Girling Family:

An Inventory of Their Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Heather Beattie
University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(July 2005)

Finding aid encoded by Heather Beattie (July 2005)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Girling Family

Girling Family fonds


.25 m of textual records

MSS 200 (A.04-127)


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Biography of the Girling Family

Joseph “Joe” E. Girling was born near Coventry, England in September 1872. He emigrated to Rapid City in the Basswood District of Manitoba in 1889, when he was 16 years of age. He was following in the footsteps of his uncle, William “Billy” Girling, who had come to Manitoba several years earlier. Joseph and his Uncle Billy rented a farm together in the early 1890s but went their separate ways when William married in 1895. Joe left the area and spent several years working for farmers and in logging camps until he purchased his own farm in 1900. He sold this farm in 1902 and bought another in the Montcalm District. In 1903 Joe married Mary Forsyth, the youngest daughter of James and Isabella Forsyth. Joe and Mary had two children: Joseph Raymond (Raymond) and Mary Kathleen (Kay). In 1915 they sold their farm and moved to the Basswood district to be nearer to the new school that was being built. Raymond Girling was born in October 1907. He attended Basswood School for eleven years and the Manitoba Agricultural College in Winnipeg for one year. After receiving his certificate he returned to the family farm, married Margaret Lane, and worked in partnership with his father Joseph until his parents’ retirement in 1943. In 1952 Raymond married Edith Mitchell (nee Kingdon). They farmed independently until 1972, and resided on the Basswood farm until 1977, when they built a new home in Minnedosa. Raymond was predeceased by Edith in 1998, and passed away in January 2004. The Girling Family fonds provides a glimpse into the operation of a family farm in the Minnedosa area during the mid-twentieth century. The family’s activities were typical of the time and place, and the detail with which they recorded their financial transactions allows us to see how farm families made ends meet through the depression, World War II and post-war years. The Girlings were important members of the Basswood community, and this collection is a small but interesting piece of rural Manitoba history.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Girling Family fonds contains detailed records of the farm’s operation from the time of purchase in 1915 until its sale in 1977, as well as personal documents belonging to Raymond Girling. The fonds consists of: ledgers of the family’s financial transactions, including grain sales, livestock dealings, farm labour payments and farm maintenance and operating expenses; several years of tax returns; wheat producer’s certificates; various other documents relating to the operation of the farm; school assignments and certificates; high school exams; college notes and certificates; and bond certificates. There is also a Farmer’s Manual from 1895, in which Joseph Girling kept seeding and plowing notes from 1903-1977, and a booklet from 1940 entitled “How I Farm” that contains essays and farming tips provided by Manitoba farmers, including Raymond Girling.

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on this material

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Custodial History

Donated by Ron and Gaileen Kingdon in 2004

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Farm Records
11 Township map 1874
2 Farm Notebook 1900-1902
3 Farmer’s Manual (1895) with seeding and plowing notes 1903-1977
4 Tax Documents 1905, 1933, 1937-40, 1942, 1953
5 Vehicle Registration 1923
6 Manitoba Co-operative Wheat Producers Deduction Certificate 1924
7 Wawanesa Insurance Assessment 1924
8 Threshing records 1924-71
9 Co-operative Elevator Association Share Certificate 1926
10 Grain sold 1928-78
11 Farmer’s Pocket Ledger – livestock, labour and expense notes 1931-1940
12 Rapid City Reporter (notice of land sales in the municipality marked) Nov. 9, 1932
13 Copy of Animal Control By-Laws & Declaration of Office of Poundkeeper 1932-1933
14 Certificate of Completion of Grain Club Program 1935
15 Newspaper clippings about farm gate 1935
16 Information pamphlet on the Header Barge [1930s]
17 Farm Expenses

  • 1935-1944
  • 1941-1988

18 Livestock records

  • Livestock 1936-56
  • Hogs 1943-56
  • Cattle price charts 1956-62
  • Poultry 1941-1946

21 Canadian Wheat Board Producer’s Certificates 1938-1939
2 Record notebook from Archie Mitchell’s farm at Arrow River 1939
3 Receipts

  • Tractor 1939
  • Groceries and lumber 1939-1940

4 Buildings and improvements 1939-1965
5 Canadian Pacific Railway shipping document 1940
6 Gun registration certificate 1940
7 Booklet “How I Farm” (Raymond’s contribution on p. 41) & letters from the Searle Grain Company regarding contribution to booklet 1939-1940
8 Labour record 1941-71
9 Hay acreage sown 1943-1974
10 Cream receipts and butter expenditures, cheques issued 1944-1946, 1949-1982
11 Waghorn’s Guide 1945
12 Expense records for building & remodeling homes 1943-74
13 Household expenses & machinery bought and sold 1943, 1956-91
14 Hydro records 1952-1985
15 Household expenses 1970
16 Girling Farm Auction poster & records of auction sales c. 1975

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Personal Documents 1914-[1970s]
217 School Assignments 1914-1920
18 Vaccination Record 1920
19 Examinations 1921-1924
20 School certificates, with grades 1921-1924
21 Bonds

  • Dominion of Canada Conversion Loan 1931
  • War Savings Bonds 1942, 1944, 1945
  • Victory Loan 1945

22 Party Game instructions & record of Edith and Raymond’s games [1970s]
23 Short biography of Joseph E. Girling [1970s]

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Manitoba Agricultural College Documents 1924-1925
224 Agricultural College Streetcar Schedule 1924
25 Manitoba Agricultural College Engineering course notes 1925
26 Gas Engineering Course certificate of attendance 1925
27 Manitoba Agricultural College Mark Statement 1925

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