Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘52 Ancestors’

Alice Booth’s Last Will

Were the Britsh more likely to leave aWill? 

It seems my British families were into providing Wills. The first Will I discovered on-line was a British Will from 1819 Cheshire England for Robert Heap (4x maternal great grandfather), that I was researching back in 1996. A couple of weeks ago I came across the probate of the Will for Alice Booth (3x maternal great grandmother). So in answer to this weeks prompt from Amy Johnson Crow “Where there is a Will”, I plan on sharing my latest find.

I enjoyed transcribing Alice’s Will. Transcribing gave me an opportunity to really absorb the content.









I already knew quite a bit about Alice Booth. She was Alice Robinson born 6 December 1806 and baptized 21 December 1806  in Padiham, Lancashire England to Nancy and Henry Robinson (a Weaver). The granddaughter of Margaret Robinson and an unknown grandfather.

Alice married Joseph Booth a Calico Printer on 10 October 1825 in Padiham. Lancashire, England. In 1827 Alice gave birth to their first child, a son, Henry.  He died the following year, prior to his first birthday. They went on to have 5 more children prior to their leaving England for the United States in Sept of 1842. The manifest for the sailing of the “Garrick” out of Liverpool England shows:

Josh Booth 29, Alice  27, Mary Anne 11, Josh 9, Walter 8, and Nancy 2.

In further searches we find that Serevetus who had been born in 1831 died prior to the 1841 UK census.

In the United States Joseph and Alice had three more children, Issac in 1843 believed to have been born in PA, Alice in 1845 thought to have been born in MA and Sarah in 1846 born in New Jersey. They lived at least 22 years on Staten Island, Richmond County, New York, where Alice died 28 April 1882.

I Alice Booth of the Town of Castleton County of Richmond and State of New York do make publish pronounce and declare this instrument as and forward my last Will and Testament hereby expressly revoking any and all former Wills by me made.

First, I order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as practicable.

Second I authorize empower and direct that a majority of the Executrixes and Executors of this Will shall whenever they shall deem it  meet for the interest of my estate so to do sell all my property real and personal at public or private sale and good and sufficient deeds and conveyances in the law to execute and deliver to the purchaser or purchasers of such real estate , And until the same is sold I give and devise to my said Executrixes and Executors in trust for the uses and purposes specified in the next clause hereof. Third I order and direct that the rents profits and income of my property until the same shall be applied first to keeping the buildings insured and in repair and paying taxes – and second to paying the interest and principal of the mortgage on my real estate as far as practicable, And if after the payments a fore said there shall be sufficient income therefore their Said Executrixes and Executors shall use the same in the erection of a monument to my deceased son Isaac over his grave not to cost however to exceed the sum of Three Hundred Dollars. And in case there shall not be sufficient income for the payments a fore said and the erection of such monument, then I order and direct that when my real estate shall be sold such monument shall be erected and paid for out of the proceeds of such sale before any distribution of such proceeds shall be made. Fourth The proceeds of the sale of my real and personal property and also all of my property after paying my debts and funeral expenses and erecting such monument. I give devise and bequest in equal shares to my children who shall survive me and to the children of such of my children as have heretofore died – or as may prior to my decease die, the children of deceased children of mine taking the share only which their parent would have taken if living. Lastly I nominate and appoint my daughters Mary Ann Bamber Nancy Gee and Alice Taylor Executrixes and my son Joseph Booth and my son in law James Gee Executors


of this my last Will and Testament.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 29th day of January 1880.

Alice Booth (LS.)

The highlighted contents are the facts gleamed from this record. Upon further study more family clues are given in the following probate record.

Satisfactory proof having been made of the due services of the citation heretofore issued in this matter requiring the proper persons to appear on the eleventh day of July 1882 and attend the probate of the last Will and Testament of Alice Booth late of the County of Richmond deceased and Mess De Groot Rawson and Stafford Attorneys for the Executrixes and Executors named in said Will having appeared in support of the proof of the same and John J. Kenney Esq. heretofore appointed special guardian for Isaac Butterworth and George Booth minors two of the heirs  and next of kin of said deceased,……..

