The Jordan Family

Written by Sister Mary Alma (Jordan)

Sister Alma

Sister Alma

(April 22, 1894 - March 23, 1990)

The history of the Jordan Family was compiled and written by Sister Alma about 1970. Photocopies were given to descendants, including my husband, David W. Jordan, so that the family history could be remembered for generations to come. If you wish to contact me about the Jordan family, please e-mail me, Linda S. Jordan at .

Posted January, 2004, by Linda S. Jordan & David W. Jordan

"In an old Catholic Cemetery one mile to the west of St. Columban, Ontario, and a short distance south of the No. 7/8 Highway is a monument inscribed with the name of Michael Jordan. The writer of these pages attended the funeral--In June, 1912, when the bearer of that name--a paternal Grandfather, was laid to his long rest eighty-two years after he had first seen the light of day in his native Ireland.

Born and reared in the County Wexford, Michael Jordan fled, early, from his native land, where Protestant English landlords turned out of house and home their poor Catholic tenants, who were unable to meet the rentals because, for several years the potato crop had failed. The animosity between Protestants and Catholics of Ireland today is a carry-over from the injustice of that period. With many neighbouring families and relatives, the youth took passage to the Western World.

Landing in Montreal they were detained indefinitely in the harbour for investigation and testing, because disease often broke out among immigrants. Thence, young Jordan made his way westward. The Huron Tract or Goderich area was then being settled by John Galt and the Talbot Settlement around St. Thomas was progressing. Between lay a sparsely settled district; and so Michael Jordan acquired a fifty acre parcel of land known as Lot 22, Concession 2, Hibbert Township in the county of Perth, which became the Jordan homestead.

Michael Jordan born in 1830, was then a young man of medium height with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had faith in God, and intelligence which made him thankful for the opportunity of beginning again in a land, where he could worship God and provide for a family.

Having settled on his land and acquired the essentials for a home, he married Margaret Devereaux, also of Ireland, whose family and relatives had come somewhat earlier to Canada. (Note: This name is also spelled Devereux.) They had first settled in Nova Scotia, but later moved to their present locations near Seaforth in Huron County. (On maps of Ireland which show the location of ancestral families, near the south coast, the names Jordan and Devereaux are still to be found and as late as 1969, residents there related to a visiting descendant, that both families originally came from the Normandy area of France.)

Years later, Mr. Jordan told my mother that he had fallen in love with his wife because of her red hair. But Margaret Devereaux Jordan had more than lovely red hair. She brought to her home all the virtues and loyalties with which a man is blessed who marries a good woman--according to the book of Proverbs.

A poor log house, which stood over what was a basement and still is a hollow in the orchard, sheltered the family, which God blessed with one daughter followed by eight sons, as the parents worked and prayed and sacrificed themselves to bring up their children. Life was hard. My mother learned from Michael Jordan himself how, when Peter, the eldest boy, a child of two years, was ailing, they travelled on foot carrying the child to Seaforth, six miles distant, to consult a doctor. (Years later the parents must have smiled as they saw the ailing child develop a powerful physique to a height of six feet, two.)

One or two events are here chronicled. None but courageous hearts could have persevered in faith and charity through the tribulations and reverses which are part of all human lives. Only the angels have records of the long years of toil, the frustrations and heartbreaks of those early pioneers, your forebears and mine.

At length the Mother, worn by unremitting toil and sanctified by self-sacrifice, as any good mother must be, who rears citizens for heaven, died unexpectedly of a hemorrhage because surgeons and hysterectomies were wanting. The husband and family carried on as best they could, but before many months had run their course, a second funeral passed out from that home. Patrick, a boy of nine years, complained of severe pain. Medical aid was procured, but nothing could be done. The boy died of what today we call appendicitis, but was then pronounced to be inflammation of the intestine. His name remains on the family monument.

Margaret Devereux

Margaret Devereux Jordan and her son Patrick Jordan

Cemetery at St. Columban, Ontario

The Irish mentality, it is said, is prone to discouragement, and so we can picture the grief of that parent. Besides, the older boys had begun to look elsewhere for their future. Peter, the eldest son, had already learned the carpenter's trade as an apprentice with Mr. Joseph Keating of Seaforth and, working at his trade, made his way westward, where the new lands were building up rapidly. Stories and scenes of his visits to North Dakota, Montana and the Yellowstone National Park were a source of information to a growing family years afterwards.

Michael, John, James, and Francis followed westward. All found employment, the first three in California, where John who was over six feet tall and of powerful frame, served for years on the police force of San Francisco. Michael made his home in Los Angeles. Of James' work, no record remains, but photos of each sent home at intervals proved that all were, at least, in moderate circumstances. After the devastating earthquake which levelled San Francisco in 1906, letters home assured relatives of their safety.

Francis, in turn followed his brothers as far as Duluth. There he found employment as a blacksmith, which trade he had learned back home. There he remained, married a Margaret Harney, some of whose people still live in Ireland and there he prospered. He set up a flourishing business, which in time became a leading hardware centre. He, himself, became an influential businessman and returned regularly for relaxation to the old homestead. Mrs. Margaret (Jordan)King, a daughter, has kept in touch with her Canadian cousins right through to the present. Another daughter, a talented musician, became Sister Wilfred of the Order of S. Benedict.

