Complete genealogies can take up entire web-pages for a single individual. A casual study of Elizabeth Settlement’s population reveals that the largest families in the area are:

The Blyan Family

The Cardinal Family

The Collins Family

The Desjarlais Family

The Jacknife Family

The Lepine Family

The Soloway Family

The Swan Family

The Wells Family

Other families exist within EMS, but these bloodlines are the most dominant with the most overlap between them. Some of these families share a name but are not technically related, and some family names are permutations of earlier titles. For example, the Blyan family has roots with the Dion family but, following events at the end of the 19th century, that family split-up into other sub-groupings with such names as: Blandion, Blondin, Buffalo, and Blyan. It has been speculated that the name ‘Jacknife’ is a mistranslation of an earlier name ‘petit couteau’ which means ‘small knife’.

Traditional Land Use surveys have been conducted in the settlement with an element of genealogy and family migration. To date, the family line that can be traced back the farthest belongs to the Cardinals, with a family-tree that has roots in early 16th century France.

Most of these families have kept within a certain distance from Elizabeth for the past century. Migration between settlements and nearby reserves was not uncommon. Interviews with settlement elders have revealed a relatively steady pattern of back-and-forth migration to areas such as Kehewin, Cold Lake First Nations, Onion Lake, Lepine Lake, and Marie Lake. Most of these locations fall within a 60km radius of EMS.


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