Wednesday, 4 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - D

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


I knew that my great grandfather's brother, John Mavor (called Jack), left his father's farm in Waterville, Quebec in 1901 and moved west, settling at Daysland in Alberta. 

What I didn't know was what made him think to go there? A lot of newly arrived immigrants to Canada were settling in the west with promise of free land, but someone already established in eastern Canada??

It was only when I researched his sister's husband's family that it all came together.  Jack's sister Jean was married to Peter Swanson who came to Canada in 1881 with his mother and siblings from Sweden. One of Peter's brothers, Charles was appointed by the Dominion Government as an immigration agent in 1892. He opened up many townships in the west with settlers, mostly from the United States. I imagine all the dinner table talk about the new frontier and the promise of free or cheap land lit a slow-burning fire in John's adventurous soul, because by 1901 Jack and his best buddy Edwin Carbee were in Alberta picking out their land.

We see from John's homestead claim documents dated 1905 that he had purchased the land from the CPR in 1901. The buildings he put on the land included a house worth $500, barns worth $150, $75 and $100, a granary worth $100.  

The improvements to his land included 16 acres cleared the first year, 11 acres cleared the second year with 26 acres of crops planted, 27 acres of crops planted the third year, and the fourth year he cleared another 13 acres of land and planted 27 acres of crops again. He also now had cattle and horses.

Now he was ready for a wife. In 1906 Jack went home to marry Ed's sister, Marcia Carbee. They were married at the church in North Hatley, Quebec and when they arrived back in Daysland they decided to name their ranch Hatley. They had no children.

I found Jack's horse brand listed in the Alberta Cattle and Horse Brands book of brands that were recorded from 1907 to 1913. His mark was a 4M branded on the right hip. He did not have a cattle brand listed in this book. 

In 1928 I found Jack (John Mavor) listed in the International Directory of Pedigree Stock Breeders as a breeder of Shire horses

In 1944 Jack and Marcia sold the ranch and moved in to town.

Jack died in 1948 and Marcia in 1958, and they are buried at the Daysland Cemetery.

There are two books about Daysland that mention John Mavor and Ed Carbee on the Our Roots website, but it is partially down for the time being while they make some changes to the site. 

Related post:  Making it in Alberta


  1. That's a great story. And how fun to find his brand. I wondered the same thing about my gg-grandfather James Franklin Jollett, why he ended up in Augusta County, Virginia when everyone else was in Greene or Page. When I researched his WIFE, I found all her brothers and sisters right there in Augusta, so apparently she was the driving force of that move.

    1. We never know where we will find a piece of important information.

  2. Moving to uncleared land and starting up a farm must have been lot of very hard work. I am researching soldier settlers and they had it tough.

    1. Yes, and browsing through the land claims, a lot of people gave up and went home or elsewhere where it wasn't as much work.
      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Following the extended family and friends can give us a lot of information.


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