19 Kirsch Children: Daniel Kirsch

Welcome to a new blog series, “19 Kirsch Children.” I have been researching those of Martha’s siblings that immigrated to Canada for NaNoWriMo (20,734 words!) and I hope to find the more elusive records that hopefully reveal the life trajectories of those who remained in Volhynia or migrated elsewhere. I am also hoping to one day breathe more life into these profiles with details beyond the dates and facts. If you have and are willing to contribute more information or corrections, you can leave a comment here or email me at sarika.l.kelm@gmail.com.

19 Kirsch Children: Daniel Kirsch

Daniel Kirsch was born August 22, 1874, in Konstanynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia. The youngest of his siblings to immigrate to Canada, Daniel was seventeen years old when he sailed away from Europe aboard the SS Numidian in 1892. He was also the second Kirsch sibling to leave Volhynia, his sister Julia Kirsch having emigrated in 1891. The ship, which carried 866 passengers, left Liverpool on April 28 and, after a stop in Londonberry, Ireland, sailed to the Port of Quebec, arriving on May 9.[1] The trip took eleven days. Although the ship manifest did not include Daniel’s destination, he probably stayed with his sister, Julia, and her husband, August Rempel, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, before setting out to find work. He was said to have lived with the Rempel family at 808 Bannatyne Street, but he would have already been living in Saskatchewan at this time.

“[Daniel Kirsch birth record, 1874]” from VKP Databases, accessed through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

Daniel married Wanda Schindler (also Vanda Schendler) in around 1903. Wanda came from a Baptist family who also emigrated from Ludwischin-Scheppel, Volhynia, in 1890 and 1891.[2] Daniel’s family had moved from Konstantynow to nearby Ludwischin-Scheppel when he was around two years old. Although Wanda was eight years younger than Daniel, it is possible they knew one another in Russia. Their families likely knew one another.

Daniel applied for a homestead on July 28, 1903, and he and Wanda moved to the Rural Municipality of Good Lake, twelve kilometers from Ebenezer, Saskatchewan. Ebenezer, originally called Anoka, was a predominantly German Baptist community settled by Volga and Volhynian Baptists in 1887.[3] Daniel and Wanda had eight children, all “born on the family farm near Ebenezer”:[4] Daniel, Albert, Edwin, Violet, Elsie Vina, Laura May, Roman Walter, and Alvin Herman. Their daughter, Violet, died two weeks before her first birthday, on August 29, 1913.

The 1921 Census of Canada records the Kirsch family as living in a five-room home on the farm–a farm that now belonged to them after several years of hard work.[5] In around 1935, the Kirsch family moved to a farm near Leduc, Alberta, which is near Edmonton, Alberta.[6]

Daniel died in Camrose, Alberta, on May 21, 1961. Wanda died later that year, on December 28, in Edmonton. Most of their children remained in the Edmonton area.

Children of Daniel Kirsch and Wanda Schindler

Daniel Kirsch (b. 22 Aug 1874 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 21 May 1961 in Camrose, Alberta, Canada) m. Wanda Schindler (b. 11 Nov 1882 in Volhynia, Russia; d. 28 Dec 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

  1. Daniel Kirsch (b. 25 May 1905 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 30 Jul 1980 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Martha Arndt (b. 09 Oct 1904 in Volhynia, Russia; d. 22 Dec 1990 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  2. Albert Kirsch (b. 23 Mar 1907 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Florence Elsie Heffner (b. 08 Jul 1911 in Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada; d. 12 Jul 1997 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  3. Edwin Kirsch (b. 21 Mar 1910 in Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 25 Oct 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) m. Elsie Brown (b. 23 Feb 1909 in Leduc, Alberta, Canada; d. 01 Oct 1959 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  4. Violet Kirsch (b. 13 Sep 1912 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 29 Aug 1913 in Saskatchewan, Canada)
  5. Elsie Vina Kirsch (b. 12 Feb 1915 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 11 Sep 1986 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Joseph George Hutch (b. 07 Mar 1907 in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada; d. 17 Jul 1967 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  6. Laura May Kirsch (b. 01 Feb 1919 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 30 Oct 2006 in Alberta, Canada) m. Melvin John Jeffries (d. 1975 in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada)
  7. Roman Walter Kirsch (b. 25 Jul 1922 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 23 Dec 2005 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) m. Rose Anna McNaught (b. 08 Jun 1914 in Shelby, Montana, USA; d. 12 Feb 1992 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) m. Muriel Brown (b. 17 Nov 1918 in Amule, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 03 Aug 2007 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)
  8. Alvin Herman Kirsch (b. 1925 in Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 19 Aug 1989 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Dorothy Walters (b. 28 Dec 1919; d. 2006)

Note: The birth information for Violet, Elsie, and Laura Kirsch is from eHealth Saskatchewan Vital Statistics Genealogical Search. The place of birth is “6 28 4 2,” which corresponds with the location of the Kirsch homestead near Ebenezer.


