Sordid Tale of the Steamer The Montreal

A group of immigrants arrived on the shores of Quebec aboard The John Mackenzie. It had sailed from Scotland, its passengers full of anticipation and excitement, the date June 26, 1857. The 250 passengers upon their arrival to Quebec City disembarked only to find their way onboard The Montreal, heading to the next stop on their journey, Montreal.

There were up to 300 passengers onboard The Montreal when a fire broke out near the boiler. The two lifeboats quickly filled and were swamped. With limited choices, people remained onboard as long as possible before jumping in the water, many ended up with severe burns. It is estimated 248 people died in the incident.

I came across information on The Montreal when researching a relative, Robert Andrew Jeffrey. Robert is mentioned in the newspaper as he helped in the recovery of the bodies. What an incredibly grim task.

The Montreal Herald And Daily Commercial Gazette, Thursday, July 9, 1857 col. 3 reported that

“…of the bodies recovered, one hundred and thirty have been picked up by a boatman named Robert Jeffery, who is well known to be a strictly honest man, and who went up to the wreck in the same Steamer as the Mayor, on the night of the occurrence; the remainder of the bodies have been recovered by Michel Barribeau, Joseph Belieau, and the Water Police.”

Reports following in the newspaper condemn the recovery of the bodies claiming thefts of the victim’s belongings as rampant. The Commercial Gazette’s article is defending the recovery process of the victims as other newspapers reported that

“Quebec is the head quarters of two sets of the greatest scoundrels and ruffians on the face of the earth, crimps and immigrant runners.”

and that “…crimps have been reaping a rich harvest by robbing the bodies of the dead”

The victims were mostly laid to rest in Quebec City.

A partial list of passengers was found here – List of passengers

More information on The Montreal can be found here – Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Robert A Jeffery The Montreal 1857

Clip of the article from the newspaper mentioned above

The newspaper was accessed through the BAnQ website where the full article can be found.

 

 

Quebec TipTypes

A photograph is a glimpse into the past

Amy Johnson Crow and her #52ancestor challenge have us picking a favorite image this week.

This is not an easy task because I have a wide range of photographs from various family lines. I decided to pick from the pictures I have of unknown people.

This image is a tintype, without a doubt I believe it was taken in Quebec because of the clothing. I have calculated the date of the image to be anywhere from 1870-1900. I cannot attribute it to any family members, but believe it is from the Norton or Jeffery families who lived in Montreal and Quebec City. The children are absolutely adorable.

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Unknown family members, likely the Norton/Jeffery family who lived in Quebec City and Montreal.

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I couldn’t help but add this picture, also a tintype. I believe it to be the same boy as in the above picture.

If you have a clue about who these children are or the dates of the tintypes I would love to hear from you.

Maps, Genealogy & Directionally Challenged Me

I am a directionally challenged person (my family gets a kick out of me getting lost leaving my hotel room) so I have generally avoided maps in my research. I may look things up quickly (thank goodness for google maps!) but I haven’t gone deeper.

Well, that is changing. With some wonderful advice from a knowledgeable researcher/author who has taken me under her wing, (Sharon you are my hero) I am getting better.

Today I wanted to find out more about the locations where my family was living in Quebec City in 1900. As per the wonderful instructions I was given I clicked over to the Quebec Archives website  Digital Maps and Plans Collection and I was determined to figure this out! (plus no one was watching to laugh at my missteps).

I am going to walk you through what I did with some screenshots for easier explanation. I started at the home page and under ‘Choose a Collection’ I selected ‘Plans de villes et villages du Quebec’.home-page-banqscreen-shot-2016-09-26-at-12-58-51-pm

I then chose the letter “Q” from the ‘Tous’ title and received three choices: ‘Region’, ‘Quebec, Quebec’ or ‘Quyon’. I chose number 2 which brought me to this page.date-selection-of-map-1898This brought up quite a few choices but I was looking for a map close to the 1900 date so I went with the Insurance plan of the City of Quebec 1898.

