Sous-fonds 23.20 - Schneider/Snyder Family sous-fonds

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Schneider/Snyder Family sous-fonds

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  • Textual record
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CA UWA 23.20

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0.13 m of textual records
7 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Frederick C. (Fritz) Schneider was born in Emmendingen, Germany in 1897. He served in the First World War before pursuing a doctorate degree in law at the age of 21. He graduated in 1920 from the Albert-Ludwig-Universität in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. In the same year, Mathilde (Thilde) Hölscher, born in 1895, completed her doctorate in medicine, also from the Albert-Ludwig-Universität. The two married in 1921 in Herne, Germany, where Thilde was born and raised. In 1922 Thilde gave birth to their eldest son, Hans, followed by their second child, Fred, in 1925. In 1926, Fritz and approximately 20 other families made the group purchase of farmland near Lockport, Manitoba, Canada. Fritz, Thilde and their two children emigrated from Germany to Canada in 1927, where they co-founded the Society Farms and Little Britain community. In 1928, their daughter Marianne was born, and in 1929, another daughter, Edith. Marianne was tragically killed c. 1930-31 in a farm-related accident. Just a few months later, son Wilfred was born. The date of birth for Fritz and Thilde's youngest child, Norbert (Bert), is unknown. From 1939 to 1942, Fritz was interned in four different locations: in Kananaskis (Alberta), City Jail (Manitoba), Petawawa (Ontario) and Gagetown (New Brunswick). During this time, Thilde and Fritz both petitioned for hearings and his release. Sometime after he was released, Fritz and his family relocated to Quebec to start a business venture. An exact date for the name change from Schneider to Snyder is unknown, but likely took place during or shortly after the Second World War. Fritz and Thilde remained in Quebec until Fritz's retirement in 1977, when the two relocated to Mexico. Thilde died in 1980, and Fritz spent much of his time in Mexico, coming back to Quebec sporadically. He was residing in Quebec upon his death in 1992. Four of their five adult children have since died: Hans c. 2003; Edith in 2007; Wilfred in 2012; and Fred in 2013.

Custodial history

The records in the Schneider/Snyder Family sous-fonds were originally given to the University of Winnipeg's Chair in German-Canadian Studies, presumably by Edith Marcoux, daughter to Frederick (Fritz) and Mathilde (Thilde) Schneider. They were provided to support research for a project conducted by Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Chair, to bring wider attention to the immigration history of Little Britain, Manitoba. While the exact date of transfer to the German-Canadian Studies office is not known, it is believed to have been in the mid-2000s. The records remained in the custody of German-Canadian Studies until Bert Snyder, son of Fritz and Thilde Schneider, was contacted to officially donate the records to the University of Winnipeg Archives in July 2023. The records were then transferred to the University of Winnipeg Archives in September 2023. The records in this sous-fonds were originally part of a larger group of records arranged and described in the formulation of the Little Britain Collection, while in the custody of German-Canadian Studies. Upon their arrival at the Archives, the Schneider records were separated from the original collection and reprocessed as a separate sous-fonds.

Scope and content

The Schneider/Snyder Family sous-fonds consists mainly of handwritten and typed correspondence between Fritz and Thilde Schneider from 1925 to 1942. The subject matter of the early letters focuses on everyday happenings while the pair were living and studying in different areas of Germany. Later correspondence took place while Thilde was residing on the Society Farm in Little Britain, Manitoba and Fritz was in Germany on business. Finally, letters from 1939-1942 discuss Fritz's internment at the Kananaskis Internment Camp in Alberta and the hearings for his eventual release. Also included in the sous-fonds are various other documents: correspondence from Thilde's father to herself and her family, and from Fritz Schneider to businesses and government organizations as part of his work on the Society Farm; photos of and brochures for farm equipment; and original school records and diplomas for Thilde from 1915 to 1920 and for Fritz Schneider from 1919.

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Physical condition

The records in this sous-fonds are in good to fair condition; some letters are ripped along the edges or have small holes which render portions of the text unreadable. The majority of the letters are still readable, but the text on a small number of them is faded significantly.

Immediate source of acquisition

Dr. Alexander Freund, Chair in German-Canadian Studies


The arrangement of these records has been maintained according to the original file structure as received by the Chair in German-Canadian Studies. The files and file contents are organized chronologically.

Language of material

  • English
  • German

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Open to the public, available upon request.

Finding aids

A more detailed finding aid including folder and item listings is available at the link above.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

The documents in this sous-fonds were originally organized by German-Canadian Studies research assistants during the initial phase of the Little Britain research project in the 2000s. Angela Carlson processed the records after their arrival at the University of Winnipeg Archives in 2023 and created the RAD in September 2023.

Language of description

  • English

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