founding member churches, in 1903, of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference (later renamed the Northwest Mennonite Conference.  Members lived in quite widely separated areas, and membership remained small.  It closed its doors and the church building was sold in 1950.  In 1998 Trinity Mennonite Church near Calgary accepted responsiblity for the care of the Mount View Mennonite cemetery,

    7-71 History of the Mennonite Church at High River and Aldersyde and other historical information.
    7-72 Mount View Mennonite Church – 50th Anniversary celebration,
    7-73 Mount View Mennonite Church – correspondence with Harry Stauffer pertaining to the history of the church.
    7-74 Mount View Mennonite Church – cemetery record of burials and report of the arrangement with Trinity Mennonite Church.




  3. Bowman, Jim collection, 2012-2013, 2 cm.

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    Accession 2012.0036 and 2013.o3o (filed as 2012.036)

    Title and Description

    Jim Bowman collection. – 2012-2013. – 2 cm of textual records.

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Jim Bowman, 1949-    was born in Edmonton, Alberta.  He studied Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser Unversity and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978.  He was awarded a Master of Library Science from the University of British Columbia in 1982.  He has been employed as an archivist in Vancouver, Chilliwack and Calgary, and has worked as an indpendent archival consultant and researcher.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of two folders of reports written by and relevant notes gathered by Jim Bowman.  The first file focuses on the life and career of Cornelius Hiebert who was active in local politics and a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1905-1909.  The second contains notes and information on Mennonites in the High River area of Alberta.

    Source of Acquisition

    Donated by Jim Bowman


  4. Larry D. Spicer fonds, 2002-2004, cm.

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    Accession 2012.033

    Title and Description

    Larry D. Spicer fonds, 200=2004, 3 cm.

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Larry D. Spicer is a descendant of Elias and Annie (Auker) Reist who provided leadership in the establishment and early history of the Mennonite settlements and churches at Reist, Alberta. Westward Ho, Alberta, and the Mount View Mennonite Church near High River/ Okotoks, Alberta.  He is also a descendant of Silas and Lucinda (Weber) Good who provided leadership in the establishment and early history of the Mount View Mennonite Church near High River/Okotoks, Alberta.  The Mennonite churches at Reist, Westward Ho and Mount View were all affiliated with the Alberta-Saskatchewwan Mennonite Conference (later renamed The Northwest Mennonite Conference).  Larry Spicer served as Pastor of Ministreis and Equipping at the First Church of the Nazarene in Missoula, Montana.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of historical work written or collected and published by Larry D. Spicer, concerning the life and work of his grandparents, Elias and Annie (Auker) Reist in the Mennonite settlements at Reist and Westward Ho, Alberta.   He also donated a copy of the published History of the Alberta-Sskatchewan Mennonite Conference by Ezra Stauffer into which he has inserted numerous obituaries and a few other notes and reports.

    Larry Ralso donated a detailed map of the Mount View Mennonite Church Cemetary which has been filed, together with other documents about thecemetary, as part of Accession 2011.020

    Source of Acquisition

    Donated by Larry Spicer

    Finding Aid

    1. Clearwater Mennonite Church and Congregation, Reist, Alberta, reports and documents written or gathered by Larry D. Spicer for the first reunion of the descendants of Elias and Annie (Auker) Bricker held in 2002 on the campus of Olds College in Olds, Alberta.
    2. Booklet written and published by Larry D. Spicer, Westward Ho! On the Trail of Elias and Annie Auker Reist and Their Descendants.
    3. History of the Alberta-Ssakatchewan Mennonite Conference, by Ezra Stauffer, published in 1960 by the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, with numerous obituary and other inserts by Larry D. Spicer.

    Larry Spicer also donated a detailed map of the Mount View Mennonite Church Cemetary, which has been filed, together with other documents about the cemetary, as part of Accession 2011.020.

    Related material

    MHSA archvies Accession 2003.031 Northwest Mennonite Conference fonds

    MHSA archives Accession 2003.031 Theodore Regehr fonds, records collected or created when writing Faith, Life and Witness.  Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1903-2003, (Kitchener: Padora Press, 2003).

    T. D. Regehr, Faith Life and Witness, Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1903-2003 IKitchener: Pandora Press, 2003).

    Ezra Stauffer, History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, (Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Church, 1960).

  5. Alberta Mennonite High School Collection, 1946-1996, 6 cm

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    Accession 2010.030, 2011.025, 2024.008, 2014.023, 2017.021.

    Title and Description

    Alberta Mennonite High School Collection, 1946-1996, 6 cm.

    Administrative/Biogrpahical History

    The Alberta Mennonite High School was established in Coaldale, Alberta, in 1946, by an educational society with members from various Mennonite communities in the province.  It operated until 1964, the last several years as a school of the Mennonite Brethren Conference of Alberta. It offered instruction in grdes 9 to 12 and after 1952 also in grades 7 and 8.   It was accredited by the provincial government but received very little government financial support.  Inadquate financial, conference, church and community support resulted in its closure in 1964,

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of material donated by four former students of the school.  It includes an account of founding of the school, notes, minutes and correspondence of the sponsoring society, and alumni information.