Will, a younger son remained at home. The writer recalls that as a child she was hurried out of bed one morning to say "Good-bye" to Uncle Will, as he left home en route for the Boer War (1900-1902). Little news of him came back, but a photo and nuggets sent to a niece (Margaret) indicate that he rejoined his brothers in California, and probably visited the gold fields of the Klondike.

Thomas, the youngest, a child of two years at the time of his mother's death, was reared by the Cleary family (cousins) who had settled in Tuckersmith Township of Huron County near Seaforth. Like his eldest brother, Tom became a carpenter, married late in life and spent his later years in London, Ontario. An adopted daughter, Elizabeth Muldoon, reveres his memory.

Catherine, the eldest child, and the only daughter in the family, remained with her father to care for her younger brothers. When the next family in the home grew larger, she and her father selected a home near the church at St. Columban. As time went on and Michael Jordan became ill, Catherine lived near him at the House of Providence in London. After his death, she chose to remain there helping to care for the poor and aged. From her chosen work Death removed her some eight years later. Her remains were laid to rest in the family plot. Surely such as she shall be glorified in Eternity!

St. Columban Church

St. Columban's Catholic Church, erected Anno Domini 1909

The church was demolished in 2006.

But what of the homestead? Some time after the Mother's death, the eldest son, Peter, urged by the need at home and by the advice of his mother's relatives, the Devereaux families, returned to assist in managing the farm. The carpenter's trade soon proved useful. The small log house was replaced by a two-story frame structure with a walled-in basement, which was most necessary for storing the winter supply of fruits and vegetables. Because of the cold winters, the house was built with double walls separated by 2" x 4" scantlings, and gravel to a height of some twelve feet was poured in to the intervening space, thus making a wind-proof dwelling. This house to which a second building was added as the family grew, still stands but under the ownership of a Dutch family, who have replaced windows and doors, and have installed modern heating and plumbing.

Peter Jordan lost no time in improving the family circumstances. He was in his early twenties, with blue eyes, fair hair and his mother's reddish complexion. Besides being head and shoulders above most men in size, he was gifted with both mental and physical ability. At every barn-raising he was captain of the teams; his advice was sought regarding all building problems; even the tug-of-war at the annual parish picnic could not be held until he was first in his team. He completed the new home in his spare time and so high were the coat-hooks in the hall, that men joked about the tall wife he was planning to marry.

The new wife was surely a gift from God - a valiant woman. Teresa Casey (baptized Thrasilia) because her pious and cultured father named her for the saint of her birthday, was the youngest daughter of Owen Casey and Mary Finan, both also, of Ireland, but residing in Adjala Township, north of Toronto, in the neighbourhood of Barrie and Tottenham.

Their family were all born in Canada. William, who inherited his father's land, afterwards farmed in Manitoba. Eugene and John, the younger brothers also went West and lost contact with their sisters. On the death of their mother in 1906, the message, possibly including all three, was forwarded: "Unable to come. Give respectable burial." Funds to execute the order were made available. The writer witnessed also the death and burial of the maternal Grandmother, who was laid to rest in the same Canadian soil, after a long life of some eighty years.

Relatives of the Casey family and Margaret, the eldest daughter (born January 18, 1853 and died February 8, 1943) already married residents of Perth County, and when Teresa came to visit her sister, Mrs. John Murphy, she met Peter Jordan. But times were hard in those days. Teresa and her two older sisters went, for a time, to earn their livelihood in Winnipeg, where jobs were available. There Winnifred, the older sister met and married Charles Hoskins of Minneapolis; Mary became Sister Ubald of the Holy Names Sisters in Winnipeg, where she lived all her life. Teresa married Peter Jordan in the parish church of that city and with her husband returned to their modest home where they both spent most of their lives.

Peter Jordan met the challenge of providing for ten children. He worked diligently and planned intelligently to meet his obligations. New buildings were erected and additional lands acquired. Although he made little show of piety, only a deep faith could have enabled him to look confidently to the future, and in the midst of his own problems, lend assistance to less fortunate neighbours.

Teresa (Casey) Jordan was all that a good wife and mother could be. She worked and planned and saved. Seeing that her family must fit themselves to earn their bread, she tutored, encouraged and insisted that they get the necessary education. Nor was religion neglected. By her example, God was honoured in that home.

Michael, the eldest child was a sturdy lad who, after a few years schooling, helped on the farm until the two younger sons, Francis and Will, were able to replace him. Then, Michael learned his father's trade from his father's instructor, and made his home in London, where there was steady employment. There, he married Mary Toohey, and brought up a family of five sons and three daughters, all of whom are still in successful careers. John, the eldest, became an expert carpenter in Toronto, where he and his wife, Elma McKeown, reared a fine family. In 1964, his wife died of an unsuspected ailment. Then for five years the family carried on until in 1969, John married again. His second wife was a school-time friend, Lorna Charlton, who has become a second mother to the younger girls.

The second boy, Joseph, after serving in the army, remained and reached the rank of Captain. His wife, Marie Chisholm, a native of Antigonish, N. S. is an excellent Catholic. Their family of girls are graduating from various colleges.

