Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The treasure troves that are death notices

My summer has been filled with much genealogy research on multiple fronts with some discoveries.

The Derry Journal's 13 Feb 1914 detailed report on the life, death and funeral of my 1st cousin 3x removed, Paul Doherty (1826-1914), is filled with information, and some of it has new clues for me. It's such a lengthy obit that I had to save it in four segments.

Paul's death notice has many family's details that I already know, but it also notes that he, too, went to America, and then returned to Dungiven. I wonder if he lived in Kingston, New York where several of his siblings settled?

It notes that Paul returned home when he learned that "his maternal home was going to be sold". That was the home in Camnish. I've found that his eldest son was born and baptized in Dungiven in 1856, so he was back by then. His wife was Margaret Ann McKinney, a familiar Derry name. Did he marry her before going to "the land of the stranger", as the obit describes America, or did he marry her when he returned to Dungiven?

The obit mentions Paul's brother Marcus (1815-1903), who became a lawyer and a judge, but it also says that Marcus was a doctor. Allowing for the absence of fact checking in the early 1900s, I'm going to take a leap and decide this meant a Doctor of Laws, but perhaps there was another brother as yet unknown. There was also a brother "conspicuous in the mercantile world".

It also notes that two of his brothers were contractors who had a business and who helped to build the "York and Eyrie Railway", which is the New York Erie Railroad. Read about that here. These brothers could be Michael (abt 1810-1853) and Thomas abt 1823-1854). Or could one of them have been his brother John (1807-1872), who I only recently discovered? Or was there yet another brother who I've not yet found?

Paul's obit is helpful in noting that his sisters all married in America. I had wondered about that, with respect the the Kingston, New York cousin ancestors. This information will help to narrow my further research. There is no mention of his sister Sarah Doherty McCorkell (abt 1826-1861), but I put that down to the fact that she was a woman who married a farmer who settled in Canada and who died at a young age in 1861.

There is still so much to discover about all of my Dougherty/Doherty cousin ancestors. A new to-do list is in development.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Monday, 31 July 2017

Next generation family DNA ethnicity discoveries

I was able to persuade my four adult nieces and nephews (there are no more, so I'm not sure why I stress that they're adults...) to agree to DNA testing. Okay, I paid for their testing when AncestryDNA had their amazing Ontario Genealogical Society conference-only price of $69 CAN all inclusive in June. All of their results are now in. So, what do we have? By order of oldest to youngest, here we go, with their DNA ethnicity estimates.....


2nd Oldest

3rd Oldest

As always, DNA test results are intriguing, and as I say, never lie. Two have no Scandinavian (or Viking, as I like to call it) DNA. Two (who are siblings) have Iberian Peninsula DNA--which could be ancient Celt. Two siblings have French Canadian and beyond ancestry. And because French Catholic priests kept incredible records, they both are breaking my research workload in terms of 4th cousins or closer, with 1,200 and 1,500 of those--and counting--respectively.

And now, to drill down to find out how, if any, of them match to new found DNA cousins.

The never ending story continues.....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Brick wall: Longford and Cavan roots

In addition to my Donegal origins, I also have undiscovered roots in County Longford and County Cavan.

At some point before 2 Jun 1834, my paternal second great grandparents Hugh Edward Caroline (abt 1798-1879) and Mary Donovan (abt 1807-1892) arrived in Montreal, for it was on this date that they were married there, in Notre Dame Basilica. I first wrote about Hugh and Mary here.

Did they meet on board the ship that brought them from Ireland or did they know each other before they left Ireland? The record of their marriage gives me the names of their parents:
  • Edward Caroline
  • Rose Sheridan
  • Hugh Donovan
  • Bridget Connor 
pg 69, parish register, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, from Drouin Collection
The entry also gives us a few other pieces of information. Hugh was living in the small village of St-Césaire at the time of the marriage. St- Césaire today is about a half hour drive from Granby, where he and his brother Mick eventually farmed. Mary was living within the Notre Dame parish boundaries in Montreal. My 3rd great grandfather, Edward Caroline, was deceased by June 1834, but otherwise, the parents of Hugh and Mary were living in Ireland. The record tells us that Hugh was from County Cavan, while Mary was from County Longford, areas that border on each other in a small part. County Cavan is today in Ulster while County Longford is in Leinster.

Their marriage was witnessed by three men: John McCartan, John Cassidy and Patrick Murray. These names aren't at all familiar to me. Were the men friends of Hugh and Mary, or were they enlisted to act as witnesses?

The structure in which Hugh and Mary were married wasn't the first Notre Dame on the site. The majority of the construction of the new church it had only been completed four years before they were married.

I know that Hugh arrived in Quebec with at least his brother Mick, but who were Mary's travelling companions? Other Donovans or Connors? Did they come to Quebec directly, or had they arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick, as many ships from Ireland did in the first half of the 19th century? Or perhaps they had sailed to New York, and made their way up to Quebec. What drew them there? So many questions. Always.

AncestryDNA testing has recently connected two of my family members to people who have Sheridans in their own ancestry. I hope that this begins a new journey of discovery. This is a first. We've had no Caroline, Donovan or Connor DNA matches. So far.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Friday, 7 July 2017

About those English nobility linkages of mine

It was a few years ago over a heritage society lunch that I learned from someone who became a great genealogy friend that I descend from English nobility, royalty, several Magna Carta barons and sureties and Crusaders. This is a story that I didn't touch on when I wrote here about my Nova Scotia Newcomb ancestors.

The connection comes through my 13th great grandmother, Alice Gascoigne (abt 1521-abt 1559) who married John Newcomen (abt 1520-1589) of Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire in about 1547. Newcomen was the original spelling of Newcomb.

Alice's grandmother was Lady Margaret Percy (1446-1486), daughter of the third Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy (1421-1461), described in this Wikipedia article as an English magnate. Lady Margaret married Sir William Gascoigne (1450-1487). The Gascoignes came to England at the time of the Norman invasion, from the Gascon region of France, and were Yorkshire landowners and more. The Percys are an ancient English family whose eldest sons have held the title of Duke of Northumberland since 1766. Women from some of England's most noble families, including Nevil, Mortimer, Stafford and Plantagenet (there's my John of Gaunt crush again coming through again) married into the Percy family for centuries.

It is through these families and others that I can trace several of my direct ancestors to Magna Carta barons and sureties. The Magna Carta came about of course because of the very bad behaviour of my 24th great grandfather, King John (1166-1216), who was not a nice man.

But never mind all that, and much more yet to be told. I like to think that I'm distantly related to the English actor Chris Gascoyne who plays Coronation Street's messed up Peter Barlow. I have a soft spot for him.

The never ending story continues .....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

Monday, 3 July 2017

Happy first blogiversary to me!

Has it been a year already? Oh my. But the calendar doesn't lie. My blogiversary was even recognized here. This is my 122nd blog post. Not nearly as impressive an output compared to some other genealogy bloggers, but I'm proud of what I've produced, and look forward to many more posts to come. There are still so many stories to tell and discoveries to make.

This past year, I've enjoyed collaborating with new and old DNA cousins, meeting them either in person, or by FaceTime or just "meeting" them online. Sharing our respective research and finding new sources will never get old.

Thank you for reading about my genealogy interests and discoveries here.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

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