Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Civil War’

The Fletcher family in the US Civil War

Civil WarflagsThe election of 1860 was apparently a very contentious election. Abraham Lincoln was sworn into office in January of 1861 and South Carolina immediately seceded from the union and six other states quickly follow. Oct of 1862 at 20 years of age we found that John Lyle Dougherty joined the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry. By July of 1863 John is riding from the battle at Gettysburg to Hagerstown where he is wounded by a possible sniper. The mini ball that struck John lodged in his left leg.  John Lyle’s younger brother Clark Dougherty joins the Confederate army, when and where we have not yet established. Another ancestor on my mothers side, Joseph A. Ferguson, was mustered in to the 1st New York Mounted Rifles in August of 1862. Now looking at the time period for the Civil War there are several other potential Civil War Soldiers.

In the Putnam Line we have Joseph Putnam who was born in 1823,  he would have been 38 at the onset of the war but he was already living in California and appears to have stayed out of the war. But the war affected every family and Joseph’s wife’s cousins and uncle were all involved, Mary Ann Fletcher’s uncle Lucian M. Fletcher volunteered and gave his age as 44 when he enlisted.

1850 US Census Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts

1850 US Census Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts

Yet in the 1850 US Census shown above (click on images to enlarge)  Lucian is listed as 45 years of age, making him closer to 56 in 1861 when he volunteered. A year later he died in New Orleans from Typhus.

30th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from Ancestry.com

30th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from Ancestry.com

Three of Lucian’s sons Joel M. Fletcher, Steven W. Fletcher and Thomas M. Fletcher went in to the Union army.

US Civil War Registrations 1863-1865

US Civil War Registrations 1863-1865

This is a great source because it lists their Military Regiments. Joel and Thomas were both in 39th Massachusetts while Steven was in the 22nd.

Joel died in 1864. While one record states cause of death :Typhoid Fever a newspaper clipping attributes his death to being wounded at Petersburg (in the leg).

US Registers of Deaths of Volunteers 1861-1865 from Ancestry.com

US Registers of Deaths of Volunteers 1861-1865
from Ancestry.com

Newspaper Clipping Boston Daily Advertiser Joel M. Fletcher from genealogy bank.com

Newspaper Clipping
Boston Daily Advertiser
Joel M. Fletcher from genealogy bank.com


Margaret J. Welsh was married to Lucian M. Fletcher. Massachusetts shows support was given to Margaret for her son and her husband.

Massuchusetts atown Records Payment in aid of Families of Volunteers Town of Medford from Ancestry.com

Massachusetts town Records
Payment in aid of Families of Volunteers
Town of Medford
from Ancestry.com

So far the best I can ascertain is that the three boys enlisted about  the time their father died in 1862 and while both Joel and Thomas were at Petersburg Joel dies while in the Hospital possibly not from his wound but from the fever. Thomas also is listed as having been wounded during his course of service, still researching when and how. Stevens military service may have been as short as 3 months possibly sent home after his father dies. And He and Thomas go on to marry and have families. Now those are probably another two stories.


52 Ancestors #13 Joseph A. Ferguson – Civil War Pension

This weeks blog is going to be on Joseph Ferguson. He was my 2x great grandfather on my mothers side. Joseph is reputed to have been born in Dublin 12 April 1827.

When my sisters & I went to Ireland in 2007,

Ireland 2007 Putnam sisters

Ireland 2007
Putnam sisters

I spent quite a bit of time looking for him, well his birth record or baptism record at any rate.

We had information that stated his father David Ferguson had been a doctor in Dublin.


New York Family History

New York Family History

While in Dublin I visited the National Archives, what a pleasure that was.
Even though I did not find David Ferguson or Joseph’s records I had a great experience looking through the old records. Preservation for genealogist is important and to be able to look at old original records is a privelage and care needs to be taken. When looking at some of the records I was required to use a pillow to cushion the record books so as not to stress the spine of the books. They bring you the book and a pillow, kind of neat.

Back to Joseph.
Joseph in the 1850 US census is listed age 23, a laborer, place of birth Ireland. Mary A. age 20, born in New York would be his wife, and Margaret H. age 1, born in New York would be his daughter. Also listed is an Ellen Ferguson, age 25 (?) also born in Ireland. Could this be his sister?

1850 US Census Forestburgh, New York

1850 US Census Forestburgh, New York

The next census we have a copy of is the 1855 New York State Census. Excuse the poor quality. It shows Joseph now 28 years old. Number of years in this city is difficult to read possible 7 or 9. He is listed as a farmer and a naturalized citizen  and owner of land.

