You Can Help Index the 1926 Canadian Census

I have been a little focused (alright obsessed) with the potential release of the 1926 Canadian prairie census. After writing some posts about it I have realized that I (and you) can index the census!

It is available as an indexing project at Family Search, I just was on their site and checked.

How do you find it? Log into your Family Search account and select the ‘Indexing‘ tab at the top of the page.Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 10.21.21 AM.png

Under Project Name select Canada and BINGO you are there!

I know what I will be spending my nights doing. The sooner it is indexed it is likely the sooner we will have access!

I do wonder why this has not been announced by Library and Archives Canada to encourage people to get involved?

Interior of St. Matthew’s Church, Quebec City

A recent trip to Quebec City and I was once again walking paths, cemeteries and the roads of my ancestors.


St. Matthew’s Church, 2018

I was able to find out the hours of St. Matthew’s Church which has been converted into a library and made a point of visiting. I had read that the original baptismal font was there and I wanted to see it. Many of my family members had been baptized at the church including my grandmother Beatrice Jordan in 1901 and two of her siblings.

The interior of the church was breathtaking, the walls honouring those that have passed away.


Memorial to the 3 sons of Edwin & Mary Pope


Memorial to the WWI war dead


Memorial to JH Ogilvy & Jesse wife of Charles Percy Dean

And the baptismal font!


the baptismal font in St. Matthew’s Church

Other photos of the interior

I also learned that St. Matthew’s Cemetery has a walking tour Podcast which can listen to at home or when touring the cemetery in person. Along with the podcast, the history of the church can be found on the Ville de Quebec website.

Hold On To Your Hats, The Census is Coming

I have written two previous blog posts about the release of the 1926 Canadian census that covers the western prairie Provinces.

1926 Census to be Released this Year & 1926 Census When – No One Knows

The information on Library and Archives Canada website about the ’26 census has not changed but we are not completely in the dark as to what is going on.

I am happy to report that someone does know. A comment on my blog indicates that the census has been passed to Family Search and their transcribers are working their magic to get the census in our hands.

Nancy states they are indexing

“Name, land description, relationship to head, sex, marital condition, age, place of birth (province if Canada, or Country) ethnicity and year of immigration. Not being indexed is Father’s place of birth and Mother’s place of birth, year of naturalization, mother tongue, and education.”

This is amazing news and thankfully Nancy took the time to give us an update. Hopefully, we will have access to this soon!

A big Canadian thank you to Nancy and all the indexers at Family Search!


St. Andrew’s Society, Quebec City

On my recent trip to Quebec City I was reminded that the section of the cemetery my 2x great grandparents are buried in is a section that has a marker labeled St. Andrew’s Society.


An initial search on Google brought up a list of St. Andrew’s Societies, but little on the Quebec City branch. Internet Archive offered a bit more as I was able to find the Constitution of the Society scanned on their site. The constitution consists of 22 pages and explains the requirements to be a member, you need to be a Scotsman or their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren as well the date of formation of the Society on Nov. 13, 1835, and various goals of the Society. There is also a list of the officers at that time.

The Pistard search feature on the Quebec Archives website located a St. Andrew’s Society fonds. The description of the records state the collection has correspondence, minutes, and financial records of the Society. The Society disbanded in 1977.

I believe it likely that membership to the Society was through my great grandmother Caroline’s grandfather, Robert Jeffrey who was born (somewhere) in Scotland in 1796.

I did not get to the Quebec Archives on my trip but reviewing what is held in this collection will be on my list for my next visit. Maybe, just maybe I will find information about my family in the records.


St. Andrew’s Church, Quebec City



Mount Hermon Cemetery, Sillery, Quebec

On a recent trip to Quebec City I made two trips to Mount Hermon Cemetery to pay my respects to relatives.

