Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Research Trip’ Category

Benjamin Clough War of 1812 Bounty Land file

This summers genealogy research trip included a trip into Washington D.C. for research at the National Archives.

Madeleine had made arrangements to meet with a researcher for help in finding the War of 1812 records for Benjamin Clough our 3x great grandfather. Benjamin Clough had not shown up in the pension files but it was known that he had served so we did the obligatory trek to do a little research in this countries greatest repository, the National Archives.

What an awesome experience. The building itself is impressive. Situated on the Capital Mall a short walk from our hotel. A monumental building amongst many.  The main doors are massive and are no longer how you enter.  Still I made my sister hike up those front steps to do another photo op. In order to be handicap accessible the entry is at the side, and not quite as impressive. Still if you are a genealogist you should try to make the trip at least once.

Once we were processed through to do research Madeleine quickly requested the file we were hoping to view. We were allowed to view only one file at a time and were not allowed to sit down together and share.

While they had many rules in place , I was amazed that papers almost 200 years old were available to look at  without  the required white glove  treatment. The file for Capt. Benjamin  J.  Clough contained 13 original sheets of paper  along  with  two original envelopes.

War of 1812

A conflict between the United States and Britain from June 1812 to February 1815. The conflict was an inconvenience for Britain who was heavily involved fighting the Napoleonic wars with France. The British embargoes on French shipping affected America economically and was further exacerbated by the many incidents where the British Navy pressed Americans merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Furthermore Britain supported Indian raids on Americans migrating into the frontier. The Conflict was ended by the signing on December 24 1814 of the Treaty of Ghent. News of the treaty did not reach the states until February 1815.

  • June 18, 1812 Declaration of War signed by President James Madison
  • 1813  early death and disability pensions for disabled veterans and veterans’ widows and their children.
  • December 24, 1814 Treaty of Ghent signed.
  • 1816 Additional provisions for widows, orphans and disabled veterans. Allows guardians to turn over bounty and land warrants in exchange for half pay pension for five years.
  • 1850 Bounty Land Act for 9 month service 160 acres, 4 months 80 acres, and 1 month 40 acres.
  • 1855 Bounty Land Act for 14 days service 160 acres. Those who already received less could file for the balance up to 160 acres.
  • 1871 Service pension for minimum 60 days service and an honorable discharge. Veterans Widows married before February 17, 1815.
  • 1878 Service pension served minimum 14 days or in any battle, received an honorable discharge. Veteran widows married to pensioner prior to his death.

Captain Benjamin J. Clough applied for his first Land Bounty in October 1850. The following is that initial request that I have transcribed here. There are a few words I was unable to decipher and those are indicated as, ……. .  It is a great story of his time during this conflict. (Click on images to enlarge)

State of New York

County of Erie SS: On this 24 day of October 1850. Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, a Justice of the Peace, duly authorized by law to administer matters, within and for the county & state above named, Benjamin J. Clough aged 65, a resident of Hamburg in the county & state aforesaid ; who, being duly sworn according to law, declares, he is the identical “Benjamin J. Clough”, who was a Lieutenant & afterwards a Captain of the 48 Regt. of the NY State Militia, in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812.

That in September of 1812 there being a vacancy in the captaincy of his said company – this deponent, as commandant thereof, received an order from Lt. Col Wm. Warren commandant of his said regt. to call out his company to form a guard having its headquarters at “Eighteen Mile Creek” to guard the coast at that point on the Frontier. That under that call about twenty or twenty five of his company volunteers, with whom, under his command, at that point he served for three months, when he was permitted to disband his men: he, this deponent was not discharged, but was directed by his commanding officer, to hold himself as a minute man.

After the Lake was frozen over in the winter of 1812.13 He received orders from Col Warren to raise a guard to guard the coast at and where the mouth of 18 mile creek which he did as before by calling upon his men to volunteer and actually served under the last …… order & in command of that guard for the space of two months when he was reinforced by Capt. Johnson & his company of the same regiment, who then, having a Captain’s .command …., took the command, and this deponent continued in active service in the …. …,

… … him, for the term of two months service, making 4 months service under the last …….. call. Soon after which he was again ordered by Col. Warren to raise a company of volunteers to guard the ……. at Buffalo and Mack Rock, which he did and actually served. in command of his said company for one month where he received orders to, & did, disband his men: but immediately afterwords received an order from Col. Warren to raise a company to go to Fort George in Canada which he did. He went with his company under command of Maj. C. Chapin & Genl. P.B. Porter to Fort George, in which detachment he served about one month, at the end of which time he marched his company home to Hamburg & disbanded them.

