In my family tree I have a John Avram who was born near or in Rouleau, Saskatchewan to "Mary Purcil" and "Nicholi Avram" and registered with the Saskatchewan government on November 3, 1905.  I found this interesting because his birth registration number is only "24".  He was the twenty-fourth baby registered since Saskatchewan became a province and began tracking such things.  

I can imagine that the government was still working out a lot of kinks in their staff and processes when the paperwork was filed.  Saskatchewan was becoming civilized and John Avram was part of it!

I don't know any more about Mr. John Avram personally and I don't have a photo.  I believe that he passed away in Pontiac, Michigan, USA on January 30, 1932 but I have not confirmed it.  I wish I knew more but we know more about his family.

The Avram Family

The Avram family were early immigrants from Romania to Canada around 1902.  John was first-generation Canadian.  Finding the birth record for John allowed me to place his parents and grandparents (Petru and Samfira Avram) in/around the town of Rouleau November 3, 1905.  Prior to this discovery I only had a record of them arriving there around 1908.  Every piece of information is valuable.

Petru "Peter" Avram Sr., John's grandfather was born in Poiana Vadului, Alba, Romania (Formerly called Neagra, Transylvania) in 1852. He was a cooper, making barrels for a livelihood and he did other work as well. His eldest son Nicoale (John's father), not wanting to do his military service, decided to move to North America and the family moved with him. In 1902, they boarded a train at Medgidia, Constanța County, Romania and went to Hamburg, Germany. From there they embarked on an ocean freighter “Asyria” and sailed for fourteen days. They disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and boarded a train for Winnipeg where they were detained for six months in the Canadian Government immigrants quarters awaiting information as to where they would be relocated.

Peter and his eldest son Nicoale worked with the railroad on track maintenance and repair. When the land was assigned and they earned enough money, they moved to Saskatchewan.  They moved to a homestead south of Regina. Their first home was a hole which they had dug in the ground with a roof made out of poplar poles and covered with clay made from the prairie sod.  Without some dates we can imagine that John was born in this very simple home.

They purchased a wagon, a team of oxen, a cow and a couple of pigs, ten chickens and a rooster, a walking plow, a set of harrows and some small tools.  Before winter set in, 20 acres of land were broken for early spring seeding. Later they built a house made of willow reeds and packed mud and straw with real glass windows.

By 1908, several Romanian families had moved into the area and plans were made to build a church which the Avrams worked hard to realize.

Saskatchewan Birth, Death and Marriage Records

If you are researching family history in Saskatchewan one of the places you will want to spend some time is searching the Government of Saskatchewan eHealth site.  They are slowly adding data beginning from 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province.  They have added the Birth records, are working on the Death records and then will proceed with adding the Marriage records.

  • Births registered in Saskatchewan more than 100 years ago
  • Deaths registered in Saskatchewan more than 70 years ago
  • Marriages registered in Saskatchewan more than 75 years ago

The information is searchable provided you and your ancestors can agree on how things were spelled.  You can order actual copies of the records that likely contain more information than are displayed on the website but searching the website is a good start.