My Grandpa was born Francis Marie de Jourdan but everyone called him Frank. He was a true gentlemen, very smart, kind and thrifty.

Grandpa never talked much about his past. I am thankful for Aunt Joan,  Grandpa’s sister-in-law, who had documented some of the de Jourdan family story.

Grandpa’s parents (Pierre de Jourdan and Margaret Baird) met and were married in Alberta, there will be a separate blog entry about this. After their wedding Maggie returned to Ireland to say good-bye to her family. When in Ireland, she discovered she was pregnant and couldn’t get back to Canada (I’m going to do a bit more investigating – possibly potato famine or a strike.)

One of my uncles was recently in Ireland and visited the church in Antrim where Grandpa was baptized.

My uncle was able to obtain this information. He was baptized Francis Mary de Jourdan, born June 22 and baptized on June 23.




I recently visited Pier 21 in Halifax to search family records. They were unable to find any information about Grandpa,  however they were able to find his father’s immigration record. I returned home, determined to learn more about Grandpa’s story.

Thanks to the internet I learned that Maggie de Jourdan and her 2 month old baby (my Grandpa) arrived at Ellis Island (explaining why I couldn’t find Grandpa’s immigration in Canadian records) on September 16th, 1912.  Maggie and my grandpa Frank made the trip from Londonderry to Ellis Island, USA. I can’t imagine his mother making this trek with a baby.  This is the passenger information and the link to Ellis Island records.  The records have a couple of errors, spelling his name as Frances, gender female, and he would have been 3 months. I did submit a text correction so hopefully that will get fixed for you Grandpa.

They travelled on the ship Caledonia from Londonderry. There were 1,468 passengers,(383 first class, 216 second class, 869 third class). The ship was built by D. and W. Henderson and Co Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, 1904. It was built for Anchor Line, British flag, in 1904 and named Caledonia. It provided Glasgow-New York service. It was used as a British troopship 1914-16 and was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine off Malta in 1916.


Looking through the records at Ellis Island, Grandpa made trips from Bermuda to Ellis Island in his late twenties. I still have more investigating to do!

Please share your favourite stories, memories and pictures of my Grandpa, Frank de Jourdan, in the comment section.