Again he volunteered with & in command of his company under General Harrison proclamation, crossed the river at Mack Rock, marched to Fort George to join the standard of that General, when, about one month after starting from home, Genl. Harrison, informed the volunteers that his purpose of taking Burlington Heights must be abandoned on account of orders, which had received from Head Quarters, to repair to Sackett Harbor, when he verbally discharged the said volunteers, but recommended them to go on under Genl. McClure as there would soon be a Pay Master along, when they could get their pay. Whereupon this deponent with his company continued under command of Genl. McClure & marched toward Burlington Heights, & when they had reached 20 Mile Creek, they were ordered to retreat, & they crossed the river to Fort Niagara where they were commanded by Genl. McClure to deposit their arms at that Fort which they did & returned home.

Immediately after which and about the last of November 1813 he again volunteered with his company to guard the lines at Mack Rock, which he did and continues to serve at that place until Buffalo was burned Dec. 31, 1813-14 – after which he was at home, chiefly, until the latter part of July 1814, when, again under an order from Col Warren he volunteered with his company to go to Fort Erie to join Genl. Brower, which he did, and continued to serve under that engagement in the said war until the 27th day of September 1814 where he was directed to discharge his men.

And he further declares, that from the time he was first called out in September 1812 until the fall of 1814 he was never discharged but after the occasions, on which he was called out as aforesaid, had ceased to require the aid of his force, he was told that he could let his men disperse with the understanding that he should and would hold himself in readiness at a moment’s warning which he did. He was not at home during all of that period more than two or three months, which was chiefly during the winter after the burning of Buffalo.  He may have made some mistakes in the order of some of the events above mentioned, but the leading facts are there and he believes the dates to be so. During all the said service, this deponent had actual command of his company though only a few: by commission; until the 2nd day of March 1814 where he received a commission from his Excellency D.D. Tompkins Gov. as Captain of said company, in the 48th regt. …….., which is herewith ………….

He makes this declaration for the purpose of procuring the bounty land to which he may be entitled, under the act granting bounty land to a certain officers & …….. rights have been engaged in the service of the United States … ………… 28, 1830                                         Benj am J. Clough

……… to & subscribed before me, the day and year above written. …. I hereby certify, that I believe the said Benjamin J. Clough to be the identical man who served as aforesaid, and that he is of the age above stated.                 C.T. Shattuck, Justice of the Peace of Erie Co N.Y.

Albert S. Baker is hereby appointed my agent and attorney, to whom I wish all correspondence to be addressed.           Benj am J. Clough

This deposition was sent in response to the Bounty Land Act of 1850 whereupon Benjamin received 40 acres. Benjamin recounts at least 11 months total as noted in the margins of this deposition therefore he could have received the full 160 acres at that time. But alas the government conclusion is stated in the document here dated January 24 1851.

It appears from documents in this Office that Benjamin H. Clough Captain Company of New York Militia entered service on the 25th of July 1814 and served till the 25th of September 1814 and from 20th of September 1814 to the 23 of November 1814. No other service has been found in this office..



That totals about 4 months.  What he received was for 1 month service. It appears they figured he was short 2 days for 4 months actual recorded service. Benjamin later made application and was awarded in 1856 the remaining 120 acre bounty he was entitled to.

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Revisiting Milford Pa. part 2

Milford, PA

While visiting Milford Pennsylvania last month my sister and I also visited the county tax office where we were able to view and copy the tax schedules for the early 1800’s.

Typical pages in the Pike County Pennsylvania Tax office.

We copied over 25 pages from the tax rolls, from 1840 -1855, any page that had Dougherty or Westfall. The woman at the county office who helped was wonderful and very accommodating and I’m sure the errors made in copying the pages were mine.  We missed a few pages but this really gives us a great picture of what the Westfall place must have been like and what William L. Dougherty was doing when he and Jane (Westfall) were first married. Why William L. Dougherty fell off the tax rolls is unclear. The last son to carry the Dougherty surname was Solomon Dougherty born 1853. By the 1860 US Census Jane was alone, and the last tax roll for William L. Dougherty we copied was for 1848.

click on image to enlarge

Above is the information from the tax rolls extracted for William Dougherty and his father-in-law John Westfall from 1842 – 1855.  In looking over this information I could clearly see that in 1848 John Westfall and William Westfall (John’s eldest son) combined their taxes under John’s name. By 1850 William Westfall and his brothers were on the tax rolls for the sawmill their father had been paying taxes on since 1842.


