Alberta – Land of Opportunity

Alberta prairie clouds100 years ago, my great grandparents arrived in a place much like this, and declared, “This is the Land of Opportunity.” With little more than determination, they made Canada their home.

Alberta riverIt wasn’t easy to live in this land of vast prairie grassland with howling winds year long. But the pioneers knew that this land would give them a life that was better than the one they left behind. “This is the Land of Opportunity“, they said.

This week my grandson, Curious George, looked out over the river valley near the cabin. He stood still for a few moments and scanned the vista for signs of wildlife – a fish jumping, a bird flying, a bug crawling. This is a Land of Opportunity for his generation too.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
– Winston Churchill –

What is your heritage? Do you know when you ancestors arrived in the country you now live in?

22 thoughts on “Alberta – Land of Opportunity

  1. I think it’s a special gift to know when and where your ancestors move to the country of their choosing. Your thoughts and photos are very heartwarming.
    I don’t know when my ancestors hit the shores of Turtle Island nor where, but I do know that they didn’t stay put, they moved North and South and out West too. 😉

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    • Hi EC – I didn’t know much about my ancestors until I took on the task of researching them. It is amazing how much information is available now on the internet!

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  2. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a huge part of our family history gathered…I even have a blog for my family to follow. My grandfather homesteaded in Alberta in 1907. Before that, a 2nd great-grandfather traveled from Scotland to Ontario in 1853, and we can trace numerous other family branches coming to the southern area of Ontario about 1800 or before. I feel very, very lucky to have this history to pass on to my children and grandchildren.
    I love your pictures!!

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    • Hi JSD – My background sounds very similar to yours – I had family arrive in Alberta in 1908, I have a family tree blog for my familiy, and I had relatives arrive in Canada from Scotland!

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  3. Beautiful photos. It’s interesting, most people think beautiful landscapes have to be mountains or ocean or forests or the stuff you see on monthly calendars. But I am always so amazed by the beauty of rural landscapes, prairies, cornfields, barns and silos, old wooden post fences like in the top photo, and all the stuff that comes with living in agricultural areas. Perhaps that’s because of where I live! Good stuff.

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  4. Your photos are wonderful. I do know a bit about my ancestors first coming from Wales then to the Ohio Valley area USA as early as the 1700s. My father’s family settled in Missouri and are still there four generations strong. My great great grandfather was a prisoner at Andersonville Prison Camp during the Civil War, my father was at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during WWII. So you can see We go back a ways as well. Love sharing with everyone family heritage. Oh my mother’s family were English as well.
    I am lucky in that I have a lilac growing in my yard that came from my great great grandfather’s property!

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  5. Oh, love the picture of your grandson and the Churchill quote. Those are words to live by.

    I know my heritage and will tell that story someday. It’s a made-for-TV-movie. At least my mom’s side of the family. My dad’s side can be traced back to the 1500s in England.

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    • Hi Amy – I wonder what the land looked like when my great grandparents first arrived. Were there more trees, or was it open prairie? Was the river in the same channel, or did it wander somewhere else?

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  6. Gorgeous photos. My European ancestors came across before the American Revolutionary War – it would be really interesting to know what they were looking for when they arrived – had they been persecuted? Were they just adventurous?

    And it seems a good idea for all of us to be looking at our surroundings as a land of opportunity – we just have to figure out what those opportunities are 🙂

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    • Hi Patti – There is no denying that our ancestors were adventurous, but I expect many had another reason for uprooting themselves and their families to come to a new land!

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