Gems in Homestead Files

The mail arrived yesterday and with it a package for me, I had ordered homestead records from Manitoba. The homestead files were for my husband’s great grandfather’s first wife’s two brothers Wilhelm and Leopold Ziebart. Edward Greber was married to Leokadia Ziebart in Russia and they immigrated to the United States and later to Canada with their children. In order to find out more about the Greber family, I have been researching collateral lines.

 

GREBER, Edward & Leokadia with boys

Leokadia, Edward jr., Edward & Charles Greber

Leokadia died in 1905, leaving Edward with 2 young sons Charles age six and Edward age two. Edward remarried shortly after and with his new wife Otilia Wiesner four more children were born to them. Edward and Ottillia are together for six years, but then Edward passes away in 1912 in Saskatchewan. My husband descends from the Edward’s second marriage.

We have always known that after Edward’s death the family broke apart. What we weren’t clear on is what happened to his two boys over the next few years.

Last night I sat down to have a look and was fairly impressed by the volume of papers that had arrived. I started with Wilhelm’s and learned that he settled on SW23 T27 W8 which is located near Moosehorn, Manitoba. It is great information and I learned he had a wife and four children. Next up was Leopold’s homestead record, he gained entry in 1911 on NE 24 T26 R8 W1 and seemed to have had a hard time breaking his land. His file contains letters back and forth between him and the land records office, who were threatening to cancel his claim as he didn’t have his requirements met. The best part is all the relatives he mentions in the letters, his sister Mrs. John Schmal, brother-in-law Karl Schultz and his mother Ernestine Ziebart. He reports that his mother is living with him and he is her sole support. Reading further reveals that his mother is raising his sister’s children and goes on to name them – Charles and Edward, sons of Edward Greber! Leopold later moves to the United States and writes to the land records office granting his mother his homestead with all the improvements on it. Ernestine, in a letter following Leopold’s states that she is raising the two boys and then later informs records office that Charles has enlisted (WWI), so she only has Edward at home.

This information fills in the years we were missing for the boys. We did know that Charles was killed in WWI fighting for the USA. Edward moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan where he lived with relatives, the Bresch family.

It is well worth exploring collateral lines because you don’t know when your questions will be answered or new discoveries made!

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