Teresa, the eldest daughter and Clarence, both employed in London remained with their father until his unexpected death of a heart attack on October 8, 1949. Some twenty-four years earlier, his wife had predeceased him leaving him alone to bring up the family. When the father was gone, the younger members of the family quickly made a home of their own. Loretta became Mrs. Robert Franke of Detroit; William married Mildred Moody and became head of a family of four sons all living at the parents' home in north London. James, who lived with his Grandmother in Dublin until he completed high school, is a travelling salesman, and head of a family of two sons and three daughters. He and his wife Frances Desmond and family live on Kingsway Avenue in London. Dorothy, left an infant at her mother's death, was reared by her father's sister, Mrs. James J. Dewan of Biddulph Township outside London. After graduating from elementary school, she returned home to enter a high school in London. Following a successful business career, she became Mrs. J. G. Desmarais and mother of two sons and one daughter residing in the neighbourhood of Toronto, where her husband is an instructor in a noted school of music.

Francis, the second son in Peter Jordan's family, farmed in Hibbert Township, until he retired to Seaforth, where he died of a heart attack on December 8, 1969. His wife, Catherine Doyle, having predeceased him by five years. Frank's eldest son, Peter, remained to farm in Hibbert. He and his wife, Bernadette Barry, have a growing family. Frank's other two sons have already found employment elsewhere - Tom in Red Rock where he has a wife and two sons, and Frank, living in Ottawa. Of Frank's daughters, Mary, the eldest, and Claire, Mrs. Jack Unsworth, reside in the Detroit area while Anne, Mrs. James Krauskopf, and the two youngest, Veronica, Mrs. Kenneth Vincent, and Barbara, who cared for her father in his closing years, remain near their parental home in Ontario.

(Note: Tom in Red Rock had a wife and 2 sons, as well as 3 daughters.)

Will, the third son in Peter Jordan's family, helped his parents on the homestead until, in his thirty first year he died, unexpectedly of an unidentified virus infection on December 8, 1921. A younger daughter, Eleanor also passed away before her thirtieth birthday of pneumonia, which followed a cold. The youngest son, John C., entered the seminary after teaching for a few years. As a priest, he ministered in the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he set up a complete parish unit - St. Joan of Arc - entirely free of debt, but over-exertion left him with a damaged heart, and he was forced to retire from parish work in 1968. Fr. John died suddenly on November 16, 1970.

The six daughters of the Peter Jordan family became school teachers. Margaret, the eldest, after a two year teaching career, became Mrs. Dougald McCormick of the Parkhill neighbourhood. After the death of her husband, she resided in London until her death December 27, 1968. There she was cared for by her son Peter and two of her younger daughters, Veronica, Mrs. J. J. Doyle, and Eleanor, Mrs. J. G. Wiese. Other daughters of her family, Mary, Mrs. Ivan Edgar of Brighton and Helen, Mrs. John R. McCoskey, Rita, Mrs. Everett N. Bayley, Mildred, Mrs. Edward P. Stone, and Angela, Mrs. Wm. H. Verhelle, all of the Detroit area were also able to visit her frequently with their families.

The McCormick Family of Parkhill, Ontario

The family of Dougald and Margaret McCormick of Parkhill, Ontario. c. 1924

The next two girls of the family were twins: Mary became Mrs. James J. Dewan of Biddulph Township, Middlesex County, where she had taught in the No. 4 School. The Dewan family consisted of three sons and with them for a time lived Dorothy Jordan, daughter of Michael, who was left at eight weeks of age in need of loving care, and who described her Aunt Mary as all that a mother could be. Joseph Dewan died in his late twenties, the result of an injury which occurred while at work. The two other sons, John, the elder on his family acres, and Frank, the second son, a business executive of Warren, Michigan, both married and have large families who are already contributing to society.

Anne Jordan, Mary's twin, became Mrs. Peter Fitzpatrick. Their home was established near the Jordan homestead, where two sons and two daughters were reared. Of these, Maurice, the eldest son still farms the land his father acquired, while the other son, John and the two daughters, Mary and Margaret, after acquiring a business education, secured employment and established homes in the Windsor - Detroit area. Mary became Mrs. Stephen Spisak (1920-1997), and Margaret, the younger, Mrs. James Blair.

After Will Jordan, who had remained at home was laid in an early grave, his parents found farming difficult. They were entirely alone, since the two remaining daughters had enrolled among the Sisters of St. Joseph - Elizabeth as Sister Mary Alma in August 1917, and Teresa as Sister St. Teresa in July 1924.

Young Sister St. Teresa

Sister St.Teresa

After long years of heavy toil, Peter Jordan succumbed to a sudden heart attack July 16, 1927. His wife then prepared to move from the farm into the village of Dublin, where she spent some fourteen years. During this time she made welcome any of her grandchildren who could there, more easily, secure a high school education.

Finally in the autumn of 1941, seeing nothing further to be done, this heroic soul folded her worn hands and retired to live in the Rectory at Imlay City, Michigan where her son was the parish priest and where she would have greater opportunity to prepare for the end, which she knew was not far distant. It came on January 9, 1943 as she recited her rosary.

When I recall what my parents endured, and the sacrifices they made in order to rear a family according to their traditions, I want to pass on to the upcoming generations the story of their lives, as an incentive in these troubled times. They never refused food and night's rest on the old lounge in the warm kitchen to the tramp who called at their door; and the harvest of the neighbouring old bachelor was reaped with the same care as they gathered in their own. On Sunday the boys got out the team even though the snow drifts were shoulder high. Many a time Nagle's gravel pit almost became our Waterloo. But we always made it though the snow was deep as a mine, and the horses plunged and panicked. When the stove smoked or the door of the little red school wouldn't close, etc., the teacher sent a plea with us for help, and Dad never refused, though he didn't always give service with a smile; and all was gratis. Mother too, year after year balanced the books and kept the records for the same, no salary. They were dedicated.

