Litz Family History:
From Russia to Winnipeg

Ferdinand Kraning aka Fred


The next relative I found documents for was Ferdinand, Oma’s brother. His application for citizenship state he was born in Warshau (Warsaw) Poland on September 20, 1873. It was rumoured that he had a wife and children in Zhitomir when he came to Canada with Robert and Hulda Litz.


He is listed on the Bavarian manifests leaving Liverpool and arriving in Quebec as Ferdinand Kreinik 30 years old, travelling with his wife Louise 40 years old, and children Leide 3 years old and Ludwig an infant. It was said that Louise was a widowed cousin that came over but it is unknown what became of her and her children. This image can be seen on Roberts page, they came over on the same ship.together.  There is also a Louise Kroening who was the sponsor of August Litz at his baptism in 1905 at Trinity Lutheran.  There is also a death record for a Lydia Kroening in 1904 in Winnipeg with little information on the record to assist in accurate identification.  Just to keep all things interesting, there is a baptism record in 1905 for Rudolf Kroening parents are Friedrich Kroening and Louise Reimer......I dunno, am I digging myself into another hole here?  But you have to admit, this is interesting stuff.


I have to thank Kim Robinson another descendant of Ferdinand for the following photo of him and some of his children. (I believe MOM is Mary Kraning Wasylenko)





I have been unable to locate Ferdinand in the 1906 census.  He is living on his homestead in Seven Sister Falls with his wife Anna, son Jacob and daughter Mary on the 1911 census,  lines 12-15 as seen in figure 3-1 below.  This was very difficult to find as the penmanship is bordering on illegible and had been transcribed as Krosing.  Ferdinand now calling himself Fred is listed at 25 years old born in June of looks like 1835 but possibly should be 1885 (which is still incorrect).  It also says he immigrated in 1906.  Further along the line is the section number which matches the patent he received in 1921 for his homestead, after several cancellations and reinstatements by the government.


On the  1916 census for the Canadian Prairies, let me tell you it was once again not an easy task finding him and his family, but perseverance paid off and we have that info, such as it is.  He is Fred Craning 45 years (that would make his birth year 1871, so we are getting warmer) and his wife is Mary, Jacob is Jake, Mary is Mary, and there is another daughter Lydia? and a child 1 month old with no name.


On Ferdinand's Death Certificate, his parents are listed as Christ Kroening and Louise Hofler. It also gives his wife's name as Paraskewia Blich.  Can this family get more confusing?




(Thank you Kim for providing this info, Kim's family tree can be found here


Note: info on all children listed after Ferdinand's at bottom of page.

I have to thank the late Susan Izzard for her help with Ferdinand's family information, she was a valuable source of information, a new found cousin that left us far too soon, and I miss our chats.


Figure 3 - 1



His naturalization papers give his place and date of birth as previously noted.  He indicated that he emigrated from Zhitomir, Volhynia, Russia, in 1903 and landed in Halifax.  There is a copy of his arrival with the “other wife” in his file, follow by a letter denying him citizenship.  This was later rescinded and after 10 years, his citizenship was granted in 1931.



 particularly interesting in the above page is line 16 and the last statement before the signature.




 The above page is a reversal of the decision by the Secretary of State cancelling his approval for Ferdinand's naturalization



Below another request for naturalization which was granted in 1931 shortly before his death. 


Ferdinand ultimately lost his land in a Hydro expropriation for the Seven Sister Falls Dam.  It is said he received $125.00 an acre for his quarter section.[1]  He died in 1936 of Dropsy. He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery in an unmarked grave beside Walter Litz.


There are many questions regarding Ferdinand and his wife.  He came to Canada with Louise, he is on the 1911 census with Anna, and his naturalization papers give his wife’s name as Anna Kadatzko, born in Odessa, Russia. Lena Craining’s (his daughter) 1914 birth certificate gives the mothers name as Tana Carstanskin,  Jack’s baptismal certificate 3 years after his birth, gives his mothers name as Albertine Kadaske, and Mary Wasylenko said her mothers name was Otillia.  Marilyn Firman, nee Wolfram (Jack’s sister in law) says that she was known as Tillie.


