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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Re: Slavery in Canada
In Response To: Re: Slavery in Canada ()

Hi all,
I just found this site and am thrilled to see a thread that discusses Amber Valley. My great grandfather Willis Bowen Sr. was the first postmaster in Amber Valley (Pine Creek). His original homestead was recently restored and made into a historical landmark by the Alberta Provincial Government.

I grew up with many of the descendants of the families listed in Velma Carter's books and am using them as the backbone for a film about my great grandfather's migration to Canada in 1909. I spent my formative years at bible camps in Amber Valley and Newbrook bothering the old-timers as my grandparents preached. My grandmother Jean Risby was Willis' youngest daughter. My grandfather was Albert Risby, originally from Campsie Alberta, though his parents were rumoured to be from Georgia.

Willis Bowen's daughter Willa Dallard also wrote two articles about their experiences journeying to Canada and was interviewed on CBC Radio in the mid 80's. You can get copies of the articles from the farmer's newspaper "The Western Producer" and the audio files from the CBC at

It's funny to see other people seeking out information about something I grew up in... I'm actually working backwards, trying to find records on Willis' parents or siblings in Butler County, Alabama.... If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear from you, and of course, I can pass on anything I know.

What a great thing to see!
Deanna Bowen

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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