Here I close the chronicles of the family history which began in 1830 in Wexford, Ireland. To others, I leave the task of tracing the careers to the upcoming members. May they carry on, loyal and true to their forbears, and may there be no blemish on the family tree of the JORDANS."

by Sister M. Alma (Jordan)


Sister Alma Jordan

London Free Press, London, Ontario

At Ignatia Hall, Mount St. Joseph on Friday, March 23, 1990. Sister Alma (Elizabeth Jordan) of the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London; in her 96th year of life and her 73rd of Religious Life. Predeceased by her brothers Michael, Francis, William and John Charles Jordan and her sisters Margaret McCormick, Mary Dewan, Anne Fitzpatrick, Eleanor Jordan and Sister Teresa Jordan. Also survived by several nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. Resting at Mount St. Joseph Mother House, 1486 Richmond Street North, where the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in Immaculate Conception Chapel on Sunday evening at 7:30. Interment St. Peter's Cemetery on Monday morning March 26 at 9 o'clock. (John T. Donohue Funeral Home).

The family of Michael Jordan Sr.:

Michael Jordan was born 1830 at Wexford County, Ireland. His wife, Margaret Devereaux (or Devereux) was also born in Ireland in 1832. They married June, 1856 and lived at Lot 22, Concession 2, Hibbert Township, Perth County. Margaret Devereaux Jordan died September 28, 1874. Michael Jordan died June 18, 1912. They are both buried in the Catholic cemetery at St. Columban, Ontario

The children of Michael Jordan and Margaret Devereaux (or Devereux) Jordan:

1. Catherine was born 1857 at Dublin, Ontario and died October 12, 1923. She is buried at the cemetery at St. Columban.

2. Peter was born November 1, 1859 at Dublin, Ontario. He married Teresa Casey April 21, 1884 at Winnipeg, Manitoba. He died July 16, 1927 and Teresa is buried at the cemetery at St. Columban.

3. Michael was born 1861 at Dublin, Ontario and married in 1886 at Los Angeles.

4. John was born 1863 at Dublin, Ontario and married in 1888 at San Francisco.

5. James was born 1865 at Dublin, Ontario and married in 1889.

6. Francis was born 1867 at Dublin, Ontario. He married Margaret Harney of Tipperary, Ireland in 1892 at Duluth, Minnesota. He died in 1945 and is buried at Duluth.

7. Patrick was born 1869 at Dublin, Ontario and died April 2, 1877. He is buried at the cemetery at St. Columban.

8. William was born 1871 at Dublin, Ontario.

9. Thomas was born January 27, 1872 at Dublin, Ontario. He married Anne Dewan on October 18, 1916 at St. Patrick's Church, Lucan, Ontario. He died September 17, 1955 and is buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery, Lucan, Ontario.

Thomas Jordan and Anne Dewan

Thomas Jordan and Anne Dewan


The 1881 census

The 1881 census shows some discrepancies in the recollections of Sister Alma. In 1881, Michael Jordan was a widower, age 49. He was born 1832 in Ireland and was a farmer at Hibbert Township, South Perth County, Ontario. Eight children lived with him at the time of the census, all born in Ontario. They are as follows: Catherine, age 24, born 1857; Peter, age 22, born 1859; John, age 20, born 1861; James, age 18, born 1863; Michael, age 17, born 1864; Francis, age 15, born 1866; William, age 11, born 1870; Thomas, age 8, born 1873.


The family of Peter Jordan, son of Michael Jordan and Margaret Devereaux (or Devereux):

Peter Jordan

Peter Jordan, 1859 - 1927. This photo taken in 1914.

Peter Jordan was born November 1, 1859 at Dublin, Ontario. His wife, Teresa Casey was born December 24, 1858 at Adjala Township, Tottenham, Ontario, the daughter of Owen Casey and Mary Finan. They married April 21, 1884 at Winnipeg, Manitoba and then lived at Lot 22, Concession 2, Hibbert Township, Perth County. Peter Jordan died July 16, 1927. His wife, Teresa Casey Jordan died January 9, 1943. They are both buried in the Catholic cemetery at St. Columban, Ontario

