Fonds F1608 - James and Mary Russell fonds

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Identity area

Reference code



James and Mary Russell fonds


  • Copied 1972 (originally created 1891-1915) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 cm of textual records. -- 54 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Russell, 1849-1920, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. He became an engineer and worked in the Liverpool shipyards before travelling extensively. He worked as an engineer in Japan ca. 1873-1879. In 1890 he moved to Calgary and worked for the Calgary Waterworks Department. He first married Margaret Russell; after her death he established the Lyon Cross Ranch near Drumheller, Alberta. He then married May Neill, and they had four children, James, Janet Marion (Christie), 1899-?, Margaret Mary Elizabeth (Pratt), 1902-?, and Grace. May died ca. 1904 when the children were still small. In 1911 James married Mary Beckwith, 1877-1963, who was originally from England and had been his housekeeper for several years. She already had two sons, Wilfred and Norman. She and James had two sons, Robert and Stewart. After James' death, Mary ran the ranch until 1936, and then moved to Calgary. In 1927 Mary adopted a daughter, Isobel.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of James' waterworks diaries and timebooks (1891-1896) and ranching diaries (1913-1917); Mary's ranching diaries (1909-1914); grazing lease (1903); and photographs of the family and ranching.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      The material is in English.

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      No finding aid

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      The originals are held by Stewart Russell.

      Existence and location of copies

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      Related descriptions

      Notes area


      Title based on contents of records.

      Alternative identifier(s)

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      Description control area

      Description identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules and/or conventions used


      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion

      Thursday, March 08, 2018




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