Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The 1918 Guelph Raid and Marcus Cahir Doherty

Charles J. Doherty's only son, Marcus Cahir (1898-1970), discerned a vocation for the priesthood and entered the Jesuit seminary in Guelph, Ontario on 30 Mar 1918 to begin his studies. Marcus was my 3rd cousin once removed.

Canada entered World War I as a dominion of Great Britain in August 1914, and experienced many casualties. After contentious debate both in the House of Commons and in the country's newspapers, the Military Service Act was passed in 1917 to require that "all male citizens between 20 and 45 subject to military service, if called, for the duration of the war". The Act came into effect on 1 Jan 1918. Young Marcus had previously been exempted from military service in 1917 because of poor health.

Dictionary of Jesuit Biography, pg 86
Clergy were exempt from conscription, but the question arose around whether seminary students of any faith were to be included in the exemption. See right for what happened next, as reported in his biography in the Dictionary of Jesuit Biography (Ministry to English Canada 1842-1987).

Marcus Cahir Doherty SJ
The Guelph Raid was a notorious incident widely reported by both secular and religious media across Canada. Even the newspaper of the Orange Order in Canada wrote about this incident that fanned the flames of sectarian division during wartime.

According to several newspaper accounts of the Guelph Raid that I've read over the years, young Marcus was able to telephone his father in Ottawa when the raid began, alerting the Minister of Justice. Angry sparks flew over the telephone lines between Ottawa and Guelph on 7 Jun 1918 and later, to be sure.

Marcus completed his theological studies and more (philosophy, the classics, spirituality) and was ordained a priest in 1930 in Montreal. He went on to work as an educator and a pastor for 40 years. In the Jesuit biography that I just received this week, I learned that Marcus "was a man easy to love", but one who experienced bouts of depression and nervous disorders intermittently all his life.

I also learned that for the last four years of his life, Marcus was on staff at St Ignatius of Loyola parish in Montreal. My father attended mass there weekly from 1965 until his 2001 death. I can't remember if he ever mentioned that one of his cousins served at his church. Did they talk? I'm sure that they did. I wonder what they talked about.

The never ending story continues....

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Nova Scotia roots weekend

I spent this past weekend in Nova Scotia, to attend the annual meeting of the Nova Scotia Colony of Mayflower Descendants in Digby. There was a great write-up about the colony and the large number of Nova Scotia Mayflower descendants in the Halifax Chronicle Herald earlier in the week, generating wonderful attendance on Saturday.

Stephen Hopkins is my Mayflower ancestor. His direct descendant and my 6th great grandparent, David Godfrey first arrived in Nova Scotia in about 1761.

After arriving at Halifax early Friday afternoon, I took what I intended to be a leisurely scenic route to my friends in Kentville from the airport, intent on doing some exploring. But it was pouring rain all afternoon, and so while I still did the drive, the scenic part wasn't really that visible at times. I did drive to Great Village (today's population is 500), which is where my father and uncles spent many boyhood summers working on their Nelson grandparents' farm (and giving respite to my grandmother, who had five sons in nine years).

That farmland was the Crown land grant (those seized Acadian lands again) that my New England Planter 4th great grandfather Alexander Nelson received in 1761. At the Colony meeting on Saturday, I learned from an excellent guest speaker that there may be some merit to the story that he fought with General Wolfe at the Plains of Abraham in 1759. I have new leads in the form of muster rolls to explore on that story.

from The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Blog
I need to do more research about Great Village, but I did find this image of farmland there. Perhaps my ancestors farm is seen here.

Besides Great Village, on my scenic rainy drive, I saw many place names and family names with which I've grown very familiar through my years of genealogy research. Places like Old Barns and Salmon River. Family names like Archibald and Yuill and so on. Isn't it comforting to be among your ancestors?

The never ending story continues....



Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Old Manse at Camnish near Dungiven

Not too long after Irish nationalist John Mitchel was born there on 3 Nov 1815, the Old Manse at Camnish became the home of my Dungiven Doherty ancestors, and remained a Doherty home well into the 20th century.

The building was originally a Presbyterian manse (this was Scots Ulster after all), and was on land owned by the 3rd Marquess of Waterford, who leased it out. The image of the Old Manse (left) is from an Irish magazine, date unknown.

