Working on Ships in 1800s

Jeremiah Norton was a carpenter on various ships throughout his career. Jeremiah was born in Great Yarmouth on the 29th of August in 1781, he stood a modest 5’4″ and set sail in 1805 at the age of 24 years. An anchor and a half moon tattoo was proudly displayed his on his left hand.

When he first went to sea he was already married, to Elizabeth Jillings, in Great Yarmouth at St. Nicholas Church (image of the Church in 1848). I was able to locate baptisms for five of his children, Mary Ann, Lee Thomas, Richard Lee, Martha and Edward from the years 1811-1825. During this time I assume he was often away on his sea voyages.

With help, I have located seven of the ships he sailed on; Agenoria, Medora, Elizabeth, Cygnet, Campbell, Lang and his final ship was the Norma in 1846. The majority of the destinations of these ships were Jamaica, but the Cygnet took Jeremiah to Quebec in 1838.

Jeremiah and his family eventually left Yarmouth and relocated to Shadwell, near London.  Jeremiah died at sea on the Norma when he was 65 years young and left a love of shipping to his sons. Edward went to sea when he was 14, Lee Thomas/Thomas Lee in 1831 and Richard worked on ships in Quebec where he resided.



Photo found on Pixabay 








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A Fine Celebration

One of the things that I inherited from my grandmother Beatrice (Jordan) Dever was a Royal Canadian Artillery reunion booklet.  She may have attended the event or collected it as her grandfather William Robert Jordan was honoured at the event. The reunion was held in Kingston, Ontario and was reported in the Kingston Whig-Standard on May 23, 1930.

William attended, placing a wreath on the R.C.H.A. memorial along with Mr. W.R. Abbott and Major General R.W. Rutherford.

The reunion booklet contains the programme, the committee members, a history of the regiment and photographs of members.

I have scanned the front page. Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 9.07.34 PM

The Royal Artillery Museum has a write up about William Robert Jordan on their website.

Jordan, mess stitched

Sergeants’ Mess

This photograph of Sergeants’ Mess was probably taken in Quebec City, I came across it on a visit to my great Uncle Herbert Jordan who lived in Montreal. The photograph belonged to his grandfather William Jordan who was a Sergeant in the Canadian Artillery in the 1880s. He started out as a bugler during the Fenian Raids with the Eighth Royal Rifles and served in the Jesuit Barracks in 1870 when he was eighteen years old. He first joined the Eighth Royal Rifles in 1866 as a bugler and later in the Northwest Rebellion where he was promoted to Sergeant.

William had the distinction as being the first to sound call and act as sentry for the Royal Artillery when they took over the Citadel from the 60th Rifles of the Imperial Army in 1871.

He was in the Northwest campaign in 1885 and it was here that attained the rank of Sergeant but he also damaged his hearing due to his proximity to the guns. He also was a bugler and trumpet instructor and then later a gymnasium instructor at the Citadel.

I would dearly love to know in what building this photograph was taken. I haven’t been able to pick him out in the photograph and wonder if he is even in it…I also had to stitch it together the best I could as my scanner bed isn’t big enough for the picture.


William Jordan_1

William Jordan c.1880


Jordan, William older

William Jordan abt. 1935.


Following Her Footsteps

There always so much to see when I travel to Quebec City and I made a point to visit some places that I knew were frequented by my ancestors.

Before leaving I created a list of places to visit and on the list was the Jeffery family home in the 1840s. Robert and Elizabeth (Tipper) Jeffery lived at 43 Ursule Street in the 1840s-1853 with their children. Robert was arrested for domestic violence and ended up in jail, I am not sure what happened to him when he got out but he does not come back and live with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth opened up a boarding house at 45 Ursule Street and passes away in 1853 and her daughter who was living with her relocates to New York.



Here I am outside her home which is now the Hotel Acadia and is advertised as “cozy rooms in a 19th-century townhouse”.



Jeffery, E 1850-51

Quebec City Directory 1850-51.


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The location of where Elizabeth’s home was in Quebec City. It is quite close to many tourist sites.




3 Ways Genealogy Conferences Rock

Why attend a conference? That’s a good question and one it took me a bit to answer.

  1. Learning! Do you know it all? No? Me either, so a conference is a great way to learn from speakers face-to-face. And do you know what? I think every speaker I listened to at OGS 2016 gave out their e-mail addresses, told people to write to them with questions, and…they stuck around their session, just to answer questions!
  2. The expo hall is full of resources, books, genealogy groups who are there to help. And they are happy to!
  3. Networking!! Huge! You meet people, and they may be researching where your ancestors lived. They might have access to resources that aren’t on-line, and fingers-crossed, may offer to do a look up or two for you!

This happened to me at the Ontario conference. I had a friend who had a friend… who has access to the archives in Quebec, and she offered to help me with some research. I sent her an e-mail when I arrived home and Bingo – she’s going to see what she can find.

