Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.

Mrs. and Mrs. Walter J.S. Traill and child, 1881
Mrs. and Mrs. Walter J.S. Traill and child, 1881
NA-1010-3

Traill family fonds

To view brief biography and summary of contents click here.

Table of Contents

indicates that the series includes scanned documents.

Series 1 William Edward Traill. -- 1864-1918
Series 2 Harriett (McKay) Traill. -- 1889-1893
Series 3 Walter J.S. Traill. -- 1866-1914
Series 4 Mary Traill. -- 1972-1976
Series 5 Photographs. -- [ca. 1859-1930]

Inventory

Series 1 William Edward Traill. -- 1863-1918. -- The series consists of letters written to his family about his life; reminiscences, financial records; and miscellaneous appointments and certificates.
M-1241-1 W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1863-1866. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort Garry, Fort Ellice and Fort Defiance. Includes descriptions of the following:

Trip west from Canada to Fort Garry via the Mississippi River, St. Paul and Pembina

Conditions at, and agricultural prospects of the Red River Settlement

Buffalo hunts and making pemmican

Opinions of Indians [First Nations], Sioux, Saulteaux, etc.

Details of the fur trade, methods of travel, food, clothing and prices

M-1241-2 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-1 above.
M-1241-3

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1867-1870. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Touchwood Hills, Egg Lake, Fort Pitt and Carlton House. Includes descriptions of the following:

Marriage to Harriet McKay and birth of their first child, Walter

Speculation on reorganization of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) after administration of the North-West Territories are transferred to the Canadian government

Grasshopper plague

Visit of the Earl of March

Smallpox epidemic at Carlton House

M-1241-4 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-3 above.
M-1241-5

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1871-1874. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Carlton Farm (near Prince Albert), Carlton House and Lac La Biche. Includes descriptions of the following:

Unrest at Red River Settlement

Disappearance of the buffalo and starvation among the Indians [First Nations]

Reorganization of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and fate of employees

Arrival of Indian Commissioner and other government officials from Canada

Smallpox epidemic at Carlton House

Visit of Reverence Henry Bird Steinhauer to Lac La Biche

M-1241-6 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-5 above.
M-1241-7

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1875-1880. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lac La Biche and other locations. Includes descriptions of the following:

Indian [First Nations] starvation and unrest

Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) administration and inequalities

Depression in fur trade

Poor opinion of settlers arriving in the west

Receipt of commission as a junior trader

M-1241-8 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-7 above.
M-1241-9

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1881-1885. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lac La Biche and Lesser Slave Lake. Includes descriptions of the following:

Unrest of Indians [First Nations] and Metis

Louis Riel and the 1885 Rebellion

M-1241-10 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-9 above.
M-1241-11

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1886-1887. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lakefield, Pembina, Winnipeg, Fort Vermilion and Fort Chipewyan. Includes descriptions of the following:

Geographical and geological features

Ferns and plans of Vermilion and Chipewyan areas

Friendship with Bishop Richard Young at Vermilion

M-1241-12 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-11 above.
M-1241-13

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1888-1889. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort Vermilion, Quesnelle and Fort St. James. Includes descriptions of the following:

Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) administration

Ex-Chief Factor Gavin Hamilton

Ice jam and floods at Fort Vermilion

Appointment as lay delegate to local Synod of Anglican clergy at Vermilion

Trip to Fort St. James from Vemilion and gold mining along the Fraser River

Salmon fishing

Chinese in British Columbia

Indians [First Nations] of the Fort St. James area

M-1241-14 Typescripts of the letters in file M-1241-13 above.
M-1241-15

W.E. Traill's correspondence. -- 1888-1889. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort St. James, Quesnelle, Victoria and Prince Albert. Includes descriptions of the following:

Trips to Quesnelle and Victoria

Cannery and can-making

Hudson's Bay Company [HBC] business, company rules and regulations, decline in fur trade and loss of profits

Personal observations re decline of fur trade and his decision to quit service and take up a farm near Prince Albert

Description of his farm

M-1241-16 Typescripts of the letters in file M-1241-15 above.
M-1241-17

W.E. Traill's papers relating to the Hudson's Bay Company [HBC]. -- 1886-1892. -- Consists of photocopies of letters and lists, including the following:

Letter from Donald A. Smith to W.E. Traill re life insurance policy, 1886

Letter from Chief Factor Roderick MacFarlane to Governor and Committee of HBC re levels of pay and benefits of company officers, 1886

Circular letter from Joseph Wrigley at HBC Commissioner's Office to company officers re new methods in trading, buying and classifying furs, reduction of expenses, and rules and regulations, 1889

List of officers and their posts, 1891 and 1892

M-1241-18

W.E. Traill's financial records. -- 1864-1912. -- Consists of photocopies of the following:

Pages from ledger books, recording his account with HBC, 1864-1891

Current accounts and receipts from HBC, merchants at Prince Albert, etc., re various purchases and payment of taxes, 1885-1912

M-1241-19

W.E. Traill's reminiscences. -- 1911 and n.d. -- Consists of photocopies of Traill's memories about the following:

Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) personalities

Buffalo hunting and making pemmican

Chief Trader William McKay

Indians [First Nations] of the plains

Incident of Jack Ingraham, ex-chief of the Winnipeg police

Snowshoe trip from Fort St. James to Quesnelle in 1890

Murder, cannibalism and other incidents

M-1241-20 Transcipts of the reminiscences in file M-1241-19 above.
M-1242 Indenture with Hudson's Bay Company re tract of land at Edmonton. -- 1883. -- 2 pages. -- Consists of photocopy.
M-1243 Personal letters from W.E. Traill to his mother, Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. -- 1880-1881. -- Consists of photocopies.
M-1529 Correspondence re appointment to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). -- 1864. -- 3 pages. -- Consists of a transcript of the original document.
M-3290 Land tax receipts, Edmonton (1898 and 1900); halfbreed (Metis) scrip, Prince Albert (1900), and an invoice for mammal skuls, Stuart Lake, British Columbia (1893). -- 4 items
M-4624 Article, "The Breaking Up of the Ice in the Peace River" in 1888. -- 6 pages
M-7818 Hudson's Bay Company indenture of William Traill (1883); and railway passes (1918). -- 3 items
Series 2 Harriet (McKay) Traill. -- 1889-1893. -- The series consists of diaries about her life.
M-1241-21 Harriet Traill's diary of a trip. -- 1889. -- Consists of a photocopy of a diary written during the family move from Fort Vermilion to Fort St. James on Stuart Lake, British Columbia. Include details of the trip, and descriptions of Fort St. James and local personalities.
M-1241-22 Typescript of the diary in file M-1241-21 above.
M-1241-23

Harriet Traill's diary. -- [ca. 1889-1893]. -- Consists of a photocopy of a diary, including descriptions of the following:

Life and personalities at Fort St. James

Trip from Fort Vermilion to Fort St. James

Indians [First Nations], their villages and fishing in the Stuart Lake area

Roman Catholic mission and priests

New Year's Day celebration

M-1241-24 Transcript of the diary in file M-1241-23 above.
Series 3 Walter J.S. Traill. -- 1866-1914. -- The series consists of letters written to his family about his life.
M-1241-25

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1866-1867. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from St. Paul, Fort Garry, Qu'Appelle, Fort Pelly and Fort Ellice. Includes descriptions of the following:

Trip west from Canada to Fort Garry via the Mississippi River and St. Paul

Friendship with Norman D. Kittson in St. Paul

Life in Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) service, including daily routine, rates of pay and food

Fur trade and trade goods

Observations re Indians [First Nations] and halfbreeds [Metis]

Lack of law and order

Arrival of a party of Mormons and Yankee miners from Salt Lake on way to Montana gold mines

Grasshopper plaque

Poem: "Robert Cambell's Adieu to the Pelly"

M-1241-26 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-25 above.
M-1241-27

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1968-1869. -- Consists of photocopie of letters written to his family from Fort Ellice and Riding Mountain. Includes descriptions of the following:

Details of fur trade

Opinions re purchase of Rupert's Land by government of Canada

Administration of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC)

Alcohol problem among Indians [First Nations] and free traders

Incidents involving Saulteaux and Sioux

HBC personalities

M-1241-28 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-27 above.
M-1241-29

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1870-1872. -- Consists of photocopies of letter written to his family from Riding Mountain, Georgetown (Minnesota) and Frog Point (Dakota). Includes descriptions of the following:

Unsettled state of affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and transfer of Rupert's Land to Canada

Relations of Indians and halfbreeds [First Nations and Metis] with the HBC

Fur trade and free traders

Smallpox epidemic

Fenian raid at Pembina

Red River Settlement during the rule of the Provisional Government

Meeting with Louis Riel

Opinions of the Rebellion

M-1241-30 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-29 above.
M-1241-31

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1873-1874. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family form Georgetown (Minnesota) and Grand Forks (Dakota). Includes descriptions of the following:

Increasing restlessness and criticisms of workload and pay levels for Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) clerks

Other job offers made to him and his thoughts of quitting HBC service

Appointment by the Governor of Dakota to represent the territory on the Centennial Board for the 1876 Grand International Exhibition at Philadelphia

