A Mother Gone Too Soon – Fearless Females

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances?  Describe and how did this affect the family? Blog prompt from Lisa Alzo.

When reading this prompt the first person that came into my mind is Anne Reddy.  Anne had her share of trials in her short life, at the age of 26 she had given birth to 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. She was not new to loss as her own mother Margaret (Pendergast) Reddy passed away when she was 8.

Anne named 4 of her boys William, none of whom survived infancy. In 1879, her third William aged two died 1 day after his 5-year old sister Mary of Scarlatina. Anne passed away one year later giving birth to William number 4. Anne and her children are buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Quebec City.

Taken from ancestry.ca

Taken from ancestry.ca

On the thirtieth day of April one thousand eight hundred and eighty we the undersigned priest have interred in the cemetery of this church the body of Anne Reddy wife of William Jordan aged twenty-five years, deceased on the twenty-eighth instant in childbed.

_____ Jordan also Mary & William. St. Patrick's Cemetery, Quebec City. After a visit to the cemetery in the 1990's no sign of this cross was found.

_____ Jordan also Mary & William.
St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Quebec City. No sign of this cross was found in the 1990’s.

The 1881 census for Quebec City shows the two surviving Jordan children, Samuel & Peter living with their grandparents. Their father William, who was in the military being stationed in Kingston, Ontario. While there William met and married his second wife Agnes Brown. Peter, my great grandfather, grew up not knowing his mother.

I do not know much about the Reddy family other than what can be found in the records. I would like to know where they were from in Ireland, when they came to Canada or anything at all about their lives. It is a tragedy to have lost two generations of women before their children could know them or their stories.

Letter From A Female Ancestor – Fearless Female

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt. Prompt from Lisa Alzo.

I do not have a diary or journal for any of my female ancestors (or male for that matter). I do have a few copies of letters that my grandmother wrote. I believe she used carbon paper when typing which created a duplicate of her correspondence. Not all her letters have survived, but the little glimpse into her life is priceless to me and inspires me to write about my life.

The letter I picked t share with you is written by my grandmother Beatrice Dever, she is replying to a letter from cousin Ned Frost in Kingston, Ontario. His original letter (which I have) is inquiring about the Jordan family and anything she knew of the family’s history.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.56.47 AM

Letter by Beatrice Dever to her cousin Ned Frost.

52 Ancestors: #7 Grace Brown

I don’t have any photos of Grace Brown (Coffey) but I feel like she has such an interesting story, which is yet undiscovered. Grace was born in Ireland probably Dublin, to parents John Brown and Mary Boyd. Grace grew up in Kingston, Ontario with her 8 siblings. She married William Coffey on the 22 March 1860 which lasted for 42 years until her husband’s death. Grace was a widow for the next 20 years until she passed way in 1922. Her obituary is below.


The Daily British Whig Tues. Aug. 22, 1922

The Late Mrs. Coffey

Mrs. Grace Coffey, widow of the late William Coffey, of this city passed away at the home of her daughter Mrs. Joseph McAuley Gananoque on Sunday after a short illness. The deceased was born in Ireland eighty-seven years ago but resided in Kingston most of her life. There are surviving two sons, William and Thomas, and one grandson William, and six daughters Mrs. George Kennedy, Stratford; Mrs. W.F. Lowe, Los Angeles; Mrs. Hughes, Port Hope; Mrs. Kayes, Rivers, Man.; Mrs. McAuley, Gananoque and Miss Coffey, Montreal.

The remains were brought to Kingston, Monday, and the funeral took place from 315 Johnson street the residence of William Coffey, to Cataraqui Cemetery at 3 p.m. Tuesday, under the direction of James Reid, undertaker, Rev. Mr. Duncan pastor of Bethel Church officiated. The casket was banked with beautiful flowers from relatives and friends, expressing the affectionate regard in which the deceased was held.