A few years ago, an internet cousin (4th cousin once removed) living in Limerick, Ireland, shared an old postcard, possibly from the 1940s, also of the Old Manse (seen below). Now, I ask you. Who do you know that can say their family home was once featured in a postcard? No, the Royals don't count. 

Irish postcard 
The address used to send mail to this home, my internet cousin tells me, was Old Manse, Camnish, Dungiven. 

We know that the Marquess of Waterford was the owner of the Old Manse and its lands thanks to property records. One set kept in 19th century Ireland was the Griffiths Valuation, which was conducted between 1848 and 1864. Below is the page from Griffiths that addresses the Old Manse, which was then leased by my 1st cousin 3x removed, Paul Doherty (spelled in Griffiths as Dogherty). Paul appears in the top third of the records on this page. He was a nephew of my 2nd great grandfather, farmer Marcus. This valuation was done in 1858, records indicate.

Paul Dogherty Camnish, Griffiths Valuation
1911 Census Household Return
Paul Doherty, Old Manse, Camnish
Another of my internet cousins (also a 4th cousin once removed) in England has, like me, done a great deal of research into our shared Camnish ancestors. 

We have shared our finds with each other -- helping each other learn more about those ancestors. One gem that she has shared with me is the 1911 Census Household Return for the Old Manse. The return notes that the house had five rooms, and that six family members lived there at that time. It was still occupied by the same Paul Doherty as had lived there when Griffiths was done, only now he appears as the landowner. The return notes such details as the number of walls, and that it is classified as a second class house. Such a small house for so many people. Yet, I think that in the 1820s even more family members lived there. 

The never ending story continues ....

The frustration of 19th century census information

This summer I wrote here about finding two of my ancestors, Thomas Doherty and Joshuah Doherty in a transcribed 1831 census for Camnish, which is near Dungiven.

Recently, many new Irish record sets have been released through Find My Past and the National Archives of Ireland. I decided today to explore some of these new records, and found more 1831 Dungiven census records. How exciting!

I found a James Doherty. in whose Roman Catholic household seven people lived. Hmmmm. Some of my ancestors? Perhaps. More research is needed.


But I also found three households whose head was Widow Doherty -- here are two of them. In all three cases, the households are Roman Catholic. One household had six people living there, while the other household had nine people. And the household head warrants only "Widow" and not a given name.

Right religion, right place, but lacking given names.


This information gap isn't limited to Irish records, but these records today set a new record in frustration for me. Sometimes genealogy research is full of frustration.

The never ending story continues....

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Rt Hon. Charles J. Doherty, MP PC KC -- 2

The Canadian Encyclopedia has a good overview of my 2nd cousin twice removed, Charles Joseph Doherty's political career, as does Parliament of Canada biography.

After practising law with his brothers Thomas and Marcus, Charles was appointed to the bench in Quebec's Superior Court from 1891 to 1906. He was a leader in Montreal's Irish community, involved in many associations, including the St. Patrick's Society (following in his father's footsteps) and the Shamrock Lacrosse Club.

After he was appointed to the bench in 1891, he was honoured at a farewell banquet by the Shamrock Lacrosse Club, which was reported here and at which his father, Judge Marcus Doherty spoke.

Charles ran for a seat in Quebec's legislature twice, in 1881 and again in 1886, without success. He was first elected a federal Member of Parliament for St Ann's, a riding in Griffintown, an Irish working class area just south of Montreal's downtown in 1908, and went on to a career in federal politics that concluded in 1921.

At some point after 1911, Charles sold his home on Stanley Street in Montreal, purchasing a home on Frank Street in Ottawa, where he, Kate and their daughters lived. That home still stands today, but is now an apartment building,. He stayed at the Windsor Hotel, located just north of his riding. whenever in Montreal to attend to constituency business,

322 Frank St, Ottawa
From 1911 to 1921, Charles served as justice minister in the cabinets of Prime Ministers Robert Borden and Arthur Meighen, Canada's ninth and tenth prime ministers respectively. He represented Canada at the Treaty of Versailles and later was Canada's delegate to the League of Nations from 1920 to 1922, spending much time during those years travelling between Canada, Paris and Geneva. Charles was also a lifelong strong supporter of Irish Home Rule. It was said that his support for Irish Home Rule contributed in part to his early electoral defeats in 1881 and 1886.

Canadian Jewish Chronicle
During his time in public life, newspapers across Canada carried articles about Charles J. Doherty, In December 1915, the Canadian Jewish Chronicle carried a lengthy profile, noting that "he was born under a lucky star", and highlighting his kindness shown "the Jewish people of this country".  The writer touched also on the relationship between Irish and Jewish people, excerpted at the right.

Following the 1921 defeat of the Arthur Meighen government, Charles and Kate returned to Montreal, purchasing a home at 9 Forden Ave in Westmount, where they spent their final years. I think that the original home that they lived in has been either demolished and rebuilt, or extensively renovated. Below is what that home looks like now.

9 Forden Ave, Westmount, Quebec
After his death at his Westmount home on 28 July 1931, a lengthy obituary ran the next day on page 1 of The Gazette, His funeral was also reported in the 1 Aug 1931 Ottawa Citizen.

The never ending story continues....


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Our immigrant ancestors -- David Godfrey & Priscilla Baker

Continuing to recount my New England ancestors, my 6th great grandparents, David Godfrey (abt 1707-abt 1777) and Priscilla Baker (abt 1710-abt 1777) married on Cape Cod in Chatham on 14 Oct 1731. Through his grandmother Deborah Cooke, David is a 2nd great grandson of Mayflower passengers Stephen Hopkins, and great grandson of Giles Hopkins.

By about 1748, David and Priscilla had moved with their family to Connecticut, where they lived for about 12 or 13 years. They followed their eldest son, a sea captain, also David (1732-1813), to Nova Scotia, as part of the New England Planters' arrival in about 1761, when David received a land grant in Horton, which he farmed. David and Priscilla remained in Nova Scotia for the rest of their lives.

I descend from David and Priscilla's second son, Jonathan (1739-1826) and his wife, Lucy Calkin (1740-1825), who after arriving from Connecticut, lived first in Cornwallis and later, Windsor. They arrived in Nova Scotia about 1766.

There are many Godfrey descendants across North America today, including of course, in Nova Scotia.

The earliest Godfreys are recorded in Eastham, on Cape Cod in the mid 1660s. The first, George Godfrey, arrived there by 1661 from England, married (his wife's name is unknown), and began a family that grew to at least nine children, born between 1663 and 1688.

The never ending story continues...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Ancestors in car parks!

For the second time in five years, the remains of one of my ancestors has been found under a car park in the UK. The latest find is my 24th great grandfather, Henry I (abt 1068-1135), youngest son of William the Conqueror. Henry's remains have just been found under the car park of Reading Gaol (or jail as we in Canada would say) in southern England. Henry was crowned King of England on 5 Aug 1100, remaining king for 35 years -- a very long time at that period of history.

Richard III facial reconstruction
In 2011, the remains of my 17th cousin once removed, Richard III (1452-1485) were discovered beneath a Leicester car park near what had once been the ancient site of the Grey Friars' church. Richard has been harshly regarded, both during his life, and for centuries afterwards, possibly unfairly, possibly not. Shakespeare's play Richard III, written more than 100 years after his death, tells the story of Richard's rise to power.

Richard ruled as king for only two years, before he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field. His remains were reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015. But before that, his skull was used for a facial reconstruction. I hope that Henry I's skeleton includes his skull -- that would be a fascinating facial reconstruction. Imagine seeing the face of a man who lived a thousand years ago.

A visitor centre now tells Richard's story.

My royal connection comes through one paternal ancestor, my 13th great grandmother, Alice Gascoigne (1521-1599), who descends from Northumberland's mighty Percy family, the Neville family, including Richard, Earl of Warwick (1428-1471), known as Warwick the Kingmaker, and from Lady Joan Beaufort (1379-1440) daughter of John of Gaunt (1340-1399), scion of the Plantagenet kings.

Since 2011, I've referred to Richard as my dear cousin Richard of the car park. Now I must add to that: my dear cousins Henry and Richard of the car parks. How many more ancestors' remains are buried beneath car parks in modern day Britain?

The never ending story continues....

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors -- the Newcombs of Nova Scotia

Newcomb is an old English family, possibly with Saxon origin, and with many early spelling variations.

The earliest recorded mention in North America of the Newcomb name is in 1630, when a John Newcomen was murdered by Mayflower passenger John Billington, who was tried, convicted and hung for his deed. I haven't found any information about John Newcomen's parents to connect him to my lines, but the murder apparently arose from an old, ongoing dispute. Billington was from Lincolnshire, England, which is also where my main Newcomb line originates. Perhaps that dispute began many years earlier in Lincolnshire.

I have two early Newcomb ancestors in North America. The first is Mabell Newcomen Twyning (or Twining -- the tea people?!), my 11th great grandmother, who probably arrived in Massachusetts Colony with her husband and grown family in the mid 1620s from Gloucestershire. The second is my 10th great grandfather, Capt Andrew Newcomb (abt 1618-abt 1686), a schooner captain, who arrived in Massachusetts from Devon. The earliest mention of him in Massachusetts is in 1663. His son, Lieut. Andrew Newcomb (abt 1640-1708) made his home in Maine, where some of his children were born, but died on Cape Cod in Edgarstown. His son, Simon Newcomb (1666-1745), my 8th great grandfather, settled in Connecticut.

I have three direct Newcomb lines, but only one of these migrated to Nova Scotia. My 7th great grandparents, Simon's son, Deacon John Newcomb (1688-1765) and Alice Lombard (1686-1767) arrived there from Connecticut in 1760, with some of their immediate and two of John's brothers (Simon and Benjamin) and their families, as part of the New England Planters group, settling in Cornwallis. (Yes, several of my early New England and Nova Scotia ancestors were church elders or deacons.) A bit about Deacon John's life can be read here.

I'm descended twice John and Alice: from their son Capt Eddy Newcomb (1713-1781), who married Abigail English (1724-1790) and came with his parents to Cornwallis; and from their daughter Katherine Newcomb (1710-1762), who remained in Connecticut and married Noah Bliss Webster (1706-1762). Eddy and Katherine, and their spouses, are my 6th great grandparents. When Eddy and Abigail arrived, their older children were already young adults.

As Douglas Goff notes in his paper, The Ancestry of Abigail and Elizabeth Newcomb, Capt Eddy "is said to have served as captain under Gov. Cornwallis in the War of the Revolution, and to have been taken prisoner with him and his army, Oct. 19, 1781 (Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. 1910. The History of Kings County)."

It's from Capt Andrew that my Nova Scotia Newcombs descend. Let's go back to them. Eddy Newcomb was John and Abigail's eldest son. He was named after his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Eddy (abt 1663-1710). It's not a nickname for Edward in this case. He, his father Deacon John, his uncles and his brother John Jr were among the original grantees in Cornwallis (those Acadian lands again!) and were farmers.

Eddy and Abigail had nine children, the first six of whom were born in Connecticut. Their eldest child, Elizabeth (1743-1824), is my 5th great grandmother.  In 1762, in Cornwallis, she married Eliakim Tupper (1742-1810) who was also part of a New England Planter family originally from Cape Cod. Eliakim and Elizabeth were among the early settlers of Stewiake, in what became Colchester County, before moving to nearby Truro in about 1773. Eliakim kept the only inn there, and became Justice of the Peace for what are today the counties of Colchester and Pictou.  Between 1763 and 1780, they had nine children, including six sons and three daughters, including my 4th great grandmother, Mary Tupper Fisher, whom I mention in this post.

Elizabeth and Eliakim returned to Stewiake from Truro in about 1792 their later years, and died there.

In Nova Scotia, and all of Canada today, there are countless Newcomb descendants.

The never ending story continues...

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Rt Hon, Charles J. Doherty, MP PC KC -- 1

There is so much to tell about my 2nd cousin twice removed, that his story will cover a couple of posts. First, the personal and family details.

2nd Lt C J Doherty 1885
As a young lawyer, Judge Marcus' son Charles Joseph Doherty (1855-1931) served as a second Lieutenant in the 65th Regiment of the Mount Royal Rifles when it was mobilized between April and July 1885 for the North West Rebellion.

Three years later, Charles married Catherine Lucy Barnard (1865-1945) on 6 Jun 1888 at St Patrick's Basilica in Montreal. Catherine, or Kate, was the daughter of Montreal lawyer Edmund Barnard KC (1831-1902) and his wife, Ellen King Austin (1839-1905), originally from Albany, New York. As can be seen in the basilica's register, the wedding was officiated by Charles' cousin Rev James Dougherty of Kingston, New York.

