Tuesday, 23 May 2017

John Doherty: A new 1st cousin 3x removed

Since discovering Sarah Doherty McCorkell a couple of weeks ago, I've been immersed daily, sometimes for hours at a time, in genealogy research, far more than usual. This work has been very rewarding and has led to a lot of extra work. It turns out that Sarah also had a brother, John Doherty (abt 1807-1872), previously unknown to me.

I discovered this after finding a family history written in the late 1960s/early 1970s by Edmund J. McCorkell CSB (1891-1980), The McCorkell Family and its Affiliates, online. Edmund was a grandson of Sarah Doherty McCorkell and, oh yes, 3rd cousin once removed. Edmund gathered his information long before the internet, and it is an impressive body of work, full of detail, including this:
"The McCorkells were welcomed in Toronto by the Dohertys, their in-laws, one of whom had come there before 1837, doubtless my grand uncle John Doherty. In his wife's prayer book there is recorded under date Nov. 20, 1837 his marriage with Margaret Esmonde (note the name Esmonde) and a family of 12 is listed.'
Well! this was another huge find. I quickly started to research John Doherty's life here in Toronto, in what we now call Old Town Toronto -- my neighbourhood. He was a tinsmith and probably arrived in Canada about 1833. On 20 Oct 1837, John married Margaret Esmonde (abt 1815-1867) at what was then the only Catholic church in Toronto, St Paul's Parish, which still stands today in the same location and is a ten minute walk from my home. Yes, that date contradicts the November 1837 date given in Fr McCorkell's account, but in my case, I actually found the record of the marriage in St Paul's parish register.

With his birth date, it looks like John was if not the eldest, certainly among the eldest of the children of my 2nd great-great uncle Thomas Doherty and 2nd great-great aunt, Bridget McCloskey of Dungiven, Ireland.

I've found John listed in several Toronto city directories. He lived and worked in my neighbourhood. Can you imagine? Here are John's children that I've so far found in the unindexed (!) St. Paul's parish register:
  • Mary SARAH (1839-1920)
  • Patrick James (1841-?)
  • Edward 
  • Frances Helen (1843-?)
  • Henry (abt 1846-?)
  • John (abt 1847)
  • Thomas (abt 1849-?)
  • Margaret (abt 1851-bef 1930)
  • Martha (abt 1850- aft 1930)
There are so many more stories that I'm uncovering, which I will try to tell here. John's descendants are scattered across Canada and the U.S.

And as I always say here, the never ending story continues....



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