Tuesday, 30 May 2017

My Ontario Dohertys' descendants (there were many)

Where to begin? Gentle reader, since my last post, I've worked almost exclusively on tracing the trail of many new found ancestors, descendants of my 1st cousins 3x removed, siblings Sarah and John Doherty.

I'm almost there. What has caused no ends of confusion are that John's eldest daughter Mary Sarah Doherty married a man with the surname McFeely. As you know, Sarah Doherty married a McCorkell. You see how this can get confusing when spending hours sorting out descendants. And of course where John and Sarah's respective children had children, most of them had very large numbers of them.

I spent many days painstakingly going through the St Paul's parish register here in Toronto, where John Doherty and Margaret Esmonde had their children baptized. I've found 10 of them -- there were apparently 12 -- in that register.

John and Margaret's eldest, Mary Sarah Doherty--always called Sarah-- (1839-1920) married Edward McFeely (1832-1898) at St Paul's on 1 Nov 1859. The marriage details are recorded on one line of the register, across two pages, groom first, noting their ages, where they live, their parents' names, and of course the officiant's name.

McFeely-Doherty marriage 1 Nov 1859 Groom Details

McFeely-Doherty marriage 1 Nov 1859 Bride Details
Here's where things get interesting, and not for the first time.
  • Look who one of the witnesses was: John R. McCloskey. 
  • Edward's parents, also an Edward McFeely (1798-1879) and Susanna McCloskey (1806-1887) were married in Dungiven, Ireland, in the same church (St Patrick's) that my 2nd great grandparents, Marcus Dougherty and Mary Ann Diamond were married in, and where at least three of their children were baptized. 
  • Sarah's father John Doherty's mother was Bridget McCloskey. Were she and Susanna sisters, or was it an aunt/niece relationship? Was the wedding witness a brother to Susanna? The McCloskey name is one that appears frequently in my Dougherty ancestors' stories.
What is clear is that there were at least three families from the Dungiven area in Toronto in the early to mid 19th century: Doherty, McFeely, McCloskey and McCorkell (that last name will be addressed in a separate post). Community ties established in Ireland carried forward in Canada. But I digress.

Sarah and Edward McFeely settled first in Oakville, west of Toronto, and began their family, which grew to be ten children who survived infancy. Edward farmed. Within a couple of years, they pulled up stakes and moved to the present-day Lindsay in Ontario's Kawarthas region, where Edward is listed in directories and censuses as a tinsmith, like his father-in-law, John Doherty was in Toronto.

1881 Canada census, Victoria South, Ontario
At some point after the 1881 census, the McFeelys moved again, this time to Hennepin, which today is a county that includes the large city of Minneapolis. What brought them there, I wonder? Minneapolis also became home to a couple of Sarah's McCorkell cousins.

As young men, two of Sarah and Edward's sons, Francis Esmonde McFeely (1876-1948) and Edward John McFeely (1863-1928) went to Vancouver, British Columbia where both put down permanent roots, marrying and having three and six+ children respectively. Their father Edward actually died in Vancouver during an 1898 visit there. Another son, Robert (1873-1953) settled in Vancouver, Washington, while Fred (1868-1933) settled in New Orleans.

Of Sarah and Edward's daughters, the eldest, Susanna (1861-1900) married a much older man, who was a judge in Minnesota. They were childless. She died suddenly while on a return visit to her childhood home of Lindsay, Ontario. Agnes (1869-1956) married a railway man with whom she had four children. They moved around, living in St Louis, Brooklyn and finally Dallas. Martha (1871-1940) married a Hennepin man, with whom she had a daughter. They stayed in Minnesota.

Sarah died in Hennepin in 1920, where she had spent her final years living with her unmarried daughters Frances (1863-1941), Florence (1880-1948) and Madeline (1877-1955). Florence was a nurse and Madeline was an office clerk.

1920 US Census Minneapolis
This is the story of just one of John's children and her family. The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

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