CANADA: Alberta

TITANIC survivors:

17 year old  VERA GILLESPIE a Canadian from Calgary, with her new husband, Albert Dick, had just toured Europe on  their honeymoon. They were returning to Canada as 1st class passengers on the Titanic when it sank in the Atlantic April 1912. They were rescued in one of the boats. (not listed on 1911 census so must have already left the province by then).

Albert Adrian “Bert” Dick, 31, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 29, 1880, but was raised in Alberta. He and his brother started a sawmill in Ponoka, and by 1904 were so successful they began selling real estate and commercial properties in Calgary.  By the time Bert was 24, the Dick brothers had built the Hotel Alexandra on 9th Avenue. He married Vera Gillespie May 31, 1911, but because she was socially gauche teenager, Bert took her on  a belated trip to the Holy Land to educate her.

After the rescue, the Dicks were socially ostrasized because he didn’t go down with the ship. They also suffered financially. They built a magnificant staircase in their home that folk said was reminicent of the one on the Titanic.

1916 census lists this family as: Albert A Dick 35 yrs b 1881 Manitoba; Vera T Dick, 25 yrs born Ontario; G Vera Dick, 10 months, daughter, born Alberta (b 1915) living in Alexander Hotel, 34 Calgary East, Calgary, Alberta. His ethnicity was Scotch. Hers was Irish.


Alberta Births       Marriages      Deaths

Alberta Newspaper Obituaries

 Census Records

1901 census    – link to

1911 census

1916 census

Alberta Dominion Land Grants W4 – 1870-1930 (east)

Alberta Dominion Land Grants W5 & W6 – 1870-1930 (west towards the mountains)

These were the first titles to land in the Prairies by  homesteaders, who received free land of 160 acres for fulfilling settlement duties. Sections were divided into four quarters, or into 16 legal sub divisions, numbered 1 to 37. Townships were numbered from south to north, starting at the US Border, but in a zig zag pattern. They are numbered 1 to 129, and 141. Ranges are numbered from east to west for each meridian, except for BC. and numbered 1 to 34.

Individual Gillespie homesteads can be easily seen across the full sweep of the Prairies by putting all of these Dominion Land charts together, and following the arrows upward from the range in each Province to locate each farm.  Several people often shared the same section, only different parts within that large area.








Website for Gillespie records world-wide