Tracking Peter Jordan in the Quebec City Directory

Peter Jordan c.1904, he did juggling for sport.

Peter Jordan c.1904, he did juggling for sport.

A wonderfully useful tool when tracking an ancestor’s movements is the City Directories. My ancestor Peter Jordan was born in 1878 in Quebec City, in the 1881 census he is living with his grandparent’s as his father was a widow and off soldiering in Kingston, ON.

In the 1891 census Peter is reunited with his father, brother Samuel, a new mother Agnes and 3 more siblings Mary, John Brown and William.

Jordan Family 1891 Quebec City Census St. Louis Ward p.77

Jordan Family, 1891 Quebec City Census, St. Louis Ward p.77

Peter was married Oct. 22, 1900, in St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Quebec City to Caroline Norton.

Peter & Caroline (Norton) Jordan's marriage record from St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Quebec City.

Peter & Caroline (Norton) Jordan’s marriage record from St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Quebec City.

They had signed a marriage contract two days before their wedding, which I found thanks to the Quebec Archives.

Searching the 1901 census has been futile. I have tried many variations but I have not been able to find Peter in the census. I have yet to sit down and scroll through page by page. On September 28, 1901, their first child was born, Beatrice was baptized Oct. 13, 1901.

Since I can’t find them in the census and I know they later make a move to Montreal I decided to utilize the Quebec City Directories that are on-line at the Quebec Archives /Banq.

1898-1901 – No Peter Jordan in the directory.

Peter does start showing up in the Directories in 1902-1903 and his is occupation is listed as a laundry-express driver and living at Conroy Street in house/apartment 21.

Following Peter through the directories we know he had many different jobs as well we learn where the family lived. Later I could use this information to try and find a photo of the family home.

What I have been able to learn so far is:

1904/05 – Peter worked in a restaurant at St. Louis 86 1/2, the family has relocated from 21 to 12 Conroy Street (unless this was a misprint in the directory). This is the year their son Peter was born August 31.

1905/06 – He was the proprietor of the Mikado Restaraunt on Palace St. (it doesn’t list his home address). A son Samuel joins the family Nov. 4, 1906.

1906/07 – Peter has again switched jobs and is managing The Eastern Provision Co. and his address is given as Conroy 12.

1907/08 – No Peter Jordan listed.

1908/09 – There is a Mrs. Peter Jordan living at St. Patrick’s Street.

1909/10 – this could be when the family moved because I cannot find them in any subsequent directories.

The Jordan family is found in the 1911 Montreal census and is living at 518 Cartier Street.

Their last child Herbert William joined the family August 12, 1914.

Next up will be following the family through the Montreal Directories which are also on the Archives website.

The Jordan family. L-R Peter, Herb with mother Caroline, Beatrice and Samuel in the front. Montreal c.1915.

The Jordan family.
L-R — Peter Jr., Herb with mother Caroline, Beatrice and Samuel in the front.
Montreal c.1915.

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.

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Letter by Beatrice Dever to her cousin Ned Frost.

My Grandparents Marriage

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

Beatrice Jordan on her wedding day.

Beatrice Jordan on her wedding day.

I don’t have any stories to share about my grandparents wedding day. What I know is that they married January 25, 1928 in Taylor-East End United Church, Montreal, Quebec. John Melody Dever age 30 married Beatrice Mary Victoria Jordan age 27. This is their wedding invitation

Wedding invitation

Wedding invitation

Witnesses were William Dever & Ida May Norton. I do not have a photo of the happy couple together, but I love the photos of my grandmother.

Fearless Female – A Photo

Caroline Norton

Caroline Norton

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors.  Who is in the photo?  When was it taken?  Why did you select this photo?

Pictured above is Caroline Louisa Norton, my great Grandmother. Caroline was born in 1877 in Quebec City the daughter of Richard Lee Norton & Hannah Pozer Jeffery.

Caroline lived in Quebec City where she married Peter John Jordan in 1900 and they moved to Montreal in 1909. Her husband was a salesman later opening a tobacco shop in Montreal on Papineau Ave.

This photo of Caroline was taken about 1895 in Quebec City when Caroline would have been 18 years old.

I selected this photo because I love the clothing, her hair style and it is one of the few photos that I have of her as a young lady.

An Anniversary – 114 Years Ago Today

Peter Jordan married Caroline Louisa Norton on this day 114 years ago, October 22, 1900. They were my great grandparents, my paternal grandmother’s parents to be more exact.