FHL Film # 838341

1855 New York State Census Forestburgh, Sullivan Co.

We know his first wife and mother of Margaret Helen Ferguson was Mary Agnes Hall shown as Mary A. now 24 years of age, 6 years in this city and I can not read what County born in.
His children were: Margaret H. age 5 and Mariett age 3. Also in this census they have a servant living in the home who is only 11 years old and A David Ferguson  age 25 listed as brother and working as a teamster from Ireland and 7  years in this city.

Did David and Joseph come together from Ireland? Well I did look, but to date I have not found  a David and Joseph Ferguson arriving together from Ireland.



1856 Land Deed Forestburgh New York

1856 Land Deed Forestburgh New York

In this Deed taken from the land records for Forestburgh New York, we find Joseph Ferguson and his wife Mary Agnes paying the sum of $150 to Catherine Jane Limone(?) the wife of Benjamin H. Limone. for a parcel of property in Forestburgh, Sullivan Co. containing 200 acres.

1860 US Census Forestburgh, New York

1860 US Census
Forestburgh, New York

The 1860 US census shows Joseph 33 a laborer from Ireland with real estate value of $200, his wife Mary A. 30 from New York. daughter Margaret H. 10 also born in New York, Mary E. (Marietta) 8, David W. 3, and Charles T. 1 year old all born in New York.

The next piece of evidence to Joseph Ferguson comes during the Civil War. Since we had a letter written during the civil war from Joseph to his children we searched the records for him and ordered his files from the National Archives.
This is what we discovered from Josephs military records. They show he enlisted on Aug. 9, 1862 Co. A 1 Regiment New York Mounted Rifles.

At enlistment it discibes him as Age 35 years, height 5 feet 9 inches, Complexion Dark, Eyes Black, Hair, Dark born in Ireland, Occupation, Farmer.

He reenlisted in Sept. 1864 and was discharged Nov. 29, 1865. From his letter and his service record we know he was in Williamsburgh Virginia in October of 1863 and he reenlisted at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia Sept 3 1864.

There is no record of action. But the Bermuda Hundred was called the “Cork in the Bottle” and Action there occurred in May 1864 four months prior to his reenlistment there.

Bermuda Hundred Map May 5-16 1864

Bermuda Hundred Map
May 5-16 1864

In 1867 Joseph writes to his daughter:

Franklin Feb 23/67

Dear Helen I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am in good health hoping that this may reach you and find you and your husband and little responsibility the same. I received yours of the 17th jan and was glad to hear that that you were so happy and contented,  a blessing that I never again expect to enjoy myself   you said you would come out here if I thought you could do any better here now the fact is I don’t know whether you could or not for although I have been here two years I am yet a stranger here because I hardly ever go any place nor I don’t mingle in society any more than I am obliged to although I have often been invited and urged to attend social parties but I am alone in the world and expect to remain so.

Franklin is a small place not much larger than Forestburgh I know you could not do much there and there is no other place of any importance within 6 to 8 miles from here and I am not acquainted enough with the business of either of those places to know much about them I guess though that there are more artist in them then  can make a good living I shall make some inquiry around and if I can hear of any place that would suit you I will let you know.

I suppose you heard me tell about losing my first discharge and $75 bounty,  I made an application for my bounty before I left the army but had(n’t) got it when I left Port Jarvis, I applied for it again a short time and the Second Auditor of the treasurary department at Wash. wrote to me that my claim had been settled and a certificate for the money sent to me Feb.19, 1867 to Port Jarvis now I think your mother must have got but I don’t think she ever got the money on it because she could not unless she could prove that I was dead I wish you would try and find out about it and let me know.

enclosed find a kiss rolled up in a five dollar bill both for my little granddaughter

I will now close with my love to you and your husband and a double portion to little Mary

Joseph Ferguson


So next we should find Joseph in the 1870 or 1880 US Census. It seems he has alluded us. For a while I was looking for him in New York State. There was no hint in the letter where Franklin was. Since he had been mustered out at Port Jarvis I thought Franklin was some where in upstate New York but then when I found him in the 1900 US census in Michigan. I still did not connect him to having moved there after getting out of the Union Army. In his records with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, he is trying to get his pension, he states in 1898 he was married to Mary formerly Mary Shaftoe on Jan. 1, 1878 in Southfield, Oakland Co. Michigan, that he was previously married to Mary Agnes Hall divorced at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan May 17th 1873. It also lists his children. There is a clue there. David W. he lists as David “Bill”. Next I can read Charles Theodore and the rest is fading away.

Joseph Ferguson Bureau of Pensions 1898

Joseph Ferguson Bureau of Pensions 1898

So Joseph is still trying to get his pension 30 years later. He had written another letter in 1892  stating ” I am dependent on what little labor I can do for a living and therefore have no money to spend on lawyer fees.” He is now 65 years old.

The 1900 US census Shows Joseph with a birthdate of April 1827,  73 years old being married for 22 years, having been born in Ireland and both of his parents born in Ireland, immigrated in 1848 being in this country for 53 years and being a Naturalized Citizen. Occupation Garden Laborer. Mary his wife  born in July 1933, 66 years of age, married 22 years having been born in New York, father born in England and mother born in New York.

Joseph Ferguson died May 5 1905 in Southfield, Oakland Co. Michigan and is buried in Franklin, Michigan. Do you think Mary Agnes got his pension?

Next I need to explore why on Mary Agnes Fergusons death certificate her father is listed as Lambert and her Mothers maiden name as Ester Hall when every record  by Joseph and the New York Published Family History shows Mary Agnes’ maiden name as Hall.


52 Ancestors #10 – Clark Dougherty A surprise from the Internet

This week I am going to talk about Clark Dougherty my great grand uncle on my maternal line.

Clark Dougherty

Clark Dougherty

Clark was the second son born to William L. Dougherty and Jane E. (nee) Westfall in 1844 in Lackawaxen, Pike County, Pennsylvania. In the 1850 census Clark is listed as 4 years old. In the 1860 census Clark is listed as 16 years old.

That was the extent of what I knew about Clark other then the mentions of him in the family letters (circa Civil War era). I had spent quite some time looking for Clark in other census, since Clark was not as popular a forename as John or William I thought he would be easier to find, wrong.

In the 1990’s I had started a family history free website on Rootsweb prior to Ancestry.com taking them over. Through that web site a woman researching a Clark Dougherty contacted me. What a thrill! She turned out to be Clark Dougherty’s 2x great grand daughter. She had lots of information that she so generously shared. It seems that Clark, a Pennsylvania native and brother of a wounded Union Soldier, joined the Confederate Army (date unknown). What a surprise for me, but it was the story of that war we hear over and over again of brother against brother. For me this made it more real and not just a phrase often used to describe the war between the states. There are lots of questions I would have for both my Union solider and my Confederate soldier. Ah, to just have the opportunity to sit and visit with them about their personal experiences and the reasons for their choices. But me I’m a 100 years to late.

Clark E. Dougherty  (fourth from the right, standing)

Clark E. Dougherty
(fourth from the right, standing)


Clark E. Dougherty & John Lyle Dougherty

Clark E. Dougherty & John Lyle Dougherty

My cousin had not, at that time, found any information on his war time records but had several photos she shared plus lots of family information. Her records show Clark born on March 5, 1844.

After the war we know (thanks to cousin Kim) that Clark went back to Pennsylvania.  We have not been able to find him in the 1870 census but Kim was able to find him in the 1880 Census. Here he is listed as C.E. Dougherty (34 years old) a Candy and Baker Manuf. in Wilkes Barre, Luyene Co., Penn., born in Penn., father born in Ireland and mother born in Penn., living at 114 South Main Street. Clark is shown married to Sarra (Sarah) (26 years old) a Prop. Candy & Baker Manuf. who was born in Penn. as were both of her parents. Also listed in the household is;  S.W. Dougherty (26 years old) brother to Clark and working as a clerk, born in Penn., father born in Ireland and mother born in Penn. (could this be Solomon?) , R.L. Seaman (24) brother-in-law also a clerk, born in Penn. the same as are both parents., one servant Mary Black (22) born in Penn whose parents were both born in Ireland, (2) boarders John McCurtrie (34) a baker of bread and Etta Schunk (18) a Baker Apprentic. The Baker is from Scotland and his apprentice is from Penn. Also in the house for the census is a visitor Ada Rowland (22) born in Penn, as are her parents.

1880 US Census Wilkes Barre, Luyene Co., Pennsylvania

1880 US Census Wilkes Barre, Luyene Co., Pennsylvania

There is no 1890 census and in the 1900 census I have not been able to locate him, but Kim once again has Clark in the 1897 city directory for Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.


Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania City Directory 1897

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania City Directory 1897



So he has moved to Florida and his wife and son (same directory) have moved to Teedyuskung. Pa.

Sarah Dougherty Wilkes Barre 1897 Directory

George F. Dougherty Wilkes Barre 1897 Directory

My cousin Kim made the notes on the above items. All my information on Sarah comes from cousin Kim. Sarah was born Oct. 28, 1853 in Hawley, Pa. daughter of George Seaman and Jane LaBar. She married Clark on June 10, 1872 in Port Jarvis, New York. (Remember that is right across the Deleware River from Lackawaxen, Pa.) She has George F. Dougherty born Sept. 27, 1873 in Wilkes Barre, Pa., but he is not in the 1880 US census with his parents, a mystery I want to eventually solve.

So on with Clarks history. Alas no Clark indexed in the 1900 census, but Cousin Kim once again finds Clark in the 1910 US census

1910 US census Fitzgerald, Ben  Hill County, Georgia

1910 US census Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia

Clark E. Dougherty is listed as 88 years old (has to be a mistake). Under number of years present marriage, 10. Trade or Profession is listed Engineer in a CarShop and he owns his home, born in Penn. His wife  is listed as __ Ida G. (29), mother of 1,  born in Georgia and both her parents are from South Carolina. On the next page is listed Harry H. Dougherty, son, 8 years old born in Florida, father born in Pennsylvania and mother born in Ga. So definitely the son of Clark and Ida.

The final information is Clarks death in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill, Georgia on December 22, 1920.

Special thanks to my cousin Kim for so graciously sharing her family research with me.










52 Ancestors: #2 – Our Civil War Soldier

John Lyle Dougherty 1842-1924

John Lyle Dougherty circa Civil War

John Lyle Dougherty
circa Civil War

John Lyle Dougherty, my maternal great-grandfather was born in Lackawaxen, Pike County, Pennsylvania in 1842 to William L. Dougherty and Jane E. Westfall.

I had been aware, since forever, that grandpa Dougherty’s father (John Lyle) had fought in the civil war. There was a set of books in the living room in the Dougherty house in Davis, California that were all about the Civil war. Wish I had those books today. I think they were Shelby Foote’s The Civil War.
When I started this quest my cousin Ron gave me copies of  letters he had, that had been written during the civil war.Letter to JL Dougherty 1864_cropped

These letter spoke of his healing amputation, overall health and what he could do after the war.

My mother remembered her grandfather having a peg leg. When my mother became a double amputee, due to poor circulation in her legs from rheumatoid arthritis, she spoke of having a greater understanding of her grandfathers coping for so much of his life with the lack of a limb. My mother had retired from teaching several years prior to her becoming an amputee, and all of use kids were adults.

Back to John Lyle, he married after the war, went on to raise 6 children, run a truck farm, and lived to be 82.

John Lyle Dougherty

John Lyle Dougherty

John L. & Margaret H. Dougherty

John L. & Margaret H. Dougherty

The question became how did John come about having his leg amputated?

The journey we took to answer this question took several years. Since this quest was prior to Ancestry.com or even the general use of the computer, We wrote lots of letters. I wrote to the US Archives in Washington, D.C. for a copy of John L. Dougherty’s war records. We knew he was in the 18th Pennsylvania Calvary. What I received was quite a few pages regarding his military service during the civil war. In these papers where the muster rolls that showed were he was during each of the quarters of his service.


It shows that John had been wounded in Hagerstown on July 6, 1863. That his leg was amputated and he spent much of the following year in hospital. From the letters we know that later he had more amputated due to infection.

Madeleine (my sister) and I had planned a trip to visit our maternal Uncle Walt and his wife, Aunt Iris in Kansas City, MO. Knowing of our interest in genealogy Aunt Iris called and said that maybe while there we might like to go the library in Independence that was reputed to have a very good genealogy section, The Mid-Continent Public Library. So we took our family history notes along.

It was a great library and we did return there several more times on our visits to Uncle Walt’s. In 2008 the library  relocated the genealogy collections to their new facilities the “Midwest Genealogy Center”. http://www.mymcpl.org/genealogy
The library had quite a collection on civil war records, there I had the opportunity to read the Action accounts written by the officers. I actually found the account of the incident in Hagerstown where John Lyle was shot.

Hagerstown incident Report

Incident Report for July 6th 1863

 Several years later Madeleine, her husband, my husband, and myself made our first big trip for genealogy to Pennsylvania, there were several ancestral places we wanted to visit. We went to Gettysburg and Hagerstown, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg was quite  an educational experience.  There we found a large monument for Pennsylvania with the 18th Pennsylvania Calvary roll, with John Lyle Dougherty’s name.

Gettysburg Pennsylvnia Monument

Gettysburg Pennsylvania Monument

We also visited the area in Pike County, Pennsylvania were John Lyle was born and grew up. We visited Libraries, the Court House, Museums, and Cemeteries. What other nuggets of information we found I will talk about when I tell some of the other stories.

Come back next week for the poultry farmer/University Professor’s  story.

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