Cousins Are THE Best

An amazing email arrived in my inbox from my cousin Nancy. The title of her email was “Do you have this one??”

In the email attachment was a photograph of my 2x great grandfather William Jordan.  This picture is the same one in a booklet done by the Royal Canadian Artillery in the 1930s for their reunion. Her picture was clear and uncropped.

The picture on the left is from my cousin and the picture on the right is the one I copied from the booklet, what a difference! The military medals are so much easier to see in her picture!

You never know what family pictures are waiting for discovery at your cousins’s house.

So I will say it again COUSINS ARE THE BEST!

Thank you Nancy, oh, and keep them comin’!



What A Weekend

I wanted to share my incredible weekend with you.

I am starting this tale by rewinding back to September 2001. My husband and I were getting away on a rare (maybe first time ever) trip just the two of us. I had it all planned out, stops across Ontario and then heading into Quebec, with plans to end the journey at Quebec City. Of course, the trip was mainly genealogy research based.

It was a lovely trip, visiting libraries, archives and connecting with family. One stop was to see my cousin Edith who was living in Cambridge. We had never met face-to-face, up until then our communication had been mainly by letter.

We spent a lovely afternoon at her home and she was willing to let me and my husband run down to the local copy centre with some of her photographs. We made the best copies available on-site (although not the best quality) at that time.


Visiting Edith 16 years ago

Years passed and Edith and I lost touch.

Fast-forward to two weeks ago when I tracked down one of Edith’s nephews who was also related to me. I wasted no time in asking how to get in touch with his aunt. Honestly, I had been scouring obits for Ontario as I thought it possible she had passed away. I was amazed and thrilled to hear that Edith was alive and kicking at 104 years old and living in Gatineau, Quebec.

When I found out that Edith was doing well, I immediately wanted to plan a trip to see her. My husband and I were able to get away so we booked a trip to Ottawa leaving on Thursday and returning this past Monday.

Unable to chat with Edith on the phone, as her hearing is extremely poor, we were traveling with our fingers crossed that she would be home and up for company.

Armed with her address we set out the day after our arrival in Ottawa, knocked on her door, unsure what we would find. Well, I needn’t have worried, once we re-introduced ourselves she quickly remembered us and asked how our cattle farm was doing!


I felt I was more prepared for this visit, I had a bit more research done on the family and was able to ask better questions. I could tell Edith thoroughly enjoyed our visits as she regaled us with stories about times gone by.

Edith could not find one of her photo albums but was willing to have the pictures she on-hand scanned. Thank goodness for the Flip-Pal Scanner!



Gathering of ladies of the Jordan family – L-R Edith, Nellie, Vi, Lillian & Mary Frost taken at St. Joseph’s, Quebec


One photograph Edith had on display was her grandfather and my 2x great grandfather William R. Jordan in full uniform! I had never laid eyes on this photograph before and was beyond thrilled to see as well as scan it!



William R. Jordan – c1885


After three visits with Edith, we had to part and it is so sad to know I will likely not get an opportunity to see her again.

Truly one of my favorite things about researching my family tree is getting to meet relatives like Edith.

*featured image – Edith c1940


Day 11 of the Military Challenge from Ottawa

Today I am concluding the 11-day Military Challenge with photographs of the Memorial in the centre of Ottawa.

It was a surprise trip and I can’t think of a more fitting place to be than our Nation’s capital this Remembrance Day.

I am grateful for the service that my family has given in causes in Canada and further afield. Today I remember all #mymilitaryancestors




Military Records in Canadian Orders-In-Council

I think this post fits nicely with the 11-day Military Challenge

My Genealogy Life

Reposting this for the 11-day Military Challenge

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…

View original post 199 more words

Court-Martialed in WWI

Day 9 of the 11-day Military Challenge

One of my relatives Karl Louis Harrop was court-martialed during WWI. After looking at his service file I also ordered the records of his court-martial from LAC. The new papers had a few hard-to-read statements and no much. What happened to Karl?

Karl Louis Harrop was born in Lancaster, Ontario to parents Robert Louis Harrop and Ella Bolster. His father worked for the C.P.R. and the family was stationed in many places across western Canada.

At the start of the war in September 1914 Karl signed up for service, becoming a part of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. According to his file, he was never, “hit, buried or bombed” but then goes on to say that he was bombed during training in 1915 and received an injury to his head.

In 1918 when Karl’s battalion was advancing he made himself abandoned his position and went missing and was subsequently arrested. Shortly after his arrest, he was admitted to hospital and further examined. His court-martial file includes statements from fellow soldiers describing him as nervous around gun-fire (really?) as well as having nervous tremors.

Upon returning to Canada Karl spent time in the Cobourg Hospital where he continued to recover from the trauma of war. The Doctors felt that his condition was on account of 3 plus years of service and that he was improving.

In 1921 Karl is living with his parents and siblings in Vancouver and working as a laborer.

Karl moved back to Saskatchewan and was living in Regina when he died in 1957. He appears to have never married or had children. Karl is buried alone at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Riverside HARROP, Louis Karl d. 1957 Memorial Park Cemetery, Regina

Memorial found on Find-A-Grave

Military service was not a picnic.


My Military Ancestor, Edward McMahon USA Civil War

Day 8 of the 11-day Military Challenge

Edward McMahon was born about 1837 in Clare, Ireland. He traveled to Canada with his parents and seven siblings at the tail-end of the potato famine.

Upon arriving in Canada their mother Margaret McNamara died and the family temporary lived in Sherbrooke, Quebec where they are recorded on the 1852 census. While in Sherbrooke they lost another family member, 8-year-old Matilda McMahon. The McMahons family split up after that, brother Michael settled in Windham, Norfolk Co., Ontario, Edward went to the US and  Cornelius, the father and it is thought the rest of the siblings went to Normanby, Grey Co., Ontario.

Edward joined the army and was with the 10th Regiment of the US Infantry and took part of the Utah Expedition. He served with them from 1855-1860 and joined up again to fight in the US Civil War. Edward was a member of 72nd Ohio Volunteer Unit, K Company and attained the rank of Captain. His pension file also reveals that on June 9, 1862 he was sent out to Memphis under the command of General Stergis and was taken prisoner by the Confederates near Oklahoma. He was taken to Andersonville Prison and upon the discovery that he was a Commisioned Officer was sent to Macon, Georgia, then to Charleston and lastly to Columbus, S.C. It was when he was a prisoner at Columbus that he made his escape after being a Confederate prisoner for 6 months.

Edward’s account of his escape –

whence I finally made my escape by passing the sentries upon a dark night I escaped from Columbus in the month of November 1864 and arriving the Blue Ridge Mountains into North Carolina and entered the Union lines near Knoxville East Tennessee on or about Christmas 1864

During all this time nearly two months I was nearly naked and without shoes or proper food and having to travel at night and lie hidden during the day exposed to snow and rain and frost…


Edward McMahon Captain of 72nd Ohio Volunteer Regiment, K Company

Edward thankfully survived and the accounting of his experience was recorded when he was applying for a pension.

Edward married in New Orleans to Bridget Maroney / Mahoney on March 28, 1867 and eventually, they made their way back to Canada, settling at Normanby Twp. Edward was a farmer in Normanby and he and his wife had 7 children.

It took quite a bit of effort for Edward to receive his pension, he ended up having to travel back to Ohio and track down fellow soldiers who gave affidavits for his application.

Edward died at his daughter’s home in Lockport, New York on June 20, 1920. His body was returned to Normanby to be buried by his wife in St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Ayton, Ontario.

MCMAHON, Edward obituary


Featured Image of Andersonville Prison from Wikimedia Commons