Genealogy Serendipity

Genealogy serendipity seems to be quite common, almost everyone has a story to tell. Although not the first time I have had this sensation and probably not the last, I had one of those moments today that could be described as coincidental or maybe something more.

Recently I have been getting assistance with my Quebec research from a kind and patient soul. This has me reviewing and reading through my research, exploring my records and assessing what I have and what I am missing. I also have been going through Quebec City Directories looking at addresses for my ancestors. Once I have located the addresses I have also been getting familiar with the maps of old Quebec, located also on the BAnQ website. This process is what I was working on when I realized that I had recently walked by a location of a relative’s restaurant.

Samuel Laprise married my three times great grandmother’s sister Elizabeth Jeffery at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City on March 17, 1853. Elizabeth was the widow  of George Robertson and already had a daughter Elizabeth.

Samuel was running the British American Hotel and later the London Coffee House on the Cul de Sac in old Quebec City. These were located in Directories Marcotte of Quebec and their predecessors, 1822-1976.

Discovering these locations I next went to Google Earth to see where it was and found them on the street below that I highlighted in orange.

 

Quartier_Petit_Champlain_-_Google_Maps

Cul de Sac found on Google Earth.

 

Once I saw this location on Google Earth I was instantly reminded of the trip I had recently taken to Quebec City in June and a very particular picture that I took.

 

Fudge shop.png

16 cul de sac was the location of the British American Hotel in 1864 and is now the Fudgerie a chocolate shop.

 

I had walked this street many times during my vacation and had been drawn to this location. I had photographed the street and added it as my Facebook cover picture. When you think about how many pictures I took during the trip of countless locations and monuments the fact that I selected this one to represent my trip on Facebook has some significance to me.

 

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Information the London Coffee House that was owned by George Pozer. This information was found on the website.

 

Samuel and his wife along with their three children left Quebec City in 1868, relocating to Chicago, Illinois. Samuel had his fill of restaurants, once in his new home he worked as a cooper. They did not return to Quebec City and they are buried together in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

 

With help from my friend I hope to learn more about Samuel and Elizabeth’s business located on the Cul de Sac in Quebec City.

 

Tracking Peter Jordan in the Quebec City Directory

Peter Jordan c.1904, he did juggling for sport.

Peter Jordan c.1904, he did juggling for sport.

A wonderfully useful tool when tracking an ancestor’s movements is the City Directories. My ancestor Peter Jordan was born in 1878 in Quebec City, in the 1881 census he is living with his grandparent’s as his father was a widow and off soldiering in Kingston, ON.

In the 1891 census Peter is reunited with his father, brother Samuel, a new mother Agnes and 3 more siblings Mary, John Brown and William.

Jordan Family 1891 Quebec City Census St. Louis Ward p.77

Jordan Family, 1891 Quebec City Census, St. Louis Ward p.77

Peter was married Oct. 22, 1900, in St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Quebec City to Caroline Norton.

Peter & Caroline (Norton) Jordan's marriage record from St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Quebec City.

Peter & Caroline (Norton) Jordan’s marriage record from St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Quebec City.

They had signed a marriage contract two days before their wedding, which I found thanks to the Quebec Archives.

Searching the 1901 census has been futile. I have tried many variations but I have not been able to find Peter in the census. I have yet to sit down and scroll through page by page. On September 28, 1901, their first child was born, Beatrice was baptized Oct. 13, 1901.

Since I can’t find them in the census and I know they later make a move to Montreal I decided to utilize the Quebec City Directories that are on-line at the Quebec Archives /Banq.

1898-1901 – No Peter Jordan in the directory.

Peter does start showing up in the Directories in 1902-1903 and his is occupation is listed as a laundry-express driver and living at Conroy Street in house/apartment 21.

Following Peter through the directories we know he had many different jobs as well we learn where the family lived. Later I could use this information to try and find a photo of the family home.

What I have been able to learn so far is:

1904/05 – Peter worked in a restaurant at St. Louis 86 1/2, the family has relocated from 21 to 12 Conroy Street (unless this was a misprint in the directory). This is the year their son Peter was born August 31.

1905/06 – He was the proprietor of the Mikado Restaraunt on Palace St. (it doesn’t list his home address). A son Samuel joins the family Nov. 4, 1906.

1906/07 – Peter has again switched jobs and is managing The Eastern Provision Co. and his address is given as Conroy 12.

1907/08 – No Peter Jordan listed.

1908/09 – There is a Mrs. Peter Jordan living at St. Patrick’s Street.

1909/10 – this could be when the family moved because I cannot find them in any subsequent directories.

The Jordan family is found in the 1911 Montreal census and is living at 518 Cartier Street.

Their last child Herbert William joined the family August 12, 1914.

Next up will be following the family through the Montreal Directories which are also on the Archives website.

The Jordan family. L-R Peter, Herb with mother Caroline, Beatrice and Samuel in the front. Montreal c.1915.

The Jordan family.
L-R — Peter Jr., Herb with mother Caroline, Beatrice and Samuel in the front.
Montreal c.1915.