IMG_0018

Peter and Caroline were both living in Quebec City when they signed a marriage contract on October 20 and were married 2 days later at St. Mathew’s Church in Quebec City. Witnesses to their marriage was J.B. Jordan (Peter’s 1/2 brother) and Maude Hallett (possibly a friend). Peter & Caroline quickly disappear as I have not located them in the 1901 census but on September 30, 1901 their first child Beatrice Mary Victoria Jordan was born in Quebec City. The family’s next three children were boys Samuel, Allan & Herbert who was born in Montreal.

SCAN0182

L-R Allan, Herbert with his mom Caroline, Beatrice and Samuel in front. Photo taken about 1915 in Montreal.

Peter was a salesman later owning a tobacco shop on 179 McGill Street in Montreal.

Peter & Caroline celebrated their 50th anniversary with friends and family in attendance.

IMG_4278 Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing either of them, as Caroline died in 1958 and Peter in 1967, I would have liked to have had the opportunity. Today I remember them and celebrate their 58 years of marriage.

William Jordan – Quebec Soldier

Nobody notices the elderly man as he makes his way down Amable Street in the heart of Quebec City. A strong gait, robust frame, and bushy white mustache stained with tobacco, are a familiar sight. He often walks this way and has a seat on the bench, turning his face towards the sun. The warmth relaxes him and he takes a deep breathe. Reflecting on his past he remembers with a smile that day long ago when he changed his future forever.

Everyone is talking about the Fenians and how they are planning to invade Canada. His dream is to join the army and he knows he has to be a part of it. The thoughts flash through his mind; he may not be accepted because his father and mother (God Rest Her Soul) were both from Ireland. He is Canadian though, born in Quebec City on a cold December day in 1852. Joining turns out to be easy, he tells them his name, William Jordan and signs with an X beside where they wrote it. The next thing he knows he is an official bugler for the 8th Battalion in Quebec City.

He can’t believe his luck; wait until his friends hear the news. He is a little nervous about telling his father, Samuel, even though the extra income will be appreciated. After the death of William’s mother Mary, Samuel remarried to Matilda Nelson, widow of John Manly.

Matilda and Samuel married on December 1860 and there were three young children watching that wedding, William, his sister Eliza and Matilda’s daughter Ellen. He smiles to himself, picturing what his sisters will think of their brother in uniform. Arriving home he burst in with the news that he is a bugler for the local battalion. He finds his worrying was needless as his family are happy for him, they know this is his dream.

Jordan, William soldier2

The friendships and sense of belonging with his battalion is exactly how he had imagined it. He has found his place. Life is grand. He sure looks sharp in his uniform and the girls notice.

The old man got up from the bench and started making his way home. He is spending more and more time lost in his memories. He went inside where his wife was waiting for him, lunch was ready. With a chuckle he can’t help but remember his wedding day…

…the shock of his Catholic girlfriend Anne telling him he is to be a father. Not one to shirk from his duty, he goes through the necessary channels for a Protestant to marry in the Catholic Church. On June 5,1872 at St. Patrick’s Church in Quebec City William Robert Jordan son of Samuel and Mary Quigley and Anne Ready daughter of Thomas and Margaret Pendergast are joined in marriage. It is none too soon as a little later in the month their son William is born.

His smile quickly turned to a frown as he continued to remember the next few years …

The happiness of having a son is quickly dispelled when William Jr. dies at the beginning of July. Holding him in his arms for the last time, William for the first time feels helpless. Their next son Samuel is a joy to the family and the next three children Mary, William and Peter are all healthy; his family is growing. In 1879 tragedy strikes the household. In June his son William, who turned two last month, dies. If that isn’t hard enough, the next day Mary age five joins her brother. Knowing he will never hear the sound of their voices again is unbearable. A quietness falls over the house, a fear of who is next. Anne his wife is prostrate with grief, how can she lose her children and go on? A numbness keeps her going, but the family isn’t done it’s suffering. Anne dies along with their 6th child in April of 1880.

William shakes his head, what a hard time that was. He smiles up at his wife, thankful for what he has now and amazed at all he has seen. Lunch was wonderful as usual. Normally after lunch he would find things around the house that needed fixing but today he decides to lie down and get some rest. His wife is puzzled as he is acting like in a trace. She doesn’t say anything but makes a note to call the doctor. William can’t escape his memories, they join him in sleep as well.