Teresa Casey Jordan

Teresa Casey Jordan

1858 - 1943

Newspaper article: Mrs. Teresa Jordan Being Buried Tuesday

DUBLIN, Jan. 10. Mrs. Teresa Jordan, widow of Peter Jordan, for many years a resident of Dublin and Hibbert Township, died on Saturday in Imlay City, Mich. Owing to failing health, she had gone to live with her son, Rev. Fr. John C. Jordan, in Imlay City, 15 months ago. Mrs. Jordan suffered a stroke three weeks ago and failed to recover. Formerly Miss Teresa Casey, she was born near Tottenham, Tecumseh Township, 84 years ago. She was married in Winnipeg 60 years ago to Mr. Jordan, and they came to live in Hibbert Township. Her husband died in 1928, and she then moved to Dublin. There were 10 children, of whom eight survive: Michael of London; Frank of Hibbert Township; Rev. Fr. John Jordan; Mrs. D. McCormick (Margaret), Parkhill; Mrs. James J. Dewan (Mary), Lucan; Mrs. P. Fitzpatrick (Anna), Hibbert Township; Sister Ann St. Teresa, of St. Joseph's Community, Sarnia; Sister M. Alma of St. Joseph's Community, Windsor. One son, William, and a daughter, Elinor, predeceased. There are also two sisters, Mrs. John Murphy, Dublin, and Sister Mary Ubald, Holy Name Community, Montreal, and 31 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Mrs. Jordan received her education in Tottenham Separate School and Brantford High School. She taught school for two years in Tecumseh Township. She took a keen interest in her family and was a devout member of St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, and was a member of the Altar Society. The funeral will be held from the residence at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning to St. Patrick's Church. Interment will be in St. Columban Cemetery.

The children of Peter Jordan and Teresa Casey Jordan:

1. Michael Joseph was born April 30, 1885 at Dublin, Ontario. He married Mary Catherine Toohey on June 25, 1913 at St. Michael's, London, Ontario. He died October 8, 1949 and is buried at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

2. Margaret Mary was born January 23, 1887 at Dublin, Ontario. She married Dougald McCormick on January 22, 1907 at St. Columban, Ontario. She died December 28, 1968 and is buried at Bornish, Ontario.

3. Francis was born April 9, 1888 at Dublin, Ontario. He married Catherine Doyle on June 27, 1917 at St. Columban, Ontario. He died December 8, 1969 and is buried at Seaforth, Ontario.

4. Mary was a twin to Anne, and was born August 18, 1889 at Dublin, Ontario. She married James Dewan on September 15, 1914 at St. Columban, Ontario. She died June 21, 1964 and is buried at Lucan in Biddulph Township, Ontario.

5. Anne was a twin to Mary, and was born August 18, 1889 at Dublin, Ontario. She married Peter Fitzpatrick on January 30, 1917 at St. Columban, Ontario. She died November 13, 1965 and is buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery, Dublin, Ontario.

6. William A. was born October 30, 1890 at Dublin, Ontario and died December 8, 1921. He is buried at St. Columban, Ontario.

Father John C. Jordan

Father John C. Jordan

7. John C. was born December 7, 1892 at Dublin, Ontario and was ordained into priesthood by Bishop Plagens on March 25, 1928 at the Cathedral of St. Peter & Paul, Detroit, Michigan. He died November 16, 1970 and is buried at St. Columban, Ontario.

8. Elizabeth was born April 22, 1894 at Dublin, Ontario. She entered the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph August 15, 1917 at Sacred Heart Convent, London, Ontario. Sister Mary Alma died March 23, 1990 and is buried at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

9. Eleanor was born May 5, 1896 at Dublin, Ontario. She died December 29, 1925 and is buried at St. Columban, Ontario.

Sister St. Teresa

Sister St. Teresa at her Golden Jubilee, 1974.

10.Teresa Mary was born August 15, 1898 at Dublin, Ontario. She entered the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph July 2, 1924 at Sacred Heart Convent, London, Ontario. Sister St. Teresa died July 3, 1975 and is buried at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

The 1901 census

The 1901 census shows some discrepancies in the recollections of Sister Alma. Michael Jordan is a widower living in Hibbert Township, South Perth, Ontario, age 68 as of April, 1901. His was born 1832 in Ireland, and arrived in Canada 1847. His occupation is farmer and his nationality is Canadian. His daughter Catherine, age 42, single, lived with him and her date of birth is stated as November 1, 1858. Married son Peter and family lived also with Michael, the head of the household. Peter is 43, born February 2, 1857. Peter's wife, Teresa is 42, born December 24, 1857. Son Michael is 15, born April 30, 1885. Margaret is 14, born January 23, 1886. Francis is 13, born April 9, 1887. Mary and Ann are twins, age 11, born August 18, 1889. William is 10, born October 30, 1890. John is 8, born December 7, 1892. Elizabeth is 6, born April 22, 1894. Eleanor is 4, born May 5, 1896. Teresa is 2, born August 15, 1898.

Excerpts from the lives of Michael Joseph Jordan and Mary Catherine (Mamie) Toohey

Written about 1973 by Sister Mary Alma (Jordan)

Michael Jordan and Mary Toohey Jordan

Michael Jordan and Mary Toohey Jordan

On their wedding day, June 25, 1913

"Michael J. Jordan married Mary Catherine (Mamie) Toohey, daughter of Timothy Toohey who was a resident of London North, who was employed at Bricklin's Meat Market on Richmond Street near Oxford, and who had married Mary McIntyre at St. Peter's Church - now the Basilica, in 1886. (February 24, 1886) Mr. Toohey was not related to the James Toohey family of the Lucan area, but he was related to James Toohey's wife Maria O'Meara, a first cousin. Her mother's name was Costello and whose Uncle - Msgr. Flannery's father was for years an official at the London post office.

NOTE: Reverend Monsignor West T. Flannery lived from 1897 to 1978 and was ordained in 1921. NOTE: Maria O'Meara's parents were John O'Meara and Margaret Ryan, according to Maria's birth record. Margaret Ryan was the sister of Catherine Mary Ryan. Catherine Ryan married Patrick Toohey and Timothy Joseph Toohey was their son. Therefore Maria O'Meara was a first cousin to Timothy Joseph Toohey because their mothers were sisters.

