21 February 2011

1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta

I have found 36 entries with the name Pitura / Petura in the 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. This census details the number of family in household, name of each person in family, military service, place of habitation, relation to head of household, sex, marital status, age, country or place of birth, religion, year of immigration to Canada, year of naturalization, nationality, race, language, can read and write, occupation and employment.

The families listed on the first 5 documents are accounted for in our family tree. The remaining are not. Please leave a comment if you have any information.

1) Manitoba, Winnipeg North - 24 - 8:

Listed: Paul Petura (head), Sofia Petura (wife), Frank Petura (son), Stanislaw Petura (son), Wladyk Petura (son), Josef Petura (roomer).

This is my grandfather, Stanley Pitura's family whom we have always known as Pitura, rather than Petura. Interesting, but I assume it's just an error. My great-grandfather, Paul Pitura, is listed as a merchant/owner (grocery store business), and as we know, shortly after this census moved to southern Manitoba to farm with his sons in the Domain area.

2) Manitoba, Dauphin - 16 - 15:

Listed: John Pitura (head), Maria Pitura (wife), Polly Pitura (daughter), Josefa Pitura (daughter), Aneila Pitura (daughter), Franek Pitura (son).

John Petura and family settled in Ethelbert, Manitoba area on land that was donated by Mary's mother, Pauline Bihun. They had a total of 10 children. This is also another example of the Pitura / Petura name game!

3) Manitoba, Dauphin - 19 - 13:

Listed: Michael Pitura (head), Marria Pitura (wife).

Michael came to Canada and spent time in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1914 he visited his uncle John Petura in Mink Creek (Ethelbert, Manitoba area) where he settled as well as married Mary.

4) Saskatchewan, Prince Albert - 02 - 1:

Listed: Albert Pitura (boarder).

Albert came to Canada in early 1900s and most of the earlier years were spent working in Alberta and according to this census in a saw mill in Saskatchewan. After he was injured he moved to Manitoba and remained there until his death in Ethelbert. I assume he must be related to the other Ethelbert Pituras (John Peter Family and Michael Pitura Family), however I'm not sure how.

5) Manitoba, Winnipeg North - 21- 34:

Listed: Pawlo Pitura (head), Barbara Pitura (wife), Mike Pitura (son).

Son of Tomasz Pitura, Paul and Barbara had four sons of their own Peter, Walter, Michael and Joseph in McMunn, Manitoba.

6) Manitoba, Winnipeg North - 21 - 58:

Listed: Eudokia Petura (head, widow), Maria Petura (daughter), Anna Petura (daughter), Frank Petura (son), Aneila Petura (daughter).

7) Manitoba, Winnipeg North - 15 - 9:

Listed: John Pitura (head), Marie Pitura (wife), Jesophine Pitura (daughter).

8) Manitoba, Springfield - 10 - 33:

Listed: Robert Petura (head), Ledca Petura (wife), Paul Petura (son), Peter Petura (son), Carrow Petura (son), Joe Petura (son), Laura Petura (daughter), Annie Petura (daughter), John Petura (brother).

9) Alberta, Calgary West - 14c- 16:

Listed: Jacob Pitura (lodger).

It's hard to read, but the location is Castle Internment Camp, where Jacob Pitura was interned (a prisoner).

Established July 13, 1915, the Castle Mountain Internment Camp was by far the largest internment facility in the Canadian Rockies, housing several hundred prisoners at any one time. A total of 660 enemy aliens were interned at the facility during its entire operation. Designated enemy aliens under Canada’s War Measures Act (1914), some 8,579 enemy aliens were interned during the Great War as prisoners of war. Ostensibly nationals of countries at war with Canada, the vast majority however were settler immigrants, primarily of Ukrainian ethnic origin. Despite their civilian status, a great many were sent to prisoner of war camps located in the Canadian hinterland, to be used as military conscript labour on government work projects. Of particular note was the use of forced labour in Canada’s national parks, where they were introduced there as a matter of policy to improve existing facilities and increase accessibility by developing the park system’s infrastructure. By 1915 several internment camps in and around the Rocky Mountains were in full swing, including a camp at the foot of Castle Mountain, the terminal point of the then uncompleted Banff-Laggan (Lake Louise) road.

August 1917 when the camp was finally closed, the internees were conditionally released to industry to meet the growing labour shortage. The Castle Mountain camp was a difficult facility to administer. Abuse was widespread, and although duly noted by the Directorate of Internment Operations in Ottawa, never corrected. Escapes were frequent while conditions at the camp were roundly condemned by neutral observers and the Central Powers, charging Canada with violations of international norms governing the internment of enemy aliens. Understandably, the conditions at the camp would become of interest to the War Office in London and a point of discussion between the British Government and Ottawa.

The Ukrainian Canadian internment was part of the confinement of "enemy aliens" in Canada during and for two years after the end of the First World War, lasting from 1914 to 1920, under the terms of the War Measures Act that would be used again, in the Second World War, against Japanese Canadians; and in 1970, against some Québécois (during the "October Crisis"). About 4,000 Ukrainian men and some women and children of Austro-Hungarian citizenship were kept in twenty-four internment camps and related work sites – also known, at the time, as concentration camps. Many were released in 1916 to help with the mounting labour shortage. Another 80,000 were registered as "enemy aliens" and obliged to regularly report to the police. Those interned had whatever little wealth they owned confiscated and were forced to work for the profit of their gaolers.

They were interned not because of anything they had done but only because of who they were – where they had come from.