The Jordan Book

Well it’s the end of the year and I did it, I managed to get my 1st copy of the Jordan book off to be printed.

After many years of researching my family tree, I wanted to share it in a way that would be interesting to my family. I decided book format would be the best way to share photographs and stories about the families I have spent so much time researching. Another reason for wanting to create the book is all my research just sits in files, either in my cabinet or on my computer, the photos I have collected gather dust in albums, it all is waiting for an audience. I felt I had to do something to share the lives of our ancestors.

What to Include

I knew I couldn’t cover all my families in one book so I decided the easiest way to break it down would be by surnames. I picked a family line that I had a lot of information on to make it easier as this was my first try with My Canvas. I have to give credit to the Armchair Genealogist as I took her course about using the program My Canvas.

My next decision was the parameters of the book, how many generations to include, and who would be the focus? I decided the book would cover the first three generations in Canada. Why three generations? Our Jordan family arrived about 1850, the immigrant ancestor Samuel was born in 1819 in Ireland, his son William was born in Canada in 1852, and William’s children were born between 1872-1887. I do mention William’s grandchildren in the book but the focus is more on the first three generations. There are more records available for the first few generations, and a lot of the records can be located online. Another important factor when focusing on the earlier generation is I do not have to be as concerned about privacy.

Generation 1 – Samuel Jordan & Mary Quigley, he later married Matilda Stinson

Generation 2 – William Robert Jordan, Eliza Jordan (died at 17) and Matilda (Jordan) Perry

Generation 3 – Samuel Thomas Jordan, Peter John Jordan, Mary Elizabeth Jordan, John Brown Jordan, & William James Francis Jordan

All the people mentioned above (other than Eliza) became a chapter with a wedding page, photos, and a bio.


documents and photographs are easy to upload and are clear to read using My Canvas

While preparing the book I reconnected with the descendants of Mary Elizabeth (Jordan) Frost and they wrote the bio for their branch of the family. They also had photographs of family gatherings which were great to be able to add to the book.


Mary Elizabeth Jordan’s bio and wedding page


I created a two-page spread highlighting my great grandparents 50th wedding anniversary that took place in 1950


Once I finished creating all the pages in My Canvas I ordered a copy. It arrived at the house and I have been going over it, rearranging some pages, adding, and editing one last time before opening it up to other family members to order their own copies.


Cost is an issue, with the book coming in at 75 pages, it cost me just under $160 and when it showed up at my door I had to pay another $20 in fees. Not a cheap price but to see the quality of the pages, how well the photographs and documents look in the book combined with the work that I have put into this for the past 20 years, I am ok with the price.

Do It Again?

I plan to try and get at least one more book done next year. I am a little torn whether or not I will use My Canvas again. The next family I plan to focus on is the Stewart family and I do not have nearly as many photographs so I may try using Blurb or something similar.

Do you have plans to share your research in 2018? How will you do it? How ever you plan to share your research I encourage you to make a goal and stick with it, it sure feels great to have finished it!!

A Flip-through of the first 25 pages of the book. 

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




Making a Plan for 2017

I first started researching my family tree in the basement of my home which was located in a very remote place in Northern Alberta. I was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and was a tad lonely. I found I could research in small quick moments during the day and sometimes in the evening once the kids were tucked in. I was looking for some way to channel my love of family history and took a class offered by the local genealogy society, and I haven’t been able to stop since. I have to say it was very slap-dash and as I have learned not the most efficient way to approach this hobby.

What I didn’t know when I started researching my family tree –

  • how this hobby would branch out and become a full-time interest that would change the scope of family holidays, my free time, and my budget!
  • how important it is sourcing my information is! 
  • how much I wish would have focused more on writing in my English classes…
  • how much information would come on-line
  • that paper-less was an option
  • how much genealogy travel I would want to do

Now that I have gathered a fair bit of material, my goal with my research is to share it. And I don’t mean make my family tree public, what I am envisioning is a family history book with photographs, anecdotal stories, and some social history for context when I really don’t know all that much about an ancestor. With this in mind, I am setting my goal for 2017 to produce a family history book. How will I make this goal my focus for the year?

  • when selecting courses/webinars I will make choices with my goal in mind
  • the same can be said when selecting what sessions I will attend at conferences
  • join Facebook groups with writing as the focus
  • set specific writing goals – to sit down to work on my project three times a weekscreen-shot-2016-12-30-at-12-34-45-pm

This doesn’t mean I will stop researching but the thought of having a finished product to show the next time my family gathers is a vision that I cannot get out of my head!

Setting a goal with my genealogy research was not on my radar when I first started. Now I can see how it will help me to stay the course and have a focused plan for the year.

Have you set your 2017 genealogy goals? I would love to hear what you have planned.