Sometime around Jack’s marriage to Helen Wolfram, his mother married Helen’s father Fred Wolfram.  On Fred Wolfram’s obituary his wife is listed as Amelia, however on Jack’s mother’s obituary she is listed only as Mrs Fred Wolfram, Figure 3-18.  This leaves so many questions to confirming her identity.



Figure 3-18



Then there was this little tidbit in the Winnipeg Free Press  6 Sep 1948 that is a bit intersting (?) but it does identify her as Tillie.






Any confirmation of information that would have been available has since been lost when the church at Riverhills sustained a fire which destroyed all their records.  Add to the whole Kroening name issue on various documents from Ferdinand and his children, there are the following various spellings; Kroening, Kraening, Krenning, Kroning, Grenning, Gruning, Craining, Kreinik and probably a few others.. 



[1] This information came from Ben Kraning.

Jacob Kraning (Jacob Husienko)

Jack was born in Winnipeg, 28 Sep 1909. He is shown on the 1911 census for Whitemouth living with Ferdinand and Anna.He was educated in Whitemouth and Seven Sisters. He worked for Creaghan and Archibald, and for the Winnipeg River Timber Company before starting with Winnipeg Electric in 1942.

He married Helen Wolfram 15 May 1932, and had 2 children, Gerald and Rosie. 


In 1948 Jack found out his name was officially recorded at birth as Jacob Husianko and had it legally changed to Jack Kraning.






 Jack died 1 Feb 1971 at Seven Sisters.     His wife Helen Wolfrom Kraning Died Sept 28, 1998.                

















 Daughter Rose in 1994         



 Son Gerlad in 2000  


              Granddaughter Susan in 2005 


SUSAN DONNA IZZARD April 23, 1958 - January 17, 2005 With great sadness and sorrow, we announce the passing of Susan Izzard. Susan passed away suddenly in her home on January 17, 2005. Susan was a loving wife, mother, aunt and friend. She will be deeply missed by all she has loved and touched. Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 22 years, David; son Jack; daughter SanDee. She is also survived by her father Glen Carlson; sisters, Debra Fifield (Melvin), Cheryl Carlson; and her son Mason Snow. Also left behind is the extended Izzard family, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and many more friends. She is predeceased by her mother Florence Carlson. Susan was an active member in her community. She was also a member of the Manitoba Maratimers Association where she was an influential part of the children's activities. Susan was also a very strong believer in family and that was evident in the many family functions she attended and reunions she arranged for family to be together. She was a person with a heart of gold who would put others' needs before her own for family and friends. She was always there to lend a helping hand no matter the cause. Her weekends and holidays were spent out at her cabin in Steeprock, MB where many memories were created with family and friends. Susan enjoyed many activities that included knitting, ceramics, bowling, crocheting and many more. Susan, you will be greatly missed by all. Your memory will be carried on and you will never be forgotten. Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 20 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 21 at 3:00 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one's choice. Arrangements entrusted to: CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME CREMATION AND RECEPTION CENTRE 885-9715 Family and friends are invited to sign the Book of Condolence at



Mary Kraning Wasylenko

Mary was born 1 Jun 1911 in Seven Sisters. On the 1911 census she is listed as 1 day old. She married Harry Wasylenko, and they had 9 children.  Mary died in Beausejour 21 Feb 2005, Harry died in Nov 1953.

This picture was given to me by Susan Izzard, Jack's granddaughter.  She said that it was of Mary and her mother.


MARY WASYLENKO (published on February 24, 2005 Winnipeg Free Press)

MARY WASYLENKO (nee KRANING) Peacefully, on Monday, February 21, 2005 at East Gate Lodge in Beausejour, Mom passed away. She was born in Seven Sisters Falls, MB on June 1, 1911. She resided there all her life. She was predeceased by her husband, Harry; daughters Sonya and Olga; son John; sons-in-law, Erwin, Wally and Eddie. She is survived by her family, Tillie, Paul (Audrey), Bernice, Jane (Joe), Shirley, Wayne (Vivian), son-in-law Jim; sisters, Martha and Lena. Mom was the eldest of five generations having almost 80 grandchildren. The family wish to thank the staff of Crocus Unit at East Gate Lodge for their compassion and care. Her funeral service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, River Hills, MB on Saturday, February 26 at 2:30 p.m. with Pastor George Johnson officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may view at the church prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, if family and friends so desire, donations in Mom's memory may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church Memorial Fund of East Gate Lodge Activities. SOBERING FUNERAL CHAPEL CREMATORIUM, Beausejour 268-3510 or MB Toll Free 1-877-776-2220

