Title and statement of responsibility area
A. J. Watt family fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Architectural drawing
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- Source of title proper: Title of fonds based on contents.
Level of description
CA GPR 0144
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- A.J. Watt family
Physical description area
5.5 cm textual records
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Archival description area
Name of creator
A.J. Watt was born Albert Edward Watts in Suderland, Ontario on December 23, 1873 to Samuel and Bridgit Watts. On December 29, 1897, in the Diocese of Toronto, he married Mary Frances Purvis, of the Township of Brock. The couple had two children: Ernest Russell born Feb. 19, 1899, and Earl Edward born August 26, 1903.
In 1906 the family moved to Dundurn, Saskatchewan, and in 1914 to the Grande Prairie area, coming in over the Edson Trail, a month-long trip. They filed on three homesteads in the Flying Shot area, the home place being SW 3-71-6-W6. Ernie and Earl completed their schooling at Flying Shot Lake School and supplimented the family income by trapping – mostly coyotes.
By 1924, Albert Edward Watts was going by the name Arthur James Watt. In 1951, when the Old Age Security Act was passed, he applied to the federal government for a birth certificate under that name in order to prove that he qualified for the pension; the reply stated that there was no record of his birth. He then re-applied under the name Albert Edward Watts. No explanation is available for the change of name, but all income tax, correspondence and family stories in the Along the Wapiti history book are recorded under the name Arthur James Watt.
Ernie took out his own homestead, SE 31-70-6-W6, and he and A.J. farmed together. During the 1930s Ernie and Earl worked in the Globe coal mine.
Mary Frances Watt passed away in 1944, and A.J. Watt in 1957. Earl married Olive Ethel Mutch and lived first in High Prairie and then Grande Prairie. He passed away in 1978. Ernie continued to farm the three homesteads as well as Dr. Little’s homestead. In later life he resided in Wild Rose Manor and then Mackenzie Place. He died in 1998 at age 99.
The records were donated to Grande Prairie Museum by Ernie Watt in 1993. In 2000 the responsibility for the collection was transferred to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives.
Scope and content
The fonds consist of personal papers in the form of genealogy records, income tax returns and correspondence; farm records consisting of income receipts and crop statements; hand-written recipes; a collection of booklets: coupon premium catalogues, cookbooks and household remedies; and some clippings on the Royal family from 1921-1938.
Immediate source of acquisition
The records were donated to Grande Prairie Museum by Ernie Watt in 1993.
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There are no restrictions on access.
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A finding aid is available at http://southpeacearchives.org/finding-aids/a-j-watt-family-fonds/
Donated with this collection was a blueprint for the Toronto Dominion Bank (1968) included in the Map Library, and booklets: Personal Hygiene for every Woman and Girl (1951), The Boy Scout & Wolf Cub Proficiency Badge Reference Book (1948), and The School Ordinance (for the NWT, 1901).
Many artifacts from the Watt family home are included in Grande Prairie Museum collections.
Accession numbers: 1985.48; 1993.60
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South Peace Regional Archives
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