Fonds Volume 5030 - Anna Sawatzky family fonds

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Anna Sawatzky family fonds

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CA MHCA Volume 5030

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  • 1905-1974, predominant 1947-1965 (Creation)

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12 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Anna Sawatsky (1892-1966) (born as Anna Funk) was the first born child to Heinrich P. Funk (1868-) and Maria Friesen (1869-) who lived near Gretna, Manitoba. She was baptized on May 12, 1913 in the Sommerfeld Mennonite Church and was married to John Sawatzky (1886- ) of Schoenhorst, Manitoba near Gretna in 1916. (John was born in Fargo, North Dakota.) John and Anna Sawatzky lived and and farmed near Rosenfeld, Manitoba in the Weidenfeld school district. Together they had five children -- Henry, Dora, David, John, and Anna. Anna Funk was a collector of poetry which she often used on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, funerals and anniversaries. (After her death, John Sawatzky married Helen Friesen, nee Helen Hildebrandt.) Anna and John Sawatzky's daughter, Dora Sawatzky (1918-) was baptized on June 1, 1936 and became a member of the Sommerfeld Mennonite Church. She married Abram Friesen (1913-1963) in 1939 and they farmed in the Rosenfeld area. In his growing up years Abram Friesen attended school at the Zion public school northwest of Winkler, Manitoba. Abram and Dora Friesen had six children -- John, Henry, Dorothy, Mary, Amie, and David. At some point during their marriage they joined the Bergthaler Mennonite Church, centered in Altona, Manitoba. After Abram's death Dora married Abram Driedger (1898-1986) in 1969. Abram Driedger attended the private school in the Blumenhof northwest of Gretna in his younger years, 1905-1914.

Custodial history

The materials (except for the textbooks) were passed from Anna Sawatzky to her son Henry and later to his sister Mrs. Dora Friesen. One of the textbooks was used by Mrs. Dora Friesen's first husband Abram Friesen and the other by her second husband Abram Driedger. Dora's son John Friesen donated it to the Mennonite Heritage Centre in 2003 on behalf of the family.

Scope and content

The materials in this fonds consists of eight diaries covering 18 years written by Anna Sawatzky (born Anna Funk) and some Mennonite private and public school textbooks used by Abram Friesen and Abram Driedger. The diaries are factual in nature showing little of the author's emotions but showing the activities of the author, immediate and extended family, the weather, and events taking place at church on Sunday morning. Also included is some poetry collected by Anna Sawatzky and a 29 page "Funk Familie Register". The diaries are an example of the life of an ordinary Southern Manitoba Mennonite housewife's life. The educational materials are an example of the kinds of resources the Mennonites used in their public and private school systems during the first two decades of the 20th century in Manitoba.

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Any use of the material needs to be checked with the family. This is to be reviewed 2006 or earlier.

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Finding aids

Finding aid consists of a file list.

Online version of finding aid available at:,%20Anna%20family.htm

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Described by Conrad Stoesz September 15, 2003.

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German and English

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  • English

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