It’s Not All Unicorns and Rainbows in Newspapers

A new favorite site of mine is Chronicling America a historic newspaper site. I may be a little late to the party on this but wow, I am impressed. The site offers a huge collection of newspapers covering most of the states in the US from 1789-1924.

I do not have a lot of USA research, but there is the odd family I keep my eyes out for. A branch of my mother’s family the Stewarts left Grey Co., Ontario and moved to Manannah, Meeker Co., Minnesota. They were not the only ones to make this move, other surnames that were in both Normanby, Grey Co., Ontario and then neighbours in Manannah were the Garvey, Ryan, Gibney, Cody, McIntee families and a few others.

Margaret Stewart with her husband Michael Cody joined the exodus and you can find them on the 1897 map of Manannah in Eden Valley. The map on the Historic Map Works site also shows the land owners names right on their plot of land, you can easily see all the other families close by. And one of the reasons I was fooled about when Michael Cody died, his name is on the map in 1897, I soon discovered he was not actually living there.

Margaret and Michael Cody (so I thought) left Manannah and make another move, this time to Montana. I lost track of them for a few years but find Margaret, a widow running a boarding house aptly called Cody House in Helena, Montana. A story surfaced from a relative that Michael her husband, died in a railway accident in the early 1900s and Margaret never remarried.

 

stewart-girls

Margaret (Stewart) Cody with her nieces who helped her run the boarding house Cody House in Helena, Montana.

 

I have always kept an eye out for Michael’s death to back up this tale, I was sure it would be in the newspapers if it was true. Yesterday, within five minutes of searching on Chronicling America, I found the proof. It seems Michael wasn’t actually working when he died but traveling to find work and according to the report was under the influence of liquor when he fell off of the train! The date of the newspaper is 1892, which means that on the Meeker Co.map he actually was not the landowner, he had been dead for five years.

The Livingston Enterprise March 19, 1892

Cody, Michael - The Livingston Enterprise Mar 19 1892  copy 2.jpg

Now I know what the truth of the incident, I am not surprised that it wasn’t completely accurate, it has been over 100 years! The article also mentions that they held an inquest in Bozeman, something  I will be investigating further.

As more and more newspapers are added on-line we will truly be able to discover the day-to-day lives of our ancestors. The good times, the maybe not so good, but life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows.

 

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!