Gedmatch – Quick Tip

Exploring our DNA matches is so much fun. A quick tip when looking at your one-to-many matches at Gedmatch change the selection to the X on the page and see who is matching you on your X Chromosome.

The X has a different inheritance pattern if you are a man you received your X solely from your mother. A female will receive 2, one from her father and one from her mother. It is a different way to explore your matches!


I also recommend more reading about X -Inheritance here (plus there are helpful charts to download).

Let me know if you make any new discoveries!

1926 Canadian Census to be Released this Year

Update: Hold on To Your Hats, The Census is Coming

92 years ago there was a census taken in Western Canada, and it is due to be released this year. The 1926 census covered the Western Provinces of Canada; Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The census was taken on June 1, 1926, more information on the census can be found on the Government of Canada website. 

Wikipedia reports the population of Canada in 1926 was 9,451,000, but it doesn’t state what the population was in those three provinces.


I am still looking for the information that was asked in this census. I also have not been able to uncover the release date for the census.

In preparation, I am creating a list of surnames and places that will be of interest for my family history.

My search will include the following surnames:

Harrop – Balcarres, Saskatchewan, Alberta & Manitoba
Stewart – Yorkton, Saskatchewan
McRae – Alberta

My husband’s family –

Greber – Saskatchewan
Hawkesworth – Alberta
Hodgson – Saskatchewan
Schinkle – Manitoba
Schielke – Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Whitman – Saskatchewan & Alberta
Wiesner – Saskatchewan & Manitoba

And who knows who else will show up once I begin hunting!

Do you think it will be indexed upon release or shortly thereafter? I checked the Library and Archives website but I didn’t find any mention of the release date or if there is an indexing project in place.

I would recommend in preparation for the census release creating your own list, and share it!

Who will you be searching for?

Crafting My Genealogy

I recently joined a group on Facebook called GAACR (Genealogy Arts and Crafts Room) where there are regular posts about creating arts and crafts using our ‘stuff’.

One item caught my eye, it was an old used envelope that was enlarged and framed. The original post had been found on Pinterest and shared with members of the group. I knew that this was something I wanted to try.

I looked through my files and picked an envelope and a few postcards. I scanned them at a high resolution, 3,000 dpi along the longest side. The large scan is needed so the image doesn’t get fuzzy upon enlarging. My first scan I made into a TIFF file and then duplicated as a JPEG which is the file type usually needed for when ordering.

Here are the envelopes/postcards I chose from my collection.

Envelope to jack

Envelope addressed to my grandfather, 1925



The back of the postcard that my grandfather sent to his sister when he was in Ireland after WWI, 1919



Postcard sent from my grandmother to my grandfather when they were dating, 1924


postcard C Coffey001 copy 2

Postcard sent from William Jordan to his niece Christine Coffey, 1916

The next step was to upload them to a photograph ordering site, I used London Drugs. Make sure do to watch for automatic cropping that some of these sites do. I have often found that the automatic cropping will cut off my pictures in odd spots. The size I enlarged to was 12 x 18 and the cost per print, $14.98.

My hardest decision was picking the frames, that took me three trips to the store! The frames were purchased at Michaels where you can often buy an item and get a second one for a reduced price. If you break your purchases up into two separate trips you can reduce the cost of your frames.

I am quite pleased with the results and have hung the pictures in my living room, they are a great conversation piece.


I think there may be room for a couple more!


Let’s Get Started

I am following the challenge issued by Amy Johnson Crow to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.

A simple word, start, but start what? For me, it means starting my 2018 genealogy journey.

I have decided that I will create a second genealogy book this year. The focus will be my maternal Stewart family. I do not have an abundance of information but it can be surprising once you begin gathering information, there is often more than a person thought.

How will I start?

  1. Creating a file on my computer labeled Stewart book, start moving documents & pictures into it, start thinking of the plan
  2. Start asking cousins for their input
  3. Start envisioning what records to include
  4. Start planning if I need to visit an Archives
  5. Start putting my paper files for the Stewart family in a box by my computer

So here we go with the beginning of 2018 and the start to many new genealogy discoveries and accomplishments!