Needless to say, I may have gotten a little carried away when I first sent her an e-mail and gave her the information I had on Richard Lee Norton. And while I was looking through his records I was reminded that his mother-in-law owned a house in Quebec City at 43 St. Ursule Street in the 1850s…so I told her about her. Oh but then I also remembered that her brother-in-law owned the London Coffee House in Quebec City in the 1860s, so I asked how I would access any records from that. There may have been a couple other people I had some questions about as well. Too many questions? YES! I was so excited I couldn’t stop myself, and I didn’t want said genealogist to say later that she could’ve looked for that record has she known. So I laid it all out, well not all but a lot! (I actually did hold back some questions). I also was very clear that she could just point me in a direction and I would be very happy to do it myself. It is very satisfying to be able to ask specific questions to someone who knows how to access the records!

Back to the idea of going to a conference, I would say GO, hurry and GO. Who knows what you will gain from it? What I know is it may lead me to getting answers to  questions I have had for about ten years!

Maybe there is a trip to Quebec in my future and with some guidence may finally make some progress on this family!

P.S. I don’t want to name names in case she gets bombarded with questions but a huge shout out to Gail and Sharon, you know why!


Arrested at Age 8 -Anne Reddy’s Story

A sad Irish tale in Quebec City.

The Morrin Center is one of the places I visited on a recent trip to Quebec City. It is now home to the Quebec Literary and Historical Society which have called this building home since 1868. Previous to this it was the city jail. I am particularly interested in this as I have found multiple records that indicate my great great grandmother Anne Reddy had been arrested starting the age of eight. On the tour, we were able to view the cells that the prisoners were housed in the basement of the building. When we descended to the basement and walked into the cells I found it stifling. I cannot imagine what it would have been like back in the 1860s with all the prisoners and the unwashed bodies. It would have been unbearable.


During the tour, our guide explained that the men were housed in this building and the women and children were actually kept across the street in a separate building.

My great great grandmother Anne Reddy was born in Quebec City to parents Thomas Ready/Reddy a labourer and Margaret Pendergast. Anastasia (Anne)  and her twin sister Cecilia were baptized together at Notre-Dame Catholic Church on the 16th of February 1854. In 1862 at the age of thirty-five Anne’s mother Margaret died by ‘an act of god’ according to the coroner’s report, leaving five children, the youngest being the twin girls.

Searching through the Quebec Archives website I was surprised to see the Reddy name appear. It took a while before I did a search for each of Anne’s siblings and their names kept appearing under the Quebec Prisoners in the 19th Century. I ended up creating a spreadsheet so I could see if the information correlated with my tree. I have arrived at the conclusion that many of the Reddy arrests are my gggrandmother Anne and her siblings. According to what I have been able to glean off the archives site Cecilia was arrested nine times, mostly in 1865, Mary twenty-nine times, Bridget eight times, the father once and Anne herself nines times with seven of the arrests between 1865-66.

I am not sure what happened to the Reddy family but what I do know is that their mother Margaret died in 1862 and I can only assume that things quickly deteriorated in their home.

Anne died at the age of 26, she had given birth by this time to seven children, two of whom died within a day of each other at the age of two & five years old. Her only surviving children were Samuel & Peter Jordan. Peter who is my great grandfather lost his mother when he was two. I will continue to pursue this on his behalf and uncover more of the Reddy family’s story.

Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte has posted that there is a new book being released on the Morrin Center that I look forward to reading!

JORDAN (Reddy), Anne copy

What I think is Anne’s & her children’s marker in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Quebec City. Sadly this is now gone and there is nothing at the cemetery to indicate her grave.

I did inquire if there was more information on these arrested at the archives but was told that there was not in the cases of ‘loose, idle & disorderly‘. I do think that there is more that can be explored here and I will post my finds on the Reddy family.

I have yet to discover where in Ireland Thomas Reddy the father was from but who knows what the records will reveal!

P.S. This was not the only ancestor in my tree that was arrested. Robert Jeffery who I have written appears to have actually spent time in this jail.



Discovering Mind-Mapping

Ok, so I know I am late to the party on mind-mapping but I seem to be late to most parties.

I am determined to learn some of the techniques that the genealogy giants keep talking about. I attended Thomas MacEntee’s session on Mind-Mapping and after fumbling his introduction I sat down to see what it is all about. Thomas introduced us to a quick and easy use way to mind-mapping called Popplet. This is a free-to-use program, of course if you subscribe and pay you will get more bells and whistles. I wanted to give it a try and decided to map out what little information on I had on my ancestor Michael McMahon. Like many of my Irish ancestors, he proves a bit difficult to research (note: I didn’t say impossible, which is how I feel!)

I logged into Popplet and started writing and adding records. It didn’t take me too long as I I don’t have oodles of information, but what I do have now is a visual and I like visuals. Here is a peek at what I created in about 15 minutes.

McMahon - popplet

I will also share the link to my popplet and where you can actually read the graphics and see the comments that I made. All in all a great tool and one that I will use more in my research.

And if you have some clues for me to discover where them McMahon’s be hiding be sure to comment!