MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Anton Carlsen and
Sara Van Maarian Carlson

Seven Persons - Once Hundred Sixty Acres and a Dream
As the Story was Told

This pioneer couple were married on, February 6th,1911. They settled on the groom's farm in the High Bank district and lived there for thirty-five years before moving to Medicine Hat where they spent their remaining lives.

Anton had emigrated from Denmark in 1909. Sara, who was a member of the Van Maarian family, came from Holland in 1910. He was slow of speech and thought, while she was quick in action and in comeback. They built up a fine farm with good housing for people and for animals, and with a few required head of livestock. They sold butter, eggs and cream in the market place in Medicine Hat.

Sara told me this about her marriage. "When Anton and me got married neither of us could speak English and Anton could not understand Dutch and me, I could not understand Danish."

When I said, "That must have been difficult. How did you communicate with one another?"

She replied, "Mitt signs, woman, Mitt signs."

The signs must have been good for they seemed to have had a compatible married life.

Anton served as secretary of the local school board for many years. Sara and he boarded the teacher during many terms. Mr. Nelsen, an aged gentleman, lived with them, when he required a home, until his death. Six year-old Jacob Van Maarian lived in their home for part of a year. Helen Armstrong, a teenaged girl, who needed a place to live, stayed with the Carlsens for a time. Lars Carlsen, Anton's brother's son lived with these relatives during many seasons until he found employment as a farm laborer and later as a construction worker.

The Carlsens had several children, but inspite of their every effort, each, with the exception of one daughter, Aggie, died in infancy. What sadness there was as they laid each little one away in a rural cemetery.

Agatha, and better known as Aggie, was a fine daughter and she gave them much pleasure. She was energetic, ambitious, adventurous and curious and might have made the subject for a book. As a young girl, she drove horses on farm implements, rode horseback and helped with farm chores. When she married Maurice DeVloo and they became farmers at Whitla, she helped in their agricultural pursuit, too. Maurice had emigrated from Belgium in the 'thirties' and knew about the depression years as he began making his livelihood in Canada at that time. Their family of four were three daughters and a son, Gordon, who was killed in a freak car accident when he was twenty-one years of age.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup