Saskatchewan Ancestors: Browsing Court Records on Family Search

If you have Saskatchewan ancestors, then you know that finding good sources on line can be difficult. In my own limited experience with Saskatchewan resources, I have unfortunately found that this province is far behind others in availability. Now to be fair, a lot of it has to do with privacy laws. Saskatchewan is a much younger province than say, Quebec. There isn\’t a whole lot that\’s available outside the privacy laws. With the current global pandemic, I don\’t see a lot of digitizing going on in the near future of those records that can be open access.

In our new \”normal\”, a lot of genealogists are celebrating more time to research. Those browse only on line collections are getting more attention, as there is now more time for genealogy. Those of you with Saskatchewan ancestors should take a look at Family Search\’s collection Saskatchewan, Judicial District Court Records, 1891-1954. This collection comprises of records for the Saskatchewan Supreme Court and the King\’s Court Bench. If you\’re unfamiliar with the Canadian Court system, you might want to brush up on what the Supreme Court covers. Family Search has a wiki that gives a nice overview. You might also want to check out a blog post I wrote just over a year ago. The post, 52 Ancestors: Week 9 – The Canadian Court System and where to find records, serves as a quick reference on where to find court records for each province and territory.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1392587

The collection has over 200,000 images. The title says it covers from 1891-1954. However, I only saw up to 1935 in the subsection titles. You want to first select your Judicial District. The only one shown is Regina. Because of this and the year range in the title, I\’m assuming that they plan to add to this collection in future.

Next you have an overwhelming amount of subsections. But if you break it down, then it\’s not as bad. I\’ll divide them into sections for you.

Docket Books and Indexes
These cover the years from 1916 to 1935. Full files are not available for these cases, with the exception of some for 1918, but you can still get some good information. The individual links are:

