My Homesteader's Heritage is the story of two families who
immigrated from England and Poland to face the challenges of
homesteading in Canada. Despite their vastly differing backgrounds and
cultures, the two families were joined together when Leonard Croswell
married Ella Stebner in 1943 at Newbrook, Alberta.
The Croswell family began their journey in 1842, sailing from
Liverpool, England for thirteen weeks across the perilous Atlantic
Ocean and stalling amid the threatening icebergs of the Labrador
Current. An outbreak of cholera marred their courageous journey with
death and sorrow, yet through a twist of serendipitous fate, the two
grieving Croswell-French families on board were joined together to
bravely face the frontiers of British North America. The Croswell
diaspora eventually led to homesteading in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Ed and Helen Stebner were married in 1922 at Tarnufka, Poland. After
facing the dangers of World War I, their German community began to
feel increasingly alienated and marginalized politically and was
denied many rights. Hearing of the glowing opportunities and safety in
Canada, the Stebners immigrated. Ed came first in 1927, and a year
later Helen and her two preschool children moved to Leduc and
eventually their homestead in Newbrook, Alberta.
My Homesteader's Heritage is an account of the bravery and
perseverance of two homesteading families who overcame the
difficulties and hardships of a frontier land to pass on a legacy of
faith, determination, hard work, and success for their children to