jeddore lighthouse

Sometimes a surname is associated exclusively with Native people.  When you see that surname, you immediately know where it, and the family, came from.  This is the case with the Jeddore surname.

Jeddore is a L’nu (Mi’kmaq) surname, that has also led to placenames in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Locations in Nova Scotia that include the Jeddore name are East Jeddore, West Jeddore, Jeddore Oyster Pond and Head of Jeddore.  In Newfoundland and Labrador, we find Jeddore Lake.  The lighthouse photo is at Jeddore, Nova Scotia and was taken by W.R. MacAskill.

The earliest instance of the surname Jeddore known to date is Kji-Saqamaw We’jitu Isidore, (circa 1656-1769). (Saqamaw means “Chief”; Kji-Saqamaw means “Grand Chief”).

In personal communications between Joseph Cope and Harry Piers of the Nova Scotia Museum in 1914, we discover the following information about We’jitu Isidore.

“We’jitu Isidore, (ca. 1656 – ca. 1769) was a Kji-Saqamaw (“grand chief”) of the Mi’kmaq of the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

We’jitu “was a great Indian who died, it is said, at the age of 113 years. In his young days he saw a vision, and afterwards became the most powerful person in the tribe (a Kinap, with great physical strength). [He] made the men of his tribe great in athletic sports, so that they won from men of other tribes, in competitions. His camping ground was on the east side of First Dartmouth Lake, about half way or so up the lake. [The] name We’jitu apparently related to Isidore and the Indians Jeddore were descendents of his. Noel Jeddore of Halifax [?] was his grandson.”

The contemporary surname Isidore may also be related to Kji-Saqamaw We’jitu Isidore.

People commonly known by their family name Jeddore (in rare instances written as Jedor(e), Ledor(e), Geodol, Gietol and Gadole, include:

  • Noel Jeddore (1810 – 1898)
  • Joseph Jeddore (Abt. 1866 – April 11, 1956)
  • John Denny Jeddore (August 1887 – October 14, 1953)
  • Peter Jeddore (May 9, 1892 – May 18, 1970)
  • Saqamaw Noel Jeddore  (December 18, 1865 – May 14, 1944)
  • Victor Jeddore (August 11, 1907 – July 7, 1977)
  • Lawrence Jeddore (November 4, 1922 – 1998)

The National Museum of the American Indian includes a photo of Noel (Joseph) Jeddore (1865-1944) originally from the Conne River Reserve, Nova Scotia.

Noel Joseph Jeddore (December 18, 1865 – May 14, 1944) was Saqamaw at Miawpukek (Conne River) from July 26, 1919 until he was forced into exile to Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, in 1924. He was born at Indian Point, Baie d’Espoir and he died at Eskasoni.

He was known as Saqamaw Geodol to the Mi’kmaq of Miawpukek. “The second chief is Geodol – called in English, Noel Jeddore – who represented Olibia in his absence. Geodol is the owner of one of the two cows on the Reservation, and his brother possesses the second”.

During his leadership the position of Saqamaw within the Mi’kmaw community had become mostly that of a prayer leader, instead of the traditional political and settler of disputes, within the community. In 1923, according to an unpublished document written by his grandson John Nicholas Jeddore, some local residents caused serious misunderstanding between Saqamaw Geodol and the priest of the day, Father Stanislaus St. Croix. Saqamaw Geodol was forced into exile the following year. He never returned to Miawpukek.

Noel’s son, Peter Francis Jeddore followed in the footsteps of his father.  Peter Francis Jeddore (May 9, 1892 – May 18, 1970), (Saqamaw Piel) was the fourth child of Noel Jeddore, (Saqamaw Geodol). Accepted by the Mi’kmaq of Miawpukek as Saqamaw, although never “officially appointed” as such, he served his people from 1954 until his death in 1971. He made many prominent public defenses of the Miawpukek Mi’kmaq’s rights to land and resources.  Saqamaw Piel also served overseas with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War I, first in the 9th Regiment, later in the British 29th Division.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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