Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Ada Richmael Heap’

52 Ancestors #29 Walter Lyle Dougherty 1919- 2010

My mother had two brothers Robert Edwin Dougherty who I wrote about in week 23 and Walter Lyle Dougherty.

Walter Lyle Dougherty

Walter Lyle Dougherty

Walter was the youngest, being born on 24 November 1919 in Davis, California to J. E. and Ada (Heap)Dougherty. When Walter was born the family was still living on ‘A’ Street across from the university. Soon after the ranch off Russell Blvd was built by his dad. Walter grew up mostly knowing the ranch as his home. His father was a Poultry Husbandry professor at UC Davis and his mother was very active in the community. His mother, Ada taught piano and Walter was one of her star pupils. He also loved building and flying his model planes along with his brother.

Walters model plan

Walters model plane

When the family went to Madison Wisconsin for J. E.’s sabbatical to work on his PHD, Walter was only about 10. Then the banks closed and they had to make the trip back to California and the ranch in the middle of winter. It was probably a little scary suddenly being uprooted again and the news and talk about loss of money, jobs and all their savings.

Back in Davis things sort of got back to normal. He was most likely the class clown.

Walter Dougherty circa. 1930

Walter Dougherty
circa. 1930


Walter continued to developed his talent with the piano. As a young man he tried his hand at writing music and published one of his compositions.

He attended Davis schools were he was active in many clubs including journalism, choir, and the yearbook. Upon graduation he attended San Francisco State in 1939 where he was active in the Little Theater.

1940 US Census

1940 US Census

The 1940 Census finds him on the Davis Ranch with his bother and sister-in law. Their parents were living in San Francisco at the time. Walter transferred to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He was quite the man on campus. Active in the Men’s Glee Club, Swordsmen, Gamma Phi Delta, Poultry Club and Student Government.

Cal Poly Fencing Team Walter Dougherty third from the right

Cal Poly  Mustang Swordsmen 1941
Harvey Hutton, Walt Porter, Tom Galli, Doc Bowls, Walter Dougherty, Jack Aboudara, Warren Gin

In 1941-42 he was student body president.

Then World War II came along and instead of completing his college education he enlisted in the Army, and was attached to the Signal Corps.

Walter Dougherty Dec. 1943

Walter Dougherty
Dec. 1943

His father was not happy with either of his sons for going off to war when he felt they were more valuable at home on the poultry ranch. Walter recounted that most of his time was spent in New Guinea.

Native Village \New Guinea Jan. 1945

Native Village \New Guinea
Jan. 1945

Upon the close of the war Walter met and married Aimee Kesterson,  on 27 December 1947 in Woodland California.

Water and Aimee Dougherty

Water and Aimee Dougherty

Aimee had two daughters from an earlier marriage. I always thought they were twins because Madeleine and I often got their hand-me-downs. They were really cute outfits that were exactly alike accept in color.
In 1948 Walter and Aimee welcomed their son.

12 July 1957 Walter married Iris G. (Croft) Dickey. Iris had two daughters from an earlier marriage to Robert Dickey.

Iris and Walter Dougherty

Iris and Walter Dougherty

Walter had many talents one of his talents was inventing equipment. He had built an egg cleaning machine for the family poultry ranch. While working for George Croft, his father-in-law, he developed several parts for the family (Croft Trailers) industry. He managed the production and shop half of the family business in Kansas City, eventually Iris’ younger daughter went to work along side Walter being groomed to take the helm of the business.
One of Walters passions was playing the organ. He would have loved to have had his musical compositions published. An active Shriner, he was also a drum major for the Shriners for many years.

Walter Dougherty  Shriner Drum Major Kansas City, MO

Walter Dougherty
Shriner Drum Major
Kansas City, MO

As Walter aged he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but he remained active. He was an avid reader, fiction and non fiction alike. He continued to play the organ and piano on occasion. His wife Iris died in 2000.

Walter then married Helen (Dumphey) O’Donnell, a women he had meet when he was going through his training during WWII. They had each moved on and married others. Helen had raised 5 children.  After Walter and Helen married, Walter ended up moving to Springfield, Mass. where Helen had lived for much of her adult life. Helen died in 2009.  After Helen’s passing her adult children continued to provide loving care for Walt. I truly appreciate all they did for him.

Walter L. Dougherty 2007

Walter L. Dougherty

I really miss my Uncle Walt. He was tall and slim like his father. He had a very expressive face. When ever I was around he was always easy going.   He loved to read, and he played the organ to relax. His interest were varied and I found him easy to talk with. He was a happy reminder of my mother. Walter died April 1, 2010?


52 Ancestors # 23 Robert Edwin Dougherty – I Wish I Had Known You

I hope I can call you Uncle Bob, it’s what my brother and sister referred to you as but I was only 2 when you died so all I ever had where stories and your photos.

Robert Edwin Dougherty

Robert Edwin Dougherty (1936)

Grandma Dougherty was obsessed with keeping in contact with you after you died. What I remembered is sitting in the living room at grandma’s watching Mrs. Jacobson and grandma Dougherty working the Ouija board. Okay maybe you were not there and it was all just their overwhelming desire manifesting itself in the movement of the Ouija. But tell me, was it my imagination when I felt some one put their arm around my shoulders, and when I turned expecting to see grandpa, there was no one there!
Your life had started on March 5, 1917. The second child for professor J.E. Dougherty and Ada Richmal (Heap). Your sister (Dorothy) was so excited to have a baby brother.