This opened up a series of thumbnails, I did notice the first thumbnail was an index and where I wanted to start.  Knowing that the family I was looking for was living on Conroy street I selected the Full-Screen option for easier reading. Once the fullscreen was open it was a matter of finding Conroy in the alphabetic list. Reading across from Conroy it indicated I needed Map 29.index-to-1898-map-sections

And wouldn’t you know it… here is the street that my great grandfather Peter Jordan was living on in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Not only that, but his father was living around the corner on St. Amable.

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Iris Catalogue number: 00030028680 Link: http//services.banq.qc.ca/sdx/cep/document.xps?id=0003028680

I am not done, my wonder-guide Sharon tells me that although I know where they lived in order to locate land records I will need to know what the Lot & Block number is. One thing always leads to another in genealogy.

At this point, I am surprised that my directionally challenged self made it this far!

Genealogy Serendipity

Genealogy serendipity seems to be quite common, almost everyone has a story to tell. Although not the first time I have had this sensation and probably not the last, I had one of those moments today that could be described as coincidental or maybe something more.

Recently I have been getting assistance with my Quebec research from a kind and patient soul. This has me reviewing and reading through my research, exploring my records and assessing what I have and what I am missing. I also have been going through Quebec City Directories looking at addresses for my ancestors. Once I have located the addresses I have also been getting familiar with the maps of old Quebec, located also on the BAnQ website. This process is what I was working on when I realized that I had recently walked by a location of a relative’s restaurant.

Samuel Laprise married my three times great grandmother’s sister Elizabeth Jeffery at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City on March 17, 1853. Elizabeth was the widow  of George Robertson and already had a daughter Elizabeth.

Samuel was running the British American Hotel and later the London Coffee House on the Cul de Sac in old Quebec City. These were located in Directories Marcotte of Quebec and their predecessors, 1822-1976.

Discovering these locations I next went to Google Earth to see where it was and found them on the street below that I highlighted in orange.

 

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Cul de Sac found on Google Earth.

 

Once I saw this location on Google Earth I was instantly reminded of the trip I had recently taken to Quebec City in June and a very particular picture that I took.

 

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16 cul de sac was the location of the British American Hotel in 1864 and is now the Fudgerie a chocolate shop.

 

I had walked this street many times during my vacation and had been drawn to this location. I had photographed the street and added it as my Facebook cover picture. When you think about how many pictures I took during the trip of countless locations and monuments the fact that I selected this one to represent my trip on Facebook has some significance to me.

 

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Information the London Coffee House that was owned by George Pozer. This information was found on the website.

 

Samuel and his wife along with their three children left Quebec City in 1868, relocating to Chicago, Illinois. Samuel had his fill of restaurants, once in his new home he worked as a cooper. They did not return to Quebec City and they are buried together in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

 

With help from my friend I hope to learn more about Samuel and Elizabeth’s business located on the Cul de Sac in Quebec City.

 

Sergeants’ Mess

This photograph of Sergeants’ Mess was probably taken in Quebec City, I came across it on a visit to my great Uncle Herbert Jordan who lived in Montreal. The photograph belonged to his grandfather William Jordan who was a Sergeant in the Canadian Artillery in the 1880s. He started out as a bugler during the Fenian Raids with the Eighth Royal Rifles and served in the Jesuit Barracks in 1870 when he was eighteen years old. He first joined the Eighth Royal Rifles in 1866 as a bugler and later in the Northwest Rebellion where he was promoted to Sergeant.

William had the distinction as being the first to sound call and act as sentry for the Royal Artillery when they took over the Citadel from the 60th Rifles of the Imperial Army in 1871.

He was in the Northwest campaign in 1885 and it was here that attained the rank of Sergeant but he also damaged his hearing due to his proximity to the guns. He also was a bugler and trumpet instructor and then later a gymnasium instructor at the Citadel.

