James and Ljotun Young fonds
Call Number: Mss 231 (A.05-92)

Title: James and Ljotun Young fonds.

Dates: ca. 1948-1963.

Extent: 0.02 m of textual records.

Biographical sketch: James D. Young was born in Scotland in 1873. He married Elizabeth Gibson in the late 1890s. James and Elizabeth had one daughter, Elizabeth (Betty) Young. The family arrived in Winnipeg in or before 1906. Elizabeth (Gibson) Young died in 1929 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg.  James D. Young remarried in 1931 at Winnipeg to Ljotun Sigrun Johnson. Ljotun was born in Keewatin, Ontario in 1896, the dauther of Larencious Arni Jonson (1858-1919) and Gudridur Thorsteinsdotter (1961-1955).  James and Ljotun Young had one son, also named James Dewar Young, born in 1932.  Elizabeth (Betty) Young, daughter of James D. Young (Senior), died in 1948. Information provided indicates she married a man named Leathorn.  James D. Young (Junior) married Florence (Bunny) Watson in 1955. They had one son, Howard Bruce Young, born in 1956. James D. Young (Junior) was killed in a flying accident at Gimli, Manitoba. James D. Young (Senior) died in 1963 and Ljotun Sigrun (Johnson) Young died in 1992. They are all buried in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Howard Bruce McCormich (Young) in 2005. He found the records while cleaning out his grandmother's home in the 1990s. The fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections through Walter Meyer Zu Erpen, President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada in Victoria, British Columbia. 

Scope and content: The fonds consists of 25 spirit cards, which document seven spirit greetings. The cards were created using colour crayons on 4" x 6" card stock. The reverse of one card is dated July 4, 1962 and indicates that it was received at the Spiritualist Camp known as Camp Chesterfield in Indiana.  Based upon comments within the text of the greetings, in which it is expressed that the recipient, Ljotun Young, would hopefully "come down here," but understanding that she was not able to "leave the cat", it is probable that the whole series of cards was received at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana, over a period of years (ca. 1958-1964).

Walter Meyer zu Erpen, President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada, confirms this theory and affirms the authentication of the cards by stating, "James and Ljotun Young are known to have travelled together to Camp Chesterfield during the 1950s, though it is doubtful that Ljotun would have gone to Camps Chesterfield after her husband's death. The spirit greetings reveal that on at least one occassion, Winnipeg Spiritualist Hannah Mary Macpherson acted as intermediatory in requesting a reading on behalf of Mrs. Ljotun Young. The daughter Mrs. Macpherson (1888-1971) confirmed that her mother visited Camp Chesterfield nearly every year. Mrs. Macpherson would have known the Youngs through one or more of Winnipeg's spiritual churches.  Based upon the case given to preserve the cards, it is clear that they considered these greeting cards to be genuine evidence of spirit communications."

The process of creating spirit cards is thought to be that a spirit precipates the cloth onto the card without any physical, mechanical writing. The spirit greetings on some cards appear to have been drawn inspirationally through the hand of the medium. At times, these have been created at great speed and possibly in darkness.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: Finding aid is currently unavailable.