Why I Follow Genealogy News Bloggers

I have three genealogy bloggers I follow for the most up to date information in the Genealogy world; Gail Dever, John Reid, and Dick Eastman. The benefit of following these bloggers is that I hear what is new in the world of genealogy. They share new databases, database updates, news stories, and general genealogy news. There are other bloggers worth following but these three are amoung my favorites.

My latest discovery was thanks to Dick Eastman’s newsletter. He recently shared in his newsletter that more North Carolina newspapers had been added to DigitalNC AND I found a news article about my great grandfather’s first marriage. I really would have never found out about this update otherwise.

My great grandfather, William Harrop was born in Etobicoke, Ontario in 1854 to parents Lewis Harrop and Anna Eliza Stickle. William was the last of their five children, his father passed away when he was seven, which was followed by the family relocating to Orangeville. William apprenticed as a butcher and volunteered with the 36th Regiment for Peel County and 1891 he was farming in East Assiniboia (Saskatchewan). William was quite a successful farmer and eventually owned a full Section of land. The remoteness of the location meant finding a wife pretty challenging. In 1897 he replied to a newspaper ad posted by a widow living in North Carolina, she was seeking a husband. I am not sure how common this was back in the day and if it was frowned upon? I guess it would be a version of todays dating apps.

Dick Eastman’s mention of North Carolina’s newspaper and instantly my curiosity was sparked. And sure enough, the details of their courtship was revealed.

The Goldsboro Headlight ran the story:

Mrs. Belle Cornelius, of Iredell county, was married at Newton Monday to Mr. William Harrop, of Ontario, Canada, and she and her husband arrived there on the noon train. It seems that there is a bit of romance connected with it, says a correspondent to the Statesville Landmark. Some months ago Mrs. Cornelius advertised in a matrimonial paper for correspondents on the subject of matrimony. The gentleman above referred to answered the “ad” and a correspondence was kept up which soon led to their engagement. A place of meeting was named with the understanding that if they were pleased with each other they were to be married. They met at Hickory, Monday, and I suppose the “looks” were satisfactory, as they drove to Newton and were married. Mrs. C. was to meet and marry another gentleman on the 15th inst., but after her marriage on Monday she telegraphed lover No. 2 that he need not come. I learn that they will make their home in Canada.

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The Goldsboro Headlight, Aug 12, 1897 describes the meeting of Belle (Sherill) Cornelius and William Harrop

I love this story! I knew bits about this story thanks to other newspapers, but I did not know that Belle was the one who put in the ad, about them meeting face-to-face 1 day before they married, and that he was not her only suitor!

After the marriage, Belle and her daughter Flora Belle came to the Harrop farm and called Balcarres, Saskatchewan home for the next seven years. In 1904, the love-seeking Belle passed away, her daughter Flora Cornelius moved back to North Carolina where many of her siblings resided.

Harrop, Isabelle headstone

Sacred to the memory of Isabella M. Beloved Wife of William Harrop died Sept 6, 1904 Aged 50 years and 2 months. Indian Head Cemetery, Saskatchewan

William was widowed for three more years until he married Rachel Hodgins in 1907. I think it fairly likely that they also met through a newspaper ad.

William Harrop & Rachel Hodgins 2

William Harrop with his 2nd wife Rachel Hodgins c1907

Thanks to ALL the genealogy news bloggers and all the work they put in! You are consistently helping me to make new discoveries in my family tree.




WWII Honours & Awards Indexed on Library and Archives Website

Looking around the Military Section of the Library and Archives Canada website I came across a link to a searchable database of WWII Canadian Army Overseas Honours and Awards. For fun, I put in a couple of surnames in the hopes of finding a relative mentioned. You how it is, if there is a searchable database we genealogists go through our list of names in the hopes of a hit.

And BINGO! I found my 2nd cousin once removed and the record had some amazing details! Leslie Gordon Norton, the son of Ernest Thomas Norton & Catherine Whiting was a Regimental Signaller with the Essex Scottish Regiment.

On October 16, 1944, the Company was near Woensdrecht, Holland, the rest of the information comes from the document found in the database:

 “Enemy fire in this sector was quite heavy, and the slit trench which Private Norton was occupying, received a direct hit, killing one occupant and wounding Private Norton and the other two occupants. Private Norton allowed the other wounded men to be evacuated, but insisted on remaining to work on the damaged wireless set and complete artillery fire orders, which he had been transmitting. He remained on duty giving clear and accurate call signs for an hour, despite the intense pain from his wounds and the continual enemy fire, until relief signal personnel arrived.

Private Norton’s calmness, calmness, courage, devotion to duty exceptional, and he was instrumental in maintaining vital communications within the company.”

