as well as others were not content with life in Volhynia. Carl
Werner claims that land title was not possible and there was religious
persecution. Carl writes, fourteen families totaling roughly two hundred people
decided to immigrate to Canada. In the "Bush to Bushels" history
book, Leopold Lippert describes his journey. It is believed that the Lipperts,
the Werners and other families traveled together so his write-up is of particular
interest to Werner family history.
These families initially traveled from their homes in Volhynia for five days
by wagon and rail to Libau, a port city on the Baltic Sea in May 1894. After
a thirteen day layover in Libau they boarded a ship to cross the North Sea
to England. Once in Liverpool, England Gustav,
and her three children boarded the S.S. Buenos Ayrean and began their journey
on June 21, 1894.
The "Buenos Ayrean" was an Allan Line vessel. Built by Wm.Denny
& Bros, Dumbarton, Scotland, she was a 4,005 gross ton vessel. Length
385.2ft x beam 42.2ft, one funnel, three masts, single screw and a speed of
12 knots. She had accommodation for 1st and 3rd class passengers and was the
first steel built North Atlantic steamer. Launched on 2/10/1879, she sailed
from Glasgow on her maiden voyage to South America on 1/12/1879. On 31/3/1880
she commenced her first voyage from Glasgow to Halifax and Boston, and on
12/5/1880 started running between Glasgow, Quebec and Montreal. From 1880-1895
she carried out one round voyage annually between Glasgow and South America.
In 1896, she was fitted with quadruple expansion engines and her masts reduced
to two and on 30/9/1896 resumed the Glasgow - Quebec - Montreal service. On
12/2/1902 she started a Glasgow - Philadelphia service and on 1/7/1902 a Glasgow
- Boston service. She commenced her last voyage from Glasgow to Portland on
9/1/1909 and was then laid up at Gareloch. She was scrapped at Falmouth in
either 1910 or 1911. “Buenos Ayrean” was the "ugly duckling"
of the Allan Line fleet. She had a heavy superstructure and a straight stem
but was the first steel steamer on the North Atlantic. This ship was the first
to be built of steel, not iron, thus enabling it to be lighter than the other
ships in the fleet.
On historical ship records, Gustav
was listed as 29 years old, Eva
7, and Emile
4. There were other German speaking Russian families getting off this ship
at the same time. There were 6 Kittlitz, 2 Schubert, 1 Kruger, 10 Diebert,
9 Henkelman, 2 Frederking and 20 Shulz. It is assumed that these families
knew of each other in Volhynia before immigration. A note in the ship records
indicated that all Poles and Russians had their baggage disinfected.
They arrived in Quebec City/Montreal on July 2, 1894. The ship records indicate
that they were initially bound for Winnipeg. After a three-day stopover in
Winnipeg they proceeded further west. Carl Werner claims that they traveled
from eastern Canada to north Winnipeg in cattle cars. The cars were made of
wooden rails and had no bed or chairs in them. They were given dry bread and
then continued on the Canadian Pacific Railway to Fort Calgary and then to
Fort Edmonton. On July 6, 1894, a number of families arrived at the South
Edmonton immigration office, including the Werner family.
Mennonites in Manitoba had shipped half a boxcar of food and other necessities
on to Edmonton in advance of the arrival of this group. The items provided
included flour, meat, bacon and old clothing. Each family was to receive ten
bags of flour. Soon the men began traveling by foot to the township of land
north east of Edmonton that had been reserved for their homesteads, while
the women and children stayed in the South Edmonton immigration shed. One
problem that these families faced was how to get the Mennonite supplies to
their homesteads. Carl Werner claims that after arriving in South Edmonton
Gustav worked for a farmer named “Litke” for eight days. In lieu
of wages, a wagon ride for all family members and belongings to their homestead
north east of Edmonton was obtained.