|Montreal Witness 7 Jan 1885|
Robert was a blacksmith by trade. I wonder if his earnings were enough to support a family of seven. They lived in St Ann's Ward, just southwest of Montreal's downtown core, an area known as a working class Irish neighbourhood. There were several other Cherry families in the area, but my cousins tell me they're no relation, as far as they know.
After Robert died in 1884, Catherine's home became a boarding house. She did remarry in May 1893 to a widower who was one of her boarding house residents, but her second husband, a plumber, died in September 1894, leaving her with an infant son, the youngest of the seven children she raised alone. I think that her second husband was in a business partnership with one of her sons, as I see a city directory listing as such.
And the Montreal Witness? As BaNQ, Quebec's fantastic national library and archives, describes it, "This Montreal daily was marked by the personality of its founder, John Dougall, convinced that the Anglo-Saxon peoples are invested with a divine mission". Oh my. Wasn't John Dougall a character! He was also anti-Catholic. Robert identified as Church of England, which explains why he and Catherine married in an Anglican church.
Catherine reports herself as Roman Catholic in censuses and all of her children (six sons and one daughter from the two marriages) were baptized Catholic.
|Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery, Montreal|
At least two of her sons inherited the heart disease that claimed their father. One died at the age of 31, while another died at 60.
There were several other Cherry families in Montreal in the late 19th century. It's not clear if any of those families were related to Robert James Cherry. Certainly, none of his children's baptismal godparents carried the Cherry name.
More research about Robert's origins in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland will definitely happen.
Robert and Catherine are the grandparents of my aunt Hilda Cherry (1911-1996), who married my uncle Marcus Dougherty (1910-1962).
Random acts of genealogical kindness are gifts that are always welcome and keep on giving. Here's to you, Maria in Dublin!
The never ending story continues....
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