Besednoye Cemetery Site – Canora District, Saskatchewan

The following is an overview of the Besednoye Doukhobor Cemetery Site located 3 miles north-east of Canora, Saskatchewan. Rural Municipality of Keys No. 303. Land location: NE 17-31-3 West of Second. Latitude: 51°23.485. Longitude: 102°23.776. Compiled by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff on March 28, 2006.

View of the cleared cemetery site following archaeological dig. Further restoration is planned for 2006.

Historical Background

Besednoye Cemetery was established in 1899 by the Doukhobors of Besednoye village near Canora, Saskatchewan.  After the abandonment of the village in 1914, the cemetery continued to be used by local Doukhobors until 1928. Thereafter, it ceased to be actively used.  In 1976, the site was destroyed by power line construction. From 2003 to 2005, the site was cleared and excavated for archaeological investigation.  Further site restoration is planned for 2006. The cemetery is privately owned. 


The cemetery site is approximately an eighth of an acre in size.  It contains 17 interments in a single section comprised of two rows facing east-west.  The graves are unmarked and leveled. I have used census records, death certificates and oral tradition to identify 8 of these. The site will be re-fenced in 2006.  

Driving Directions

To access the cemetery site, travel north from from Canora on Highway No. 9 for 2 miles (3.2 km).  Then turn east on the grid road and continue for 1.5 miles (2.4 km). The cemetery is along the property line of a cultivated field approximately 1/4 mile (.4 km) south of the road allowance. It can be accessed by a low level crossing over Crooked Hill Creek. This cemetery is on private property and permission to access should be obtained by the owners.


Surname Name Birth Date Death Date Comments
Maloff Marfa 1831 c.1901-1905 No Marker
Kalmakoff Stepan S. 1854 1906 Disinterred and removed to Canora Cemetery in 1935
Popoff Anna N. 1839 c.1905-1907 No Marker
Popoff Polly N. 1913 Apr. 16, 1928 No Marker
Popoff Vasily S. 1846 c.1901-1905 No Marker
Shishkin Avdotia 1842 May 17, 1905 No Marker
Shishkin Pelagea 1821 c.1899-1901 No Marker
Verigin Ivan I. 1867 c.1901-1905 No Marker

In addition to the above, the following families resided in Besednoye village and may have members buried in the Besednoye Cemetery site: Holoboff, Kalmakoff, Maloff, Polovnikoff, Popoff, Shishkin, Verigin.


Various sources of data have been used in compiling this information including: census records, death certificates and oral tradition. This is a work in progress. If readers have any comments, corrections or additions with respect to the Besednoye Cemetery site, please contact Jonathan J. Kalmakoff.