Friday, 2 September 2016

Vermont lives lived: the daughters of Rev James Dougherty

As I wrote here, my 2nd great great uncle Rev James, the Congregational minister, married twice and had three daughters, none of whom married, and so after they died, he left no descendants. But his daughters have their own stories. Don't we all?

James and his first wife, Celia, had two daughters, Sarah Curran (1834-1861) and Isabella Celia (1836-1894). Sarah died aged only 26, "after a long and painful illness which was patiently born." She was, according to this lengthy obituary that appeared in the Lamoille Newsdealer on 25 Oct 1861, well loved by her students and a wide circle of friends. Her obituary starts in the first column and ends in the second column, and includes such praise as "Her attention to her textbooks did not hamper or mind or prevent general reading or liberal culture." Obituaries in the 19th century, particularly for women, were full of much flowery prose.

I think that the birth of Isabella, called Isabel, contributed to Celia's death, five days after Isabella was born.
Isabel Dougherty obit 
Isabel's passing on 1 Jun 1894 is briefly noted in a column of community and social notes. She died from pneumonia. She was the last of the three sisters to die, two weeks after the passing of her younger sister, Mary Louisa (1838-1894), called Louise, whose cause of death is listed as Bright's disease, something that today would be called chronic nephritis.

Isabel and Louise shared the same home all of their lives. They must have been very close. Their estates were wound up at the same time. Probate records are online and offer a snapshot into the household of two genteel ladies of the late 19th century, listing the household contents. Isabel had already started the paperwork related to winding up Louise's estate. Her signature appears in a court document. Both died intestate, and so on 22 Jun 1894, their cousin Judge Marcus of Montreal, signed a letter requesting the appointment of an administrator of both estates (who turns out to have been Emily Drake's husband). Always a small world. It took five years to wind up both estates. I tracked this from published legal notices.

I wonder if these three sisters, my 1st cousins 3x removed, knew their Kingston, Granby or Cincinnati cousins and their families, wrote to them or exchange visits with them. And did they know about their Irish cousins in Dungiven?

In the deposition signed on 27 Jul 1899 attached to Isabel's probate records, Judge Marcus mentions the surviving Cincinnati and Kingston cousins, and his own brother Paul in Dungiven.
"that the late Isabella C. Dougherty (and Mary Louisa Dougherty) ...was my cousin on her father's side and that she was also the cousin of Paul Dougherty, my brother, of the County Derry, in Ireland and of Catharine and Louisa, spinsters, of Cincinnati in the state of Ohio, and of  Isabella and Bridget Dougherty, both of the City of New York in the state of New York, all on her father's side also, and that all of these cousins survived the said Isabella C. Dougherty (and Mary Louisa Dougherty)..."
He definitely knew where everyone in his far flung family was -- almost. Judge Marcus notes in his deposition that Isabel's other surviving cousins on her father's side included:
"another cousin, Thomas Sullivan, who lived with Rev James in Johnson...Vermont who was much her junior, as also younger than all the above named cousins and might and would under certain circumstances presumed to have survived her ....but of whom this deponent can give no account as to his life or residence and that she had other cousins of whom this deponent can now affirm nothing on oath."
1877 Cincinnati directory
Judge Marcus doesn't include in his deposition the name of my great grandfather, John James Dougherty, who was also a first cousin of Isabel, as he predeceased her in 1893. I've never been able to find anything about Thomas Sullivan or his parentage -- and who were those other cousins about whom Judge Marcus was unable to provide any information? Were they the Marcus and Mary Ann Dougherty listed in the 1877 Cincinnati directory?

Mary Hoxie Dougherty obit
Louise's mother was Rev James' second wife, a widow herself, Mary Hoxie Drake (1795-1881), who brought one daughter, Emily Drake (1826-1892), into her marriage in 1837 to Rev James. He appears as Emily's guardian in several documents before she reached adulthood.

I've been unable to find newspaper stories or obituaries about Celia Hall Dougherty, Rev. James' first wife, who died in 1836 in Milton. So far.

Rev James, his wives and daughters are all buried at the Whitting Hill Cemetery, in Johnson, Lamoille County, Vermont.

The never ending story continues...

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