  • SF = single family
  • HH = Head of household
  • improved = # 0f acres,  tax
  • unimproved = # of acres, tax
  • taxable items= # of item, tax
  • mechanic and shoemaker was the profession of the individual that was listed for the tax year.
  • Do = ditto (?)

The 1850 census for William L. Dougherty listed him as a Laborer. This tax list him as a mechanic in 1842 and 1844, then as a shoemaker in 1843. I found it interesting that William was listed as a shoemaker, you may not recall one of the letters written during the war to John Lyle Dougherty from his mother Jane encourages him to come home and he could take up the trade of shoemaker. I thought that was an odd trade for his mother to suggest to a man who had just lost most of his leg due to a snipers bullet in the days following Gettysburg. Maybe shes thinking there are all those tools for the shoe trade laying about that John Lyle could make good use of.

These papers to not indicate what happened to William L. Dougherty, but we now know that he was in Pike county Pennsylvania paying taxes in 1842 The recorded deed (October 18, 1842) transferring the land from John Westfall to William Dougherty states:

This indenture made the nineteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one …. sum of Sixty Dollars……. a certain lot or parcel of grounds situated in the township of Lackawaxen, county & state aforesaid and bounded on the East  by lands of Almanza Griswould, on the South by lands of the said John Westfall and on the West by the Delaware & Hudson Canal. Being eight rods in width along the canal and twenty rods in depth containing  one acre strict measure more or less. Being the same piece or parcel of ground on which the said William Dougherty has lately erected a dwelling house in which he now resides.

We know that he was there as early as November 1841  when he built a house on the one acre of property that was  to be his for the sum of $60.

It looked like he was doing well for the first few years, things started going down hill and by 1850 he was not paying any taxes in Pike county. I have more questions in regard to William. What happened? The property went from approximately one acre to 3/4 of an acre  Taxes paid went from $260 down to $80.

In 1848 he now has three sons. two more boys are born by 1853. Is he working outside the community? Where did you go? Why did he go?  It seems the more I learn about William, the less I know. Time to move on.



Revisiting Milford PA

This month my sister and I took a trip back east to do genealogy. Our previous trip to Milford, PA, was 25 years ago. This time we drove up from York, PA where we were staying with our nephew. The last leg of the drive was along the lush Delaware River that divides Pennsylvania from New Jersey. It was a lovely day. Not a lot of traffic and we we able to enjoy our surroundings.

Milford, PA June 2019

The deep green vegetation lined the narrow two lane road from where we left the interstate till we were in Milford. We turned on to Broad street and recognized several buildings from our previous visit. That previous visit had been in the fall when the trees were magnificent yellow and orange this time they were lush green. We found our hotel and decided to have lunch on the porch and relax a bit before heading out to explore the picturesque town.

Milford PA Fall 1994

Our first stop was The Columns, a stately two story home that is the Pike County Historical Society museum. Our sojourn to Milford was to find the deeds and other records that we had previously  been told were not to be found.

Oh so not true. They are not online anywhere, and believe me I had looked. I continually had checked familysearch.com.


click on image to enlarge

The above was what I had been seeing the last 25 years. No deeds just (3) maps. I went ahead and emailed the records office prior to our trip to verify they had records from the early years when Pike County had been formed out of Wayne County. Now we were here and I was anxious to start searching the files for the Westfalls and Doughertys that had made their home in Lackawaxen township back in the mid 19th century.

Our first afternoon we stopped by the Historical Society’s museum and were able to copy items from their file on the Westfalls. So glad we had been there previously because some of what we had found 25 years ago was no longer  there or possibly the volunteer was unaware of where the information was filed.

The following day after a very pleasant breakfast at our hotel we walked the short distance to the Pike County  Administration Building where we spent the morning searching the index of Grantors and Grantees books. The Grantees index listed:

  • (24) for John Westfall from 1829 – 1848
  • (2) for Jane E. Chamberlain 1864
  • (1) for Jane Dougherty 1850
  • (1) for William Dougherty 1841

Wow, finally another source document for our 2x great grandfather William Dougherty.