Charles and Kate had five children:



6 Jun 1888 Record of Marriage
  • Kathleen Mary Elizabeth (1889-1979) m Georges Gonthier (1869-1943), Canada's fifth Auditor General (1924-1939), in 1927 in Montreal. They had one son, about whom I'll be writing at some point.
  • Eileen Mary (1890-1961) m Reginald Cecil Wingate (1885-1965) in 1918 at Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, near the family's country home, Inishowen (yes, that was a huge clue for me in my research.) They had two children.
  • Margaret Agnes Mary Edith (1897-?) took vows with the order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • Marcus Cahir (1898-1970) became a Jesuit priest.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ann (1909-2002) m a Canadian diplomat, Jean Joseph Hubert Morin in Montreal in 1931 and had four children. 
According to city directories and census records, from at least 1889 until 1911, Charles, Kate and their family lived at what was then 282 Stanley Street in Montreal's Golden Square Mile. The address was renumbered and is now 3422 Stanley, and houses a 22-room hotel. 

I found the 1891 photo below of Kate with her two oldest daughters on the McCord Museum's website.



In 1896, Charles and Kate acquired a country home in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the Laurentians, north of Montreal. They named their retreat Inishowen, after the peninsula in Donegal, Ireland that is the origin of our Doughertys/Dohertys. The information at the link came to me from the Ste-Agathe historical society a few years ago.

The never ending story continues...

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Judge Marcus Doherty and his family 2

Judge Marcus and Elizabeth O'Halloran had a large family of 12 children, and of these, ten survived childhood, only three of whom married and had children. One became a nun, one became an accountant and three became lawyers. Clearly, Judge Marcus' children were well educated. I write generally of his family here. Now, I want to give what information I've found about his children who survived to adulthood.

The eldest child of Judge Marcus and Elizabeth O'Halloran was Ellen Elizabeth (1844-1919). My great-great aunt Catharine Dougherty was Ellen's godmother, according to her baptismal record. Ellen appeared in censuses with her family until 1891, when she appears in that census as a lodger in a Church-run facility, together with other women and men, in Beloiel, Quebec, (about 35 minutes drive from Montreal today).

She appears there also in the 1901 census. That census form includes a column to identify those with what we today call challenges or disabilities. In that column, Ellen is identified as "mental". How sad.

Ellen next appears in the 1911 census as a lodger in a similar facility in Montreal, not far from where family members lived at the time. But in this case, the entire last column has been ripped away from the rest of the page. Ellen died in Beloeil in 1919, and is buried there in the cemetery of Eglise St-Mathieu.

Thomas James Doherty
c 1867
Next was Thomas James (1845-1894), who bore the names of his paternal grandfather and great grandfather. My 2nd great grandfather Marcus Dougherty and his daughter (my great great aunt)Isabella Dougherty McHugh, were his godparents. Thomas followed his father's footsteps and became a lawyer. He died unmarried in his 49th year, as reported in the 7 Feb 1894 edition of The Gazette in Montreal:
DOHERTY - At Colorado Springs Col. (USA) on the 5th inst. Thomas James Doherty Q.C. justice, Superior court, and brother of Hon. Mr. Justice C.J. Doherty. Funeral from his brother's residence 282 Stanley, St. on Saturday, 20th of February, at quarter to nine a.m. to St. Patrick's Church.

14 Feb 1894 True Witness & Catholic Chronicle
A much more detailed story about his life and death, written in the florid 19th century style, was published in the 21 Feb 1894 edition of The True Witness and Catholic Chronicle (col 3, pg 2). The story notes that he died in Colorado Springs "where he had gone to recuperate if possible, from the shocks that his system received from the disease which unfortunately proved fatal".

Thomas' sister Mary Louisa Cecilia (1851-1919) was known as Louisa. She married a Montreal insurance executive. P. Walter Kavanagh (1853-1905) on 10 Jul 1879 in Sherbrooke, while her father was stationed there as a judge. Louisa and Walter had three children:

  • Mary Elizabeth (1884-1973) 
  • Mary Louisa Eleanor (Ellen) Margarita (1886-1890)
  • Walter Patrick Henry Joseph (1891-1916)
Mary Elizabeth Kavanagh
obit, Montreal Gazette, Apr 1973
Louisa's daughter Mary Elizabeth lived in New York for the rest of her life after her marriage (she had two children), but upon her death in 1973, her funeral and burial were in the city of her birth, Montreal. I haven't been able to trace her descendants. Yet. 


Next was Daniel O'Connell (1853-1878), about whom I've learned little. Did he suffer from issues similar to those of his older sister Ellen? I'm just speculating. The death notice below is interesting in that the funeral procession went from the hospital to the church, rather than from the family home, as was the custom of the time, meaning there was no wake at the family home. He was only 24. 
Daniel O'Connell Doherty obit 1878

Daniel was named after Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), called the Emancipator or the Liberator, for his ongoing efforts seeking rights for the Irish people. 

Judge Marcus' third born son, Charles Joseph had a very illustrious career as a lawyer, judge and politician. Separate blog posts will address his life. 

Anna Maria (1857-1944), known as Annie, never married. Her sister Margaret Agnes Mary (1859-1894) took vows with the Order of Jesus and Mary in Fall River, Massachusetts, and became known as Rev Madam Mary of the Annunciation. When she died at the age of 35, her passing was also recorded in an obituary in The True Witness and Catholic Chronicle in its 31 Oct 1894 issue (col 2, pg 9, middle). Her death came six months after her brother Thomas' death, a fact the obituary notes in 19th century extreme. 

Their sister Elizabeth Mary (1861-1926) married a Henry Walter Mulvena (1855-1926), a lawyer who was later appointed to the bench in Montreal, in 1895. They lived in Sherbrooke, where Judge Mulvena was based, and had three sons, 

My great great aunt, Isabella Doherty McHugh was also godmother to Marcus Emanuel (1866-aft 1931) at his baptism. Marcus E. became a lawyer, and for a few years practised law with his brothers Thomas and Charles, and after he stepped down from the bench in 1891, his father Judge Marcus. The firm was called Doherty & Doherty. Marcus E appears in Canadian censuses through to 1891. The following year, according to the 1900 U.S. census, he moved to San Francisco, California. He worked as a stenographer, as reported in the 1897 city directory, perhaps going through a period of study to get his California Bar licence. In 1898, he enlisted in the U.S. Army -- but was dishonourably discharged six months later. What happened? The 1901 census records his occupation as attorney. He is living in a San Francisco hotel. After that, he disappears. 

Newspaper accounts of his brother Charles' 1931 funeral report that at that time, Marcus was living in the Philippines. What brought him there? Did he return to Montreal for any of his siblings' funerals? What kind of life did he live? Did he disappear from his family for his own reasons? 

Judge Marcus and Elizabeth's final child was Michael Joseph (1867-1907), who died at 40 in Montreal. He was an accountant. 

Elizabeth O'Halloran funeral mass 1884
Elizabeth O'Halloran Doherty died in November 1884 aged about 58. Among the clergy concelebrating her funeral mass at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal were Judge Marcus' first cousin, Rev James Dougherty (1843-1906) who was born in Kingston, New York, son of his older brother Michael (abt 1810-1953).


Judge Marcus Doherty funeral mass 1903
Judge Marcus died on 4 Jul 1903, surviving Elizabeth by 19 years and aged as much as 87. Rev James Dougherty also concelebrated at his funeral mass. I write more about his remarkable life here.

Some of these Quebec church records don't survive as well as other records do. But in both these records, the signature of Rev James Dougherty can be seen.

What is clear to me is that the ties between the branches of the Dougherty/Doherty families were strong in the 19th century, despite the lack of modern technology to help stay in touch. In the 20th century, those ties became lost in the mists of time. I'm loving finding them anew in the 21st century.

The never ending story continues....

Monday, 5 September 2016

On this day: the Acadian Expulsion begins

My earliest 18th century Nova Scotia ancestors arrived there from New England, many answering the call of the British government to settle there, as part of the New England Planters. Included in this group was my 4th great grandfather, Alexander Nelson. The lands New England Planters received as Crown land grants were seized lands of deported Acadians. The Globe and Mail has a wonderful feature called A Moment in Time. Today's snapshot recalls that on this day in 1755, the Acadian Expulsion began.

The never ending story continues...