There are various members of the Jordan and Norton families laid to rest there. A cool aspect was realizing I had a record at home of the purchase of the headstone for Richard Lee Norton and his wife Hannah Pozer Jeffery by their daughter Caroline (Norton) Jordan.

The receipt for the stone did not have a location, but it was signed by HW Treggett and I knew that the Treggett family had been in charge of the cemetery. A look at the Mount Hermon website and found that the Treggett family managed the cemetery for generations, spanning the years 1865-2014. And sure enough according to their website HW Treggett was in charge when my great grandmother made her purchase in 1931.

JORDAN, Peter stone receipt Mount Hermon(?) 1931

I do not have a picture of Caroline with the headstone but I think she would have been quite proud to have seen the stone installed at the cemetery. Her husband Peter Jordan is pictured standing by the stone many years later, likely c1960.

If you suspect you may have ancestors buried at Mount Hermon, BAnQ website has a searchable index covering the years 1848-1904.

JORDAN Peter Mount Hermon Cemetery

In Loving memory of Capt. Richard L. Norton Died Oct 28, 1893, aged 72 years also his wife Hannah Pozer Jeffery Died Jan 20 1917, age 87 years. Erected by their daughter Carrie Norton Jordan

and me Aug. 2018IMG_6357

IT’S ALL THERE IN BLACK & WHITE Sorry, still doesn’t mean it’s true

Digging into the family tree often leads to more questions than answers. This time I found the answer.

Long before Library and Archives Canada started adding their WWI soldier files online I was systematically ordering the records of family members. (On a side note these records are a treasure and the fact that they are going online for free is is a true gift to family historians).

My family was a very patriotic bunch and I have an archival box dedicated to the 30 plus military files I have collected on my relatives.

Back to the subject at hand. After having collected the service files for my close relatives I started on cousins. George Norton was on the list, having located his service file I proceeded to order the record. After weeks of waiting it arrived in a large envelope in the mail. Dissecting WWI service files is a little tricky but Glenn Wright’s book – Canadians at War 1914-1919, A Research Guide to World War One Service Records is endlessly helpful for gleaning all you can from these records.

What caught my eye other than the fact that George was working as a bartender was a form I had not come across in other service files – Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 7.38.47 PM

George stated that he was his mother’s sole support and that he had two other brothers serving in the military.

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The last line states that he has two other brothers in active service. What? Two brothers? I knew of one brother but not a second. I went back to my tree to try and see what I had missed. George did have two brothers Ernest, whose WWI file I already had and a brother Robert who was born in 1906. Robert would have been too young to serve, so did I miss a child in my research? A look through the records I had collected and I didn’t think so. Maybe George was telling tales? I left it alone, not sure I could solve it.

Newspapers to the rescue. I found this article in The Gazette for Montreal and it mentions George and TWO brothers!

Norton clipping WWI

The Gazette, 14 March 1917

How did I miss Alfred? Well, Alfred was not their brother! He was their cousin, but obviously, he was raised and thought of like a brother.

Alfred does have a sad story. Four of his siblings died in infancy, his mother died when he was 10 years old, and he and his remaining siblings were farmed out to different households.

It seems Alfred was raised by his uncle George R. Norton and wife Sarah Arnold and raised in Montreal. He obviously was one of the family.

Another news clipping recently located in The Gazette tells of a tragic end for his father Thomas Norton’s life. Thomas was working in lumber camps and ended up with frostbite, losing one foot, and gangrene attacking the other one in 1926. Alfred had to make a statement to the police upon Thomas’ death, this statement, as well as the coroner’s report, was published in the paper.

And although Alfred was a fantastic soldier earning the Miltary Cross his life came to a quick and tragic end. He was working as a doorman at the Montreal Athletic Association when he was found one morning by members. Alfred was just 48 years old, his cause of death was syncope, which is in definition is fainting so not likely his actual cause of death, but sufficient in 1930. Alfred left a widow Elizabeth Johnston and no children.


The Gazette, April 5 1930

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The Gazette, April 8, 1930

What have I learned?