This earned Leslie the Military Medal.

In 1948 he was married to Margaret Brown.

NORTON, Leslie Gordon engagement announcement

1948 news clipping of my grandmother’s

Have a look at the WWII database at the LAC website and hopefully, you will find a relative listed there too!


More Newspaper Finds at BAnQ

If you follow my blog you will know I have been having an absolute blast searching through old newspaper. The BAnQ (Quebec Archives) site has either made some changes to their search engine, added new papers or I have gotten WAY better at searching!

A few of my latest finds include

  1. a clipping of A. E. DeForest from Brooklyn visiting their cousins in Quebec City, the wife of Peter Jordan. This clipping further solidifies that Margaret Jeffrey who married James Atkins had a daughter Lillian who married Arthur DeForest. Her visit was to Caroline (Norton) Jordan who was Margaret Jeffrey’s niece.
    Liliian & Arthur DeForest visits Peter Jordan family

    Quebec Chronicle, July 17, 1908

    2. a fantastic story of William Jordan being recognized for his long military service. He was presented with a “gold-mounted ebony cane”, I wonder what happened to the cane?

    Wm Jordan long career retires 1905

    Quebec Chronicle Sept 29, 1905

Serg. W. Jordan Honored on Retirement from Service on the Citadel

The members of the Sergeants’ Mess R.C.G.A., assembled together yesterday afternoon to present Sergt. W. Jordan with a gold mounted ebony walking cane as a souvenir on his retirement from the service. Just thirty-four years have elapsed since Sergt. W. Jordan joined the then School of Gunnery at the Citadel, Quebec, having thus served longer than any officer, non-commissioned officer or man in the permanent force of Canada. The Sergt. was one of the first to join under Col. T.B/ Strange after the withdrawal of the Imperial troops from Quebec in 1871. The late Col. C. E. Montizambert was the second in command at that time. This non-commissioned officer served in the Northwest rebellion and wears the medal of that campaign; also the long service and good conduct medal. At present this veteran is represented in the permanent corps by two sons, one Q.M.S. Instructor at an early period in his career.

 Nevertheless, the old soldier is hale and hearty and retires with the earnest wishes of his comrades that he may live for many a long day to come to enjoy the munificent pension of 62 cents per diem, and thus serve as an object lesson to the youth of Canada aspiring to fame and wealth.

I wonder if the last few sentences were tongue-in-cheek?

3. This clipping was a great discovery as I did not know about Richard Lee Norton jr.’s military career, nor had I ever laid eyes on him!

Richard L Norton II

Quebec Chronicle, June 23, 1902

Color-Sergt. Richard Norton

Son of the late Captain Norton, of Yarmouth, Eng., was born in Quebec in 1859 and joined the 8th Royal Rifles in 1870, when Lt.-Col. Reeves was in command, and remained in the corps up to the present day, and is one of the crack shots of the regiment, being a member of the Rifle Association from its origin, and was a member of the team that carried off the British challenge shield at Ottawa in 1886 and also a member of the team that won the Gzowski Cup at Ottawa the following year. He also holds the D.R.A. bronze medal, the C.M.R.L. special badge for the aggregate of 1897, P.Q.R.A., also badges for the 1891-93 and 1897, etc., together with having received a first-class certificate from the St. John, P.Q., R.C.R.I. He received the long service decoration May 9th, 1902.

A Color-Sergeant is the equivalent of a Warrant-Officer.

I have really been enjoying my discoveries! Other things I have found are school achievements, sicknesses and on top of obituaries, when relatives acted as pall-bearers at a funeral.


Newspapers at BAnQ

I live 4,000 kilometers away from where I need to do most of my genealogy research and because of that, I rely heavily on what I can locate online.

I often go back to a web site and redo searches, try new variations in the hopes that I will come across something new.

Yesterday I searched the newspapers (again) at the Quebec Archives site BAnQ and had success.

The first article was a death announcement for Caroline (Jeffrey) MacKay. Caroline was the daughter of Robert Jeffery and Elizabeth Tipper. She was married twice, her first marriage was to Frederick Yates / Yeates in 1841. By 1851 they had buried two children and Caroline was a widow. She married a second time to James MacKay in Montreal in 1851. By Caroline’s death in 1885 at the age of 63 she had buried two more children. The only mention in the newspaper of all these tragedies was little notice in the Quebec Morning Chronicle & Commercial & Shipping Gazette in May 1885 of Caroline’s passing.

