add-heading

Making a Plan for 2017

I first started researching my family tree in the basement of my home which was located in a very remote place in Northern Alberta. I was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and was a tad lonely. I found I could research in small quick moments during the day and sometimes in the evening once the kids were tucked in. I was looking for some way to channel my love of family history and took a class offered by the local genealogy society, and I haven’t been able to stop since. I have to say it was very slap-dash and as I have learned not the most efficient way to approach this hobby.

What I didn’t know when I started researching my family tree –

  • how this hobby would branch out and become a full-time interest that would change the scope of family holidays, my free time, and my budget!
  • how important it is sourcing my information is! 
  • how much I wish would have focused more on writing in my English classes…
  • how much information would come on-line
  • that paper-less was an option
  • how much genealogy travel I would want to do

Now that I have gathered a fair bit of material, my goal with my research is to share it. And I don’t mean make my family tree public, what I am envisioning is a family history book with photographs, anecdotal stories, and some social history for context when I really don’t know all that much about an ancestor. With this in mind, I am setting my goal for 2017 to produce a family history book. How will I make this goal my focus for the year?

  • when selecting courses/webinars I will make choices with my goal in mind
  • the same can be said when selecting what sessions I will attend at conferences
  • join Facebook groups with writing as the focus
  • set specific writing goals – to sit down to work on my project three times a weekscreen-shot-2016-12-30-at-12-34-45-pm

This doesn’t mean I will stop researching but the thought of having a finished product to show the next time my family gathers is a vision that I cannot get out of my head!

Setting a goal with my genealogy research was not on my radar when I first started. Now I can see how it will help me to stay the course and have a focused plan for the year.

Have you set your 2017 genealogy goals? I would love to hear what you have planned.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-34-15-pm

Following the Prompt

I have decided to participate in the #52stories project that Family Search is promoting. They have created prompts encouraging people to write about themselves and their experiences.

Initially, I felt that I didn’t have a lot to write about, I didn’t grow up saddling a horse to get to school or have personal stories about war or take part in a world event, but I was happily surprised after writing today on the first prompt. I realized do have my own stories to tell, they may not be huge events in the world but they are my stories and may be interesting to someone in the future. The prompt I started with was “What is your earliest memory of feeling proud of yourself -at school, in sports, in art or music, in a club or scouting?”

I went to my Evernote and created a Notebook and called it #52Stories,  each entry will be a note within that notebook. I also downloaded the prompts as a pdf file and added them to the same Notebook. Once I started writing I realized I would like to highlight some of my memories by adding photos.

Here is one of the entries I made for the first prompt – My earliest memory of feeling pride was in grade 1, I was attending McCaig school in Rosemere, Quebec. There was a draw for a radio, I am not sure how we entered the draw if we received tickets for good behavior or had to sell something. No matter, I was thrilled that my name was chosen which meant I was the recipient of the Sesame Street Ernie bubble bath radio. I remember loving the duckie he was holding and hurrying home after school to share my good fortune with my parents. Everyone was quite happy for me and Ernie had a place of honour in my bedroom. I can recall spending quite a bit of time playing with the dial trying to connect to a station. I am not sure what happened to the radio after we moved but it seems there are a lot of things that did not make the move to Alberta.

A quick search in google images and I was able to find my Ernie radio! I added the photograph to my entry as otherwise, nobody would know how awesome Ernie looks relaxing in the bubbles playing with his duckie!51ip6gmr2il-_sx300_

I realize this post is more personal but hopefully, it will encourage my readers to take the time to write about their lives. I for one would love to know some of the stories about the day to day lives of my ancestors!

IMG_0007

Canadian Orders-In-Council & Genealogy

Yesterday I spent some time searching on-line at the Library and Archives Canada’s website focusing on the Orders in Council. The records cover the years 1867-1924, and are further explained on the site as:

A federal Order-in-Council is a legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, the royal prerogative. All orders in council are made on the recommendation of the responsible Minister of the Crown and take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General.

My first thought was to search for the regiment that my 3 x great-grandfather William Jordan was a member of, “B” Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery. There were 170 results  for this search which helped me to follow the movements of the regiment while he was serving with them.

I then decided I would do a search for the Jordan surname. This brought up 54 results which were easy to look through to see if any pertained to my Jordan family. One record was a great surprise, William Jordan’s retirement was recorded in 1905 with an order-in-council approving his pension a year later.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-01-23-pm

The digital copy of the record is available for viewing on the website and shows William’s pension was signed by Wilfred Laurier the seventh Prime Minister of Canada. Laurier approved the application for William’s pension after his thirty-three years serving as a soldier.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-06-39-pm

screen shot of the record on the order-in-council from the Library and Archives website.

William came out of retirement two years later and served with the 8th Royal Rifles until 1914. With the onset of WWI, William then went to Little River and worked as a shell inspector, he was sixty-two years old. William’s full career spanned forty-six years, a notable length of time.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-12-59-17-pm

William Jordan, 1930.

I encourage researchers to have a look at the Orders-In-Council on the LAC website and be creative with your searches. I suggest not only searching your ancestor’s name but also try a location or a subject like a military regiment, you never know what you will discover.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-00-52-am

Link your Tree to Your DNA Results on Ancestry

I would like to ask anyone who has done DNA testing at ancestry to link a tree to their test. You can make multiple trees at ancestry which means that you can create a DNA tree. This means that your whole family tree does not have to be made public.

no-family-tree

What I did is create a DNA tree which is now linked to my results. In doing that my DNA matches can quickly see if we have surnames or locations in common. It actually didn’t take too long and it makes my results more meaningful.

I would also encourage people to take this test. Ancestry’s DNA pool is growing and it is a wonderful way to find cousins, who knows they may have a picture of one of your ancestors that you don’t. Happy spitting everyone!

canada-42703__180

Maps, Genealogy & Directionally Challenged Me

I am a directionally challenged person (my family gets a kick out of me getting lost leaving my hotel room) so I have generally avoided maps in my research. I may look things up quickly (thank goodness for google maps!) but I haven’t gone deeper.

Well, that is changing. With some wonderful advice from a knowledgeable researcher/author who has taken me under her wing, (Sharon you are my hero) I am getting better.

Today I wanted to find out more about the locations where my family was living in Quebec City in 1900. As per the wonderful instructions I was given I clicked over to the Quebec Archives website  Digital Maps and Plans Collection and I was determined to figure this out! (plus no one was watching to laugh at my missteps).

I am going to walk you through what I did with some screenshots for easier explanation. I started at the home page and under ‘Choose a Collection’ I selected ‘Plans de villes et villages du Quebec’.home-page-banqscreen-shot-2016-09-26-at-12-58-51-pm

I then chose the letter “Q” from the ‘Tous’ title and received three choices: ‘Region’, ‘Quebec, Quebec’ or ‘Quyon’. I chose number 2 which brought me to this page.date-selection-of-map-1898This brought up quite a few choices but I was looking for a map close to the 1900 date so I went with the Insurance plan of the City of Quebec 1898.

This opened up a series of thumbnails, I did notice the first thumbnail was an index and where I wanted to start.  Knowing that the family I was looking for was living on Conroy street I selected the Full-Screen option for easier reading. Once the fullscreen was open it was a matter of finding Conroy in the alphabetic list. Reading across from Conroy it indicated I needed Map 29.index-to-1898-map-sections

And wouldn’t you know it… here is the street that my great grandfather Peter Jordan was living on in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Not only that, but his father was living around the corner on St. Amable.

conroy-street

Iris Catalogue number: 00030028680 Link: http//services.banq.qc.ca/sdx/cep/document.xps?id=0003028680

I am not done, my wonder-guide Sharon tells me that although I know where they lived in order to locate land records I will need to know what the Lot & Block number is. One thing always leads to another in genealogy.

At this point, I am surprised that my directionally challenged self made it this far!

The Harrop Family in Balcarres Saskatchewan.

William Lewis Harrop

I wanted to do a post in celebration of my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop’s birthday. William was the fifth and last child born to parents Lewis Harrop and Anna Eliza Stickle onSeptember 25, 1854, in Etobicoke, Ontario. The Harrop family had moved from New York sometime between 1843-1849, where their first three children were born.

In Etobicoke, the Harrop’s were farmers on land they rented. The father Lewis died in 1860 and was buried at St.-George’s-on-the-Hill Cemetery which is now located in the city of Toronto.

Anna Eliza along with her youngest children, William, Robert, Elizabeth and Mary relocated to Orangeville. Her oldest child Benjamin was married in 1856, moved to Chinguacousy, Peel Co., Ontario where he farmed.

In 1871, according to the Canadian census, my great grandfather William Lewis Harrop is living with the McKim family and working as a butcher’s apprentice. With land opening up in the west William makes a move to the Qu’ Appelle District of Assiniboine which later becomes the province of Saskatchewan.

About 1895 he took out an ad with a matrimonial agency and he struck up a correspondence with his future wife Isabella (Sherrill) Cornelius a widow from North Carolina. They were married about 1896 and Isabella moved with her daughter Flora Bell to rural Saskatchewan. The marriage was not long-lasting, William was widowed by 1904 and Isabelle’s daughter Flora went back to North Carolina, leaving her mother behind in the Indian Head Cemetery.

SCAN0173

The Harrop home in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. c1915

William may have used the same agency to find his second wife Rachel Hodgins who was from Huntley, Carleton Co., Ontario. They were married in Balcarres, Saskatchewan in 1907 and settled into life on William’s already well-established farm located on Sec 1 – 21-12-W2 in Balcarres. Three children were born to them over the next five years and the farm continued to prosper.

fullsizerender-50

Rachel Hodgins & William Harrop c1907

 

The start of the depression hit the farm hard ,coupled with the death of William in 1932, they Harrop family lost the farm that William had worked so hard to get established. Rachel his wife moved to Binscarth, Mantiboa where she died in 1950. Their children all moved to different locations, son Walter to Whitewood in Saskatchewan, Dorothy also to Binscarth and Wilma moved to Alberta.

 

harrop-family

The Harrop family with unknown people. Back row ?, Walter & William Harrop. Front row Dorothy, ?, Wilma & Rachel c. 1920 probably taken at Balcarres, Saskatchewan.

 

 

 

Today is Grandma’s Birthday

I wanted to give a shout out to my grandmother who was born 115 years ago today, September 20, 1901 in Quebec City. My grandma Beatrice Jordan was the first born daughter of Peter and Caroline. Beatrice married John Dever in Montreal in 1928.

Beatrice had many interests, one of them was her family history. I am sure she is the family member who I inherited my genealogy passion from.

Happy birthday grandma! I wish You were still here so I could spend some time with you and ask you a few questions!😘

Me and grandma, 1972