Lydia Kraning or Emma Kraning Sauer

Lydia is listed on the 1916 census as being 2 years old. I can find no other record for her.  Emma Kraning was born in 7 Apr 1914 so Lydia is probably another name for her.

Emma married Joseph Sauer. They had 4 children,  2 of their children, Doris and Ernest drowned in a boating accident along with an Aunt Theresa Sauer.

Emma and Joseph lived in Lac Du Bonnet, and Emma died on 7 Jul 1977.  She is interred at the Lac du Bonnet Cemetery.



Martha Kraning Grouda


This picture of Martha and Lena was sent to me by Cousin Joyce.   I am not sure which is Martha or Lena, so if anyone can help me out here, please let me know.


Written on back is says Father Fred, owned saw mill in Russia.








Obituary for Martha Grouda

Peacefully on Sunday September11, 2011 at the Rainy River Hospital, Martha Grouda passed away at the age of 95.

Martha was born on November 14, 1915 in Seven Sisters Falls, Manitoba to Fred and Tillie Craining. She was one of ten children. Martha was united in marriage to Walter Grouda on June 25, 1932. Together they operated Clover Leaf Motors in Rainy River and farmed for many years with her loving sister Lena.

Martha spent many hours and took pride in caring for her park like yard and beautiful flowers. She also loved to sit in her garage visiting and sharing stories with friends and neighbours. 

Martha will be fondly remembered by her many friends, neighbours and family. She was predeceased by her parents, husband, two sons, three brothers and six sisters.

Upon Martha's request there will be no service and cremation has taken place. Interment will take place in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

If desired memorial donations may be made to the Rainy River Hospital, c/o Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0.

Online condolences may be offered at 



 Lena Kraning


Tue, 2006-12-12 00:00

LENA CRAINING                
Age 88
It is with great sadness that the family of Lena Craining announces her passing on Monday December 11, 2006 at the Rainy River Hospital, at the age of 88.
Lena was born on May 20, 1918 in Seven Sisters Falls, Manitoba to the Late Fred and Tillie Craining. Lena began working for the Rainy River Red Cross Hospital in 1950 and retired in 1977. She continued working for the Red Cross until 1983. Lena was very found of the outdoors and always enjoyed a country drive with her sister Martha. Her love for cooking and baking will be remembered by many.
She will be sadly missed by her sister Martha Grouda of Rainy River, On, and fondly remembered by her many friends and neighbors. She was predeceased by her parents, three brothers and five sisters.
Upon Lena’s request there will be no service, and cremation has taken place at Rainy River Cremation Services. If desired donations may be made to the (Just Imagine) CT Scan c/o La Verendrye General Hospital, 110 Victoria Ave, Fort Frances Ontario, P9A 2B7
Online condolences may be left at  

Rainy River Record Obituary

William Kraning

Bill was born  4 Oct 1920, and raised in Seven Sisters Falls, and later joined the Canadian Army Winnipeg Light Infantry (PPCLI) serving for 3 years.

In 1945 he met and married Elsie Maynall in Vancouver where they raised 2 daughters.

He was a long time employee of Rayonier of Canada, Marpole Division, and retired in the earlly 70's.

He died in Kamloops, BC  6 Jun 1988.


This is the only picture I have of Bill and Elsie. Elsie is 2nd from the left and Bill is in the middle, wearing a suit and tie.

others:l-r Helen Craning, Elsie Kraning , Susan, Patsy Kraning, Bill Kraning, Rhonda, Bill Craning, Ron Litz










Elsie Kraning Schmidt

Elsie was born in Whitemouth and married Paul Schmidt. One of Elsie's granddaughters has put together their history and it is here:  Schmidt/Smith Family

Ann Kraning Raines

Ann was born in Whitemouth and married Alex Raines.