Really many things, family sticks together, Alfred was taken in by his Uncle and grew up with his cousins, which led them to consider themselves, brothers. I am comforted knowing that without his real parents, Alfred was in a loving home and well thought of and embraced by his cousins. Most importantly as a family historian, I have learned to take all the information I find and butt it up against what the records are telling me. Any discrepancies could be a clue to a hidden gem.

Yup, even in our families you will find FAKE NEWS!

Alfred Lee Norton 1900 8 yrs old Quebec Canada 2.

The only photograph I have of Alfred c1900

Oodles of Information in Newspapers for Family History

I think newspapers may be my favorite item to research in my family tree. I love that is real time, I love that it can tell a bit of a story (especially when those are few and far between in my family), I love the detail given in some of the older newspapers but I love it most when I find a mention of a family member.

Recently I discovered that has more issues of The Gazette a Montreal newspaper. has issues of The Gazette from 1857-2018! Maybe these papers have been there for a while but they were a discovery for me.

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I spent the next three days researching my Dever, Norton & Jordan families and found numerous articles to add colour and detail to the lives of my ancestors. My favorite find was the wedding announcement for my grandparents. My grandmother had kept a lot of genealogy-related items but other than a studio picture in her wedding dress I have very little information about her wedding.

Beatrice Jordan on her wedding day.

Beatrice Jordan

But thanks to finding this clipping I know details about what she was wearing, her bridesmaids, her mother and even her adorable flower girl.

Transcription – The Gazette (Montreal) Jan 25, 1928

At the wedding of Miss Beatrice Mary Victoria Jordan, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Jordan, of Outremont, to Mr. John Dever, son of Mr. S. Dever and the late Mrs. Dever, of Montreal, which will take place this evening at six o’clock at Taylor-East End United Church, the Rev. A. McTaggart will officiate. The bride, who will be given in marriage by her father, will wear a gown of white crepe back satin; her frock, which is fashioned with a bloused bodice and an uneven hemline, is draped at the left side and trimmed with an ornament of pearls. Her veil of tulle, banded with Chantilly lace in cap effect, will be caught at the sides with clusters of orange blossoms. She will wear silver shoes and will carry a shower bouquet of lily-of-the-valley and butterfly roses. Miss Isabel Norton, cousin of the bride, and Miss Lillian McGregor will be bridesmaids, and will be gowned in bouffant frescos of chiffon taffeta with trimming to match their gowns, and will carry arm bouquets of Columbia roses. Miss Norton will be in pink and Miss McGregor in mauve. Little Miss Dorothy Cartwright will be flower girl, and will wear a frock of pale blue chiffon taffeta and a taffeta poke bonnet to match, and will carry a basket of butterfly roses.

Mr. William Dever will act as best man for his brother, and the ushers will be Mr. Allan Jordan, brother of the bride, and Mr. Walter Dever, brother of the bridegroom. Mr. J. McLean Marshall will play the wedding music, and during the signing of the register Miss Lillian McHarg will sing. Mrs. Jordan mother of the bride, will be gowned in steel blue crepe black satin; she will wear a black silk hat and carry an arm bouquet of Freedom roses. Miss Edna Dever, sister of the bridegroom, will be in a gown of white georgette beaded with crystal, and will wear a black hat. She will have an arm bouquet of Premier roses. Following the ceremony a reception will be held at the home of the bride’s parents, and Mr. Dever and his bride will later leave for New York. Going away the bride will wear a gown of blue pissy-willow silk, a small blue silk hat and a Hudson seal coat trimmed with squirrel. They will reside in Outremont. Mrs. S. Jordan and Mrs. J. Frost, of Kingston, Ontario will be among the guests from outside the city.

Does anyone else when reading about the dresses that were worn, want to recreate them? And how about that seal coat trimmed with squirrel!

Searching can take some time but the rewards and discoveries are worth every second.