Criticism of the Canadian government's policy of encouraging settlement of the west by ill-prepared settlers without independent financial means

M-1241-32 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-31 above.
M-1241-33

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1875-1876. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Grand Forks (Dakota) and St. Paul. Includes descriptions of the following:

Closing of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) posts in Minnesota and Dakota

Opinions re American Army officers

Advice to settlers

Account of meeting with General Custer and opinions of Custer's state of mind prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn

M-1241-34 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-33 above.
M-1241-35

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1877-1879. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Florida, Arkansas, Grand Forks, Dakota and Winnipeg. Includes descriptions of the following:

Cities, life and people of the American south

Opinions re state of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) affairs and decision to leave company service

Entry into grain business in partnership with Barnes and Terry, later W.P. Howland and Company

Details of grain business, importance of railway, prices, etc.

Farm and crop conditions and prices in Manitoba

Advantages of farming in the USA vs Canada

Meeting with Donald Alexander Macdonald, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and opnions re same

M-1241-36 Transcripts of letters in file M-1241-35 above
M-1241-37

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1880-1892. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his famliy from Winnipeg, West Lynne, Pembina and St. Paul. Includes descriptions of the following:

Grain business

Marriage to Mary Gilbert and birth of first child, Walter

Opinions re administration of the North-West Territories

Manitoba and Indian [First Nations] affairs and re John Norquay and Edgar Dewdney

Railway building and constructon contracts

Description of the Ozarks

Declining crop prices and and values in the 1890s

Decision to start stock farm in Montana

M-1241-38

Walter Traill's correspondence. -- 1893-1914. -- Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Kalispell, Montana and Carson, British Columbia. Includes descriptions of the following:

Farm life, crop failures and prices

Irrigation projects

Labour unions and wages

Chinese and Japanese in the USA

Alaska Boundary dispute

Opinions re Theodore Roosevelt

Okanagan Valley and its suitability for agriculture

Opinions re USA and its role in the First World War

M-1243 Walter J.S. Traill's letters regarding a journey to Fort Garry in 1866. -- Consists of photocopies.
Series 4 Mary Traill. -- 1972-1976. -- 2 sound recordings. -- Consists of recorded interviews about her life and nursing career.
RCT-247 Interview with Mary Traill by T.R. McCloy. -- [ca. 1972-1973]. -- 1 audio reel. -- Consists of her reminiscences as the daughter of a Hudson's Bay Company chief trader and her nursing experiences. Includes comments on floods, Fort-a-la-Corne, homesteading, Meskanaw, nurses, Prince Albert, Sioux, stopping houses, Walter Traill and William Traill. Scanned Document View outline.
RCT-204 Interview with Mary Traill by Joy Duncan. -- February 24, 1976. -- 1 audio cassette. -- Consists of her reminiscences of nursing in a small rural town from 1918-1950. Includes comments on arctic regions, epidemics, influenza (flu), Kinistino, nurses, obstetrics, midwifery, and public health nursing. Scanned Document View outline.
Series 5 Photographs. -- [ca. 1859-1930]. -- 172 photographs. -- The series consists of views of the Traill family and Hudson's Bay Company personalities.

Many of these photographs have been scanned. View now.

PA-498 Mckay, Traill, Clarke and Laurence families; Fort Ellice, Prince Albert and New Denver. -- [ca. 1859-1930]. -- 34 photographs
PA-1540 W.E. Traill, chief trader, Hudson's Bay Company. -- [ca. 1914]. -- 1 photograph
PB-33 Composite photo of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) commissioned officers. -- [ca. 1972-1881]. -- 1 photograph
PD-232 Portraits of McKay and Traill family members, and religious figures. -- [ca. 1870s-1880s]. -- 1 album (105 photographs)
NA-50 Hudson's Bay Company commissioned officers. -- [ca. 1872-1881]. -- 6 photographs. -- Consists of composite photographs of individual portraits.
NA-80 Views of Fort Ellice, Manitoba and New Denver, British Columbia. -- 1859, 1890 and n.d. -- 5 photographs. -- Copied from the originals in PA-498.
NA-741-5 William Edward Traill family. -- [ca. 1896]. -- 1 photograph
NA-1010 Traill family, McKay family, and Hudson's Bay Company factors and employees. -- [ca. 1860s-1930]. -- 47 photographs. -- Consists of copy negatives of original prints in PD-232 and PA-498 above.
NA-2617-77 William Traill, chief trader, Meskanaw, Saskatchewan. -- [ca. 1914]. -- 1 photograph. -- Copied from original in PA-1540.
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