Wednesday, 28 June 2017

I'm Taking the Canada150 Genealogy Challenge

The land we call Canada is of course much older than 150 years, but on July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into being with Confederation. With Canada Day and Canada150 just three days, away, I'm jumping on this bandwagon started by a genealogy friend, because as she says, it's because of their early contributions that Canada is such a wonderful place to live.

Here are my direct ancestors who were living in what became Canada in 1867. These are only on my father's side (my maternal grandparents arrived in Canada in 1909 and 1908 respectively):

Charlotte Butler                   born 1852             Upper Stewiacke NS
Samuel Butler                      born 1816              Halifax 
Hugh Caroline                      bef 1834                Montreal
Mary Donovan Caroline         bef 1834                Montreal
Rose Caroline                       born 1839              Granby, Quebec
John James Dougherty          1834                      Granby, Quebec
Elizabeth Forbes                   born abt 1785        Hants NS
Margaret White Godfrey        born abt 1797        Colchester NS
Sarah Anne Moore                 born 1819              Truro NS
Charles Nelson                      born 1812               Rockville NS
Elias Nelson                          born 1783               Maitland NS
Elias Nelson                          born 1854               Great Village NS

Only Hugh and Mary Caroline came to Canada as immigrants from Ireland. Their daughter, Rose Caroline, my 2nd great grandmother was born here. My 2nd great grandfather John James Dougherty was born in Vermont, and within a year was living in the Eastern Townships. 

My Nova Scotia roots are deep, and date back to 1760. The rest of my direct ancestors shown above and living in 1867 were all Nova Scotia-born. 

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Cousins can be found in the most unexpected places

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the annual Ontario Genealogical Society conference in Ottawa for four jam-packed brain expanding days. I joined a table of eight to ten at the banquet, where of course the conversations were all about all things genealogy.

During the roundabout conversation, the man seated next to me commented that he often has trouble keeping all of the surnames in his family tree in his head. I said I didn't really have that problem. Conversations continued all around the table. A few minutes later, my dinner companion mentioned that after the conference ended, he was heading to Massachusetts to research his Barber line.

Barber? Well, it just happens that I have that name in my family tree. By this time he was cursing himself that he had not brought his devices to the banquet. Me? Out came my iPad, on which I have not one, but two apps containing my family tree.

We leaned in to look at my screen. We share the same 6th great grandparents, Robert Barber (abt 1700-bef 1790) and Sarah Bean (abt 1704-1790) of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Only at a genealogy conference could this happen. We weren't the only ones to discover cousin connections though. Two people at an adjacent table also discovered that they are related.

Robert and Sarah are the great grandparents of Samuel A. Fisher (1758-1812) who migrated to Nova Scotia, taking their descendants into Canada. I wrote about him here.

My research into my Barber-Bean line back from Robert and Sarah needs more work. My new cousin has done some work that may help me in that task.

This is why I always carry my family tree with me. You never know, do you?

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The family of John Doherty & Margaret Esmonde of Old Town Toronto

I posted one of the invaluable pieces of research I've found in the past month about my 1st cousin 3x removed, John Doherty (1807-1872) here. I think I've now found all 12 of John and Margaret Doherty's children, thanks to baptismal, marriage and burial records in Toronto.
  • Mary SARAH (1839-1920) m Edward McFeely (1832-1898)
  • Edward James (1840 - ?)
  • Patrick James (1841-1856)
  • Frances Helen (1843-bef 1854)
  • John Thomas (1844- ?)
  • Henry (abt 1846-?)
  • Margaret (abt 1847-bef 1930) m Charles N. Dickson (abt 1855-bef 1930)
  • Thomas (1848-1909) m Jane Elizabeth Dermody (1860-1924)
  • Martha (abt 1850- aft 1930)
  • Rosanna (1852-1854)
  • Frances (1854- ?)
  • Rosanna Teresa (1858-1948) m Thomas Waldron (1856-1913)
Here are several of the St Paul's Church baptismal records I've located:

Mary Sarah baptized 20 Jan 1839

Edward James baptized 24 May 1840 

Patrick James baptized 22 May 1841

Frances Helen baptized 14 Nov 1843 (d bef 1854)

John Thomas baptized 29 Dec 1844
Again, look at the name of one of John's sponsors. Was this Thomas Doherty another relative, or one of the many unrelated Dohertys living in Toronto at that time?

Margaret baptized 31 Jan 1847
Again, look at the name of one of Margaret's sponsors. Another Thomas Doherty.

Thomas baptized 1 Nov 1848

Rosanna baptized 31 May 1852 (d 1 Jan 1854)
Frances baptized 5 Feb 1854
If you're counting, yes, this is only nine. I'm still looking for the baptismal records of the remaining three. As you can see, recycling of names of deceased children was as common in Canada as it was in Ireland.

