Back to Basics

I spent some time today going back to the basics. I have been telling myself for months that I need to review my research to move ahead. I sat down with the information from one of my ancestors that I know I still have many holes. William Robert Jordan was a military man and spent most of his life in the Canadian Military as a soldier and an instructor.
William should be an easy subject to follow, census records, military records, and he married 3 times, so marriage records.
It is not as easy as it sounds. William was born in Quebec City in 1852 and baptized in 1853. This eliminates the 1851 census but what about the 1861? Nope. 1871? Nadda. 1881 – nothing again.
William’s mother died after giving birth to his sister in 1860, no record. Baptism of his sister, not to be found.
The time line does not fill in the holes, but the blanks on the page are screaming at me.
Where did the Jordan family go after William’s birth? Why are they not on the census? I may never know the answers to these questions but the time line is the key to show me where the gaps in my tree are and from there I can plan a course of action.
Hopefully before long some of these gaps will get filled in and I will have a clearer picture of the Jordan family and William.



Names to Faces – Hodgson Family

Here are two photos of 2 people that are more than likely my husband’s ancestors. Both photos are stamped by the photographers whose location was Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. My husband’s family that was from PEI is the Hodgson family that lived in Tryon.
Researching the photographers Geo. H. Cook and C. Lewis does give a bit of a time frame – abt. 1890.
I hoping that someone knows who they are!



52 Ancestors – #12 John Tipper

John Tipper is my first ancestor to have traveled to Canada, arriving before 1796. Until today I didn’t have many details about him. What I did know is that he was a soldier with the Royal Artillery, his wife was Gertrude and she died in Kingston, Ontario in 1805 and the family lived in Montreal, Kingston and Quebec City. He had daughters Anne (married George Stubbs), Elizabeth (married Robert Jeffery), Mary (married John Henry Merckle) and son John (married Catherine Taylor). Today a little more was found out about John Tipper and his family. I have index cards from LAC that a relative had shared with me.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.37.37 PM

I hadn’t spent any time researching the index cards any further and I was looking forward to Glenn Wright’s talk at the 2014 Ontario Genealogy Conference. From the index cards you can go onto the Library and Archives website and delve further into these early military records. This has not been an easy task and I had to refer to the Help button frequently.
I did manage to find this record which shows John in 1813 applying from provisions for him and his 4 children.Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.26.54 PM

The document does point out that John is a widow and the startling item I read is that he is blind.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.27.25 PM

He is supporting his family by turning a wheel for 1 pence a day.
I hope that I can find out more about John and his life in the military – I would also like to learn what happened to his eyes.
It seems that one question can lead to 3 more!


OGS – Genealogy Without Borders

I have happily arrived at the OGS 2014 conference held at the Brock University in Ontario.
My first session yesterday was with Glenn Wright. I have been wanting to attend one of his presentations for the past couple of years and I am happy I did.
The session with Glenn was focused on Canada World War I service records and getting the most out of those service records many of us have sitting on a shelf at home. The first thing to help us gather the most from those records is to create a time-line of them. Start with their enlistment and work your way through the records until you get to their demobilization papers. This will give you a great working perspective to research further into the records. Once you have gathered all the information in a much easier to use format you can then proceed to the Library and Archives website and peek at those war diaries that have been added. You can then get even more details on your ancestors time in the war!
I must have about 20 of those files at home and have decided my #1 project will be to create these time lines.
This is a wonderful project just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Great War!


Lizzie Norton Autograph book copy 2

52 Ancestors – Elizabeth Norton #11

Lizzie Norton Autograph book copy 2

This is my way of sharing an autograph book that belonged to my great great grandmother’s sister Elizabeth Norton. Elizabeth was born in 1862 in Quebec City to parents Richard Lee Norton and Hannah Pozer Jeffrey.

Elizabeth spent her life in Quebec City, she married James O’Grady in 1891 and although she had 3 children she left no descendants. Elizabeth passed away in 1897 at the age of 34, and none of her children lived past infancy. Her sister kept and treasured her autograph book and it has passed down through the family. I have been wanting to find a way to share this book and came up with the idea of putting it into a video. Please take some time to view it, I think you may like it!

The album contains the signatures of -

May H.
Odile Jeffery
Blanche Jeffery
Victor P. Simpson
R J Norton (Richard Jeffery Norton – brother)
Carrie Norton (sister)
Ida Crawford
J. O. G. – (future husband James O’Grady)
N. G. Fellows
Mrs. Fellows
Addie Higgins (Adelaide Higgins)
Emmy Higgins (Emily Higgins)
G. PLante
Blanche Jeffery (cousin)
Odile Jeffery (cousin)
Susie Mathews
Granny Romeril
E. Dyers
Willie Fountain




How Irish Am I? A St. Patrick’s Day Question

I feel like I am pretty Irish. Researching back through my tree I have spent a lot of it stuck in Ireland.
My great grandparents countries or origin are:
Caroline Norton – b. Canada
Peter Jordan – b. Canada
Rachel Hodgins – b. Canada
William Harrop – b. Canada
David Stewart b. Canada
Bridget McMahon b. Canada
Bridget Melody b. Ireland
Samuel Dever b. Ireland

If we go back one generation I have
8 ggrandparents who were born in Ireland
3 in Canada
3 in England
1 in Scotland
1 in U.S.A

I would go back one more generation but most of my 3x great grandparents birth locations are unknown.

My brother did the DNA test at Ancestry and although our breakdown would not be identical it does show him to be predominantly Irish.

I guess it is not a stretch that I can identify with St. Patrick’s Day!


52 Ancestors: #10 Elizabeth (Young) Redmond

Murder is a horrible thing and when you encounter it in your family research it is VERY hard to know how to handle it. It is one thing to find a murder but to also discover a child that has murdered their parent, it is simply shocking. I did not know this story until I was researching a branch in my maternal line. Distance and time had made it so our families were not close, and I would imagine that this would NOT be a story that would be easily shared.
Sadly this is what I encountered when researching my tree. I asked a researcher living where my family was located of any information they could find in the newspaper; that is when it all started unraveling.
It seems to me that when someone dies under these circumstance it can over shadow a life. Family members who are dealing with the fall-out may be forced to grieve in quiet and not spend the time remembering the life that was well-lived. This is a my chance to talk about the life of Elizabeth (Young) Redmond that I have learned through my research.
Elizabeth Young was born in Orangeville, Ontario about 1880 to parents William and Elizabeth Harrop. When she was 8, Elizabeth along with her 7 siblings lost their father who was a gardener. Elizabeth was the 2nd youngest of the children and would have been greatly impacted her loss.

In 1905 when she was 26, Elizabeth married Michael Redmond, a labourer and 14 years her senior. The 1911 census shows the family with 3 children and Michael’s mother Mary (Shields) Redmond living with them, Michael was employed at the stockyards.
The following census in 1921 shows the parents, 6 children and Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth living in the house.

The kids grow up, they belong to the local church groups, play piano, enjoy friendships, and start getting married, and time passes. Michael Redmond beloved father dies in 1936 and is buried

Time & Guide 17 Dec 1936

Time & Guide
17 Dec 1936

Then in 1942 the headlines scream -


The story goes that Elizabeth was set upon by her son Norman and killed. It is a tragedy that has impacted for generations.

Here is one of the articles that hit the paper about the family.

Times & Guide  12 Feb 1942

Times & Guide
12 Feb 1942

I believe Norman spent the remainder of his life in prison and died in the 1980’s. Elizabeth lived a wonderful life she was involved with her community, her church and a wonderful mother. She lived a wonderful life.