CANADA: Alberta

TITANIC survivors:

17 year old  VERA GILLESPIE a Canadian from Calgary, with her new husband, Albert Dick, had just toured Europe on  their honeymoon. They were returning to Canada as 1st class passengers on the Titanic when it sank in the Atlantic April 1912. They were rescued in one of the boats. (not listed on 1911 census so must have already left the province by then).

Albert Adrian “Bert” Dick, 31, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 29, 1880, but was raised in Alberta. He and his brother started a sawmill in Ponoka, and by 1904 were so successful they began selling real estate and commercial properties in Calgary.  By the time Bert was 24, the Dick brothers had built the Hotel Alexandra on 9th Avenue. He married Vera Gillespie May 31, 1911, but because she was socially gauche teenager, Bert took her on  a belated trip to the Holy Land to educate her.

After the rescue, the Dicks were socially ostrasized because he didn’t go down with the ship. They also suffered financially. They built a magnificient staircase in their home that folk said was reminicent of the one on the Titanic.

1916 census lists this family as: Albert A Dick 35 yrs b 1881 Manitoba; Vera T Dick, 25 yrs born Ontario; G Vera Dick, 10 months, daughter, born Alberta (b 1915) living in Alexander Hotel, 34 Calgary East, Calgary, Alberta. His ethnicity was Scotch. Hers was Irish.


Vital Statistics:       Births     Marriages      Deaths


1901 census    – link to

1911 census

1916 census

Surrogate Court Index

Fascinating interview of Ray Gillespie, an oilman, who worked all over the world, having immigrated to Alberta from Ireland.

Dominion Land Grants Chart

 The first land grants issues to settlers.

W6 – close to the mountains

16/18     John Gillespie, Section 33, Part NW, W6

75/10    Edward Matthew Gillespie, Section 12, Part SE, W6

75/9      Elmer Louis Gillespie, Section 6, Part NW, W6

               Leslie Charles Gillespie, Section 6, Part SW, W6

80/8      Thomas D Gillespie, Section 23, Part NW, W6

Grant Knapp, Thomas D Gillespie, Section 23, Part SW

 W5  – towards Saskatchewan 

49/5      George Donald Gillespie, Section 2, Part SW, W5

46/4      Florence Gillespie, Section 19, Part NE, W5. Also NW

21/3      Lilliard Love, Robert Gillespie the late. Section 20, Part SW, W5

20/3      Arthur Gillespie Spooner, Section 24, Part SW,W5

23/1      Alexander Gillespie, Section 35, Part NE, W5. Note: Lease No 1680. LS 16 of. Parcel of Land in L2 16 of 35 lease 1707.


Total Records:  14