Journey to Canada

Note: This blog entry will expand as I verify more information.

According to this Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922 ship manifest (scroll down to view the relevant section), my great-grandfather, Julius Kelm (recorded here as “Julius Kelin”), made the journey from Volhynia, Russia (present-day Ukraine), to Canada in 1906. Julius; his wife, Serafin[a] (age 22); son, Gustav (age 3); and daughter, Olga (age 2), arrived in Quebec City, Quebec, in May 1906. They arrived by ship, the passenger cargo steamship SS Mount Temple, their final destination Winnipeg, Manitoba. Julius is described as a farm labourer and the family is recorded as German.

Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922. Retrieved 12 Jan 2020 from FamilySearch,

One thing that I noticed while writing this blog entry was that all four members of the family have “N.A.T.C. Bonus Allowed” stamped beside their names. According to Library and Archives Canada, NATC stood for the North Atlantic Trading Company, a company contracted to find “suitable immigrants” from 1899 to 1910. I have always wondered why the Kelm family decided to migrate to Manitoba, so this is a good starting point—a future blog post maybe.

Tragedy struck soon after the family arrived in Winnipeg. On May 31, 1906, Julius’ and Serafina’s son, Gustav, died of pneumonia. According to family lore, Julius’ young son fell ill while crossing the Atlantic and died very soon after they arrived in Winnipeg. The following record was found through the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency, under “Gustav Kahn.” Because his parents are not listed and because of the age discrepancy (he is listed as five years old and not three like in the ship manifest, but the two-year discrepancy also applies to other family members), I cross-checked information to make sure it was the same Gustav. In this record, Gustav’s birthplace is listed as Russia, and the address listed is 677 Ross Street, Winnipeg.

“[Gustav Kahn death record],” Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency. Retrieved 18 Jul 2018.

The address matches what is recorded in the 1906 Canada Northwest Provinces Census, which was recorded June 28. Julius (under “J Calman”), Serafina, Olga, and two boarders (H. Albert and Christian Geaman—possibly German or Herman) are living at 677 Ross Street. Gustav is no longer with them.

“1906 Canada Northwest Provinces Census,” Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 Jan 2020 from Ancestry.

3 thoughts on “Journey to Canada

  1. Carol Jones December 6, 2020 / 5:00 pm

    Volyhnia was oblast of Poland, probably occupied by Russia at the time. Many people in the province of Volynia were Ukrainians.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashley Barrett January 4, 2021 / 5:33 pm

    Hi there, I have a Volhynian ancestor who was also stamped NATC and arrived in QC in 1906, final destination listed as Winnipeg. Did you end up being able to find any more information about your ancestor’s time in Winnipeg? I have no proof that my ancestor, Edward Rode, ever stayed in Winnipeg if he even got there. I can’t confirm his whereabouts between his arrival in 1906 and his eldest daughter’s birth in British Columbia in 1910. Where did Julius end up?


    • sarikak February 1, 2021 / 9:14 pm

      Hello Ashley. Sorry for the delay in my answer. I had luck corroborating family accounts with Canada Census records. It took some creativity to try different ways the surname could be mistranscribed or spelled incorrectly, but this is how I found where some relatives had been living in Winnipeg before homesteading or venturing farther west. From my reading, some immigrants stayed very briefly in Winnipeg or worked at various nearby farms so that they could save money to move.


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