Sunday, 4 September 2016

St Michael the Archangel Parish, serving Montreal's Mile End Irish community

As I've noted here and here, my paternal grandparents were married in St Michael the Archangel Church in Montreal in September 1909. It turns out that the building that stands today at St-Urbain and St-Viateur isn't the building where they were married, or where my father and three of his brothers were baptized.

The original St. Michael the Archangel Parish was in a hall above a fire station at St-Denis and Laurier streets in 1902. The parish community quickly outgrew that space, and a small church was built and Boucher and Drolet streets, where a cornerstone was laid on 29 May 1904. It was here in this building that my grandparents were married, and where my father, Butler and his brothers Marc, Luke and Paul were baptized. Yes, three of my uncles were named after the apostles. My grandfather said the rosary daily. What can I say? Many years ago, I met the father of a friend who had dated my aunt. He remembered her because "her brothers were named after the apostles".

I've been unable to locate any photos of the church at Boucher and Drolet that served my family from 1909 to 1915, but I did find a nice early history here.

St Michael the Archangel Parish c 2016
Work on the very Byzantine structure that became the third home of the church of St Michael that still stands today began in July 1914. The first mass was celebrated in it in December 1915. My youngest uncle was the first and last of our family baptized in this beautiful setting in March 1919, probably not long before the family moved to their new home on West Hill Avenue in NDG.

Since 1964, the church has served Montreal's Polish Catholic community, with masses offered in English and Polish. It is now known as the Church of St Michael and St Anthony.

The never ending story continues....

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Our immigrant ancestors -- Samuel A. Fisher (1758-1812)

My 4th paternal great grandfather was Samuel A. Fisher, who was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1758 to Deacon Samuel Fisher and Sarah Barber. In chapter 38 of his 1873 book, Historical and Genealogical Record of the First Settlers of Colchester County, Thomas Miller writes this about of Samuel A.:
"Samuel, son of Deacon Samuel Fisher, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire.  He removed to Nova Scotia in 1767.  He was married to Mary, daughter of Eliakim Tupper, Esq., and Elizabeth Newcomb.  He settled on the interval farm that is now owned by Mr. Samuel Butler and Mr. Patterson, on the south side of the Stewiacke River, in 1784.  He was a worthy man; he went by the name of Deacon Fisher also.  He died in Stewiacke, May 12th, 1812."
Miller also writes about the passage of Samuel's father, Deacon Samuel Fisher, my 5th great grandfather from Ireland to America this:
"Deacon Samuel Fisher was born in the North of Ireland, in the year 1722, and was of Scottish descent. His father was a weaver. He came to America in 1740, in the 19th year of his age. The ship in which he came was usually spoken of as "The starved ship". The vessel was so scantily supplied with provisions, that, long before the voyage was completed, one pint of oatmeal for each individual on board, and a proportionate allowance of water, was all that remained. Mr. Fisher once went to the mate with a tablespoon to obtain some water, which was refused him, there being but two-thirds of a bottlefull on board. Mr. Fisher's custom was to take a spoonfull of meal and having moistened it with salt water, to eat it raw. The passengers and crew, having subsisted in this manner for fourteen days, were at length reduced to the necessity of eating the bodies of those who died. Even this resource failed them; and, at length, Mr. Fisher was selected to give up his life to preserve the lives of the rest. Providentially, however, a vessel hove in sight; and their signals of distress being observed, they obtained relief, and he was saved. So deep an impression did the horrors of that passage make upon the mind of Mr. Fisher, that, in after life, he could never see, without pain, the least morsel of food wasted, or a pail of water thrown on the ground carelessly."
What a harrowing journey! This story takes my breath away. Deacon Samuel married three times in New Hampshire. Samuel A. is the second son of his final marriage, to Sarah Barber.

Samuel A. arrived in Truro, Colchester, Nova Scotia in about 1767, aged nine, with his older half sister, Janet and her husband Matthew Archibald. He married Mary Tupper (1766-1812), a daughter of Eliakim Tupper and Elizabeth Newcomb in about 1786, and they went on to have ten children, making their home in Upper Stewiake, Colchester, Nova Scotia, where he farmed. In 1791, Samuel A. is recorded in a poll tax roll as residing there.

Samuel A. died on 12 May 1812, following Mary, who predeceased him only weeks earlier on 23 Apr 1812. It is reported in sources that Samuel A. and Mary were the first white people to be buried in Upper Stewiake's Riverside Cemetery, built on land that had originally been an aboriginal burying ground.