  • Docket books and indexes, 1916-1918, vol 9
  • Docket books and indexes, 1918-1920, vol 10
  • Docket books and indexes, 1920-1921, vol 11
  • Docket books and indexes, 1921-1922, vol 12
  • Docket books and indexes, 1922-1923, vol 14
  • Docket books and indexes, 1922, vol 13
  • Docket books and indexes, 1923-1925, vol 15
  • Docket books and indexes, 1925-1926, vol 16
  • Docket books and indexes, 1926-1928, vol 17
  • Docket books and indexes, 1928-1931, vol 18
  • Docket books and indexes, 1931-1935, vol 19
These books and indexes are centrally held in Regina. So just because your ancestor didn\’t live in Regina doesn\’t mean they won\’t be here. The first part of each book is arranged alphabetically by surname of Plaintiff. I looked to see if there was cross referencing involved, and there doesn\’t appear to be in the few examples I checked. The second part of the books gives a little more detail on individual cases. For instance, in Docket books and indexes, 1921-1922, vol 12, the top entry is this on image 15:
The Holland Canada Mortgage Company Ltd is the Plaintiff. Wilford J Burnette is the Defendant. Next to the entry is No 335 Folio 3. This means case 335 on page 3 of the second half of the book, after the alphabetically index. I found the entry on image 44. Because this case is not at the top of the page, I\’ll show what the columns mean as a separate image.
This images gives some more detail on the case. It lists the separate court dates and the reasons for each one. It appears that Wilfred, or Wilford in the index, defaulted on his mortgage. Sadly, the final result was a foreclosure. If Wilfred/Wilford was your ancestor, this would give you insight as to why he moved.
Kings Bench Files
These files cover the first 175 cases of 1918. They are broken up into these subsections:
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 1-36
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 37-57
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 58-95
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 96-112
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 113-148
  • King\’s Bench files, 1918, files 149-175
So, in Docket books and indexes, 1916-1918, vol 9, I find a case. Case no 7 is William A Black of Darby, Delaware PA versus Mary Cowan of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rather intriguing, as neither one was currently residing in Saskatchewan.
So, then I went to the corresponding section, and I jumped back and forth through the images until I found a file folder image. This signifies the start of each case
There are almost 50 images in this case. Long story short, William Black owned land in Saskatchewan. In the land registry office there is a record of William giving Mary Cowan a mortgage on the land. William states that he never gave a mortgage to Mary, and has no idea who Mary is. Because of the mortgage entry, there is \”a cloud\” over the validity of his ownership. The mortgage was apparently given to Mary by L. Black, acting as attorney for William. The only L. Black he knows is his deceased mother. To muddy the waters further, he found correspondence between his mother and a Mary Cowan. Hmmmm. Despite attempts to locate her in a few provinces, no one was able to find Mary, and no one turned up at the proceedings. The Court ruled to remove the mortgage from the Land records.
For the ones that don\’t have an index book to refer to in this collection, you\’re going to need a time frame of when you think the court case occurred, and just start browsing to find what you need. Since time is something a lot of people have right now, at least it will make that physical distancing go faster.
Supreme Court Files
This last and biggest section deals with cases from 1893 to 1907. 
  • Supreme Court files, 1893-1894, files 271-330; files 1-5 (Archives file no 2755-2848)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894-1895, files 265-349; files 1-3 (Archives file no 3108-3192)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 6-107 (Archives file no 2849-2949)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 108-180 (Archives file no 2950-3023)
  • Supreme Court files, 1894, files 181-264 (Archives file no 3024-3107)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895-1896, files 302-348; files 1-68 (Archives file no 3481-3596)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 4-97 (Archives file no 3193-3286)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 98-186 (Archives file no 3287-3365)
  • Supreme Court files, 1895, files 187-301 (Archives file no 3366-3480)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896-1897, files 423-473; files 1-73 (Archives file no 3954-4080)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 69-190 (Archives file no 3597-3719)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 191-307 (Archives file no 3720-3836)
  • Supreme Court files, 1896, files 308-422 (Archives file no 3837-3953)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897-1898, files 249-329, 31-32; files 1-51 (Archives file no 4256-4392)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897, files 74-166 (Archives file no 4081-4173)
  • Supreme Court files, 1897, files 167-248 (Archives file no 4174-4255)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898-1899, files 1-54 (Archives file no 4585a-4640)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898, files 52-143 (Archives file no 4393-4484)
  • Supreme Court files, 1898, files 144-237, 37 (Archives file no 4485-4584)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899-1900, files 226-243; files 1-50 (Archives file no 4811-4882)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899, files 55-145 (Archives file no 4641-4730)
  • Supreme Court files, 1899, files 146-225 (Archives file no 4731-4810)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900-1901, files 237-325; files 1-19 (Archives file no 5069-5180)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900, files 51-128 (Archives file no 4883-4960)
  • Supreme Court files, 1900, files 129-236 (Archives file no 4961-5068) (file 129 after file 130)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901-1902, files 286-328, 286-287; files 1-31 (Archives file no 5447-5523)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 20-109 (Archives file no 5181-5270)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 110-187 (Archives file no 5271-5348)
  • Supreme Court files, 1901, files 188-285 (Archives file no 5349-5446)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902-1903, files 324-402; files 1-18 (Archives file no 5815-5919)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 32-134 (Archives file no 5524-5625)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 135-231 (Archives file no 5626-5722)
  • Supreme Court files, 1902, files 232-323 (Archives file no 5723-5814)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903-1904, files 513-514; files 1-104 (Archives file no 6355-6435)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 19-101 (Archives file no 5920-6002)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 102-185 (Archives file no 6003-6085)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 186-246 (Archives file no 6086-6146)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 247-308 (Archives file no 6147-6208
