MHSA

Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta


 

MHSA Archival Description Record

Title and Physical Description
Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization fonds. — Microfilmed 1999 (originally created 1923-1966, predominant 1923-1930 and 1949-1966). — 36 microfilm reels, 35 mm

Administrative History
At a meeting of the Canadian Central Committee and in the home of H.H. Ewert, Gretna, MB, on 17 May 1922, the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization (CMBoC) was established to assist in the anticipated Mennonite immigration movement to Canada from Russia. The CMBoC was to be headquartered in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, with David Toews of Rosthern, Saskatchewan appointed chairman and A.A. Friesen appointed Corresponding Secretary (later Secretary-Treasurer) of the Board. The major cooperating Mennonite bodies were the General Conference (now Mennonite Church Canada), Mennonite Brethren, the Mennonite Church, the Church of God in Christ Mennonite, and the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren.

The first group of Mennonite immigrants arrived in Canada in July of 1923. More contracts were made with the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1930 when the political and economic climate changed and Mennonite immigrants were not allowed into Canada. From 1923-1930 over 21,000 Mennonites came to Canada.

In 1930 the board was forced to change its focus as the new Conservative government no longer admitted Mennonite refugees into Canada. David Toews resigned in 1946 due to failing health and was replaced by J.J. Thiessen of Saskatoon. J. Gerbrandt became the secretary-treasurer after the sudden death of D.P. Enns.

In July 1947 the office of the Board was moved from Rosthern to Saskatoon, SK. In the same year Mennonite refugees were again admitted to Canada and the CMBoC worked to bring more people out of Russia and Europe. Mennonite Central Committee played a big role as they handled processing work in Europe. Between 1947 and 1961 another 12,052 came to Canada. Not all refugees were allowed into Canada due to health reasons and so many were settled in Paraguay. Years later some of these people, with the help of the CMBoC and a sponsor, were able to come to Canada. In 1959, the CMBoC merged with the Mennonite Central Relief Committee of Western Canada to form the Canadian Mennonite Relief and Immigration Council. This new Council was one of nine inter-Mennonite organizations which formed MCC (Canada) in December 1963.

The primary partners in the work of the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization in the 1950s were the General Conference and the Mennonite Brethren churches in Canada, although a representative of the Mennonite Church (MC) always served on the executive committee.

Scope & Content
The fonds consists of microfilm copies of approximately 12,000 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization household records, each of which primarily represents the birth information about the household, the details of the journey from various Mennonite settlements in Russia to five western Canadian provinces, and some facts of their settlement.

Source of Supplied Title
Title based on the contents of the fonds

Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Arrangement
According to filming sequence provided by Mennonite Heritage Centre

Language
The material is in German

Originals and Reproduction
Originals are held at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives. Microfilm images from the first 21 reels have been paper-copied and on shelves of Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Library in 57 binders (HA 38)

Access Restrictions
Access to personal information is subject to Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta privacy policy and Alberta legislation

Finding Aids
The original household head index to the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization records was microfilmed along with the records and is available in that form as well as in paper-printed form. The records are indexed according to year, then alphabetically only according to the first letter of the surname and cross-references a four-digit alphanumeric code that appears on all records.

A later household head index was arranged in full alphabetical order and cross-references the rubber-stamped four-digit number on the records. These numbers are also the sequence which the paper-copied records are bound.

See below for the third available index - an "every person" index online, which was arranged in full alphabetical order.

See Files Inventory

Associated Materials
More Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization archival records can be found at the Mennonite Heritage Centre (see link from: www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives/holdings/organizations/CMBoC_fonds.htm to description of fonds)

Online Resources
Index to household heads and those born 1907 or earlier.

Accruals
No accruals are expected

Notes
Accession No. 2002.011
Language - German
Sources:
      * Canadian Mennonite Encyclopaedia <www.mhsc.ca/encyclopedia/contents/c364me.html>
      * Mennonite Heritage Centre
Last updated 22 Jul 2008 - Judith Rempel

Files Inventory

1-1 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #1
1-2 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #2
1-3 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #3
1-4 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #4
1-5 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #5
1-6 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #6
1-7 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #7
1-8 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #8
1-9 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #9
1-10 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #10
1-11 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #11
1-12 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #12
1-13 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #13
1-14 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #14
1-15 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #15
1-16 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #16
1-17 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #17
1-18 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #18
1-19 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #19
1-20 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #20
1-21 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #21

Box 2
2-22 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #22
2-23 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #23
2-24 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #24
2-25 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #25
2-26 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #26
2-27 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #27
2-28 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #28
2-29 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #29
2-30 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #30
2-31 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #31
2-32 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #32
2-33 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #33
2-34 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #34
2-35 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #35
2-36 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Records, Roll #36

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