We all have them our brick walls, and this one has been stumping us (my sister & I) for decades.
William Lyle Dougherty b: 1818 (1)
William Lyle was our maternal 2x great grandfather.
In the 1850 US census Wm L. Dougherty age 36 can be found in Pike county, Pennsylvania.
He is married to Jane E. age 28, with John Lyle age 6, Clark 4, and William E. 2.
In the 1860 census Jane E. Dougherty 38, is alone with John 18, Clark 16, William 12, Alvey 7, and Solomon 7.
Where is William L. Dougherty? William Dougherty is a rather common name in Pennsylvania during this time period, while I found many William Dougherty’s in Pennsylvania I could not locate one that I could say was ours.
We have searched for death records and divorce records to no avail. On our family history research trip to Pennsylvania in 1994 I visited the court-house in Milford, unfortunately in Pike County Pennsylvania they have very few records. We visited cemeteries and we were fortunate to find Jane E.’s grave in a small church cemetery along with her daughter Malvina from a later marriage but alas no William.
While in Pennsylvania we visited the historical archives at the Library in Port Jarvis. They had on file a handwritten Westfall family tree.
Here we see Wm. L. Dougherty and below his name are the dates 1814- 185_ (suggesting a date of death in the 1850’s).
Well that is a clue but no answer.
Later on one of our trips to Salt Lake City Family History Library we found in a Family History of New York book(1) the following.
In 2003 I heard from a 3x great granddaughter of William L. Dougherty whom I had been unaware of and she was able to shed quite a bit of light on Williams son, Clark but nothing further on William. She contacted me through my Family History web site
I have lost contact with her and would love to hear from her again. Kim, we need to share and get caught-up.
In looking for Wm. L. Dougherty I have searched Naturalization papers in Pennsylvania, again too many William Doughertys. I have searched boat passenger lists and have a possibility but without an arrival date I can not verify.
I would like to find a record of his death. I do see where on the Internet on a Public Ancestry Family Tree they attached a death date from a William Dougherty who died (drowned in a river) in Philadelphia, about the right time that my William goes missing in the 1860 census. If that is our William what was he doing in Philadelphia and what proof do they have that he is Jane’s husband?
I would like to know when he arrived in this country. In looking at the Census records for his father-in -law I found that he (John Westfall) employed many Irish laborers. Was this how William meet and married Jane? Were any of the Irish working for his father-in-law in the 1850 census on the same boat with William when he came to the United States? We have been trying this line of search but have not found any connection.
I have looked for the marriage of Jane to her second husband ( Ferdinand Chamberlin) but Pike County marriage records only go back to the early 1900’s.
I am stumped. My sister and I also tried to jump the pond but without that arrival date and port of departure the time frame of connecting William Dougherty to the hundreds of Doughertys in Londonderry has been disappointing.
I have tried various forms of the spelling for Dougherty again no luck. Any Ideas?
1.) Family History of NY, Vol. IV, New York Family Histories, page 220
10 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #4 My Brick Wall”
Great synopsis of our research. I would only add; hope our agony of defeat is replaced by the thrill of victory
Madeleine, thanks maybe we will find something new when we go to Salt Lake City Family History Library in December.
If you use the census dob for William it should be 1814…. also the older children’s ages changed from the first census to the 2nd… Might use both dob as a search.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. The birth date I have is sourced in the footnote. These biography are usually submitted by the person whom they are about. Since John Lyle was Williams son I assumed it was more correct then the census,which is as you noticed different from census to census. Keep trying maybe we will find him yet.
Is the cemetery where Jane is buried still functional? Who takes care of it? Do you think it’s possible that William is buried there without a headstone? If possible, contact whomever is in charge of that cemetery and see if William is buried there. If the cemetery is still functional, someone has a map that tells, literally, where the bodies are buried. You say it’s in a church cemetery? Would the church have records of burials? I promise you, someone, somewhere, has the record of his burial.
Thanks so much for you comments. I have forgotten how we found Jane, but I will research this further. Thanks.
I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/03/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-march-14.html
Have a wonderful weekend!