Jeffrey Caroline d 1885 Morning chronicle and commercial and shipping gazette, 28 mai 1885

At Richmond, on the 20th of May, Caroline Jeffery, eldest daughter of the late Robert Jeffery, Master stone cutter, of Quebec, and beloved wife of James McKay, Esq.

My favorite find was the notice of death of John Tipper. I had been searching for what happened to John for years. What I knew was that he was born in 1803 in Kingston, Ontario to John Tipper & Gertrude Cudlipp. John’s mom Gertrude had died in 1805, John’s father was a soldier with the Royal Artillery had gone blind and had been put to pension. John Tipper Jr. married Catherine Unkles Taylor in Quebec City in 1839, he was a butcher by trade and had one son that survived childhood. His wife Catherine and son end up in New Jersey with no trace of the father. I always wondered what happened to him, and now I know. On August 10, 1849 John died in Quebec. I have yet to find the record in a church for his death or a burial location, but at least I know have a date to work with.

John Tipper d1849

On the tenth inst., aged 46, Mr. John Tipper, Butcher.

One little line with no details other than his age, death date, and occupation, but I was so happy to find this notice yesterday! I did spend some time looking through the church records on Ancestry but so far have not found his death entry. To date I have not found the burial location in Quebec City for John’s parents, some of his siblings and their children, it has been frustrating not knowing where this family is buried. I keep hoping to find one death record that mentions where their final resting place is.

One other small notice that made the paper is John Tipper Jr.’s son, again John Tipper traveling to Richelieu, PQ from New Jersey in 1887.

John Tipper - L'Étendard, samedi 17 septembre 1887

John Tipper – L’Étendard, samedi 17 septembre 1887 M. John Tipper et sa dame, d’Englewood, N.J. sont enregistres an Richelieu

The hunt for the Tipper family continues!



Newspaper Love

A discovery yesterday over at Newspapers.com further proved my theory of the connection of descendants of the Jeffrey family from Quebec.

I have written about the Jeffrey family in a series of posts and thanks to a search at the newspaper’s website I have found another link binding the descendants. If you are curious here are the links to my previous posts; Robert Andrew Jeffrey, Elizabeth Jeffrey, Margaret Stockell Jeffrey, Hannah Pozer Jeffrey, Caroline Jeffrey

Yesterday I found the wedding announcement for Lillian Emily Phillips. Lillian was the granddaughter of Margaret Stockell Jeffrey and her first husband George Humphry a ship captain from Devon, England. I have spent years tracking down the complicated lives of the Jeffrey family and this clipping further confirmed the connections I have been making.

The news article was printed in The Standard Union Brooklyn, New York, October 15, 1903. Lillian was married to Arthur DeForest and the newspaper was kind enough to mention the attendees of the wedding. The mention of an imported wedding dress passed down through the mother’s family is so intriguing to me, I would love to find a photograph and hear the story about this dress.

DeForest wedding 1 The Standard Union Brooklyn NY Oct 15 1903

Philips & DeForest wedding The Standard Union, NY Oct 15 1903

DeForest wedding 2The Burroughs and Sutherland family from East Sound, Washington were descendants of Margaret’s second marriage to James Atkins and half cousins of the bride. From Chicago was the Simonds and Milligan families who were descendants of Margaret’s sister Elizabeth (Jeffrey) LapriseDeForest wedding 3G & W Jeffrey would be descendants of Margaret’s brother Robert Andrew Jeffrey of Levis, Quebec.

I am still trying to figure out the connection that Miss G & K Perkins of Cornwall, Ontario has to the couple. I built out their tree and there was nothing obvious to me as to the link.

I have also been using DNA to make connections to these long-lost branches. The enthusiasm amoung the matches about links that tie us back to Robert Jeffrey and Elizabeth Tipper in the early 1800s may not match mine but I am persistent! I have found the descendants of Robert Andrew Jeffrey almost all in the USA are very willing to put up with my requests!

For me, the Jeffrey family research has been a journey of rediscovery. Each person found helps me to piece our family back to a beautiful mosaic of families, countries, loss, and survival.







Connection Made 126 Years Later

It has been slow going for me to link a letter I found in my grandmother’s papers to living family members, but guess what? It has happened.

Yesterday I logged onto Ancestry and on the home page, there is an interesting notification that shows up if someone edits a record you have saved to your tree. A note appears telling you a change was madeScreen_Shot_2019-08-03_at_6_02_32_PM

I quickly clicked on the person’s name to see why they would make a change to this record. And from there I was able to message them asking if they were researching the Brock family from Hackney, England. I had little hope of hearing a reply, you know how it is, but reply they did! And I have been on top of the world ever since.

