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SCHILL, Johannes and Maria - arrived in Canada from Bessarabia in 1930

Replies: 8

SCHILL, Johannes and Maria - arrived in Canada from Bessarabia in 1930

Posted: 1268892776000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Schill, Burkhard, Lefebvre, Schille, Schil, Schiller
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site, and also to building my family tree. I am currently looking for information regarding my maternal grandfather's side of my family, who came from Bessarabia (I do not currently know from which specific area/community of Bessarabia they hailed from).

My grandfather was Arnold Schill (b. 1923 in Bessarabia, d. 1990 in Maple Ridge/Haney, British Columbia, Canada).

His parents were Johannes (b. circa 1896) and Maria (maiden surname unknown, b. circa 1899) Schill. They used the names "John" and "Marie" Schill starting at some point after they arrived in Canada.

I do not know Johannes and Maria's exact dates of birth or death, but I know that they both passed away circa 1990 (Maria passed first.). At the time of their deaths, they were living in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia.

The Schill family immigrated to Canada in 1930. They came to Canada on a ship called the Montclare (it was a Canada Pacific ship), which deported from Hamburg, Germany and arrived in Montreal, Quebec (on June 21, 1930).

The passenger list for this crossing lists the ethnicity of the Schill family as being Romanian. While that may technically have been the case (it's my understanding that Bessarabia belonged to Romania/Rumania for a period between WW1 and WW2), my grandmother (Arnold Schill’s wife) has recently informed me that my grandfather was born in Bessarabia and that his parents spoke German (my mother remembers his parents – her grandparents – speaking German to one another).

The Schills had a number of children, some of whom were born in Canada, and others that were born in Europe (likely in Bessarabia, but I cannot say that with complete certainty). My grandfather, Arnold Schill was born in Bessarabia (in 1923).

The other children of Johannes and Maria were:

-Gustav Schill (b. circa 1919) - note, this man went by "Gus"

-Johan Schill (b. circa 1921) - note, this man went by "John"

-Ella Schill (b. circa 1924)

-Erna Schill (b. circa 1927)

-Herbert Schill (b. unknown, but after the family reached Canada) - note, this man went by "Herb"

-Frieda Schill (b. unknown, but after the family reached Canada; spelling might have been Freda, Frida or Freida)
*Note: Frieda and Herbert were twins*

-Hilda Schill (b. unknown, but after the family reached Canada)

(Please note: some of the names above may unintentionally be misspelled.)

I do not know any of these peoples' years/dates of death, save for my grandfather, Arnold (d. 1990 in Maple Ridge/Haney, British Columbia).

The following is a list of the Schill children's spouses (as well as any kids I'm aware of these couples having, plus those peoples’ respective children, if known). I do not have marriage years/dates for any of these couples other than my grandparents.

(Note: I do not know any of the female spouses' maiden names, save for my grandmother.)

-Gustav (Gus) Schill married Clarice (Clair/Clare). Children: Gordon, Joanne and a third child whose name I do not know (this child passed away when he/she was four or five years old).

Gus and Clair run a blueberry and Christmas tree farm (neat combination!) in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia during the mid to mid-late 20th century (definitely during the 70s, but possible earlier and later as well).

-Gordon Schill married Vickie (Victoria). Together they had at least one child (possibly a daughter); name unknown.

-Joanne Schill married twice, but I do not know either man’s name. She had two daughters, one of whom was/is named Lisa (I don’t know the other daughter’s name) with her second husband.

-Johan (John) Schill married June. Children: David, Michael, Larry and a fourth, unknown child.

-David Schill married Jeanne. David ran his own insurance company.

-Larry married (a woman) named Randie (I do not know if that is a nickname or proper name).

-Arnold Schill married Bernice Burkhard (b. 1930 in Dawson City, Yukon - daughter of Charles Frank Burkhard and Marie Lefebvre). Children: Donald Wayne Schill (b. 1955, d. 1977), (my mother) Lynn Marie Schill (b. 1958), Lori Gail Schill (b. 1963).

-Ella Schill married Jim (James) Slea. Together they adopted two children (names unknown).

-Erna Schill married (and later divorced) “first name unknown” Knorn. The couple had a son named Richard.

-Herbert (Herb) Schill married (and later divorced) Anita. Children: Christopher (Chris), Gus (Gustuv?), Brady, Timothy (Tim), and Patricia (Trish).

-Chris married a woman named Linda. (Note, Chris passed away as an adult, but I do not know his date or place of death.)

-Frieda Schill was married twice (I do not have names for either men). She had three children with her first husband: Ralph, Sandra, and (possibly) Garry/Gary.

-Hilda Schill was married, but I do not know her husband’s name. The couple had a son named Dwayne.

I would love to know more about Johannes & Maria Schill and their children. According to my grandmother, the Schill family lived for a time in Alberta (not sure where exactly, possibly near Drumheller or Medicine Hat) before settling in the Lower Mainland area of British, Columbia.

I am hoping to discover whereabouts in Bessarabia the Schills in my family tree hail from, and perhaps (one day) if possible, to trace their lineage back to Germany (and/or whatever other countries the Schills that I’m related to lived in before settling in Bessarabia).

My grandmother (Arnold's wife) is still alive and it's through her that I've learned the information that I do have (save for the ship's passenger list, which I found online).

However, she doesn't know too much about Arnold's family or their history (I get the feeling that my grandfather really didn't talk about his family or its past much). When asked why Johannes and Maria left Europe (Bessarabia) in 1930, my grandmother replied that Maria has said it was because they "didn't want to see their sons go off to war". Which gives me a shiver up my spine whenever I think about it, as I take it to mean that even by 1930, people like the Schills were forecasting another large scale war in Europe.

If anybody reading this recognizes any of the names in this message or has any information that may be pertinent to Johannes and Maria Schill and their family, please don't hesitate to get in touch (my email is, I would dearly love to hear from you.

Thank you & happy genealogical sleuthing to all!
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Preserverofth... 1268892776000 
JerryFrank59 1268921202000 
Preserverofth... 1268923189000 
aajs46 1307500636000 
german_rulz 1328856030000 
grade_a1 1337030779000 
BenSchill 1338420833000 
grade_a1 1337031182000 
Preserverofth... 1337038590000 
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