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 309-375 (Archives file no 6209-6275)
  • Supreme Court files, 1903, files 376-512 (Archives file no 6276-6354)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904-1905, files 1089-1201; files 1-6 (Archives file no 7416-7533)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 105-183 (Archives file no 6436-6514)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 184-272 (Archives file no, 6515-6601)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 273-373 (Archives file no 6602-6702)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 374-479 (Archives file no 6703-6808)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 480-557 (Archives file no 6809-6885)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 558-641 (Archives file no 6886-6969)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 642-728 (Archives file no 6970-7056A)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 728A-804 (Archives file no 7056B-7132)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 805-896 (Archives file no 7133-7224)
  • Supreme Court files, 1904, files 897-985 (Archives file no 7225-7313)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905-1906, files 1595-1678; files 1-13 (Archives file no 9120-9216)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 7-109 (Archives file no 7534-7636)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 110-219 (Archives file no 7631-7745)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 220-297 (Archives file no 7746-7823)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 298-400 (Archives file no 7824-7928)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 401-501 (Archives file no 7929-8028)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 502-604 (Archives file no 8029-8131)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 605-698 (Archives file no 8132-8225)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 699-797 (Archives file no 8226-8323)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 798-904 (Archives file no 8324-8429)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 905-978 (Archives file no 8430-8503)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 979-1068 (Archives file no 8504-8593)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1069-1158 (Archives file no 8594-8683)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1159-1263 (Archives file no 8684-8788)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1264-1357 (Archives file no 8789-8882)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1358-1472 (Archives file no 8883-8997)
  • Supreme Court files, 1905, files 1473-1594 (Archives file no 8998-9119)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906-1907, files 2214-2251, 1486, 152; files 1-44 (Archives file no 11409-11494)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 14-115 (Archives file no 9217-9318)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 116-220 (Archives file no 9319-9422) (file 152 found after file 2251)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 221-295 (Archives file no 9423-9497)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 295-379 (Archives file no 9497d-9581)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 380-468 (Archives file no 9582-9670)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 469-561 (Archives file no 9671-9762)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 562-648 (Archives file no 9763-9849)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 649-753 (Archives file no 9850-9954)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 754-864 (Archives file no 9955-10065)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 865-948 (Archives file no 10066-10149)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 949-1056 (Archives file no 10151-10256)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1057-1148 (Archives file no 10257a-10348)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1149-1236 (Archives file no 10348-10436)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1237-1338 (Archives file no 10437-10538)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1339-1454 (Archives file no 10539-10651)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1455-1567 (Archives file no 10652-10763) (file 1486 found after file 2251)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1568-1683 (Archives file no 10764-10879)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1684-1780 (Archives file no 10880-10975)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1781-1880 (Archives file no 10976a-11075)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1881-1993 (Archives file no 11076-11188)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 1994-2101 (Archives file no 11189-11296)
  • Supreme Court files, 1906, files 2102-2213 (Archives file no 11297-11408)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 45-149 (Archives file no 11495-11599)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 150-266 (Archives file no 11600-11717)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 267-367 (Archives file no 11718-11821)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 368-471 (Archives file no 11822-11925)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 472-559 (Archives file no 11926-12013)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 560-643 (Archives file no 12014-12094)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 644-752 (Archives file no 12095-12203)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 753-866 (Archives file no 12204-12317)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 867-974 (Archives file no 12318-12424)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 975-1064 (Archives file no 12425-12514)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1065-1147 (Archives file no 12515-12597)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1148-1245 (Archives file no 12598-12695)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1246-1345 (Archives file no 12696-12794)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1346-1451 (Archives file no 12795-12900)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1452-1538 (Archives file no 12901-12986) (for file 1527 see Archive file no 13329)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1539-1639 (Archives file no 12987-13088)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1640-1735 (Archives file no 13089-13184)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1736-1844 (Archives file no 13185-13293)
  • Supreme Court files, 1907, files 1845-1877, 599, 600, 1527 (Archives file no 13294-13329)
These ones are set up exactly like the King\’s Bench files. Each file starts with an image of a file folder, and then the subsequent images are of the folder contents.
I don\’t know if index and docket books exist somewhere else for the years pre 1916. If there are, and you know of an online resource for them, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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