Column: Call for Papers for Settlement of the West

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Call for Papers for Settlement of the West

Snippet: The other night at our writers’ meeting, one of the writers read a story he had written about men from the east riding the harvest train to work on farms on the prairies. It was fictional, but it was based on facts gathered from various sources, including The Harvest TrainWhen Maritimers Worked in the Canadian West 1890 – 1928 by A. A. MacKenzie (ISBN 1895415640, Breton Books, 2001).

This reminded me that I had indexed the book on my website several years ago. It can be found at Roots to the Past under Projects, Index, The Harvest Train. The book named a large number of men who went to work in the fields as well as women who were contracted to work as teachers. It provided—sometimes in detail—their experiences on the train and the conditions in which they lived and worked once they arrived.

The book also gave reasons why so many individuals travelled so far to find work. The majority of the men couldn’t find work here, but some men went just for the adventure. Men who enjoyed it or liked the money made the trek more than once. The women went for similar reasons. The attraction for them, as teachers, was the increase in pay over the money they received here for the same job.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

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