Back story

I have been researching the Brock’s almost since I started working on my family tree. It all began with a letter found in my grandmother’s papers. And it meant going to the Family History Library and ordering records in. When the 1881 census for England came out on CD I bought it, just to find this one family. Slowly the puzzle unraveled. There they were four people living at the address 93 Glenarm Rd. in Lower Clapton, but they were all listed as siblings, there were no parents. Time and research filled in the blanks. I was happy to realize that these children including the letter writer Martha Brock, were writing to their uncle Richard Lee Norton who had settled in Quebec City in 1854, my great great grandfather.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 4.51.12 PM

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snips of the letter written in 1883

Now back to present and me checking my email constantly with hope.

Later in the evening, I received the reply and to be honest, I was sort of scared to click the email in case it was another, “no, not my family, just a collateral line…”. But I couldn’t help myself and it was kinda that message BUT and this is huge, he knows descendants of the family!

They may not be as interested in the family tree as I but they have been found! I am not sure what they are going to think about some Canadian who has been working on their family tree for over 20 years but as they live in New Zealand so I am guessing/hoping it’s gonna be ok!

A huge shout out to my new favorite Britt who made a small correction to a record, replied to my message, and sent me a copy of the handwritten family tree. He has given me a Christmas present in July.

Title: I am counting the connection lost from the date Richard Norton died in 1893 in Quebec City.

Richard Lee Norton’s 200th Birthday

Today marks the birth of Richard Lee Norton in Norfolk, England, my great great grandfather. His father Jeremiah Norton was a shipwright who likely was away from home for months at a time, and his mother Elizabeth Sharp kept the house running. The family lived in Kings Lyn, Norfolk but also seem to have connections to Great Yarmouth where many baptisms took place.

Richard was not baptized until he was 10!

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13 Jan 1830 Richard (born June 1819) Jeremiah & Elizabeth Norton, Shipwright

The records of his shipping career have been hard to find and that is likely how he ended up marrying a Canadian girl. In 1854 at St. Andrew’s Church he was joined in marriage to Hannah Pozer Jeffrey and they made Canada his home.

Between 1854-1877 they had eight children, their second oldest Thomas Lee Norton’s baptism in 1857 refers to Richard’s livelihood, stating he was a Captain of the steamer Montmorenci.


Baptism of Thomas Lee Norton in 1857 in Quebec City mentions his father Richard being a Captain of the Steamer Montmorenci

Richard’s life appears to be fairly uneventful as I have not found an abundance of records of the family in Canada other than the usual baptism of children, census records (except 1881), and if a photograph of Richard exists I have yet to find it. Only one of Richard’s children predeceased him, Alfred in 1879.

In 1893 at the age of 74 Richard passed away, his obituary was in the Quebec Morning Chronicle

Oct 30, 1893
Norton – On the 28th instant, Richard Lee Norton, snr., aged 74 years and 4 months.
The funeral will take place from his late residence 444 St. Augustin St., this (Monday) afternoon, at 2 o’clock, to St. Matthew’s Church, and thence to Mount Hermon Cemetery. Friends will please accept this invitation.
Montreal, Brooklyn, Chicago and London, Eng. papers please copy.


Peter J Jordan standing beside his in-law’s headstone in Mount Hermon Cemetery, Quebec City. In Loving Memory of Capt. Richard L. Norton Died Oct 29th 1893 age 74 years also his wife Hannah Pozer Jeffery died Jan 20th 1917 age 83 years Erected by their daughter Carrie Norton Jordan

My most burning question about Richard is his career, I have checked Lloyd’s Register for Ship Captains, as well sent emails to many places for mariners records in Canada, I am unsure of why he is not mentioned at all.

An overview of Richard’s siblings.

Richard had five full siblings and one 1/2 sibling, I hope to be able to connect with descendants of them all.

His siblings:

1) William Jeremiah Norton b.1806 in Kings Lyn, Norfolk.
2) Mary Ann Norton b.1811
3) Lee Thomas Norton b.1816 worked as a Mariner, moved to London and married Rebbecca Garrard and later Mary Boughton. As far as we know he never had children.
4) Martha Norton b.1822 married Robert Brock and lived in Lower Clapton, Middlesex. She had 4 children and died in 1877.
5) Edward Norton b.1825 first went to sea in 1839 as a boy. He is 5″3′, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He also has for marks – EN on right arm. Has not served in the Royal Navy but has been in foreign service. When unemployed resides in London according to records. (from his mariner record)

His 1/2 sibling Samuel Wright’s family ended up in Australia and DNA has reconnected us!

My hope is to get to Kings Lyn and Great Yarmouth in the future to explore the areas where my Nortons lived.

Happy Birthday great great grandpa Richard!