Friday, 12 August 2016

Joe Dougherty & Rosie Caroline

Notre Dame de Granby Parish register, 1876
My great grandparents, John James Dougherty and Rose Caroline (Joe -- no, I don't know why he was called Joe, but he was -- and Rosie), were married in 1876 in Granby.

Despite all of the research I've done, I really did start with a virtual blank slate in terms of photographs of my more immediate ancestors. Were photographs taken? Probably. What happened to them? Who knows.

This spring, a 2nd cousin once removed on my Caroline side called to say she realized that she had a photograph of Joe and Rosie. Was I interested in seeing this? Hello!! No one in my family had ever seen any photos. I was so excited. It felt like I was going to meet them. The photo took my breath away.  

(top) John & Rose Dougherty (bottom) Margaret & James Caroline
Sherbrooke, Quebec Aug 1877
Joe was a really big guy! He's the man standing with the incredible dark beard.

Cousins see a bit of one of my uncles in Rosie's face. I'm sure there are many more resemblances in their descendants.

When this photo was taken, Joe and Rosie had been married less than a year. Joe was 43 and Rosie was 37. This was his second marriage, Rosie's first. They had known each other all their lives, since their fathers farmed adjacent plots of land.

The seated couple are my great uncle James Caroline (1850-1928) and his bride, Margaret Murphy (1856-1928). They had just been married in Adamsville in the Eastern Townships, and this was taken while they were on their honeymoon, visiting Rosie and Joe in Sherbrooke. 

And Joe's face? My father and brothers have the same face. It was a jaw dropping experience for me. Here's my father as a young man.

My father was a redhead -- they tend to go grey early. Could it be that Joe was also a redhead? 

The seated couple are my great uncle James Caroline (1850-1928) and his bride, Margaret Murphy (1856-1928). They had just been married in Adamsville in the Eastern Townships, and this was their honeymoon. 

1871 Granby census
Joe's 1861 marriage to Mary Ann Gannon (1838-1871) had produced no children. Yet, the 1871 census in Granby for their household shows a 13 year old Mary Ann Dougherty living with them.

1877 Cincinnati directory
Is this the same Mary Ann Dougherty noted here that appeared in the 1877 Cincinnati city directory boarding at the same address (62 Barr St) as Joe's brother Joseph M? If so, Mary Ann would then have been 19 years old. Was she a niece to Joe and his brother Joseph? The 1871 census doesn't state her relationship to John and his wife Mary Ann Gannon, but I think she's his niece from Cincinnati, and the daughter of  James, or even the Marcus Dougherty also seen in this directory. And what about him? Both the Mary Ann in the 1871 census and 1877 city directory and the Marcus Dougherty both remain unsolved mysteries. What happened to them?

By 1881, Joe and Rosie had their only son, my grandfather, also John (1879-1953), and according to that year's census, they were running a boarding house in Sherbrooke and had two servants, and two roomers.
Baptism 3 Dec 1876, John James Dougherty

And here's another mystery. My grandfather's godparents are James Joseph Doherty and Margaret Anderson. This is a couple who also lived in Sherbrooke. But I believe that this James and Joe were cousins. I'm still trying to confirm this. Yet another unsolved mystery.

In 1891, the final census Joe appeared in, he, Rosie and their 11 year old son John are living in Compton, just outside Sherbrooke. His occupation is listed as gentleman. Joe died two years later at the young age of 59.

Rosie raised her son alone, as far as I've been able to discover. There must have been some money, because John was able to attend McGill University in Montreal. My father also told a story that his father had attended school for a time in Worcester, Massachusetts before going to McGill. Rosie is recorded as living alone in 1901 in Sherbrooke, and as noted here, in 1911 was living with my grandparents in Montreal. Rosie died in 1915. She, Joe and my grandparents are all buried in St Michael's Cemetery in Sherbooke.

The never ending story continues...