What will you start in 2018?

Finishing the Year Strong

It has been a busy genealogy year for me, I have had the opportunity to travel to conferences, visit cousins and various archives and museums in Canada. I have also made many new friends, connecting with people that have the same interest (PASSION) means there are people to celebrate my genealogy victories with!


I am grateful for all the discoveries I have made this year; finding my 4th great grandmother’s surname Gertrude Cudlipp, military papers at LAC about William Jordan being ill in 1891, a photograph of Samuel Jordan at the RCA room in Kingston, a cousin I had lost touch with, a whole branch of my Jordan family was found after years of searching, being back in touch with another branch of the Jordan family (who found me because of my blog), and the numerous family photographs that have been shared with me by relatives. What a great year.

A trip to Ireland brought me face-to-face with a 3rd cousin who I have exchanged letters with for 10 years. On the same trip we visited a farm in Donegal where people with the Diver surname were living. The man of the house was willing to take the DNA test I brought and we have since confirmed a DNA connection between our families. After receiving the positive result I sent off a Y DNA test to see if the match is through the male line. Looking forward to those results arriving in 2018.

I have been working on journaling, I keep a diary but this journal is specific to my genealogy life, and I love having something to write in it.


It’s hard not to be swept up in DNA phenom, which has added a lot to my family tree. Relationships have been confirmed, but there has also been some confusion with a cousin not matching. I have found DNA a fascinating tool and I am excited to see my new matches in 2018. I wonder what the DNA companies will be offering us in 2018? My wish is for more tools to further help us figure out and group our matches.

A Goal Met

One of my goals this year was to start and complete a family history book. When attending the OGS Conference in 2015 I had visited Lynn’ Palmero’s table in the marketplace and was inspired by what she had done, her book looked amazing. I took her course at The Armchair Genealogist on using My Canvas.  I was hoping this course would be the motivation for me to start and finish a compilation of the research I had done. I am happy to say the Jordan family history book has been submitted for printing and I am waiting for the first copy to arrive on my doorstep!

Now that I have done one book using this program I hope to use the same format to create one for each of my grandparent’s families. The next family I will be focusing on is my mother’s Stewart family, which I hope to start in January.

What’s Up in 2018 for ME

What else do I have planned for 2018? A trip to Quebec City with a visit to their archives to further research my Jordan, Jeffery, and Norton, families.

As far as conferences go I plan to look into attending the I4GG Conference as I want to become more proficient in DNA analysis.

Blogging is also a priority as I enjoy sharing my discoveries and thoughts in this format. I will also be writing posts about my husband’s family so watch for those.

Who knows what else I will do next year, but I hope it will involve travel and more genealogy discoveries!

I am wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and many new genealogy discoveries in the New Year.

Bring on 2018




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’!



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

Not Coming Home – Leslie George Jordan WWII

Day 7 of the 11-day Military Challenge

Leslie George Jordan was born in England to Rose Davis and Canadian John Brown Jordan. His Father John had served in WWI and it is likely during this time that he met Rose, who was a WWI widow of John Peters. Before marrying Rose, John would first have to divorce his Canadian wife, no record of the divorce has been found.

After WWI John worked in England for the Imperial War Graves Association, in 1921 his son Leslie was born. Leslie grew up in England and it is possible that did not meet his Canadian 1/2 brother and sister, Syd & Bea.

At the outbreak of WWII it is not surprising that Leslie signed up, he became a Flight Sergeant Observer with 108 Squadron.

In 1942 Leslie was in Egypt where he and others had the task of bringing Liberator AL577 plane to England. The plane left on March 15th with nineteen men onboard, the flight was going well until they encountered a storm. Liberator A577 crashed near Dundalk, Ireland killing fourteen people, Leslie was amoung the dead.

Most of the information about Liberator AL577 was found on the site WWIINI Archives and Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland – WWII.

