Friday, 23 March 2018

If I could only talk with a few key ancestors ......

I'm picking up on this Olive Tree Genealogy 2013 blog post that asks "Which ancestor would you like to walk back into your life?"

Of course I can't pick just one. It's just impossible. I tried. I still have far too many loose threads in my relatively immediate direct ancestry. But for the sake of brevity, here are my choices -- they're all either in Ireland or Scotland:
  • my 2nd great grandmothers, Mary Ann Diamond (1804-1842) and Margaret McKenzie (abt 1798-1865)
  • my 3rd great grandparents:
  • James Dougherty (d bef 1830) and Isabella McLaughlin (d 1830)
  • Edward Caroline (d bef 1834) and Rose Sheridan (d bef 1842)
  • Hugh Donovan and Bridget Connor
  • Isabella Gillanders (abt 1775-bef 1851)
  • my 4th great grandparents, Alexander Nelson (abt 1737-1803) and Margaret Robinson (1735-1823)
My questions would be the same for each:
  • Where were you and your parents born?
  • What are your and their birthdates?
  • Do you know the names of your grandparents and their details?
Oh, you've noted that yes, there's a pattern here. All I'm trying to do is to push back my research to another generation. The dream (or is it the lament?) of all family genealogists. It's the little things, after all, right?

The never ending story continues....



© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Surnames A-Z: N, O, P, R

A 2017 Facebook meme had people listing their their mother's maiden name, father's surname, maternal and paternal grandparents' surnames, and sometimes even a few more generations back. By any norms, a bit too much information in this cyber age. 

Just think how many security questions ask for your mother's maiden name. And let's not even get into having that information on your Facebook wall, especially if you have your settings set to public (instead of friends only). You don't do that, do you? 


In a series of posts, I'm listing my direct ancestors' surnames, starting with "A" and going through to "Y" -- I have no direct or indirect "Z" ancestors. So far. 


We may share a surname, but this doesn't necessarily mean we're related, but if you think we are, please contact me using the email link on the right side of this post.


My "N" Surnames:

  • Nelson
  • Nevill/Neville
  • Newcomb/Newcombe/Newcomen
  • Newmarch
  • Nye
My "O" Surnames:
  • O'Brien
  • Orvice
  • Osborne
My "P" Surnames:
  • Patterson/Paterson/Pattison
  • Pecco/Pecoke
  • Percy
  • Perkins
  • Pierce
  • Plantagenet
  • Pomeroy
  • Post
  • Poynings
My "R" Surnames:
  • Ring
  • Robinson
  • Ross
  • Rowley
  • Royce
The never ending story continues....






© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Gathering new found Scots cousin ancestors

My 2nd great grandmother Isabella Smith's (1815-1915) older sister was my 3rd great aunt, Grace Smith (1814-1891). For the past couple of months, I've been gathering the names of auntie Grace's many family members and descendants. Grace married John Dow (1821-1884), a farmer, on 23 Jun 1838 at Inveravon in Banffshire. They made their home in Knockando, Moray, where I think Peter's family had been for many years.

Grace Smith Dow's death registration
Between the catalogues of Scotland's People, Find My Past and Ancestry, I've learned many details about these cousin ancestors. The best and richest resource has been Moray Council's Local Heritage Service Index, which has countless nuggets of information and facts including at times a brief biography listing occupation, children, awards etc. If a newspaper notice appeared in relation to a marriage or death, the date and publication are also listed. I haven't even started to check for newspaper stories.

I've learned that Grace and Peter's children and grandchildren were school masters, physicians, brewmasters, distillery managers, soldiers, hairdressers, nurses, servants, salesmen, shop assistants, postmen, gardeners, coppersmiths, construction workers, and more. One son became the local justice of the peace. Most stayed in Scotland, but some moved south to England. Some migrated to Canada--Toronto! Many had children, some had none.

One grandson, John Dow (1878-1901) was killed in action in the Boer War, losing his life in the Transvaal. He was a lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders. Two other grandsons (brothers), Captain John Dow (1889-1918) and 2nd Lieutenant David Edward Dow (1892-1917), served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Seaforth Highlanders respectively, and were Great War casualties.

Remarkably for the time--the early 20th century--four of their granddaughters went to medical school and became physicians:

  • Marjorie Johnann MacPherson Dow (1865-1956)
  • Griselda Annie Dow (1891-1936)
  • Elizabeth May Dow (1894-1969)
  • Dorothy Janet Dow (1899-1949)

Griselda, Elizabeth and Dorothy were sisters, and siblings to John and Edward who died in the Great War. What a remarkable family.

Did my great grandmother Annie Ross know her Dow cousins? She was Isabella's daughter and was born in Forres, Moray. Some of my Matheson ancestors lived at times in Moray. The places in Moray don't have huge populations, even today. I have to think that my Ross, Smiths and Matheson ancestors kept in touch with each other and probably some lived near each other.

The never ending story continues....


© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Riding a genealogy coat tail!