    Source of Acquisition

    Gifts by John B. Toews, Rudy Kornelsen, David Dick, Ted Regehr

    Finding Aid:

    1.1 “Some Events and Dats Related to the Founding of a Mennonite High School, by Heinrich Kornelsen,” donated by John B. Toews.


    1-?Alberta Mennonite High  School Calendar, 1953-54, donated by Helen Toews
    1-? Post Grad, Alberta Mennonite Hish School Alumni Association, 1951-1959, donated by David Dick and Rudy Kornelsen.
    1-? Alumni list, 1996, prepared for a 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the school.

  6. Mount View Mennonite Church Cemetery, .5 cm

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    Accession 2011.029, 2012.036, 2014.009 (all filed with 2011.029)

    Title and Description

    Mount View Mennonite Church Cemetery,  .5 cm

    The fonds onsists of a list of burials, a map of the cemetery and supporting corresondence.

    Administrative /Biographical History

    The Mount View Mennonite Church, near High River/Okotoks, Alberta, was organized on 30 April 2001.  It was the first Mennonite church organized in Alberta under the auspices of the Ontario Mennonite Church, followed two weeks later by the organization of the West Zion Mennonite Church near Carstairs, Alberta.  These two churches became founding members of what became the Northwest Mennonite Conference.  A cemetery was located near the meeting house of the Mount View Mennonite Church.  The congregation was never large and members of the congregation lived over a widely scattered area in and around High River and Okotoks.   In the early 1950s some members moved away, some joined other nearby churches or lost interest, and a decision was made to close the church.  The meeting house was converted into a private dwelling and eventually Trinity Mennonite Church on the southern edge of Calgary accepted responsibility, together with the residents of the converted former meeting house, for the care and preservation of the cemetery.

    Scope and Content

    Larry D. Spicer, a descendant of Silas and Lucinda (Weber) Good who donated the land on which the meeting and cemetery stand, compiled a list and map of burials and provided some explanatory comments.  Bill Janzen, a member of Trinity Mennonite Church, provided a second copy of the list of burials and added some additional comments. Additional information, some based on documentation in the Musueum of the Highwood, was provided by Jim Bowman, collector and MHSA archivist.

    Source of Acquisition

    Larry D. Spicer, Bill Janzen and Jim Bowman.

    Related material:

    T. D. Regehr, Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest, 1903-2003, Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, (Kitchener, On: Pandora Press, 2003.


    Accessions 2011.029, 2012.036, 2014.009 (all filed with 2011.029).


  7. Cary Sweet fonds, 20 cm.

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    Title and Description,

    Cary Sweet fonds, 20 cm. genealogical church and family records

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Cary Sweet is a person interested in Mennonite and family genealogy who worked with members of the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society in the publication of the Sommerfelder Gemeinde Buch, Register of the Church at West Lynne, 1881-1935.   He was also interested in church recrods of the Sommerfelder Swift Current Colony, and collected or compiled numerous family genealogies.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of photocpies of handwritten church records and family registers, reports and histories.

    Source of Acquisition

    Gift by Cary Sweet.

    Finding Aid

    Files 1.1 to 1.6 Photocpies of Sommerfelder Church Registers, 1881-1926
    Files 1.6a and 1.6b.  Photocpies of Swift Current Colony Church Registers.
    1.7 Descendants of Herman Bueckert, 1851-1937 and (1) Sarah Driedger and (2) Agatha Redekop.
    1.8 Descendants of Peter Bueckert, b. 1820 and Elizabeth Martens, b. 1820.
    1.9 Descendants of Peter Bueckert, 1842-1912 and Anna Bergen, 1845-1927.
    1.10 Descendants of Peter Bueckert, 1842-1912 and Anna Bergen, 1845-1927. (more detailed that 1.9)
    1.11 The family of Agatha Banman (nee Goertzen).
    1-12 Family of Franz, b. 1933, and Maria Klassen, b. 1937.
    2-13 a and b, Helene Braun, The Klassen clan from Koup to Canada
    2-14 A Brief History and Family Registers compiled by Garry W. Bueckert
    2-15 Franz and Anna Guenther and their descendants.  Collections and Reflections, Compiled by J.G.G.
    2-16 Miscellaneous genealogical information.
    2-17 Katie Peters, transcript of Winkler MB Church Register
    2-18 Sommerfelder Gemeindebuch, floppy discs.
    2-19 Swift Colony Gemeindebuch
    2-20 Franz Buecker, Record regarding settlement.

    Related Material

    Sommerfelder Gemeindebuch.  Registrs of the Church at West Lynne, 1881-1935, edited by Henry Unger, Martha Martens and Adolf Ens, Winnipeg: Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, 2004.