Timothy Toohey's sister, Winnifred, married a Mr. Peter McIntyre who resided on Gunn Street in London West. They had a son, Peter and a daughter, Agnes. Peter married Margaret Burns and was employed at the London Advertiser until the paper folded up (about 1936), He then moved to Ottawa and later to Windsor where he joined the staff of the Border Cities Star (the Windsor Star). Peter died April 20, 1973, just a year after his wife. They had two daughters, Mary Lou and Aileen. The latter is Mrs. Robert R. Srigley of Dearborn, Michigan, mother of four daughters. Mary Lou lives in Ferndale, Michigan.

Agnes McIntyre married Joseph DeActis and lived for a time in St. Joseph's Parish, London West, from which they were both laid to rest during 1961. Of their three sons only Peter remains in London at 863 Notre Dame Street.

One of Mrs. Toohey's sisters, Isabelle McIntyre (Aunt Bell) became the wife of John Cushing, a letter carrier and an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Michael's Parish, London North. Their family numbered five sons and two daughters.

William became a railroad man, married and lived in East London, but left no family. Daniel whose wife was Msgr. Flannery's sister Winnifred, was with a brokerage firm in Toronto. They had a son Jack, and a daughter, Patricia.

Chester became a chiropractor and left one daughter, Mary Lou, whose mother remarried after Chester's death. Tom married an Italian girl at St. Peter's London but lived in Detroit where they had a family of one son, Tom and a daughter, Teresa. The fifth son, John, died in his childhood.

Pearl the older daughter married in Detroit but died young of a blood clot twelve days after surgery. Of Kathleen we know little because her home was in far away California.

From all this it would appear that Timothy Toohey, surrounded as he was by relatives and friends who held good positions, could have established a flourishing business in London, but he chose otherwise. Whether he judged that a larger city offered better prospects or the lure of the times affected him, he moved to Detroit, where he set up his own meat market.

The first child born to Timothy Toohey and his wife, May 13, 1888, was a daughter Mary Catherine (Mamie). All went well with the happy young family until a second child, a son, came into the world and both mother and son passed away at his birth.

Transcriber's Note: Catherine Toohey age 27, born in Komoka, died in London on April 4, 1890 of consumption. The London Free Press of Saturday, April 5, 1890 reported, DIED: Toohey: In this city, on the 4th inst., Katherine Twohey wife of T. Twohey, butcher, aged 27 years. Funeral will leave family residence Victoria Street west of Richmond on Monday morning, at 9 o' clock, to St. Peter's Cathedral. The gray granite monument at St.Peter's Cemetery, London - Row 25, Stone 3, sect. AA is inscribed TOOHEY "Katie"/Catherine/ wife of T. Toohey born Nov. 14, 1862/ died April 4, 1890."

Now, the bright world became dark for Timothy Toohey. His home was broken up and his only child had to be given over to the care of others. Mrs. John Cushing (Aunt Bell), of 320 Victoria Street, London, received her sister's child to be brought up with her own family of five sons and two daughters as mentioned earlier.

Mr.and Mrs. John Cushing displayed a magnificent example of Christian charity in accepting another child into an already large family. Difficulties were to be expected and they came, squabbles among the children themselves. At length, when Mamie had reached eight or nine years, she gathered her belongings together one afternoon and carried them down the street to the home of her father's sister, Aunt Bridget, the wife of Bob Corcoran, who kept a bakery on the corner of Maitland and Cheapside where St. Michael's church stands now.

The child had probably visited at her Aunt's home with her father on his occasional trips to London, and knowing she would be made welcome, asked to be allowed to remain. The Corcorans not only accepted the child, they were good to her, which was not too difficult, since they had only a son, Bob, and a daughter Annie, of their own, and they were well-to-do. They treated her as their own and provided her with a good business education.

Charity it is said, always brings its own reward. Years later, after the Corcorans had passed away, the child they had cared for, provided a funeral home at 521 Cheapside Street, for their son, Bob Jr. whose remains were returned from New York in May, 1924 for burial in London. Their daughter Mrs. Kelly of New York found friends and companionship in Mamie Toohey and her family after she had buried her husband and returned to London a widow.

Difficulties had, we may be sure, matured Mamie. Besides, she was diligent and intelligent. She secured a position in Cowan's (later Twitchen's) Flour and Feed Store on Richmond Street. This she held until her marriage; and so well did her employer like her that they asked her to get them another girl like herself as successor. At that time she was not only acquainted with every corner of the city, but she knew almost every person in the city, her special gift. She chose as her successor Miss Kathleen Gleeson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pat Gleeson who resided in London North, where Mr. Gleeson cared for the cemetery. The successor later became Mrs. Basil Healy, now departed.

Mary Catherine (Mamie) Toohey

Mary Catherine (Mamie) Toohey

1888 - 1925

Michael Jordan meanwhile had secured recognition as a first class carpenter and was employed with the builder then constructing the St. Michael's Church (now replaced) at the corner of Maitland and Cheapside. Daily riders of the street car observed the growing friendship, as he watched to salute the attractive young lady on her way to Cowan's office.

