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.....

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