  8. Johann J. Gossen fonds, 1930, 1 cm

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    Accession 2011.011

    Title and Description

    Johann J. Gossen fonds, 1930, 1 cm

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Johann Gossen was born 1 January 1879 at Landskrone, Molotschna, Taurida, South Russia.  He was the son of Jakob Johann Gossen and Sara Berg and married Helena Friesen on 27 June 1910.  He was a school teacher by profession but also worked as a jeweller and mechanic. During World War I he served as a marine mechanic in the Russian navy.  He immigrated to Canada in 1923, living first at Swalwell, Alberta, before moving to Wembley, Alberta in 1929.  There he represented a group of 15 families who purchased and then subdivided the land and assets of the Adair Ranch.  This ranch which in 1926 consisted of  22 quarter sections of land, a large barn for 100 horses, 2 houses, a blacksmith shop and a pump house, had been purchased in 1926 by a group of Russian Mennonite immigrants.  The immigrants included members of both Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren churches worshipped together on the ranch as members or participants in the Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church.   They also worked the land together for two years, but in 1929 the Mennonite Brethren built their own church and a decision was made to sub-divide the land.  Some of the original settlers left and others, including Johann Gossen, negotiated a new agreement in 1930.  In those negotiations Johann Gossen, acted on behalf of the purchasing group.  The original copy of this agreement is held in the Regional Archives in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

    The Gossen family moved from Wembley to Burns Lake, British Columbia in 1932 where Johann Gossen died on 23 April 1945.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of a Pedigree Chart and related genealogical information for Johann Jacob Gossen, and a copy of the Agreement between the Adair Ranching Company Limited and John Gossen dated 1 August 1930.

    Source of Acquistion

    Gift of Donald M. Norris of Redwood Meadows, Alberta.


    Accession 2011.011

  9. Bartel, Henry, 1 cm

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    Accession 2011.002

    Title and Description

    Henry Bartel fonds, 1 cm photographs, Plenert amd Bartel family genealogical informaton, 5 photographs, 3 copies of photographs and 1 cd with 8 photographs.  Dates are not known.

    Administrative/Biogrpahical History

    Henry Bartel, son of Peter Bartel and Helena Peters, was born 3 February 1942 in Yarrow, British Columbia.  He visited the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta in 2011 and donated items pertaining to aspects of his family’s hisstory.

    Scope and Content

    I folder containing 5 photographs, 3 copies of photographs, a cd with 8 family photographs.  A second folder containing a 71 page genealogy of the Plenert and Bartel family, and some additional loose pages with genealogical information.  The dates on which the photographs were taken, the place, or, with a few exceptions, the names of the individuals on the photographs are not given. The 71 page genealogy of the Plenert and Bartel family is an undated copy, as are some of the other loose pages of genealogical information.

    Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Henry Bartel


    Accession 2011.002


  10. Johann Neufeld and Barbara Funk Neufeld Diary, 1905-1932, 2 cm

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    Accession 2010.008

    Johann Neufeld and Barbara Funk Neufeld Diary, 1905-1932, 2 cm

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Johann Neufeld was born on 16 September 1868 in Mariawohl, Molotschna Colony, the son of Johann Gerhard Neufeld and Katharina (Wiens) Neufeld.  He and his first wife, Helen Bekker, were married in 1899 but she died in childbirth just over a year later.  He married Anna Nachtigal in 1904.  Together they had four children, but Anna died, also in childbirth, in 1904.  Johann’s third wife was Barbara Funk of Mariewohl.

    Barbara Funk, daughter of Gerhard H. Funk and Aganetha Foth, was born 16 December 1882 in Mariawohl.  She married Johann Neufeld on 9 February 1913.  Together Johann and Barbara had four more children, in addition to the four children from Johann’s second marriage.  Johann Neufeld died in 1924.  In 1926, widow Barbara Funk Neufeld, together with her four children and her four step children and other close relatives, left Russia for Canada.  There, after some delays en route and short intermediate stops, the family settled in the Peace River district of Alberta.  In retirement Barbara lived in Tofield, Alblerta, where she died 28 January, 1965.

    Scope and Content 

    The fonds consists of a small diary begun by Johann Neufeld in 1905 and continued by his third wife, Barbara, after Johann’s death in 1924.  Johann’s entries are more of a chronicle than a diary. Barbara’s entries describe her experiences of leaving Russia with eight children and waiting for permission to leave England for Canada.  She further recounts the trials and tribuations of her early years in the Peace River district of Alberta.  This may have been the first of several diaries now lost.  It ends in 1932 when the last page of the diary was filled.
    The diary was written in the German Gothic script.  It was transcribed into Latin German Script by Susan Neufeld Dyck, niece of Barbara Funk Neufeld, and then translated into English by Grandson Edgar Rogalski.  A copy of the English translation has been placed in the library of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta.

    Source of Acquision

    Gift of Edgar Rogalski


    Accession 2010.008