Their marriage was solemnized in the still unfinished St. Michael's by the Pastor, Father Hanlon. They were the first couple married in St. Michael's Parish on June 25, 1913. Mr. Thomas Jordan, uncle of the groom was best man and Miss Rose Self, a girl friend of the bride served as bridesmaid. After a short honeymoon spent at the Jordan home in Hibbert Township, Dublin, Ontario, the young couple established themselves in London North, first on Grosvenor St. and after at 521 Cheapside St. Finally they resided at 926 William Street.

During the interval, Timothy Toohey had married a second wife, Julia Cain whose sister Anne Cain had already married William Dewan of Biddulph Township in the Lucan neighbourhood, and whose brother Mike Cain (known as Fiddler) married Mary Ryder of Lucan, who was still living in a nursing home in Ingersoll as of 1973.

Julia Cain Toohey

Julia Cain Toohey

October 13, 1870 - December 27, 1940

Julia (Cain) Toohey was not only an expert seamstress employed in "Russell's" on Woodward Ave. Detroit, which designed and supplied the fashionable gowns for the elite of Detroit, known as the "400", but she must have cheered Mr. Toohey's later years. She was also a kind good homemaker. She went with Mr. Toohey to meet his granddaughter Teresa at the Sanatorium in London where the girl was employed and she in turn invited Teresa to their home opposite St. Theresa's Church on Quincy Ave. in Detroit, for her vacations. This was proof that she had a motherly interest in her husband's grandchild.

That granddaughter recalls with gratitude how she spent part of her vacation with them each year, until in 1939 she made her last visit. Mrs. Toohey suffered a stroke and died suddenly in December, 1940. As the granddaughter gazed upon her lying at rest, her grandfather presented her with his wife's diamond ring saying, "Julie wished you to have it."

Timothy Joseph Toohey

Timothy Joseph Toohey

June 24, 1861 - January 25, 1946

One son, Joseph, who had been born of this second marriage was now his father's consolation and support. When Mrs. Toohey's remains had been laid to rest after the Requiem Mass in St. Theresa's, Mr. Toohey made his home with Joseph at his residence in Dearborn, where a lovely young wife Denise, a former Detroit school teacher and three fine sons, Joseph, Robert and William, welcomed him. Life went on. Joseph Toohey held a responsible position at Ford until his retirement. Robert became an attorney and married a doctor's daughter; and the future looks bright for the other two sons. Another sorrow, however had already saddened Mr. Toohey's twilight years even before Julia had reached the end of her course in 1940. But let us return to his daughter's household and trace the events which had occurred there during the interval.

Mary (Toohey) Jordan was a capable business girl and well acquainted with London. She was therefore, a thrifty manager of the new home. Of her, Dr. Tillman, a prominent London physician said, "She was a model wife and mother." At one time when it seemed necessary because of illness that they should move to the farm home in Hibbert Township, she went graciously and remained as long as required, although she was not accustomed to rural life and ways.

Michael Jordan Family

The Children of Michael Jordan and Mary Toohey c. 1924, on the steps of their home at 521 Cheapside St., London, Ontario.

From left, back row; John, Teresa holding Jim as a baby, Bill. From left, front row; Joe, Loretta, and Clem.

But Mary (Toohey) Jordan's life was to be short. About five months after the birth on June 25, 1925 of her eighth child (Dorothy), she became ill. She was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital the next day on November 1st and underwent surgery on November 2nd. It was a case of a ruptured appendix. Peritonitis set in and she fought a losing battle. On November 4th, she gradually weakened. Conscious to the end, she heard the incoming C.P.R. train from Detroit arrive on time as usual at 7:15 p.m., and remarked to those about her bedside that her father would be on that train. Then she added that she was leaving her children in the care of a good father. Shortly after having greeted her father on his arrival, she departed this life. Her death was that of a good Christian mother. Her last words were, "It's hard to leave Mike and the children but God comes first."

It was no easy task that Michael Jordan then faced. His sister, Mrs. James Dewan immediately took the five month old Dorothy from the hospital to rear her with her own family. Another sister, Mrs. Dougald McCormick provided a temporary home for the youngest boy, James, but he was later transferred to the care of the paternal grandmother, where he grew to early manhood and completed his early education.

At home, Mr. Jordan employed one house-keeper after another until he secured the services of Miss Margaret Doyle, who remained with them for eighteen years and whom the family loved dearly. They visited her occasionally in Wallacetown, Dutton, and Fingal until her death at the age of 99 in 1982.

During the thirties, times were especially difficult. Growing children require nourishing food, and books and clothing must be renewed frequently. Home furnishings were dilapidated and work was scarce. Fortunately Mr. Jordan had bought lots on which he had built houses in the better years, at 924, 926, 928 William Street. The sale of these two houses at 924 and 928 now provided funds with which he was able to carry on; but only with great courage and confidence in Divine Providence could have done so.

At this time he added to his skill of carpenter that of millwright. Thus having learned that a millwright was needed on a large project in London and being desperately in need of steady employment, he presented himself. He knew that millwright work brought top pay, so he observed millwrights closely as he waited his turn. When asked if he was a millwright, he replied, "I can do the work." and was immediately taken on. Henceforth, that was his specialty.

Not only did Michael Jordan supply the material needs of his family, but he tried to supply for their social upbringing. He took them along when he visited relatives, and by precept and example inculcated righteous and honest living. Their loyalty and unity as a family no doubt cheered him. Each boy managed a paper route as soon as he was able, and all assisted in making their home a happy place. Thus were laid the firm foundation on which the lives of strong men and women were based.