The never ending story continues...

Friday, 2 September 2016

Vermont lives lived: the daughters of Rev James Dougherty

As I wrote here, my 2nd great great uncle Rev James, the Congregational minister, married twice and had three daughters, none of whom married, and so after they died, he left no descendants. But his daughters have their own stories. Don't we all?

James and his first wife, Celia, had two daughters, Sarah Curran (1834-1861) and Isabella Celia (1836-1894). Sarah died aged only 26, "after a long and painful illness which was patiently born." She was, according to this lengthy obituary that appeared in the Lamoille Newsdealer on 25 Oct 1861, well loved by her students and a wide circle of friends. Her obituary starts in the first column and ends in the second column, and includes such praise as "Her attention to her textbooks did not hamper or mind or prevent general reading or liberal culture." Obituaries in the 19th century, particularly for women, were full of much flowery prose.


I think that the birth of Isabella, called Isabel, contributed to Celia's death, five days after Isabella was born.
Isabel Dougherty obit 
Isabel's passing on 1 Jun 1894 is briefly noted in a column of community and social notes. She died from pneumonia. She was the last of the three sisters to die, two weeks after the passing of her younger sister, Mary Louisa (1838-1894), called Louise, whose cause of death is listed as Bright's disease, something that today would be called chronic nephritis.

Isabel and Louise shared the same home all of their lives. They must have been very close. Their estates were wound up at the same time. Probate records are online and offer a snapshot into the household of two genteel ladies of the late 19th century, listing the household contents. Isabel had already started the paperwork related to winding up Louise's estate. Her signature appears in a court document. Both died intestate, and so on 22 Jun 1894, their cousin Judge Marcus of Montreal, signed a letter requesting the appointment of an administrator of both estates (who turns out to have been Emily Drake's husband). Always a small world. It took five years to wind up both estates. I tracked this from published legal notices.

I wonder if these three sisters, my 1st cousins 3x removed, knew their Kingston, Granby or Cincinnati cousins and their families, wrote to them or exchange visits with them. And did they know about their Irish cousins in Dungiven?

In the deposition signed on 27 Jul 1899 attached to Isabel's probate records, Judge Marcus mentions the surviving Cincinnati and Kingston cousins, and his own brother Paul in Dungiven.
"that the late Isabella C. Dougherty (and Mary Louisa Dougherty) ...was my cousin on her father's side and that she was also the cousin of Paul Dougherty, my brother, of the County Derry, in Ireland and of Catharine and Louisa, spinsters, of Cincinnati in the state of Ohio, and of  Isabella and Bridget Dougherty, both of the City of New York in the state of New York, all on her father's side also, and that all of these cousins survived the said Isabella C. Dougherty (and Mary Louisa Dougherty)..."
He definitely knew where everyone in his far flung family was -- almost. Judge Marcus notes in his deposition that Isabel's other surviving cousins on her father's side included:
"another cousin, Thomas Sullivan, who lived with Rev James in Johnson...Vermont who was much her junior, as also younger than all the above named cousins and might and would under certain circumstances presumed to have survived her ....but of whom this deponent can give no account as to his life or residence and that she had other cousins of whom this deponent can now affirm nothing on oath."
1877 Cincinnati directory
Judge Marcus doesn't include in his deposition the name of my great grandfather, John James Dougherty, who was also a first cousin of Isabel, as he predeceased her in 1893. I've never been able to find anything about Thomas Sullivan or his parentage -- and who were those other cousins about whom Judge Marcus was unable to provide any information? Were they the Marcus and Mary Ann Dougherty listed in the 1877 Cincinnati directory?

Mary Hoxie Dougherty obit
Louise's mother was Rev James' second wife, a widow herself, Mary Hoxie Drake (1795-1881), who brought one daughter, Emily Drake (1826-1892), into her marriage in 1837 to Rev James. He appears as Emily's guardian in several documents before she reached adulthood.

I've been unable to find newspaper stories or obituaries about Celia Hall Dougherty, Rev. James' first wife, who died in 1836 in Milton. So far.

Rev James, his wives and daughters are all buried at the Whitting Hill Cemetery, in Johnson, Lamoille County, Vermont.

The never ending story continues...