7 June 2019        View this email in your browser 
Members' Forum

Recently posted on the Members' Forum

Jordan family of Quebec City - Brickwall

" Samuel Jordan was born about 1819 in Ireland, his wife Mary Quigley (no marriage record found to date, may have been married in Ireland?) had a son William Robert Jordan born December 25, 1852 and baptized at the Metropolitan Church in QC in 1853.

There are so many ways that this family is elusive, the only time I have found Samuel Jordan in a census is in 1881 where they are living in Montcalm Ward, Quebec City.

I have found him in Quebec City directories off and on through the years 1862-1886, always a labourer.

About 1860 Samuel and Mary had a daughter Elizabeth (no baptism found) later that same year he is married to a widow Matilda Stinson in St. Peter’s Church, Quebec City. Presumably, his first wife Mary Quigley died in 1860, no record has been found.

In 1864 a daughter Matilda is born to Sam & second wife Matilda (no baptism record found).
This same year Samuel & Matilda took out a lease located in the Lower Town of Quebec City. Their home was number 72 on St Valier Street in the St. Roch subdivision of Quebec City and the rent was 10 pounds (as per the notary records at Ancestry).

In 1877 Sam’s daughter with Mary Quigley, Elizabeth Anne died and the death is recorded in the records for St. Matthew’s Church.

Samuel himself died in 1886, and Matilda his second wife dies in 1891, the news clipping found of her death states her husband worked for the Quebec Gas Company.

My only guess is that Samuel Jordan did seasonal work and was absent every year (with his family?) when the census takers did their rounds.

If I am missing any avenue to research this family I would certainly appreciate any feedback.
I have been researching this family for over 20 years, I have traced all descendants of the Jordan’s and my burning question is where in Ireland are
they from."

If you can help Patricia, go to our Members' Forum page on our website, under Genealogy Discussion — Discussion de généalogie and post a reply!


Our Upcoming Webinars 

(To register for a webinar, go to our Upcoming Webinars page on our Website.)

Eastern Townships Resource Centre - Live Demo


Date and Time: Wednesday, 12 June 2019 - 19:30 EDT

Presenter: Jody Robinson

For over 30 years, the Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ETRC) has been a recognized organization for the study of the Eastern Townships of Quebec. As one of the top accredited archives in Quebec, the ETRC preserves the  documentary heritage of the Eastern Townships and serves as an archival expertise resource for local heritage organizations.

Jody will provide us with a live demonstration of the ETRC including how to explore the archives and search their extensive database.

Don't forget our Past Webinars page on our website has recorded webinars that you can view at your leisure including our Annual Meeting of Members held on 9 May 2019.

Resource Links
Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean


Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, administrative region 02, is a vast area to the north of Quebec City whose population of about 300,000 is concentrated principally in the urban centres of Chicoutimi, Jonquière and Alma. The region is bathed by two major waterways, Lac Saint-Jean and the Saguenay River. They both mark its landscape deeply and have been the main drives of its development in history. From 1652 to 1842 the territory was set aside for the fur trade. Only commercial traders and missionaries were authorized to enter it, with trading posts at Tadoussac, Chicoutimi and Métabetchouan.
The Saguenay was settled in 1838, when the first colonists, coming principally from the region of Charlevoix, disembarked at Grande-Baie (now Ville de La Baie). The Saguenay was officially opened to lumbering and agriculture in 1842.
At Lac-Saint-Jean, which developed a little later than the Saguenay, the first important parish, Hébertville, was settled beginning in 1849 by the Société des comtés de l'Islet et de Kamouraska. Between 1870 and 1910, 31 missions or parishes surrounded the lake; by 1901 Roberval had a population of 8,000.
The following are new resource links added to our Resource Links page over the past weeks:

Cemetery Transcriptions
  • Sainte-Lucie Memorials in Albanel

  • Maligne Island Protestant Cemetery
  • Maligne Island Catholic Cemetery
  • Saint-Coeur-de-Marie Cemetery
  • Saint Joseph Cemetery
  • Saint-Sacrement Cemetery
Roberval Convent Fire of 7 Jan 1897
  • The Convent of the Ursaline Nuns at Roberval, on Lake St. John, about 120 miles north of Quebec, was destroyed by fire, which broke out at 6 o'clock in the morning 7 January, and seven sisters are known to have perished in the flames, while about 50 inmates had very narrow escapes from a similar fate.

Arvida History Centre and Sir-William-Price History Centre
  • The Arvida History Centre’s mandate is the interpretation and development of the heritage of Arvida.
  • The Sir-William-Price History Center's mission is to showcase the historic, architectural, urban and industrial heritage of the Jonquière borough in Ville de Saguenay since 1987.
Louis-Hémon Museum in Péribonka
  • The Museum takes you on a visit to Maria-Chapdelaine’s country going back to the colonial era and following the steps of Louis Hémon inspired from the novel Maria Chapdelaine.
Métabetchouan Trading Post at Desbiens
  • This is an interpretation centre that shares the same site as the first regional trading post in 1676. It’s one of the rare tourist attractions located along the shores of the majestic Lac Saint-Jean!

Val-Jalbert Historic Village
  • Val-Jalbert is a ghost town in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada. It is located 8 km northwest of the town of Chambord. The village was founded in 1901 and soon saw success in the pulp mill created by Damase Jalbert at the base of the Ouiatchouan Falls.Travel back in time and meet colourful characters as secrets are revealed on this 1927 authentic company town and its 40 original buildings frozen-in-time. Their website also has archival records.
Opening Ceremony of Ouiatchouan Factory, August 17, 1902 (A.N.Q.C., fonds S.H.S., No. 7736)

New France Site in Saint-Félix-d'Otis
  • They have over 150,000 New France artifacts, 10 period buildings reproduced with meticulousness care,  and people in period attire. Plus they have a restaurant that serves typical Quebecois food.

  • The Saguenay Post (22 Oct. 1948 - 30 Dec. 1948)
  • Le Saguenay (19 Sep. 1882 - 19 Jun.1883)
  • The Bagotville Beacon (15 Sep. 1964 - 23 Dec. 1970) 
  • Le Lac Saint-Jean (1 Jan. 1902 - 12 Aug. 1915)

Stay tuned for our next issue where we'll be concentrating on admintrative region 03 - Capitale-Nationale (Quebec City)!
In the News

Genealogy website changes course possibly hurting law enforcement efforts   

by Michael Gorsegner

Wednesday, June 5th 2019


Lancaster — Changing course. A genealogy website that has helped law enforcement solve cases is changing its privacy policy. The change might mean less cases are cracked.

“This has significant ramifications to justice,” said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.

A change in policy at one genealogy site, GEDmatch, could mean law enforcement has less access to solve cold cases.

“Anything that is going to set us back and limit the databases, reduces the chances of solving these cases,” Stedman said.

If there is a man that knows the value of this technology, it’s Stedman. His office used a service called Parabon, which cross reference DNA with GEDmatch, to help solve the 1992 rape and murder of Christy Mirack.

“Ray Rowe was not on our radar. It was solved with this method,” he said.

“The cost of a free society is that we have to create barriers for law-enforcement,” said defense attorney Chris Lyden with Miller Lyden PC.

Recently, GEDmatch decided to change its privacy policy. In the past, users would have to opt out from allowing law enforcement access to the DNA to help solve cases. Now, they must opt in including the over 1.2 million already on file.

“There’s a balance between having a free society and having privacy and slipping into a police state,” Lyden said.

We reached out to GEDmatch about their policy change. In a statement the company says it’s urging people to opt-in to allow law enforcement access. However, the statement goes on to say, “We believe the ethically responsible position is to require users to specifically agree to the use of their data.”

“Maybe we are overreacting to this. Maybe more people will opt in and we will still be able to solve it,” Stedman said.

So far, GEDmatch says over 50,000 people have opted in over the past two weeks. For Stedman, he says at least one case is in limbo, that his office turned over for testing.

Right now, he says he is unsure of the future of this technology.


Tell All: My genealogy nightmare



MAY 27, 2019

My search has turned up weird information — and a suspicious person

Dear Tell All: Over the past couple years I’ve gotten into researching my family background through all the new tools available on the internet. It started out as a fun hobby but has lately turned kind of weird.

The first distressing development was finding unsavory elements in my family tree. We’re all solid citizens now, and I’ve always been proud of our family’s achievements. But a few generations back I discovered evidence of criminal behavior in more than one ancestor, some of it really bad.

That was followed by my discovery of a previously unknown cousin through a DNA match. I located him on social media and sent an innocent note, inviting a conversation. Our dialogue started out fine as we traced the connections between us. But after a few rounds he said some things that made me uncomfortable. Now he’s asking if can come visit me in Madison over the summer.

Part of me is interested in meeting a long-lost relative. Plus, I don’t want to be impolite, given that I initiated contact. On the other hand, I keep thinking about the criminality in the family background. Is this guy part of that bloodline?

He’s waiting for my response. What should I do?

Dear Descendant: Pay close attention to your discomfort. If you’re feeling weird vibes, you need to nip this thing in the bud.

In most cases I applaud politeness, but not here. DNA or no DNA, this guy is a stranger, and you don’t owe him anything. Safety first, Descendant.

Firmly tell your cousin that you’re not interested in a face-to-face meeting. Or better yet, just don’t answer him. There’s no reason to extend a conversation that creeps you out.

While you’re at it, how about setting aside the genealogy hobby and focusing on the family members you know and love — the solid citizens?


Explaining French Cemeteries, or Why You Are Unlikely to Find Your Ancestor's Grave in France

The French Genealogy Blog by Anne Morddel
24 May 2019

In a comment on our 2009 post about French cemeteries, Monsieur V wrote:

"In your article, you wrote "Pre-nineteenth century church graveyards in towns - all were destroyed as a public health measure". What does that mean? I am looking for family burials in small, rural French towns. It seems that when I look at Google Earth, the cemeteries now are all located outside of town, usually along the road leading into the small town. They seem to only have modern graves, certainly not all of the graves for the hundreds of farmers and families that died in these small towns over the hundreds of years. It is a big difference from rural cemeteries here in the U.S. which usually have headstones surrounded by grassy areas of those who did not or could not afford a marker."

Many of you have expressed similar bafflement or disbelief, so we think it necessary to explain, yet again, one of the many ways that France is not North America or Britain or Australia. The Enlightenment in France brought a wave of scientific and clear thinking that in turn lead to changes considered improvements. Among the clear thoughts was the realization that the dead were polluting the atmosphere and the water, especially the ground water, and that the cemeteries that held their corpses were a very serious public health problem. 

This was exacerbated by the fact that, in crowded cities, cemeteries were the only parks and were used as such. Fairs, markets, dances, parties, all were held in cemeteries. During invasions, people ran there for refuge. The Church did not like this and built walls around the cemeteries to prevent the parties, at least. The consorting in close proximity to corpses could not have been good for the health of the living.

Among the consequent improvements was a law issued by the king in 1776, la Déclaration du Roi, concernant les inhumations, requiring inner city cemeteries to be closed and the practice of burying the dead within churches to cease. Land outside of the city walls was to be purchased for new cemeteries and the corpses in old cemeteries were to be dug up and transferred. Hundreds of French cities complied. Needless to say, not all of the reburying was done with diligence. In Paris, the contents of the cemetery of the parish of Sainte-Opportune, known as the Cemetery of Holy Innocents, became the nameless bones of the Catacombs. 

The process was continued with the Napoleonic decree of 1804, which gave more precise instructions to municipalities as to where to site the new cemeteries, how deep the graves should be and how far apart. Most importantly, cemeteries were removed from the authority of the Catholic Church and became the responsibility of the municipalities. Municipal council deliberation books of the era are filled with discussions of how to empty the old cemeteries and construct the new. From these new procedures came the requirements that graves be maintained by the families of the dead; if not, they would be emptied and the bones sent to the ossuary.

All of this explains why it is rare to find an old French cemetery next to a church, filled with ancient graves, such as you might find in England. Some do exist, but very, very few. Thus, distrust all family histories that say sixteenth century graves of ancestors in France have been seen in the 1890s. Most likely, those cemeteries claimed to have been visited had already been destroyed. If France is poor in ancient cemeteries, we really do recommend that you not spend too much time seeking a grave. Instead, spend your genealogical research efforts where France is rich - on notarial records.


2019 Upcoming Events

If you know of an upcoming event that could help with Québec
research, please contact us and we will add it here.

Crossing Boundaries and Constructing Linkages
The History of Montreal's Golden Square Mile in National and International Context

Date: June 19th – June 20th, 2019

Location: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

Professor Donald Nerbas – CBHA/ACHA, McGill University
Elizabeth Kirkland, Dawson College

Montreal History Group
Macdonald-Stewart Foundation
Dawson College
McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies, McGill University
Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University

Synopsis: A conference of academics and social studies experts which will present on the impact of the activities of the Golden Square Mile on Montreal’s and Canada’s social and financial history.

For more information

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