But Michael Jordan's work was done. As he completed his week's labours on Saturday, October 8th, 1949, the brave heart gave way. He was able to drive home from Pincombe's in Strathroy and reached his living room, where he lay on the lounge and gave back his soul to God in peace, as his two sons hurried to be with him. May he rest in peace. Surely the Father in Heaven could greet him with, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." He had done his duty. He had brought up his family to be good faithful Christians. As his remains were carried from St. Michael's Church, which he had helped to build, a neighbour's voice remarked, "He was a good man to his family."

That bereaved family of eight were now without both parents, but good parents rear good children and these, their children had already begun to make their way."

by Sister M. Alma (Jordan)

Obituary Notices from the London Free Press for Michael J. Jordan

M. J. Jordan, Contractor Dies

Contractor and millwright Michael J. Jordan, 65, died suddenly at his home, 926 William Street. He returned home from a job in Strathroy at noon complaining of feeling tired and ill, reclined on the chesterfield and died. His doctor said he had had a heart condition for many years. Born in Hibbert Township, he lived in London for the past 37 years. He was a member of St. Michael's Church, the Holy Name Society, the League oft he Sacred Heart and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He is survived by five sons, John, Weston; James, Toronto; and Joseph, Clarence and William, London; three daughters, Miss Teresa Jordan, London; (Loretta) Mrs. Robert Franke, Detroit; and Miss Dorothy Jordan, Ottawa; two brothers, Rev. John C. Jordan, Detroit; and Frank, Hibbert Township; five sisters, Sister M. Alma and Sister St. Teresa, of the St. Joseph's Community; Mrs. Margaret McCormick, London; Mrs. James Dewan, Sr., Lucan; and Mrs. Annie Fitzpatrick, Hibbert Township; and seven grandchildren. The body is at the Donohue and Weber Funeral Home. Requiem high mass will be sung in St. Michael's Church Tuesday at 9 a.m. Interment will follow in St. Peter's Cemetery.

Michael J. Jordan, (London)

Contractor and millwright, Michael J. Jordan, died suddenly at his home, 926 William Street, on October 8, 1949. He was 65. In 1913, he married Mary Toohey, daughter of the late Timothy Toohey and Mary McIntyre. His wife predeceased him in 1925. The funeral was held on Oct. 11 from the Donohue and Weber Funeral Home to St. Michael's Church, where requiem high Mass was sung by Father Jordan of Detroit, brother of the deceased. Pallbearers were: John Dewan, Peter McCormick, John Fitzpatrick, Maurice Fitzpatrick, Peter Jordan, John Dewan. Father Jordan, assisted by Rev. R. B. Cassin, conducted the service at the grave. Burial was in St. Peter's Cemetery. R.I.P.

Teresa Mary Jordan

Teresa Mary Jordan

1914 - 1998

A Final Note Written about 1984 by Teresa Mary Jordan

That is the final line as written by our Aunt, Sister M. Alma of the St. Joseph's Community about our mother and father, now deceased. Mary Catherine Toohey was born 1888 and died 1925 at the age of 37. Michael Joseph Jordan was born 1885 and died 1949 at the age of 64. Sister Alma is the last surviving member of ten in the family of Peter and Teresa Jordan, Hibbert Township, Dublin, Ontario. Sister Alma was born Elizabeth Jordan on April 22, 1894.

The children of Michael Jordan and Mary Toohey Jordan:

1. Teresa Mary was born June 9, 1914 and died January 17, 1998. She is buried with her parents at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

2. John Timothy was born February 12, 1916 and died January 20, 2000. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill, Ontario.

3. Joseph Michael was born January 21, 1918 and died June 25, 1985. His wife, Marie Christina Chisholm was born September 2, 1915 and died November 6, 2011. Joe and Marie are buried at Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario.

4. Loretta Margaret was born July 3, 1919 and died January 1, 1996. Her husband, Robert Arthur Franke was born 1918 and died July 3, 2014. Loretta and Bob are buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan.

Clarence Francis Jordan 1945

Clarence F. Jordan, 1945, Canadian Army in World War 2, 5th Division, Cape Breton Highlanders.

5. Clarence Francis (Clem) was born July 6, 1921 and died April 23, 1995. He is buried with his parents at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

6. William Edward was born October 17, 1922 and died December 6, 1983. His wife, Mildred Mary was born May 17, 1927 and died January 9, 2017. Bill and Millie are buried at St. Peter's Cemetery, London, Ontario.

7. James Martin was born March 29, 1924 and died September 7, 2016. His wife Frances Desmond "Daisy" was born May 29, 1922 and died in Sarnia, Ontario on March 20, 2008. Jim and Daisy are buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery, Dublin, Ontario.

8. Dorothy Rita was born June 6, 1925 and died August 19, 1986. Her husband, Joseph Gerard Desmarais was born September 19, 1919, and died March 3, 2009. Dorothy and Gerry are buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Woodbridge, Ontario.

Miss Margaret Doyle on her 90th birthday

Miss Margaret Doyle on her 90th birthday in 1973. Photo by Michael Jordan.

Back row from left: Joe Jordan, Jim Jordan, John Jordan, Bill Jordan, Clem Jordan
Front row from left: Teresa Jordan, Miss Margaret Doyle, Dorothy Desmarais, Loretta Franke