Margaret Esmonde died on 7 May 1867, while her husband John died on 29 Jul 1872. Both are buried at St Michael's Cemetery in midtown Toronto. By 1857, the cemetery at St Paul's Church, where they were married and where their children were baptized was full in part due to the potato famine in Ireland. That cemetery is now under the adjacent elementary school yard.

St Michael's Cemetery grounds are now closed to the public because of vandalism concerns (don't get me started), but if I make an appointment, I may be able to wander through. I did wander through a couple of times many years ago, when the grounds were still open, and long before I knew that I had relatives buried there.

Working through unindexed parish registers is painstaking. So far, I've found that only three of John's and Margaret's children had children of their own. But there are three sons -- Edward, Henry and John -- whose stories I've yet to find. When I finish this exercise with St Paul's registers, those of St Michael's Cathedral, which opened in 1849, await.

I've also found several McFeely mentions in the St Paul's registers.

Perhaps one of their descendants will find this blog post in their own research.

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Dohertys, McFeelys and McCorkells everywhere

It seems like weeks that I've been adding my many new cousins to my database. Oh wait, it has been weeks. Remarkably though, none of these new cousins have done any DNA testing, or if they have, none have matched up with me, my two siblings and two first cousins who have all tested. Despite the many new people, some never married, while others married but had no children. But hope springs.

Just today, I've found 12 new 20th century McCorkell descendants to add to my database. Perhaps someone in the generation that follows them will share some DNA with me and mine.

At this point, I know of only two McFeelys who have done a DNA test, and they happen to be married to one another, each descended from a different brother-in-law of Mary Sarah Doherty McFeely (1839-1920). Yes, we're in touch.

From their 19th century Ontario (via Ireland) roots, the McFeelys and McCorkells, as I've already found, really are scattered across North America.

The hunt goes on, and the never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Dungiven connections in 19th century Toronto

Have I mentioned how very pleased I am to have found ancestors who lived in Toronto? Honestly, I feel more legitimate now, participating in Ontario-centric genealogy Facebook or Twitter discussions.

Toronto was a small town in the 1800s. Spending just a couple of hours going through old Toronto city directories is revealing. In 1855--the clearest map I could find online--the core of Toronto looked like this:

1855 map,
Three Dungiven area natives had settled in Toronto, starting in about 1833 with John Doherty. After marrying Margaret Esmonde in 1837, John lived with their growing family and worked as a tinsmith on King Street near George Street, as early as 1843.

St Paul's Catholic Church baptismal records tell us that Edward and Susanna McCloskey McFeely and their own growing family were already in Toronto as early as 1838. The McFeely name doesn't appear in the 1833 or 1837 city directories--these are the only two earlier directories available. We know that the McFeelys had left Dungiven between the 1829 baptism there of their son John, and the 1932 baptism in Ste-Foy, Quebec of their son Edward, who would marry my ancestor Sarah Doherty in 1859.

But Edward McFeely does appear in the 1843 city directory living and working as a stone mason on Market Lane, a portion of which still exists today as a pedestrian thoroughfare  The McFeely family last appears in the 1850-51 city directory, living on Teraulay Street, which ran north-south between Queen and Gerrard Streets, east of Bay Street, quite near Toronto City Hall's present day location. Teraulay Street no longer exists.

Patrick and Sarah Doherty McCorkell were in Toronto when the 1850-51 city directory was published, joining Sarah's brother John, after spending perhaps four years at most in Saint John, New Brunswick. Patrick's occupation is given as labourer.

I've learned that Patrick and Sarah left their first-born, Augustine (1845-1903) behind in Ireland when they came to Canada in about 1846. I've also learned that Augustine was then brought to Quebec by his aunt, Elleanor Doherty (another new ancestor) in 1850. I'm guessing that Elleanor brought Augustine to Toronto to reunite with his parents. What happened to Elleanor remains a mystery...for now.

The McCorkells seem to have spent almost ten years in Toronto, last appearing in the 1859 city directory, living at 67 Richmond Street East, just east of Yonge Street. This makes sense, as they next appear in the 1861 Canada census .

As was noted by a newly-discovered McFeely cousin this week, these addresses are all near where I live in the oldest part of Toronto.

And so, by 1861 only John Doherty and his family remain in Toronto. The McFeelys had left for Buffalo with their large family by the early 1850s, while the McCorkells had left to farm land near present day Orillia, Ontario, north east of Toronto.

For a look at the present-day area of Toronto shown in the 1855 map, see Google Maps here.

Toronto in those years seems to have been full of people from the north of Ireland, based in small part by the St Paul's Catholic Church parish records. No doubt the Doherty, McFeelys and McCorkells had many familiar faces, or, at the least family names, several from the Dungiven area, around them in their daily lives. I can't imagine that happening in the 21st century, with populations so much bigger than they were in the 19th century.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved