Fonds PR3324 - Waite, Nobes family fonds

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Waite, Nobes family fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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    • 1814-2004 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    1.01 m of textual material. – 1213 photographs. – 240 negatives. – 19 maps. – 1 drawing : pastel

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    Biographical history

    Thomas Busby (T.B.) Waite was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1848. He and his first wife (name unknown) had a son, Thomas (Tom) Donald II, in 1884. Waite was a widower for many years before marrying his second wife, Ann Marchant, shortly before immigrating to Canada in 1902. T.B. Waite arrived in Edmonton later that year with Stephen Marchant and applied for a homestead near the future town of Ranfurly. He built a lumber house and barn before winter set in and then procured a second homestead for Tom, who was serving in the British Army at that time. In 1904, Ann and Tom arrived in Alberta and settled at the homesteads.

    In 1916, Tom Waite married Delcie Nobes in Vegreville, AB. Delcie had immigrated to Canada from Essex, England in 1913 and lived with her brother, Leonard, on a homestead near the town of Innisfree. Tom and Delcie had two sons: Thomas Donald Claude (August 28, 1917) and James (September 29, 1920). The three generations of the Waite family lived on the homesteads and managed the farm operations.

    In addition to farming, T.B. was appointed a justice of the peace in 1904 and then was elected to serve as a delegate on the first Local Improvement District Council. He also served on the council for the Municipal District of Birch Lake.

    T.B. and Ann retired from farming in the mid-1920s but remained on the homestead. T.B. Waite died in 1933 and Ann Waite in 1940.

    Tom Waite was also active in local affairs, having been elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local Improvement District 26-J-4 in 1912 and then continuing in similar positions for Local Improvement District 484 and the Municipal District of Birch Lake. However, his health deteriorated rapidly in the 1920s and he died suddenly on June 17, 1929.

    After Tom's death, Delcie took over responsibility for managing the farm, raising her family, and caring for T.D. and Ann Waite. Around this time, the Waite farm was mortgaged to help cover expenses.

    After completion of high school, Tom Claude and James Waite took over management of the farm and paid off out-standing debts in order to bring ownership completely back to the Waite family in 1938. Delcie remained on the farm until her death in 1961.

    The brothers remained bachelors and managed the farm for the rest of their lives, with Tom Claude dying in 2005 and James in 2009.

    On January 1, 1905 T.D. Waite established a weather station for the Canadian government on the homestead. This station is one of the oldest continuous operations in Alberta and was managed by T.B. until 1931, at which point the station remained in operation under the management of first Delcie and then Tom Claude and James.

    Custodial history

    The records were maintained by the Waite family until the death of James Waite in 2009. The executor of the Waite estate was James’ cousin, Joan Elizabeth Currie (Nobes), but she predeceased James so Currie’s daughter, Shelly Currie, became the executor.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of records related to several generations of the Waite-Nobes families and the management of the Waite homestead and weather station from the early 20th century to the near-present.

    The large amount of photos and negatives depict family members over the decades with most of them being identified and/or dated. Farming activities are also documented in the photographic images. Many of the photos are arranged in thematic albums.

    The textual material provides a wealth of detail related to the management of the farm and data specific to the weather station. There is also correspondence related to the farm and weather station, family correspondence, contracts, ration books, genealogical information, township and homestead maps, family Bibles, local election material, auction posters, memorial cards, diaries, journals, and notebooks.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The material was donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta by Shelly Currie in 2010.


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        The material is in English.

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        Access Conditions: None

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2011.0032.

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