J.E. Dougherty, Dorothy Ada, Robert Edwin, and Ada (Heap) Dougherty

J.E. Dougherty, Dorothy Ada, Robert Edwin, and Ada (Heap) Dougherty

She always spoke of you with such love and pride. You attended school in Davis. Growing up as the son of Professor Dougherty. Mom talked of the dinner table as being a word challenge. I imagine your vocabulary was as extensive as hers from the tutelage in words during the dinner meals.

Was it you or your younger brother Walt that broke their arm jumping off the barn with an umbrella as a parachute. Such a great story, Mom said that the three of you were ready to fly. Was the first one off the one who broke their arm, I sort of forgotten, and now, Mom and Uncle Walt are gone too, so no one to ask. In spite of your adventures you survived childhood and grew up to marry the lovely Emily Hislop from Woodland on March 25, 1937.

Emily Hislop

Emily Hislop

You worked on your fathers poultry ranch.


Dougherty House  circ. 1950

Dougherty House circ. 1950


I know he must have been tough to work for. Even as a child I knew what was expected from grandpa and I really tried to be good there. When he wasn’t happy with something you did you had to “face the music”, often at the dining room table. Being his son, probably was worse.
So you were married and living on the ranch. Oct 2, 1937 saw the birth of your first child. In Jan 1941 your second son was born.

Robert , sister Dorothy, and Emily with baby Ronald

Robert , sister Dorothy, and Emily with baby Ronald

Then the United States became involved in World War II.
You wanted to go, you and your father argued about your enlisting. Did you enlist first then tell him you were going? However you left the ranch and joined the Army on June 5, 1943.

Your younger brother had enlisted the summer before.

Oh you both  looked so dashing in your uniforms.

Robert and Walter Dougherty

Robert and Walter Dougherty


Your training  put you into the army engineers. You spent time in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Your sister believed that you were at the “Battle of the Bulge”, you never spoke about it.

Bastone "Battle of the Bulge" monument  1969

Bastone “Battle of the Bulge” monument

From this press clipping it looks like your unit also spent time in the Pacific Theatre.

WWII press clipping

WWII press clipping

The war ended and you were discharged in 1945. It was back to the Ranch for you but you were never the same. You had quite a struggle with Hodgkin disease. You were in Presidio of San Francisco Letterman Hospital  ( http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wwIIbayarea/pre.htm) about a year.

Presidio of San Francisco Letterman Hospital

Presidio of San Francisco
Letterman Hospital Photo by City Birds.com

You died there Feb. 20, 1949. I am so sorry you died so young. I know you would have been proud of your children.


52 Ancestors #11 Dorothy Ada Dougherty – My Mom

Todays blog is in honor of Mothers Day. For my mom.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty

Dorothy Ada Dougherty

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother ….Abraham Lincoln

My mom has been gone 27 years now and yet I still think of her everyday. Happy Mothers Day.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty was born Nov. 2, 1914 in Davis California the oldest child of J.E. and Ada Richmal (Heap) Dougherty. Mom had red hair and green eyes. She was tall about 5’8″.

Her two bothers were Robert Edwin, and Walter Lyle Dougherty.

Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty

Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty

Mom remembered the house in Davis on A street. She told us:

It burnt down when my mother left a hot iron unattended.



A. St. House Davis Calif. circ. 1915

A. St. House
Davis Calif. circ. 1915


Mom graduated from high school at 16. She attended Sacramento City College for her first year.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty clippings


Mom was quite the actress and Director of plays not only in high school but throughout her college years. The year she attended university of Calif. at Davis she was one of only three girls in UCD’s Sophmore class. She transferred to Madison Wisconsin and the university there for her final year.


Upon graduating she tried to get a job in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even with a college degree jobs were scarce in 1935 The best she said she could do was in a “5 and dime” store (guess that would be a Dollar Store today). On May 21, 1937 in the garden of her parents home she married Lloyd Fletcher Putnam, who she had meet while he attended UC Davis.

Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam

Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam


Lloyd and Dorothy had 4 children. I’m the youngest.

Putnam Kids circ. 1950

Putnam Kids
circ. 1952


In 1952 when I started kindergarten, Dorothy began her teaching career in Visalia, California at Carrie Barnett School. She tried teaching eigth, sixth and fourth grade. She settled on fifth grade. In 1956 we moved to Placerville, California where Mom taught at Mother Lode as a fifth grade teacher. She later taught at Charles Brown School. She had to stop teaching about 1966 when rheumatoid arthritis so severely effected her legs that she became wheel chair bound.

I remember as a first grader complaining to mom that she spent too much time at home on her school work. After that Mom tried to complete her lesson plans and grading papers and the like at school. I know she was a great and  conscientious  teacher. She tutored various students through the years who were having trouble with their school work. I remember her working with one young girl in the late 50’s early 60’s at our dining room table on weekends who needed help with English, Spanish was the girls native language.

Mother of four, grandmother of 7, and a great grandmother before she died on 24 August 1987.

On Mother’s Day I salute my mother for contributing to the lives of many and being most appreciated by this daughter for making our home as stable and comfortable as possible while working full time. I still use moms receipes on a regular basis. One of my favorites is a simple and delicious receipe for rice pudding, if you do not already have it, I can share.


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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