I would dearly love to know in what building this photograph was taken. I haven’t been able to pick him out in the photograph and wonder if he is even in it…I also had to stitch it together the best I could as my scanner bed isn’t big enough for the picture.

 

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William Jordan c.1880

 

Jordan, William older

William Jordan abt. 1935.

Following Her Footsteps

There always so much to see when I travel to Quebec City and I made a point to visit some places that I knew were frequented by my ancestors.

Before leaving I created a list of places to visit and on the list was the Jeffery family home in the 1840s. Robert and Elizabeth (Tipper) Jeffery lived at 43 Ursule Street in the 1840s-1853 with their children. Robert was arrested for domestic violence and ended up in jail, I am not sure what happened to him when he got out but he does not come back and live with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth opened up a boarding house at 45 Ursule Street and passes away in 1853 and her daughter who was living with her relocates to New York.

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Here I am outside her home which is now the Hotel Acadia and is advertised as “cozy rooms in a 19th-century townhouse”.

 

 

Jeffery, E 1850-51

Quebec City Directory 1850-51.

 

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The location of where Elizabeth’s home was in Quebec City. It is quite close to many tourist sites.

 

 

Arrested at Age 8 -Anne Reddy’s Story

A sad Irish tale in Quebec City.

The Morrin Center is one of the places I visited on a recent trip to Quebec City. It is now home to the Quebec Literary and Historical Society which have called this building home since 1868. Previous to this it was the city jail. I am particularly interested in this as I have found multiple records that indicate my great great grandmother Anne Reddy had been arrested starting the age of eight. On the tour, we were able to view the cells that the prisoners were housed in the basement of the building. When we descended to the basement and walked into the cells I found it stifling. I cannot imagine what it would have been like back in the 1860s with all the prisoners and the unwashed bodies. It would have been unbearable.

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During the tour, our guide explained that the men were housed in this building and the women and children were actually kept across the street in a separate building.

My great great grandmother Anne Reddy was born in Quebec City to parents Thomas Ready/Reddy a labourer and Margaret Pendergast. Anastasia (Anne)  and her twin sister Cecilia were baptized together at Notre-Dame Catholic Church on the 16th of February 1854. In 1862 at the age of thirty-five Anne’s mother Margaret died by ‘an act of god’ according to the coroner’s report, leaving five children, the youngest being the twin girls.

Searching through the Quebec Archives website I was surprised to see the Reddy name appear. It took a while before I did a search for each of Anne’s siblings and their names kept appearing under the Quebec Prisoners in the 19th Century. I ended up creating a spreadsheet so I could see if the information correlated with my tree. I have arrived at the conclusion that many of the Reddy arrests are my gggrandmother Anne and her siblings. According to what I have been able to glean off the archives site Cecilia was arrested nine times, mostly in 1865, Mary twenty-nine times, Bridget eight times, the father once and Anne herself nines times with seven of the arrests between 1865-66.

I am not sure what happened to the Reddy family but what I do know is that their mother Margaret died in 1862 and I can only assume that things quickly deteriorated in their home.

Anne died at the age of 26, she had given birth by this time to seven children, two of whom died within a day of each other at the age of two & five years old. Her only surviving children were Samuel & Peter Jordan. Peter who is my great grandfather lost his mother when he was two. I will continue to pursue this on his behalf and uncover more of the Reddy family’s story.

Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte has posted that there is a new book being released on the Morrin Center that I look forward to reading!

JORDAN (Reddy), Anne copy

What I think is Anne’s & her children’s marker in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Quebec City. Sadly this is now gone and there is nothing at the cemetery to indicate her grave.

I did inquire if there was more information on these arrested at the archives but was told that there was not in the cases of ‘loose, idle & disorderly‘. I do think that there is more that can be explored here and I will post my finds on the Reddy family.

I have yet to discover where in Ireland Thomas Reddy the father was from but who knows what the records will reveal!

P.S. This was not the only ancestor in my tree that was arrested. Robert Jeffery who I have written appears to have actually spent time in this jail.