A quick recap:

click to enlarge for clarity


The women in the records office were very helpful. We were able to get copies of many of the deeds. I extracted from the indexes the volumes and pages of any that we might be interested in getting copies for in the future.

vol 15 pg. 411 recorded Oct. 19, 1842

pg. 412

pg. 413









The above deed shows that William Dougherty purchased from his father-in-law an acre of land in Lackawaxen township for $60 and had constructed a “dwelling house”. the instrument was dated Nov. 19, 1841. William and Jane ‘s son John Lyle was born on July 18, 1842 and the deed was recorded on October 19, 1842. This parcel of land was bordered on the east by Abranesor Griswold, south by John Westfall, and on the west by the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

Jane Dougherty vol 18, pg 346

Jane Dougherty is noted in this record as the wife of William L. Dougherty.This instrument is dated April 12 1847 and is recorded on Jan. 5 1850. This deed  conveys 3/4 of an acre from Jane’s father to her for the sum of $37. This property is noted as located at lock #12 of the Delaware & Hudson Canal and adjacent to the John Westfall property.

The maps shows Lackawaxen Creek (where the Delaware & Hudson Canal was located?) running in a north/south direction and the toe path is on the western bank, I have yet to determine exactly where the John Westfall, William Dougherty/Jane Dougherty or even the Griswold property was located during this time frame.

Great finds in Milford thanks to my sister Madeleine and the staff in the records office.

More later on other finds during this adventure.

52 Ancestors – Research Trip

Salt Lake City Night Lights from City Creek

Salt Lake City Night Lights from City Creek

Salt Lake City in December is beautiful.
My sister, two of her friends and myself went to SLC during the first part of December. We went as part of an organized genealogy research tour that takes advantage of a slow time at the Family Search Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is led by Leland K. Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips and Maureen MacDonald. There are daily classes from, “Tips and Tricks for Family History Library and Family Search” to “After You’re Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research”, with everything including American Migration, Finding your Polish and Czech Ancestor, Native American, German, Scotch and Irish research. Leland has also gathered through the years many top notch professional researchers who are available by appointment to consult with on your research. It is truly a week crammed with wonderful opportunities to immerse yourself in finding your ancestors.
The Library is on the west side of Temple Square and the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel is right next door. Everything you could want is within walking distance. Madeleine and I started going back in 1991. We do not go every year. It has been more like every five years. Although after going last year we talked ourselves into going a second year in a row and starting a few days early to explore the sites with friends before immersing into genealogy research.
One of the first things we did was head over to the Abravanel Hall ticket office to see what we could get tickets to while in Salt Lake City. We decided on two events, Utah Symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and the City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker Suite”. Both received high praises from those in our group who attended. Other points of interests around town we were able to view on a city tour that included on Sunday morning the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the State Capital, trolley square along with the fort on the Hill next to the University of Utah. Also during our 10 days we visited the Museum of Modern Art just a half a block from the hotel.

interior Utah State Capital

Interior Utah State Capital

My sister has been a very diligent researcher on our paternal line while I have concentrated on the maternal line. The plan this year was to fill in our blanks on the 32’s.

The 32’s are the 32 names of our 3x great grandparents. Madeleine had (4) four to contend with and I had (8) eight. I had no great expectations because these include our Irish brick walls (the Dougherty’s and the Ferguson’s), along with the very elusive parents of one Julia Marsh. I also had plans to research a few of my husbands lines.

THE PLAN: I had decided I would take a day to research each one of my questions, and Monday I started with, “Who were the parents of Mary Agnes, wife of Joseph Ferguson?” Each day I would try to meet with one or more of the Professional researches that were well versed in the areas I would be researching that day. Arlene Eakle has a Ph.D. and specializes in Great Britain and American research. She has been involved with the tour since we first started going. She is excellent to work with. I started with her on trying to determine Mary Agnes’s surname and who her father might have been.

Tuesday: I still had no clue on who Mary Agnes’s father was so in the morning I continued with my search of records in Sullivan County New York until lunch. That day we had a great lunch at Kneaders Bakery and Café. There are mostly great restaurants within the City Creek Mall area on the south side of temple square. Tuesday was to be the Langley/Jones research, so after lunch I tried the Family Search surname search. They are always adding more records and many that are now digitized can be viewed only at the FHL.

Wednesday: I had scheduled three consultations. One was a follow-up with Arlene on the Mary Agnes search. The Second was with Dwight Radford to see what he might be able to shed light on in Pike County Pennsylvania for William L. Dougherty and his Irish immigration, and since Wednesday was supposed to be research on Lewis Good who was thought to be from Alsace Lorraine, I made an appointment with Trudy Schenk. Trudy in the past had been a fountain of knowledge on researching my husband’s German ancestors, and while Lewis Good was from “France” he was from the region that has been back and forth between Germany and France, Alsace Lorraine. After lunch I had planned to sit in on Dwight Radford’s workshop on “Irish Research On the Internet”, but we got away from the library a little late. I always hate quitting, even for food. I then made a mistake in suggesting going to Johnny Rockets for lunch. After 45 min. we still did not have our food. When we inquired, oh my, it had been sitting for a while and was cold and unedible. So no lunch that day. By the time we got back from our “lunch”, I had missed almost half of Dwight’s workshop. Later that day I took a class on Mind Mapping, a tool to organize what you know and what your search questions are, to help you determine where you might direct your research.

That night the four of us went to dinner at the Garden Café, on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Building. The food was great and the view over temple square was fantastic. After dinner we walked through Temple Square which was jam packed with young people out enjoying the lights of temple square. Every tree had a light on almost every square inch. It must take a large army of volunteers to decorate all those trees. And the community certainly appreciates it. The entire time we were there huge crowds came every evening to the square to walk among the wonderful display of Christmas lights.

George Ott another of the professional researches that I had worked with previously was available for consultation. I met with him first thing on Thursday to look to discover who Nehemiah Case’s parents were. Thursday morning was spent trying to prove or disprove Charles Case and Matilda Jewell Davis were his parents. That afternoon I delved into the Irish hole. Since many of the pay-for-view sites are available on the internet at the Family History Library I tried that route for the Irish records.

Friday I started with Dwight on the Dougherty’s of Pike County. That day was time checking the counties in the other two states that border Pennsylvania for any clues. Lots of time going through the FHL Card Catalogue. That afternoon I switched to “Who was Samuel Hall’s wife Sarah’s parents? This is one of my many English lines. I am fairly proficient at looking at English parish records for BMD’s prior to 1837. I really like the accounts that identify the man by his profession. It really helps with the common names that seem to populate our English ancestors in this era and location of northern England.

Saturday was to be a day for cleaning up any loose ends. Well actually they are all loose ends. Some just have a hint of a knot in them now.

I had been hoping for snow while in Salt Lake City. I love snow and since we walk everywhere we want to go it is no problem. Unfortunately for me there was no snow. We flew out of Salt Lake on Sunday morning, and on Monday they had a fairly wicked snow storm.

Now it is time to review all my finding and organize what I did discover at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. My next several blogs will be try to clue you in on what I have learned.

In the mean time I would like to send you wishes for a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to hearing from you in 2016.

52 Ancestors -Favorite Place to Research

Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us this week with – “Favorite Place: What has been your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?” Well this is another tough assignment for me. While my relatives came from lots of ho hum places, some have been interesting in the challenges they presented for research. Take for example Pike county Pennsylvania for the Dougherty’s and Westfall’s this was difficult because of the lack of records available, but when we visited the area In the fall of 1994 it brought me an appreciation of the beauty in the area of Milford and Lackawaxen. I am finding more records all the time for the Westfall’s & Dougherty’s, but it still lacks on the usual county records available elsewhere.

1994 Milford Pike County Pennsylvania

1994 Milford Pike County Pennsylvania


Milford, Pike County, Penn 1994

Milford, Pike County, Penn

England was probably hands down the best research trip, two weeks doing everything from the usual tourist attractions ( Westminster Abby, Parliament, Tower of London, etc.) to being able to look at the actual church records at St. Michael and All Angels in Ashton under lyne, Lancashire, England for the Heap, Woolley and Lee families.

Ashton under lyne Parish Records

Ashton under lyne Parish Records

Also that trip we found the ancestral manor church in Buckshire for the Putnam family back when the name was de Puttenham along with a genealogy chart on the church wall.

Puttenham 2000 England trip

2000 England trip

While Ireland for the Dougherty’s and Ferguson’s was a fun trip the research was not successful. It was an opportunity to learn as much about Ireland in 14 days as possible, but alas nothing new was discovered that directly related to our Irish roots.

The "O'Dochartaigh" Keep Ireland 2007

The “O’Dochartaigh” Keep Ireland 2007

So really my favorite place to do family research is the Salt Lake Family History Library where I am always sure to find more information. While saying that, I love traveling to any location where my ancestors lived and exploring the area and seeing for myself what their environment was like.  Note to my fairy godmother: Book me that next trip anywhere!




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