He sees himself in Kingston, Ontario at Fort Henry. It is an adventure to be in this new place far from home. He wonders how his two small boys Samuel and Peter are doing but knows they are in better care with his father, stepmother and their daughter Matilda.

Life is great at Fort Henry he is able to find time to meet some of the local people. One person in particular catches his eye and even though she knows he has two children she says yes when he asks her to be his bride. What a relief to not have to go through all the red tape it took to marry a Catholic, Agnes is Protestant like himself. On Sept. 2, 1881 in Kingston, Ontario Agnes Brown and William Jordan are married. The two young children are sent for and shortly there after 2 more children join them John and Mary. Finally the family is altogether.

William Jordan with his 2nd wife Agnes Brown.

William Jordan with his 2nd wife Agnes Brown.

At 33 years old William is ready to take some of his lifelong military knowledge and put it to work. So it is with enthusiasm that he leaves the city and his family to help quell the rebellion in the North West. The ruggedness of the terrain and remoteness doesn’t bother him. This is what he has been trained for. The battle of Cut Knife Creek is surprisingly difficult. Amazingly a number of men in his Battery are getting wounded, this was supposed to be an easy win. William manages to avoid any injuries, but after it is over his ears are ringing from the guns he has been trained to shoot.

Waking up from his light sleep William wanders over to the drawer where his medals are; such small objects that hold so many reminders of his life.

Coming back home to Quebec from the Rebellion there are many celebrations and the happiest people to see him are his wife and 4 children. It isn’t long before their fifth child William joins the family and makes it complete.  Shortly after arriving home a teaching position is open at the Citadel, William uses the opportunity to pass on his wealth of knowledge.

Looking down at his hands and noticing how they had aged over time he sees the scar he received when …

It is a perfect day for an Assault-at-Arms. He glances over to where her Royal Highness is seated right next to the Marquis of Lorne. He isn’t feeling nervous because he has never been out matched in sword, bayonet or single-stick. The competition is thrilling because joining them is the Royal Navy Squadron. This adds to the excitement as it means fresh faces and unknown opponents. Battling against Bombardier McKay is going to be difficult. McKay is also from the Citadel and his skills closely match William’s. At one point, during the battle, William isn’t fast enough and receives a wound on his right hand. Quickly he shakes it off, it is nothing serious and he goes on to win the day.

Athleticism was something that came easy to William, looking down at the various awards and mementos he sees …

        the reminders of his boxing days. What a feeling to be in the ring and know one can’t be beat. Winning the feather and lightweight championship medals for the Province of Quebec and Kingston, Ontario. Standing and receiving congratulations from colleagues is a rewarding experience.

William continues to wander around the house looking at family photos. So many of the people in his thoughts are no longer alive like his parent’s or his sister Eliza who died when she was just seventeen years old. He cradles a photo of his half sister Matilda, now buried at the local cemetery. Matilda followed in his footsteps by rushing into a marriage to John Perry, before their first child joined them. His stepsister Nellie, who he had so much fun teasing when they were little, married John Gore. Looking at photographs of his sons and realizing most of them moved away, Peter in Montreal, John in England, Samuel in Kingston, only William staying in Quebec City. His only daughter Mary standing so proud in the photograph of her and her husband John Frost and living in Kingston as well. A photo of Agnes, his second wife, catches his eye. After 31 years of marriage she had passed away in 1912. What wonderful memories he has of her.

He remembers making the decision to marry for the third time to Ellen Gibbs, the widow of Frank Kingston. At the ripe age of 61 on April 3, 1913 in St. Matthew’s Church, Quebec City, he made his final journey down the aisle.

William Jordan with wife Ellen Martha (nee Gibbs) Kingston.

William Jordan with wife Ellen Martha (nee Gibbs) Kingston.

William feels the day catching up with him and lays himself down after a hearty supper. It is to be his last. The next morning Ellen calls him down for breakfast but he doesn’t respond. She smiles to herself, remembering his hearing was damaged during the North West Rebellion. She heads upstairs so he can hear her calling, but he is already gone.

William led a very full and interesting life that came to an end on September 27, 1938 when he was 86 years old.

William Jordan abt. 1935.

William Jordan abt. 1935.

William also passed on his passion of military life. Each one of his sons was active in the military for some part of their life. The Jordan family until quite recently has been represented in the Royal Canadian Artillery since it was formed in 1871.

Written by me waaaaayyyyy back in 2002!