Kristjan and Tiina Kingsep Family

Kristjan and Hendrik Kingsep and their families arrived in Sylvan Lake, Alberta area in 1899. Kristjan was a restless seaman and left his wife Tiina to fend for herself and five children. She was an energetic woman and managed to raise her family while she welcomed newly-arriving pioneers to stay at her home until they found other accommodation in the area. She sold food and other staples to the railroad workers installing tracks in the area. Kenneth Kingsep (born in 1896) came to Canada in 1899 with his parents, Kristjan (Christian) and Tiina (Christine), and his two brothers and two sisters. Like other immigrants, they went as far as Montreal by boat, then travelled by train to Red Deer. From there they went by oxen to their homestead near Sylvan Lake. Their farm was adjacent to Norma School and also on the same section of land as Henry Kingsep's family. Tiina and the five children ran the farm.

Kenneth and his siblings attended Norma School. At the start of the First World War, he joined the American Army. In 1933, he married Ivy Popham, who had emigrated from England as an infant, and they took out their own homestead in the Sylvan Lake area. They had five children: Robert (born in 1934), James (1937), Ronald (1938), Carol (1939), and Gail (1942).

Kenneth spent his summers clearing most of his land by hand and worked in the Alix mines during the winter.

Ivy died in 1957. Kenneth continued to farm until 1969, when he sold the farm and moved to B.C. He died in Calgary in 1973.

Robert married Mavis Wester in 1953. Kenneth has worked near Sylvan Lake and Red Deer as a carpenter. They have four grown children.

James and his wife Helen Fitzgerald lived in Calgary. James died in 1970.

Ronald works in the oil rigs. Carol works as a cook in northern camps. Gail and her husband Gerald Smith live near Leslieville with their two children.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage