Celebrating 100 years of the RCMP Part 3 – Family Search and Other Sources

http://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.8_03500_49/1?r=0&s=1

In Part 1, I gave a brief history of the RCMP and a quick overview of their website. In Part 2, we looked at the LAC\’s RCMP records. For Part 3, we\’ll now take a look at Family Search\’s browse only collection, Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police obituary card index and notices, 1876-2007. To finish off the series, I\’ll supply link to other websites for RCMP research.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1425003

Taken from various sources, this collection are digitized images of obituaries and index cards of both active and retired members of the force. In their wiki page, they caution that this is not a complete collection. However, it\’s still worth a look. The collection of over 9,000 images was compiled by retired officer Norman G. Wilson. The information was taken from RCMP books, periodicals, and newsletters. If the publications and newsletter hadn\’t been notified of your ancestor\’s death, then chances are they won\’t be in this collection.

The collection is sorted into these sections:

RCMP obituary card index, 1876-2007, Abbott – Jacobs
RCMP obituary card index, 1876-2007, Jacobsen – Striker
RCMP obituary card index, 1876-2007, Stringer – Zubick
Even though these aren\’t listed first. they are the first sections you should look at. These 3 collections are indexed cards are arranged alphabetically by surname. The cards give the name, rank, and regimental number. They then list the date and volume number of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Quarterly that the obituary appears in. If they appear in Horrall\’s book, the Pony Express, and/or the Scarlet and Gold, then it will be noted as well. Some have death dates and place, but not all. You can use the information from these to narrow your search time down significantly. Here\’s one from 1886 for Cst. T. D. Sturge


Honour roll from S. W. Horrall\’s book, 1876-1971, p. 250-253

This section has the Honour Roll section from a book by S.W. Horrall, The Pictoral History of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Toronto, Ontario: McGraw–Hill Ryerson, 1973). The names are arranged alphabetically by surname. It gives their regimental number, rank, date of death and cause of death. 
Pony express : Staff Relations Branch newsletter obituaries, 1976-1994, v. 1-19
This collection of newsletters contains not only obituaries. Not every page is scanned, but among the 299 digitized pages I also saw notices of promotions and unit transfers. There are pictures galore as well. Most give brief histories of the officers mentioned, complete with postings. You can literally find out where and when these men served. The obituaries are printed both in English and French. 


Scarlet and gold magazine obituaries, 1919-1997, v. 1-78
This section, the same as the Pony Express, has many stories of interest besides obituaries. It\’s good reading all on its own. It has several articles in it discussing unusual cases. Among the pages is an honor roll of those who died in service. The pages I flipped through had a list for those with officer ranks, and one for those with non commissioned officer ranks. Here\’s one of officers who died in service between 1886 and 1922. It gives name, rank, headquarters number, date of death, and place of death.

The quarterly magazine obituaries, 1933-1979, v. 1-44
The quarterly magazine obituaries, 1980-2005, v. 45-70
The quarterly magazine obituaries, 2006-2007, v. 71-72

These last three sections are the obituaries from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Quarterly. The obituaries are of varying length. Here\’s a long one for Inspector J. L. Sampson:
It\’s interesting to note that wives of officers can be mentioned as well. On the very next page from the obituary above is for Mary Isabella MacLeod, the widow of Colonel James Farquharson Macleod:
Other Sources for Research
  • RCMP Gravesthis site has an amazing amount of information on RCMP graves and memorials around the world. As an added bonus, there is also a fun section called Highly Mounted RCMP Mysteries. It gives backgrounds on graves with wrong information, found n unusual spots, or just plan missing in some cases. It invites visitors to the website to provide any information they might know to solve the puzzles.

  • Saskatchewan Genealogical Society RCMP Index– The Society has compiled an index of all obituaries that appeared in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Quarterly. Alphabetized by surname, the index provides the volume and issue number the obituary appears in.

  • Canadiana– As always, make sure you\’re looking into Canadiana when researching. A search using \”RCMP\” gave 215 hits. Using \”NWMP\” gave 374 hits, and \”RNWMP\”  gave 640 hits. Using \”Dominion Police\”, including the quotation marks, gave 1364 hits.

  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography– This underused resource gives biographies of Canadians from all walks of life. 11 Biographies have mention of \”RCMP\”. Using \”NWMP\” gave 64 biographies. I got no hits using \”RNWMP\”, but I did using \”Dominion Police\”. If using the last one, make sure you use the quotation marks in the search box.

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