Sounds Like …

One of the surprises in family history research is the way surnames — last names — change rather fluidly across time. It seems, also, that in the early 1900s it was common to give a first name as an way of honoring a relative … and then use a second name. There are a number of charts online for “Irish” “Italian” and “Scottish Naming Patterns” for that time period.

But it’s not just names that end up being freely interpreted! I remember the ON census taker in the middle 1800s who renamed a township … North Gower became North Gore (spelled like it is pronounced!).

Which leads to the answer to the Lila Cadieux Young and George Milton Young Great Saskatchewan mystery!

D S Fischer, of Medicine Hat AB (not far from Whiskey Creek) solved the mystery.

Our friendly 1916 census taker must have heard someone say “Whiska Creek” and decided it was an accented version of “Whiskey” Creek … so the 1916 census record placed several hundred people in “Whiskey” Creek!

Whiska Creek does still exist! It’s rural municipality 106, with offices of the Reeve (Mayor) in Vanguard SK. It’s population (2006) is 520 and its 329 square miles are mostly farmland.

A Mystery: Where is Whiskey Creek, SK?

George Milton Young and his wife Lila Cadieux Young married in 1911, and apparently headed out to homestead on the Prairies soon after. George’s obituary says that they were in Saskatchewan until 1919. Until recently, I had no idea where they had moved. But finding them in the 1916 Census of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba lessened the mystery only a little bit. George and Lila appear on the microfilmed census in a roll labelled for the Swift Current, SK, area.

George and Lila Young on a Whiskey Creek, SK, census page

Great! Under ‘Place of habitation’ they are residing in ‘Township 12, Range 10, Meridian [W] 3, Municipality Whiskey Creek.’ The Saskatchewan Archives confirms that paperwork for this property was filed by George Young. A large 1929 map of the Province, with survey grids, shows the 12-10-3 block on a spur of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but with no town or village name indicated.

The National Library and Archives in Ottawa has only one reference to Whiskey Creek: a 1937 CPR railwayman’s accident report. Otherwise, every other source, even published province directories from the time period, as well as the University of Saskatchewan Library catalogue and their archives, return no information about a Whiskey Creek!

See the June 6, 2011 post for the solution to this mystery!