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.
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.
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.
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.