Sunday, 10 July 2016

Unwrapping a Puzzle 1

I grew up being told, and as it turns out, so too were all of my first cousins, that my great grandfather John James Dougherty (1833-1879) was a lost soul when he married my great grandmother Rose Caroline in 1876. When we pressed, we were told that he was all alone in Granby, and had no family. 

We knew from oral tradition that he was born in South Hero, Grand Isle, Vermont, to an Irish immigrant, my second great grandfather, Marcus Dougherty. But that's all we knew. 

Many years later, I found the name of his wife, my second great grandmother, Mary Ann Diamond in the always amazing Drouin Collection, which houses Quebec church and notarial records dating back to the 1600s. Those priests took good notes, although their handwriting was often almost illegible, and occasionally they took liberties with the spelling of names. Especially Irish names.

About 20 years ago, the first of many kind internet strangers (as I call those who have helped along the way) sent me the 1830 census covering South Hero, Grand Isle, Vermont. 

1830 Vermont Census
Granted, this was three years before my great grandfather was born, but still, it shows two adults, two males under 5, and one female aged between 5 and 9. And so the puzzles began. 

Who were these other children? 

It took many years, but about five years ago, some elusive pieces began to emerge. When I first saw the 1861 Census covering Granby, Shefford County, Quebec, it was eye-popping to see that my great grandfather had two sisters and two brothers: James, Catharine, Joseph M. and Mary Louisa. Those names sent me on yet another new quest, and their stories will be told here in due course. But I will say that these were not his only siblings. 

1842 Canada East Census
And as I went to insert that record here, I've now just made another discovery in it, which I will write about in another post. More family. 

Only very recently have I found the 1842 Lower Canada Census of Canada East (also known at that time as Lower Canada) for Marcus Dougherty and his family. This document reveals four more family members, for a total of nine -- two parents and seven children. 

The never ending story continues.

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