So we see that the adult children of Alice are listed as executors of her estate along with her son in-law James Gee who she must have held in high regard. Isaac had died prior to 1880 when Alice wrote the above Will. Could he have died in the American Civil war? He would have been about 18 at the start so there is a very high probability that he was in the Army. That is a research for another time. What about her son Walton/Walter Booth. I have that he did not die until 1893. Why is he left out of the Will? Now Isaac Butterworth would have been Sarah Booth’s son and suggest that Sarah was no longer living in 1882. She is not named as an executor in 1880 so she was either estranged from the family or had died previous to the writing of the Will. George Booth, who was George Booth? Did Isaac leave a son? Joseph jr had a son George but he would have been an adult (22 years old) in 1882. Did Walton/Walter have a son?

Wills and their accompanying documents can contain clues to help solve a mystery or cause more questions to arise. If you have any observations or insights please do not hesitate to make a comment below.






Silver and Golden Anniversaries

  • #52Ancestors challenges us with the word “longevity”.  As we move backwards in time the average life expectancy diminishes. Most of my ancestors fell into the average. There were a few exceptions to this but nothing like my husbands Aunt Clara. She died 14 days short of her 105th Birthday in 2010.

Another type of longevity is length of marriage. How many marriages in your family have celebrated 50 or even 75 years? The longevity of marriage has also changed through the decades but instead of getting longer because people live longer, the tendency has shortened due to divorce and/or couples living together without marriage. Last year my in-laws celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary and they are still going strong, and my husband and I have just celebrated 52 years.

Genealogy not only looks at history but also sociology. The social standards have certainly changed  since my 2x great grand parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary 2 September 1910 in California, and went on to reach the 54 year mark. Your life expectancy was 42 years in 1860.  So being able to celebrate 50 years marriage on the average would have been difficult to achieve. Where today’s average life expectancy is 78 years, making it a little more common to make that milestone if you can stay married.

Francis 50th Wedding Anniversary Cup
photo by mmelo

George Washington Francis and Clementine Shipp married back in 1860 in California. George had come west in a covered Wagon and lived briefly in Eldorado California before moving down to the Visalia area. Clementine’s family had moved west from Louisiana and in 1852 they lived in the Los Angeles area before settling in the area east of Visalia. In 1860 Clementine was only about 13 years old and George was 28 years old. Today that would raise a lot of eyebrows. Then having their son William only 7 months later would  have also raised a few eyebrows. The average age for women to marry increased from the age of 20 in the 1800 to 22.5 in the 1900 and today is about 25. So Clementine’s age was very young even back then. The crossover of the average woman having her child before the average woman’s first marriage,  occured in the 1970’s. My conclusion is that early births in the first year of marriage had been steadly increasing and once women got the vote and worked outside the home they were putting off  marriage until the last possible moment and today more children are participating in the wedding ceremony of their parents.

Soon after Clementine and George were married the American Civil war erupted. What was it like for the Shipp’s and the Francis’s. I’m sure it sparked some debates in their household. Ohio was a free state and Louisiana was a slave state. Looking back though Clementine’s family history we can find that the Shipp’s were once slave owners. Since California had many pioneering families from both northern and southern states it is not surprising to know that there were those on both sides of the issues. George may have felt strongly about the war for he lost his brother, Andrew Francis, in 1862 at Stoney Point, Tennessee fighting for the union.

Tulare County Land Map

When Clementine and George married it was very much the wild west. Tulare county had lots of Indians and vaquero’s. George was a cattleman and Clementine kept house and raised a herd of children. They owned a 1/2 section of land east of Ivanhoe (north of the town of Visalia).

In 1863 construction on the Transcontinental railway was started. By the time it was completed George and Clementine had 4 children with the fifth on the way. Travel had certainly changed during their life time, going from traveling across country taking several months, to the completion of the Railroad across this nation, to the Model T Ford being manufactured and cars competing with the horse in our mode of daily transportation, and the Wright Brothers  taking flight at Kitty Hawk. They experienced the assassination of two presidents, Lincoln and McKinley. And read about the sinking of the Titanic. The were able to welcome in the 2oth century. They spent their entire married life living near Visalia California. They raised nine children and 4 of them died before they did.

After helping to develop the west, women were finally allowed to vote in California in 1911. The telephone was only used for local calls, it wasn’t until 1915 that you could phone across the country, but the telegraph had connected the east coast to the west since 1861. I certainly hope that Clementine exercised her vote a few dozen times before her death in 1928, 14 years after George had died in 1914.

Leave a comment before my next posting (Jan. 30th) and I will enter your name in a drawing for a special package of family note cards.


Favorite Family Photo’s #52 Ancestors

This weeks challenge is to write about my favorite photo. With my passion of genealogy also comes a love of all these old family photos. Instead of trying to choose one, I think I’ll show you a few that have changed how I view those in the photos from how I knew them.
It is great to be able to put a face and context to our family who we did not know in the prime of their lives.

Well that’s a real disappointment. The first photo I was going to go with I can not find. The photo is  of my maternal grandfather when he was at Cornell and when I look at it I see a different young man from the person I only knew as an elderly and stern man. Another one from that same time period is this one of my grandparents on the day they were married. It is not a formal photo and they truly look very happy and carefree. Nothing like the buttoned-up formal couple they were in latter life.

This next photo is of my paternal grandparents who were quite different from my other grandparents. Here they look to be teenagers, that would make it taken about 1900. Since grandpa Ike died when I was just 2 years old I have no memory of him but my grandma (Gay) lived to be 93 I felt I really knew her. She was a little rough around the edges but had a huge heart. This was said to have been taken on the Elliott ranch, where her parents worked, near Visalia in California and it looks like their home was also a little rough. They were most likely pretty poor. Ike is wearing both suspenders and a belt. Her hair is quite something.


This next one is my mothers brother, Walt, who as a kid appears to be a”class clown”.  I think he is about 10 years old here. He was a thespian and a swordsman in college and later in life was a drum major for his local Shriners unit. The man I knew was mechanically inventive and a hard worker.


And now  this is one of my father and his sister (Eunice). It was taken in 1926. This is his first car. I do not know why his sister has a bouquet but I am assuming it was a special occasion. But why are they so serious? My aunt was always one with a ready smile and always so stylish. She was very particular about her clothes. She did not have a lot of clothes but she always handled them with great care and put them away wrapped with tissue paper. Now my dad worked road construction jobs when I was growing up. He drove a grader and came home filthy dirt. He would always clean up before dinner but I did not consider him “dapper”,  but many of his pictures from his younger days show him fairly well dressed, and that car was a “Star” (brand name) and looks quite sporty.


Susannah Holmes – Her mother-in law was also her aunt

It’s a new year and a fresh start.

Each year I renew a challenge to myself to continue with documenting the families that makeup who I am. Once again Amy Johnson Crow has thrown out the gauntlet and challenges us to develop the habit of writing/recording our family history discoveries and sharing them as 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I hope you will enjoy these blogs on another 52 Ancestors.

The Holmes line starts in our family when William Henry Francis married Susannah Holmes 20 July 1826 in Zanesville, Ohio. William Henry Francis is my 3x great grandfather on my paternal side. Susannah Homes is the 2nd child of 14 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes 22 November 1806. Now Peter was the son of George and Anne (Hill) Holmes of Fauquier County Virginia. His sister was Sabitha (or Tabitha) who had married Joseph Francis in 1797, and their son William Henry was born in 1798, thus making William and Susannah first cousins and Sabitha is not only Susannah’s aunt she is her mother-in law.

Marriage to a first cousin may seem strange to some of us here in the United States but it is actually not unusual in many other countries. Here in the United States only 19 states actually have restrictions against first cousins marriage, and only 5 have it as a criminal offense. First cousin couples risk for birth defects are around 6% where non-related couples risk of birth defects stand about 3% as reported in the Independent. First cousin marriages are more common in the Middle East and it may be approximatly 10% of marriages worldwide are between first cousins.

So as we do our genealogy we should feel no need to raise an eyebrow over cousins marrying,  after all it may be better for some to marry the cousin they know than a stranger. 

Susannah Holmes was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Francis and Holmes appear both in Fauquier  County Virginia and Muskingum County Ohio. The two families are intertwined for generations in both Virginia and Ohio. So maybe it is not surprising that William Francis and Susannah Holmes are married in 1826 after both families had moved west to Zanesville, in Muskingum County Ohio. I want to explore this further, although they are not direct ancestors I have already noted several siblings that marry either another Holmes or a Francis.







52 Ancestors~Charles T. Ferguson- Mailman

clan Ferguson

This weeks challenge on 52 Ancestors was ” Plowing through”.  Since 50% of my ancestors are farmers there are too many choices. So instead of taking the obvious, I go a different direction. Those who know me may realize when taking on a project I rarely chose a simple one. I often take on more then I might be prepared for yet I will persist and persevere until complete. Genealogy has been typical of one of those projects. Writing this blog is another. Within my genealogy project I have some of those brick walls that I continue to bang my head against. One of those brick walls relates to this weeks choice, Charles T. Ferguson.  Charles is one that some would call a collateral relative as opposed to a direct ancestor. The direct ancestor is Margaret Helen (Ferguson) Dougherty (my great grandmother) and her brother would be a collateral.

I started looking at Charles because his mother (my 2x great grandmother) was listed in some places as Mary Agnes Lambert and in other places as Mary A. Hall. He was not the only sibling of Margaret Helen I was pursing, he is just the one I have chosen to tell this tale.

Charles T. Ferguson was born 18 February 1859 in New York State to Joseph A. Ferguson and Mary Lambert or Hall.

1860 US Census Forrestburg, Sullivan County, New York

1860 US Census
Forrestburg, Sullivan County, New York

The  1860 US Census for Forrestburg in Sullivan County, New York shows Charles T. (1 years old) along with his older sisters Margaret H. (10) and Mary E. (8) and brother David W. (3). His father Joseph Ferguson (33) is a Laborer with $200 Real Estate and $100 personal property, born in Ireland. His Mother is Mary A (30) and she is shown as born in New York State.

On the 22 August 1862 Joseph Ferguson joins the union army as a volunteer in the New York 1st Mounted Rifles. To have taken a horse with you to war usually implied that you were fairly well to do.

1870 US Census Scranton, Pennsylvania

1870 US Census
Scranton, Pennsylvania

In the 1870 US Census we find the family without Joseph, living in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Here Mary (40) is keeping house. Not living in the household is Margaret, who would be 20 years old and who has married John Lyle Dougherty in Scranton, and Mary E. who would be 18. In the family is David now 13 years old and working in a store. Charles is 10 and we now have Edwin who is 9. It looks like Mary has taken in three male borders probably to provide for the families expenses.

Charles is not in the 1880  US Census with either his mother or father. We lose him until the 1885 Kansas State Census where we find Charles Ferguson in Leavenworth, Kansas.

Kansas State Census 1885 Leavenworth, Kansas

Kansas State Census 1885
Leavenworth, Kansas


Sometime prior to 1884 Charles T. marries Rosa. Their first child shown here is Agnes born in 1884 in Kansas. presumably Leavenworth.

1900 US Census Leavenworth, Kansas

1900 US Census
Leavenworth, Kansas

There is no 1890 Census so the next census we have for Charles is the 1900 US Census for Leavenworth Kansas . Here we find Charles Ferguson (41), having been married 17 years, which put his marriage to Rosa sometime in 1883.  Charles occupation is listed as a mail carrier. Rosa his wife is shown as 39 and having given birth to 9 children, 7 of which are still living. The children listed are Agnes (#1) born in 1884, Frances (2) born 1886, William(3) born 1889, Gertrude (4) born 1891, Charles(5) born 1893, Gerald (6) born 1895 and Eddy (7) born 1898. I have not found any records for the two that have died.

Kansas State Census 1905 Leavenworth Kansas

Kansas State Census
Leavenworth Kansas

In the 1905 Kansas State Census we find two more children Lucian (#8) born about 1901 and Harold (#9) born about 1904. Chas is now 46 years old and Rosa is 44 and all 9 children are still at home. By the next United States census Frances has moved out. All the other kids are still at home and Charles is 51 and still listed as a mail carrier and their daughter Agnes who is still single at 26 is listed as a Stenographer. William who is now 23 is a clerk and I believe it says grocery. This is a poor quality film. (Remember you can click on the image to enlarge).

1910 US Census Leavenworth Kansas

1910 US Census
Leavenworth Kansas

In the 1920 United States census we find the family still living in Leavenworth in the same home.

1920 US Census Leavenworth Kansas

1920 US Census
Leavenworth Kansas

Charles is listed as 60 years of age and working as a mail carrier. Agnes is still living at home a chief clerk for the National Military Home in Leavenworth. Edward (Edwin) is 22 and a brakeman on a steam railroad. Lucian and Harold are also at home being 19 and 15 respectively.

In the 1930 census we find that Agnes is listed as head of household at the same address in Leavenworth, where the real estate value is listed as $3500. Charles relationship to head of household is father, and now has none  listed under occupation. Lets hope he retired from the Post Office with some sort of pension. Rose A. is listed as Mother and there is also Charles 14  and Omer N. 13 both listed as nephew, which we learned are Charles Jr’s. two children from his marriage to Marion. Not sure where Charles Jr. and Marion are during this census. I do know that Charles Jr. was in the Army. The kids may just be visiting with grandma and grandpa Ferguson.

1930 US Census Leavenworth Kansas

1930 US Census
Leavenworth Kansas

Charles T. Ferguson dies in San Antonio, Texas of a Coronary Occlusion on Christmas day 1934 probably visiting, form Leavenworth Kansas, family for the holidays. I had sent for Charles death certificate to see what his mothers maiden name was listed as. When I received it I did not find a name for either of his parents, The certificate listed “no record”. But I did find that the informant was an F.J. Ferguson who was living on Dawson St. in San Antonio, Texas, with this information I was able to add what happened to Charles and  Rosa’s son Frances to my collator relative information.

Death Certificate  Charles Ferguson Dec. 25, 1934

Death Certificate
Charles Ferguson
Dec. 25, 1934

I am really glad I took this side track and learned so much about Charles and his large family and I know there are lots more cousins out there in Kansas and Texas and places yet to be discovered. And Madeleine, I do not think we will ever finish this project but who cares the persistence has brought me great joy.


52 Ancestors: #3 Poultry Farmer/ University Professor

John Edwin Dougherty  July 29, 1887 – August 12, 1976

John Edwin Dougherty

John Edwin Dougherty

John Edwin Dougherty, known by Ed or even J. E. Dougherty  was born to John Lyle Dougherty  and Margaret Helen Ferguson in New York, the youngest of 6.
William E.  Dougherty was b: 22 October 1882 and d: 12 January 1885.  Howard Dougherty another older brother to John, b: 2 Jan 1872 and d: 10 April 1883 and Dorothy Grace Dougherty was two years older then John, was b: 26 March, 1885 and d: 18 August 1894 Ed and Dorothy were close. His surviving sisters were at lest 9 years older. Alice b: 1879, Inez b: 1874 andHattie b: 1868. So the loss of his sister Dorothy was especially hard on him.

Dorothy Grace Dougherty

Dorothy Grace Dougherty

John  Edwin Dougherty and Ada Richmal Heap meet when as a teenager,  Ed sold and delivered vegetables off the family truck farm to homes in town on Staten Island.

J.E. "Ed" Dougherty

J.E. “Ed” Dougherty

Ada was born and raised on Staten Island. Her family home was on Roe Street. Her father Charles Heap was a plumber. My Grandma Ada told the best stories.  But in doing the family genealogy I soon learned Grandma’s stories were just that, stories! (See my blog 52 Ancestors: #1 Getting Started.)
John Edwin went to Cornell University where he studied poultry husbandry. After finishing at Cornell he went on to teach at Purdue, Indiana.
While at Purdue he accepted a position at a brand new Agricultural school in Davis, California. newpaper cliping re JE Dougherty

Before leaving the East he married Ada Heap, 23 December 1911

J.E. and Ada

J.E. and Ada

Ed and Ada had three children, my mother was the oldest and was named in memory of Ed’s  sister Dorothy (Dorothy Ada b: 2 Nov. 1914). The other Two children were Robert Edwin, b: 5 March 1917 and Walter Lyle, b: 24 Nov. 1919.

While my mother (Dorothy) was a teen the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin so her father could work on his PHD, in Poultry Husbandry, there at the University of Wisconsin. One of mothers stories from that time was that her father would come home with sacks of groceries he had won ice skating.  Apparently this was a regular occurrence. But for me I could not picture the man I knew doing something that sounded like fun. It was several years before I asked Mom about grandpa’s ice skating. I think I must have thought figure skating but Mom did clarify it to racing.

It was while the family was in Wisconsin that the banks closed. J.E. Dougherty lost all of his savings. He had to leave his work on his PHD and returned to the ranch he had built in Davis, CA.

J.E. Dougherty @ Davis Ranch

He was able to return to teaching at UC Davis  but never completed his PHD. He never trusted the banks again.
He was for always saying, ” don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. This was not referring to the eggs from the hen houses but your money. He kept a limited amount in each bank. I have no idea how many accounts he had but I imagine more then the average person.

1929 Newspaper article

1929 Newspaper article

Not only did J.E. teach at Davis he spent several years at Berkeley teaching and also traveled around California lecturing. He was editor of the Nulaid News (Poultry Producers of Central California)  for many years. Grandpa remained on the Davis Ranch until he needed full time care.

There are many memories of the family times at the Ranch in Davis. Hopefully I will get to many of them as I tell each family members story. Thanks to cuz. Ron for the photo of Grandpa at the Davis Ranch.

Come back next week for: William L. Dougherty My Brick Wall.

52 Ancestors: #1 Getting Started

Welcome to my family history blog.

In 1985 my sister and I started planning our parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. I decided I wanted to honor them and the families that came together through their marriage to create our family. After the anniversary my sister wanted to join in what had become for me an exciting hobby.
We decided that she would take the paternal line and I would concentrate on the maternal line. It’s been 29 years and be have both learned a lot.
2014 is going to be the year I get truly organized. While I’m working on the stacks that need purging, filed, or organized I thought I would tell the stories that I have found during my searching. Hopefully my sister will take turns with me and share the stories of the ancestors she has met during this process.

Ada Richmal Heap

Ada Richmal Heap

Story 1       John Lyle Dougherty
John Lyle is our maternal great grandfather. Our grandmother…….
This is already complicated. Maybe I should actually start with the cast of characters

Simple Tree

Simple Tree

Grandma Dougherty was a very large character while we were growing up. Grandma & Grandpa Dougherty did not live close but we (my sister & I) spent a month or so with them every summer until we were teenagers. Grandma was good at telling us stories. Often these stories were about her family (the Heap’s) that lived back on Staten Island in New York.

The Heap Family

The Heap Family

The Heap Family Home May 1914 - Staten Island New York

The Heap Family Home May 1914 – Staten Island New York# 1 story

“My mothers family are the Booth’s,” she reminded us,” and we are not only related to the man that shot Abraham Lincoln (John Wilkes Booth) but to the man himself.”
She went on to say that she had a cousin that came from England to attend the wedding of a cousin (or niece) of Mr. Lincoln. This information is just one of those tidbits that I never forgot and when I started this search I wanted to prove. Well in all my searching I have never found any connection to either man.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

Story #2

My grandmother went to the Salvation Army thrift store at least once while we were visiting each summer. She always wore white gloves, and a hat, a lady of her era.

JE Dougherty & Ada R. Dougherty

She would rummage through the stacks of clothing looking for sweaters that she could use the yarn from to make her hooked rugs. She was a true recycler. She had the rugs she made throughout her home and we all had one at one time or other. I loved them. She would then go through all the silverware looking for true ‘silver’ ware. And last she would look at all the dishes looking for hand painted china and she also looked for “good pieces’ of crystal. When grandma got home the first thing she did was dump all the silver and dishes she had bought into hot soapy water and then take off her gloves and wash the gloves in the same soapy water. My collections and my sister’s collections include some of her finds.

Story #3
“You know about the Booths, did you know that the founder of the Salvation Army was one of our relatives.” This was an explanation of why she always went to the Salvation Army thrift story, better known to all of us in the family as the ‘U know where!’
I do not know who coined the term but my money’s on grandma.

William Booth

William Booth

My search to verify a connection to William Booth founder of the Salvation Army has again produced nothing.

Return next week to find out about the civil war connection

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