[1] “Danie [sic] Kirsch” from Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[2] “Wanda Schindler” from Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[3] “Ebenezer, Saskatchewan,” University of North Florida, undated, accessed 16 Nov 2020, http://volga.domains.unf.edu/immigration/ca/sk/ebenezer-saskatchewan

[4] “[Obituary of Roman Walter Kirsch]” from The Red Deer Advocate, 28 Dec 2005 [published], accessed 20 Nov 2020 through Newspapers.com

[5] 1921 Census of Canada Ancestry, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[6] “[Obituary of Roman Walter Kirsch]” from The Red Deer Advocate, 28 Dec 2005 [published], accessed 20 Nov 2020 through Newspapers.com

NaNoWriMo Project: The History of Martha

For this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project, I am working on a Kirsch book, which I’ve named “The History of Martha” for now. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of a novel (and, ideally, finish the novel) in the month of November. This isn’t a novel and I’m not planning to finish it this month, but I’ve managed to write 4522 words so far. This is not ideal for November 8, but much of the work I do before and after work, and usually late at night with a cup of tea, is research. That’s still progress, right?

The section I am focusing on right now is Marth Kirsch’s arrival in Canada. I haven’t found a record of her traveling to Winnipeg. Martha’s obituary indicates she arrived in around 1904 or 1905. The 1916 Census of Canada says 1910; the 1921 Census says 1905.

The Stories from the Past blog post series recalls Martha traveled from Russia to Winnipeg with the Rempel family, an elderly couple for whom she worked as a domestic: “Mr. and Mrs. Remple, August Remple and Martha went to live at 868 Ballantine [Bannatyne] Avenue, Winnipeg. It is not certain if Martha’s sister, Julia, was already living in Winnipeg or whether she immigrated along with the Remples. Julia and August did not know each other in Germany. August Remple and Julia Kirsch eventually married each other.” However, according to the 1891 Census of Canada, Martha’s sister and husband were already living in Winnipeg .

“[Rempel family in Hansa ship manifest, 1890]” from Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 07 Nov 2020 through Ancestry.

August and Julia immigrated to Canada with their sons Adolf and Gustave August in 1890 (see above record). In 1891, they are living in Winnipeg with August’s 81-year-old father, also August Rempel. In the 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, the Rempels are living at 509 Alexander Avenue with one boarder, Robert Palmer.

Gustave August Rempel, born in 1889 and referred to as August in most records, would have been in his early teens when Martha arrived.

I indulged my theory that Martha left Russia with another Mr. and Mrs. Rempel (maybe relatives of August Rempel) and that the abundance of August Rempels complicated the story. I began looking for immigration records for any Rempel coming to Canada in the early 1900s.

“[Rempel family in Montezuma ship manifest, 1908]” from Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922, accessed 08 Nov 2020 through FamilySearch.

I found a “Marta Rempel” in the Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922 collection in FamilySearch. When I clicked on it, the image revealed that her surname was possibly not Rempel as Marta is recorded as having the occupation of “domestic,” perhaps for Friedrich and Rosa Rempel, who were 68 and 60 years old when they traveled aboard the Montezuma and arrived in Quebec City on September 14, 1908. The record shows that they were from Russia and were destined for Winnipeg. Finally, this Marta is 25 years old. Martha Kirsch would have been around 27 in 1908 (and there are usually discrepancies in age reporting).

Friedrich (Frederick) and Rosa (Rosella) “Rimple” are possibly found living in Sunnyside township in 1911. In the 1911 Census of Canada, they are recorded as German Baptists who immigrated in 1809 (born in Russian Poland). This 1911 Census of Canada districts and sub-districts guide shows “Township 11 in ranges 5, 6 east of the 1st Meridian” as including “Oak Bank Village” and Sunnyside. As their ages are close to that of the aforementioned Friedrich and Rosa Rempel, I am very certain they are the same people.

According to Manitoba Vital Statistics, Friedrich Rempel died November 20, 1932, in Springfield, Manitoba (Springfield, which merged with Sunnyside municipality, is a rural municipality that includes Oakbank, which was where Julia’s father-in-law, August Rempel, apparently owned a farm–or perhaps the story refers to this elderly Rempel couple after all?). Rosa died three years later, on June 6, 1935.

Was this our Martha Kirsch aboard the Montezuma? I don’t know if I will ever find an immigration record that confirms when Martha arrived in Canada or be able to iron out the story. Like many tend to do when researching, I get excited over a possible record and try my best to make it fit what I think happened. Perhaps “domestic” was simply just 25-year-old Marta’s occupation and she was the daughter or relative of Friedrich and Rosa. I am curious what others think!