Fonds atu-5 - Margaret Clarke fonds

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Margaret Clarke fonds

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ATU atu-5

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3.6 m of textual records. -- 16 negatives. --- 12 photographs. ---1 audio cassette.

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Biographical history

Margaret L. Clarke was born in Edson, Alberta on April 19, 1952, to Allen Clarke (born August 1, 1927, in Lloydminister, Alberta) and Bertha Louise Halstead (born May 2, 1927, in Nokomis, Saskatchewan). Clarke's parents were active members of the Stettler Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Central Alberta Naturalists Club, and the Seniors Community Choir. They were also involved in the local farmers' market selling bread, vegetables, honey, and some craft items. Clarke's father kept bees for some years as had his father. During her brothers' high school years, the two older boys and her father were members of the Stettler Brass Band. The rich history evident in Clarke's extended family has influenced her career as a genealogist. Her step-grandfather, Albert Erickson, emigrant from Sweden and her mother's step-father, was a founding member of the UFA Co-Op. Clarke's great-great-grandfather Alfred Isaac Stone, emigrant from Wisconsin and her father's mother's grandfather, was the first postmaster at the area now known as Sunnybrook, Alberta. At that time, the name of the post office was Stone's Corner. Clarke's great grandmother Florence Halstead, emigrant from England, was the first postmistress of the post office at Nokomis, Saskatchewan, which she named after the grandmother in Hiawatha. Clarke's great-great-grandfather Edward McKay, third generation Hudson Bay Company mixed blood and her mother's mother's grandfather, was said to be the first man to put up a fence in south eastern Alberta. He fenced his haystacks at the foot of Cypress Hills before Medicine Hat was established. He also wrote a letter to report the Cypress Hills massacre in 1872 to the authorities in Winnipeg. In terms of schooling, Clarke first attended Niton Central School in Niton, Alberta, from 1958-1965 for grades one through seven. She then completed grades eight and nine at Blumenau Seventh Day Adventist Private School in Stettler County, Alberta, from 1966-1967, and grades ten to twelve at the Canadian Union College Academy in College Heights, Alberta, part time between the years of 1967 and 1972. While at CUC, Clarke and her sister were members of the alto sections of various student choirs. After graduating, Clarke attended the University of Alberta where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993 and a Master of Arts in Native History in 1997. While growing up, Clarke did chores on the family farm until her family moved to Erskine in 1965. During her high school years at Canadian Union College, Clarke held several positions working in a book bindery, in food services, as an aide in a nursing home for most of a year in 1969 or 1970, as a nanny for most of the year in 1971/1972, and a further eight months keeping house for her grandparents while she finished her last classes of high school. After graduating from high school at the Canadian Union College Academy in 1972 and marriage in 1973, Clarke continued working in food services until 1981. While completing her graduate studies at the University of Alberta, Clarke worked as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Jennifer S.H. Brown for two years. After graduation from the University of Alberta with her Masters degree, Clarke did contract research work for Parks Canada, and became involved in local community development through Métis L.I.N.K.S. (an early intervention program for youth) and Niwichihaw, a joint program funded by AADAC, The Healing Foundation, and the Red Deer Local of the Métis Nation of Alberta. As a young adult, Clarke met T.R. (Pat) McCloy, former archivist / librarian at the Glenbow Museum and Archives and her mother's cousin, and promised him that she would do something with his genealogy collection. In 1973, Clarke married Thomas David Clendon and together they have one child, Scott Alexander Clarke Clendon.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual records in addition to a few photographs, photocopied photographs, and an audio cassette. All records dated after 2009 are conservation copies. The textual records primarily consist of documents related to the research conducted by Clarke for her Masters thesis in Native History at the University of Alberta entitled "Reconstituting the Fur Trade Community of the Assiniboine Basin, 1793 to 1812". In addition, Clarke has conducted extensive genealogical research regarding the Bray and McKay families as well as the Hudson's Bay Company, especially regarding the men of Brandon House. The textual records include handwritten notes and timelines recorded by Clarke; numerous printouts of internet research regarding Clarke's genealogy work; pamphlets; numerous photocopied journal articles, book reviews, and chapters from various publications and periodicals; email and written correspondence regarding her graduate studies and genealogical work; lecture notes and term papers from various classes attended throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies; original and photocopied newspaper articles, biographies, maps, bibliographies, and diary entries; copied sections of the 1901 Canada Census for the province of Manitoba, districts of Selkirk and Provencher, sub-districts of St. Francois-Xavier, St. Boniface, and St. Boniface Town; several copies of various volumes and issues of the Canada Tree periodical edited by Clarke; several editions of the Neya Powagans Métis Newsletter, The Rupert's Land Newsletter, and Relatively Speaking from the Alberta Genealogical Society 1973-1998; and several volumes of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography spanning 1967-1990. Other textual records pertain to Clarke's contract research for various Parks Canada projects as well as her involvement in community development via Métis L.I.N.K.S. (an early intervention program for youth), the Alberta Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and various projects organized by the Red Deer Local of the Métis Nation of Alberta #84. A significant portion of the photographs depict various plaques and signs situated in the Steele Narrows Historic Site, in addition to one photograph of Edmond Bray McKay and one of the McInnes Island Lighthouse in British Columbia. Also included are several photocopies of photographs depicting various members of the families about which Clarke conducted extensive genealogical research, especially the Bray and McKay families, often photocopied from other archival collections. Also included is an audio cassette entitled Minnesota Massacre, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Physical condition

Some of the textual records, especially the oversized maps, have been severely damaged, in terms of stains and water damage. A few of the newspaper clippings are quite fragile and torn in a number of places.

Immediate source of acquisition

This accession was donated by Margaret L. Clarke of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, in 2008.


Items were not received in any discernable order.

Language of material

  • The majority of the material is in English, some is in French.

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Restrictions on access

Permission for use required. Subject to The Copyright Act. Requests from researchers to copy and/or publish substantive amounts of the material beyond the limits outlined in The Copyright Act for Fair Dealing (Section 29), will have to be approved by the donor.

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Finding aids

File list available

Associated materials

Other material related to Margaret Clarke and the history of her extended family can be found in the following books: Niton and Foley Timber Then and Now; Halstead Family History Book, commemorating the 90th Anniversary of Their Emigration to Canada; and The Histories of: Jemima (McKay) Bray, John Henry Gresham Bray and Their Descendants.

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General note

Information about the biographical sketch was obtained from the records and from the donor. The fonds level description and finding aid were created by Dayna Kwasney (summer student) in 2008-2009.<br><br>Record No. 2008.007 AU004<br><br>

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