Why I Follow Genealogy News Bloggers

I have three genealogy bloggers I follow for the most up to date information in the Genealogy world; Gail Dever, John Reid, and Dick Eastman. The benefit of following these bloggers is that I hear what is new in the world of genealogy. They share new databases, database updates, news stories, and general genealogy news. There are other bloggers worth following but these three are amoung my favorites.

My latest discovery was thanks to Dick Eastman’s newsletter. He recently shared in his newsletter that more North Carolina newspapers had been added to DigitalNC AND I found a news article about my great grandfather’s first marriage. I really would have never found out about this update otherwise.

My great grandfather, William Harrop was born in Etobicoke, Ontario in 1854 to parents Lewis Harrop and Anna Eliza Stickle. William was the last of their five children, his father passed away when he was seven, which was followed by the family relocating to Orangeville. William apprenticed as a butcher and volunteered with the 36th Regiment for Peel County and 1891 he was farming in East Assiniboia (Saskatchewan). William was quite a successful farmer and eventually owned a full Section of land. The remoteness of the location meant finding a wife pretty challenging. In 1897 he replied to a newspaper ad posted by a widow living in North Carolina, she was seeking a husband. I am not sure how common this was back in the day and if it was frowned upon? I guess it would be a version of todays dating apps.

Dick Eastman’s mention of North Carolina’s newspaper and instantly my curiosity was sparked. And sure enough, the details of their courtship was revealed.

The Goldsboro Headlight ran the story:

Mrs. Belle Cornelius, of Iredell county, was married at Newton Monday to Mr. William Harrop, of Ontario, Canada, and she and her husband arrived there on the noon train. It seems that there is a bit of romance connected with it, says a correspondent to the Statesville Landmark. Some months ago Mrs. Cornelius advertised in a matrimonial paper for correspondents on the subject of matrimony. The gentleman above referred to answered the “ad” and a correspondence was kept up which soon led to their engagement. A place of meeting was named with the understanding that if they were pleased with each other they were to be married. They met at Hickory, Monday, and I suppose the “looks” were satisfactory, as they drove to Newton and were married. Mrs. C. was to meet and marry another gentleman on the 15th inst., but after her marriage on Monday she telegraphed lover No. 2 that he need not come. I learn that they will make their home in Canada.

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The Goldsboro Headlight, Aug 12, 1897 describes the meeting of Belle (Sherill) Cornelius and William Harrop

I love this story! I knew bits about this story thanks to other newspapers, but I did not know that Belle was the one who put in the ad, about them meeting face-to-face 1 day before they married, and that he was not her only suitor!

After the marriage, Belle and her daughter Flora Belle came to the Harrop farm and called Balcarres, Saskatchewan home for the next seven years. In 1904, the love-seeking Belle passed away, her daughter Flora Cornelius moved back to North Carolina where many of her siblings resided.

Harrop, Isabelle headstone

Sacred to the memory of Isabella M. Beloved Wife of William Harrop died Sept 6, 1904 Aged 50 years and 2 months. Indian Head Cemetery, Saskatchewan

William was widowed for three more years until he married Rachel Hodgins in 1907. I think it fairly likely that they also met through a newspaper ad.

William Harrop & Rachel Hodgins 2

William Harrop with his 2nd wife Rachel Hodgins c1907

Thanks to ALL the genealogy news bloggers and all the work they put in! You are consistently helping me to make new discoveries in my family tree.




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 Newspapers.com has more issues of The Gazette a Montreal newspaper. Newspapers.com 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.



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.