Museum Moment: How do I find out about my family’s military history?

In 2012 the Musée Héritage Museum decided to try to find out about all of the soldiers from St. Albert that served in the First World War. We wanted to do an exhibition for the 100th anniversary of the start of the war in 1914. It required the use of many sources of information. In the end, not only were we able to expand our existing list of those who served, but we also identified five soldiers who had been killed whose names were not yet recorded on the Cenotaph outside St. Albert Place. Many of the sources we used would be a great starting point for you to do your own research.

 

The museum had lists of names from earlier researchers. The Black Robes Vision, our local history book, started us off. We not only got a list of names from their section on the war, but by going through the family stories, we were able to find mentions of others who served and details of their lives and family connections.

Our next step was to search the Library and Archives of Canada. The archives houses all of the military records for Canadian forces. We searched each name and found attestation (enlistment) papers for almost all of our names. Some searches turned up service and medical records as well. Since 2014, the LAC has scanned and added hundreds of additional records to the database.

Once we knew about what regiments the soldiers were attached to, we followed up with other organizations like Regimental Museums to add more to our information. We also cross-checked and confirmed facts through the Canadian War Graves Commission. By knowing where soldiers were buried and on what dates, we could link them to specific battles. Check out the links listed below.

At the end of the project, we had gathered the names of 62 men and one woman from St. Albert who had served in the First World War. We were so pleased to be able to provide the St. Albert Legion with the additional five names of fallen soldiers to add to the Cenotaph. 

Fallen Soldiers of WWI

Moise Beausoleil (added)

Wilfred Chevigny (added)

Hector Duroche (added)

Daniel Flynn (added)

William Laurence (added)

Albert Goodman

Daniel Kennedy

John Kennedy

Clarence Maloney

Harry Maloney

 

2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII and the 70th Anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Come by the museum in St. Albert Place until November 22nd to learn the stories of Edmonton Doctor George Molnar who served as the translator for the German capitulation in the Netherlands and Gerry Harnois, Father Lacombe’s great nephew, who served in the Korean War.

 

Library and Archives Canada houses the service records for Canadian Forces.

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/military-heritage.aspx

 

The Canadian War Graves Commission provides information about where soldiers are buried.

https://www.cwgc.org/

 

The Military Museums (Calgary) has lists of links for research.

https://themilitarymuseums.ca/visit/service-records

 

Our Roots / Our Future Our Past contains scans of local and Alberta histories it is now housed at the university of Calgary:

https://libapps.ucalgary.ca/

 

Organization of Military Museums of Canada lists all of the museums in the group.

https://www.ommcinc.ca/