Leslie is Remembered with Honour on the Brighton (Downs) Crematorium.


I found a tribute video on Youtube for the people killed on AL577, but I was sad to see they, like me, did not have a photograph of Leslie.

Leslie’s parents returned to Canada where his father John passed away in 1958 and was buried at Cataraquai Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario, his mother Rose Emma Mathews Davis died in England in 1979.


Jordan, John B & Rose

Leslie’s parents John Brown Jordan and Rose visiting family in Montreal


My next step is to try and track down the people mentioned in Rose’s will in the hopes of finding a photograph of Leslie.


*Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons of 36th Bombardment Squadron B-24 Liberator in Adak Alaska.

Souvenirs of War

Day 6 of the 11-day Military Challenge

My grandfather John M. Dever was a Signaller during WWI and he came home to Montreal with a few souvenirs from his time in overseas.

DrawingDever John WWI drawing

DEver John drawing back

France Oct 26/18 Picked up a few yards from the front line.

I have often wondered about the artist and the subject but I have not had any success finding information about either.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 3.15.45 PM.png

If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Postcard in German –

Dever, John M. Postcard - German pg.1

A post to the Genealogy Translations Facebook group gave me some answers –

“Out of Love” is the front of the postcard

?hausen, June 1, 1918.

Dear brother, it is in very good health that I take the quill to write you a postcard. I’m quite fine and hope that the same is true for you. Mother sent you a postcard, too, on May 31.”

The address was a little more difficult, so with possible errors –“Kasimir Gollensteiner”,  (Fussersatzabteilung, 2.Batterie), can’t read the third line. Fourth line says “Deutsche Feldpost”, German military mail.

Dever, John M. Postcard - German pg.2

Poster – Another interesting item he returned home with is this poster which he wrote on the back “I took this off of a wall of a room in a chateau in Tilloy a few days before we captured Cambrai.”

Dever John WWI poster

Google translate tells me the poster reads

The enemy is listening! Caution on the phone!

I am grateful to have these items of my grandfather’s.


My Military Ancestor – Alfred Lee Norton

Day 5 of the 11-day Military Challenge

Alfred was born in Sorel, Quebec in 1888 to parents Thomas Lee Norton, a baker and his wife Esther Douglas, joining siblings Thomas Lee and Alyce May. Four more children were born after Alfred but only one of his younger siblings survived.

When Alfred was ten he lost two family members, his newborn brother Arthur died in February and six days later their mother Esther died as well. After losing their mother things became tough for the Norton children, the 1901 census reveals Alfred’s sisters living in an orphanage while Alfred is nowhere to be found.

Alfred Lee Norton 1900 8 yrs old Quebec Canada 2.

The only photograph I have of Alfred.

At the age of 26, Alfred signed up for WWI on 26th September 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec. It wasn’t his first military foray, he had previously served for three years in the 8th Royal Rifles and two years with the QOCH (Queens Own Cameron Highlanders). At the time of enlisting Alfred had hazel eyes, brown hair and was standing a tall 5’7″, his occupation is a clerk.

Alfred sailed out on the S.S. Andania and served in England and France.

It was during the battle at Ypres that Alfred earned the Military Medal with the 14th Infantry Ballalion when he showed –

persistent devotion to duty at all times since the Regiment arrived in France. This man has shown good ability and has several times carried up ammunition under heavy fire. His conduct under fire in the Ypres Salient has been splendid especially on May 25, 1916, in tending wounded under shell fire



Military Medal

After the war, Alfred returned to Montreal where he went back to working as a clerk. He married Elizabeth Walker Johnson in 1930 at the St. Giles Presbyterian Church.

Alfred’s heath may have suffered from his war service as he died suddenly at the age of 42 with no children.

Alfred is buried in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal, Quebec.

Alfred Norton headstone


Resources –

Veterans Affairs Canada – Medals and Decorations

LAC – Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812-1969

Featured image –  S.S. Ardania from the Wreck Site