Yesterday, my genealogy friend Gail Dever shared a 9 Mar 2017 Library and Archives Canada news item on her Facebook group about a recent acquisition, New Rare Book: Tupper Family Bible. The bible, dating back to the 1870s, had been given to Charles Hibbert Tupper (1855-1925) by his parents, whose father was a Father of Confederation and Canadian Prime Minister in 1896, Sir Charles Tupper (1821-1915).

Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper
Sir Charles is my 4th cousin 4x removed. Our common ancestors are my New England-born 7th great grandparents, Eliakim Tupper (1681-1755) and Joanna Fish (1689-1760). Two of their sons, my 6th great grandfather and Sir Charles' ancestor, were among the New England Planters who settled in Nova Scotia at the behest of the British government, starting in about 1760. As I said here, Tupper descendants are spread across North America today, stemming from the original New England Tuppers and the Nova Scotia Tuppers.

Read about the achievements of my cousin ancestor in this Canadian Encyclopedia entry.

Of course, I'd love to get my hands on that bible, just to see all of the many new family details it contains.

Meanwhile, it's great to grab on to this news and be able to say that I'm related to the one-time owner of this bible.

The never ending story continues.....



© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Very Rev James Dougherty D.D. (1843-1906) of New York

Kingston Freeman Jan 1906
What are the chances? I have two ancestors who became clergy, both named James Dougherty--after my 3rd great grandfather (father and great grandfather respectively), both who earned doctorates in divinity, but one was a Congregationalist minister who married twice and had three daughters, and the other was a Catholic priest.

Last year, I wrote about my 2nd great uncle James Dougherty (1796-1978) of Vermont and how he left Catholicism for Congregationalism, became a respected clergyman and more, here. His grand nephew, James Dougherty (1843-1906), who is my 2nd cousin 2x removed, was born in  Kingston, Ulster, New York.

I've found a great deal of information about James over the years, but never found a comprehensive recap of his life until yesterday, when, while looking for something else about someone else, as often happens in all genealogy research, I can assure you, I came across a lengthy obituary that appeared in the Kingston Daily Freeman on 2 Jan 1906, the day after his death in the rectory of St Gabriel's Church in Manhattan.

From James' obituary, I learned that his studies for the priesthood included stints at Fordham University in New York and also at the Grand Seminary of  Montreal, a distinctive landmark I often passed by when I lived in Montreal that still stands today, and near the homes of his uncle, Judge Marcus Doherty and Marcus' son, Hon. Charles J. Doherty. This 2017 Montreal Gazette article describes the history of Grande Seminaire.

Father Dougherty's name and signature appear in several Doherty family baptisms, marriages and funerals in Montreal and Sherbrooke over the years. He clearly had a close relationship with his family there. In fact, the obituary notes that his survivors include "his uncle, Judge Dardee of Montreal". I've seen many spellings of Doherty/Dougherty over the years, but that's definitely a first.

To my knowledge, this James Dougherty was the only one in his extended family in Kingston, New York to have a relationship with his Montreal family.

But he also remained close to his extended family in Kingston, several of whom moved to New York City. Thanks to Find My Past, I'm now just starting to find marriage records of some his cousins, who were married by him at St. Monica's Church in Manhattan, where James was rector from 1887 to 1902. Find My Past has just released the first batch of digitized New York Roman Catholic baptisms and marriages. I can't wait for more of these records to be digitized.

In the absence of a photograph of James the priest, the obituary brings to life the character of my ancestor cousin:
"....He was universally loved for his bright cheery manner and words of help to all in affliction. He was a large hearted man and priest, and did much good in this city by his quiet benevolence.....He was liberal in his religious views and easily won the respect and love of  his fellow clergymen in town...."
The obituary notes that:
"...his parents died when his three sisters were very young and the latter always depended on him..."
James was also very young when his parents died -- a boy of nine or 10. He went off to study out of town when still a teenager, while his younger sisters lived with family in Kingston. But after James' 1867 ordination, he returned to Kingston. The 1870 census shows that they were again all living together, with James, the eldest, listed as the head of the household. As you can see, the siblings then ranged in age from James' 26 to 19 years old.

1870 US Census, Kingston, New York
I know from the 1850 census, that James' father had a clothing store in Kingston, New York. I think he was in business with his brother in law, Bernard McReynolds, who also reported this occupation in several censuses. The family had enough money to ensure that James, the only son, was well educated, regardless of the path he chose.

Here are James' bequests to his sisters in his 1902 will.



His sister Isabella was a cloistered Ursuline nun, explaining the $500 left to the convent. Mary Ann Hallahan was the second eldest of the family, married to a man, city directories tell me, ran two saloons in Kingston. An inflation calculator tells me that $2000 US in 1902 had the purchasing power of $55,142.54 US in 2017. I wonder how much the estate residue left to Elizabeth amounted to. I also wonder how a priest accumulated that kind of money in the 19th century.

I wonder if the two James Dougherty clergymen ever exchanged their views on religion. By the time Father James was ordained in 1867, the Rev James had been a minister for over 25 years.

The never ending story continues....


© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved