Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘David Ferguson’

The Ferguson Line #5

Oops, I’m still behind. May was to have been my maternal Ferguson line. It is halfway thru June and I have done absolutely nothing on the Ferguson binder. I think I am caught up with work and do not have to do anymore traveling, so hopefully I can get back on track.
The Ferguson line first appears when Margaret Helen Ferguson married John Lyle Dougherty (10 Feb. 1868)¹, making her, my great grandmother on my mother’s side.

Margaret Helen Ferguson

Margaret Helen’s father, Joseph, had immigrated from Ireland. Shortly after arriving (1848)² he married Mary Agnes Hall (1849)³ .
Joseph was the son of David Ferguson supposedly a Dublin physician. It has been very frustrating not being able to “jump the pond” when I have so much information on Joseph in this country. At various times prior to the Civil war, Joseph and his wife Mary Agnes had what I presumed were family members living with them who had recently immigrated from Ireland. First Ellen Ferguson (in the 1850 US Census for Forestburg N.Y.) and then a David Ferguson (in the 1855 NY state census for Forestburg N.Y.) Joseph and Mary Agnes also had a son David William who could have been named for the grandfather or the uncle. In that 1855 census the both Joseph and David have been residents of the town for 7 years. They therefore may have come over on the same ship, I have tried looking for a Joseph, traveling with a David and also threw in Ellen. Nothing yet. You would think with the Fergusons being from Ireland instead of Scotland they would be easier to find.

Joseph and Mary Agnes had two daughters and three sons. Margaret Helen, Maryetta, David W., Charles T., and Edwin H.

Maryetta was married  and was a private nurse. I have her married name but have not discovered who her husband was or where she was from 1866- 1900. She then appears in the 1900 US federal census as a widow living with her mother in Manhattan, NY. She apparently had no children and died in 1922 at 69 years of age.

I found where their son David was married in New York to Mary Coleman in 1892, but then I lost track of him.

Joseph’s son, Charles was a mailman in Leavenworth Kansas. He and his wife Rose appear to have had 10 children. Charles died in San Antonio on Christmas day 1934 at 75 years.

Their son Edwin operated a family hotel at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 125th Street in New York City.

The Corner Seventh Ave. & 125 th St NYC
Google Earth

It does not appear to be there anymore. The other two corners have more recent buildings.

My “to do” list includes filling in the gaps for Maryetta and David W. and to continue searching for Joseph’s arrival in America and determining who his parents were. If any Fergusons out there are further along in the quest of locating the parents in Ireland I would love to hear from you. Or even if you are still looking let me know by leaving a comment here. I love hearing from you.

Now on to the Fletcher Family Line.


¹Copy of original Marriage certificate.

² Transcript “New York Historic Homes and Family History”, vol. 4 pg.221, Pelletreau, William S. Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. Vol. I-IV. New York, USA: Lewis Publishing, 1907. Ancestry.com

³ 1850 US Federal Census, Forestburgh, Sullivan County, New York, Roll: M432_603; Page: 179B; Image: 366. Ancestry.com


52 Ancestors ~ #32 Mary Agnes Lambert or was it Hall


My 2x great maternal grandmother lived with my great grandparents that last year until her death on 15 December 1910. She is buried in the Moravian Cemetery in the Dougherty family plot on Staten Island New York. So who was Mary Agnes (Lambert) Ferguson? Mary Agnes was the mother of Margaret Helen (Ferguson) Dougherty. Her death certificate from the City of New York I obtained back in the early 1990’s. (Click on image to enlarge)

Mary A. Ferguson Death Certificate 15 December 1910

Mary A. Ferguson
Death Certificate
15 December 1910


Mary A. Ferguson Death Certificate 15 December 1910 pg.2

Mary A. Ferguson
Death Certificate
15 December 1910

It showed her fathers name as ‘Lambert’ (no first name) his birthplace ‘U.S.’, and her mother as ‘Ester Hall’ her birthplace ‘U.S.’ Mary Agnes is listed being ‘80′ years of age, a ‘widow’, under occupation it lists ‘Lady‘, and her birthplace is simply ‘U.S’. This certificate does not list who the informant was so it is difficult to ascertain the reliability of the information listed. Back then I took this sort of information at face value. but now I have more information from census records (also not always accurate) and her daughters death certificate.

The first census of the United States of America that listed all family members, is the 1850 Census, earlier US census only listed by name head of household. Here we see that ‘Mary A. Furguson’ is ‘2o’ years old, place of birth ‘New York’. Her husband is ‘Joseph Furguson’ (23), listed as a ‘laborer’ place of birth ‘Ireland’.

1850 US Census Forestburgh, New York

1850 US Census Forestburgh, New York

In this census we see Margaret H. Furguson (1) and an Ellen Furguson (25) whose place of birth is shown as Ireland. Ellen may be a sister to Joseph. So we can assume that Margaret’s birth year is about 1849. Her actual birth date is found on her death certificate to be 18 April 1850. So she is actually only 4 months old?

In the 1855 New York State Census we learn a little more about Mary Agnes.

1855 New York State Census

1855 New York State Census


Here we see ‘Mary A. Ferguson’ (24) born in ‘Orange’ county New York, having resided in this town (Forestburgh) for ‘6’ years. ‘Margaret H.’  is now ‘5′ years old. Mary’s husband Joseph is shown living in Forestburgh for 7 or 9 years, which helps indicate when he came to this country considering that his brother ‘David Ferguson’ (25), shown here in this census has been in the city for 7 years. David should therefore be in the 1850 US census in Forestburgh somewhere since he was not in Joseph’s household on the night of the census. Also from this census we see Joseph and Mary have another child ‘Mariett’ who is 3 years old.

Nothing new for Mary A. was discovered in the 1860 except the addition of two sons, David W. ( 3) and Charles T. (1)

In the 1870 US Census I find ‘Mary Ferguson’ (40) as head of household in Scranton Pennsylvania. Margaret H. would now be 20+ and Marietta would be 18. Neither are in this household. We do find David (13), Charles (11) and  Edwin (9). Mary A. has three boarders that are living in her house. Between 1860 and 1870 was the civil war for which her husband Joseph Ferguson joined the New York’s 1st Mounted Rifles. See my earlier blog Joseph A. Ferguson Civil War Pension for Josephs story. It appears that Joseph has not returned from the war to his family. Yet we know from letters that Joseph kept in touch with his daughter Margaret Helen after the war from Michigan.  Margaret had married John Lyle Dougherty in 1868. Where is Marietta?

For the 1880 US Census we have no record for Mary Agnes.  So we do not find her until 1900 US Census in New York . This may or may not be our Mary Agnes. There are a lot of things that are wrong.

1900 US Census  Manhattan Borough New York, New York

1900 US Census
Manhattan Borough
New York, New York

First off we see Mary  A. Ferguson was born in 1830, that is correct. We have no source for the exact date and this record shows July. Next she is shown as born in New York, that is consistent with all other records. What is not consistent is that this record has both parents born in Ireland. Other records show New York. Mary A. is shown as a widow but her husband does not die until 1905. But many women who were divorced listed their marital status as widowed. This census also asked ‘mother of how many children’ , what is shown here looks like 3 with 1 still living. Actually Mary Agnes had 5 children and I have accounted for 4 still living in 1900.

When we look at the record for her daughter Etta M. Ferguson the first thing we note is that  her name is off. Marietta was also known as Etta, Ettie, and Mary Etta. She was born 11 May 1852 this record indicates born in May and being 48 years old which while the year does not look like 1852 the age would be consistent for 1852.  Also consistent with our Marietta is that she was born in New York, her father was born in Ireland and her mother was born in New York. In 1900 Etta is shown as a widow. If it is our Marietta her last name should be Anneman. We have no record of when she married and when her husband dies. Under ‘mother of how many children’ we see a ‘0‘ and for still living a ‘0‘.

1910 US Census Richmond Borough New York, New York

1910 US Census
Richmond Borough
New York, New York

Here is the 1910 US Census. (Click on to enlarge). Taken in April of 1910. Ferguson, Agnes (78) is living with her married daughter Margaret H. Dougherty. Agnes is listed as a widow which is now true in the sense that her ‘ex’ husband has now died. It also shows ‘mother of how many children’  5  ,  with 4 still living. So we know now that either her son David W. Ferguson or Edwin H. Ferguson has died prior to 1910. If we knew what the number was in the 1910 census we would know if it was David or Edwin. So I have to keep looking for both. Also for reference back to the 1900 census we noticed that Anneman, Ettie (58) is listed as ‘sister- in- law’ to head of household and a widow. Under ‘mother of how many children’  1 ,  with 0 still living.

From the death certificate above we know that Mary Agnes died on 15 December 8 months later. Now you are asking why was I confused about Mary Agnes’s maiden name? Well on Margaret Helen (Ferguson) Dougherty death certificate where the Mothers name is written we find Mary A. Wall. True that is not Hall nor is it Lambert, but this is a typed death certificate transcribed from the records of Death reported to the Department of the City of New York. I believe the “w” is a transcribing error. Again we do not have listed who gave the information for the death record.

I’m thinking I need to order Marietta Anneman’s death certificate and Charles T. Ferguson’s since I know where and when they died. This might add or solve the confusion on Mary Agnes’s maiden name.







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.


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