Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Margaret H. (Ferguson) Dougherty’

Forestburgh, New York ~ Ferguson Line

Forestburgh New York is a small area in Sullivan County where my great grandmother Margaret Helen Ferguson grew up. I had been researching the Ferguson’s for years and the censuses I had looked at for Forestburg were the 1855 New York State census and the 1860 US Federal Census. So when Madeleine and I went back to Pennsylvania last summer we drove up to Milford to do research.

I wanted to take the time to drive another 24 miles up NY42 to see Forestburg. So on our last day in Milford we took that drive. It was quite a pleasant drive. Once past Port Jarvis there were few buildings and very little traffic.

The first thing we spotted was the Forestburgh Town Hall. It was actually built much later (1895). By that time, as far as I know, they had all left the area. Driving on further I was pleasantly surprised that there were still quite a number of houses and buildings

Several historical markers through this sleepy little burg. The catholic church shown above was built in 1900. Forestburgh school district 1 was established in 1837 according to the sign and averaged 70 students it closed in 1952.

Margaret Helen Ferguson, her sister Maryetta and brothers David, Charles and Edwin were all born in Forestburgh, New York from 1850 to 1860. So the older ones probably attended the school that stood on this site.
it was really great to drive around this area to and try to visualize what it may have been like during this Civil War era when my great grandmother was growing up with her sister and three little brothers.
In the 1865 New York state census the family is living in Deerpark on June 8th 1865, which is South of Forestburgh just outside of Port Jarvis in Orange County New York. That census was taken in June of 1865. Margaret Helen’s father (Joseph Ferguson) who was in the civil war wasn’t mustered out until November 29 1865. According to his service record he had been at Steamboat Wharf June 30 1865. Did the family move to Deerpark to be closer to family? I need to search the rest of the 1865 state census to see what family member may also be living there.

I looked up Steamboat Wharf Connecticut and discovered its about 180 miles almost due East of Deerpark. So it is conceivable that Joseph was able to visit during the Summer before having to report to Steamboat Wharf for duty before being Mustered out.

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 #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: #6 Margaret Helen Ferguson

I need to apologize for those who may have been waiting for this weeks post. I was hoping that my sister would be presenting this weeks blog but things didn’t work out. So instead I will be continuing with some of the Women in our family in honor of Women’s History Month. Today I want to introduce you to Margaret Helen Ferguson my maternal great grandmother.


Margaret Helen Ferguson

Margaret Helen Ferguson

Margaret was born: April 18, 1850, in New York State, possible Forestburgh in Sullivan County.

1850 Census Forestburgh, Sullivan Co., New York

1850 Census Forestburgh, Sullivan Co., New York

She was the eldest child of Mary Agnes (Lambert) and Joseph Ferguson. Her sister Maryetta was born in 1852, her brothers were David W. b: 1857, Charles T. b:  1859, and Edwin H. b: 1860

Margaret was only 11 when the Civil war started. Her Father volunteered in August of 1862. We are Lucky to have a couple of letters her father wrote while serving for the 1st Mounted Rifles New York . The following letter is addressed to “My Dear Children” it was written from Williamsburgh Virginia on Oct. 6, 1863, he talks of “having the fever without the chills” and having to stay in camp and take care of his horse. He also talks of sending $20 to them and their mother the day before when he “got payed” and would send another $10  in this letter and the rest soon.

letter to children 1863 pg.1

letter to children 1863 pg.1


letter to children 1863 pg. 2

letter to children 1863 pg. 2










Joseph re-enlisted in 1864 and was mustered out in 1865. When Margret was 15.

Three years later she married John Lyle Dougherty (subject of Our Civil War Soldier) On 10 February 1868, in Waymart, Penn.

Marriage certificate Margaret H. Ferguson & J.L. Dougherty

Marriage certificate
Margaret H. Ferguson &
J.L. Dougherty

The new family started in Pennsylvania, then moved to New York City, and soon moved to Staten Island where they remained.

Margaret & John had seven children (Hattie)May b: 1869, Hammond (Howard) b: 1872, Inez b: 1874, Alice G. b:1879, William E. b: 1882, Dorothy Grace b: 1885, and John E. b: 1887.

Margaret lost three of her children during their childhood. Howard died 1n 1883 at 11 years of age,  William died in 1885 at three years of age and Dorothy Grace died in 1894  at 9 years of age. They also almost lost my grandfather John E. when he was a young child. I remember Grandpa as a very finicky eater. When John (my grandfather) was quite ill Margaret had to get up in the middle of the night to give him medicine. One night she picked up the wrong bottle and gave him something , I do not recall exactly what it was, but it was very extremely hard on his stomach. Margaret must have been beside herself trying to save him from her mistake.


In 1908 John and Margaret renewed their vows on their 50th Wedding anniversary

50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary


Margaret Helen letter to her son (J.E. Dougherty) is transcribed below and you can clearly see her personality in this letter.

1916 Letter pg.1

1916 Letter pg.1


1916 letter pg.2

1916 letter pg.2











Jan 30th 1916

310 Jewet Ave.

West New Brighton,

S.I., New York

My Dear Boy

Your letter recd. & we were all very glad to hear that you were being so well cared for not many women could belong to so many clubs & study music & do her own housework & entertain without the help of a maid. Say Boy cut it out & don’t give me any more “Duff”. Ada is all right and just the wife for you she will always be a great help to you & take good care of you & that Baby, believe me.

Papa has wrote you that he has an acoustican but he does not say what it is for, it is to hear with, your Father has been steadily getting a little more deaf in the last four years until it is hard work to make him hear so he went up to 23rd St. & tried one of their ear phones & he has one on trial now, which I think he will keep he pays $35.oo for it $5.00 per month & he may sell a couple of them which will give him a percentage & make his that much less.

Now what do you think of the war. I am very much afraid that we may get in it yet __ but I hope not for we do not want war

Ada wants me to write what are our plans about the house but it is not settled yet & I don’t know as it ever will be when it is I will write you all about it but until then we have no plans only do the best we can. I sent a little present to the baby of some things that were once yours I will find some more & when I do I can send them to her & if she lives she can have them for her children

she is a very health baby now & I hope she will always keep so Alice says she always will if you only giver castor Oil & I guess she is right

All the folks her get it & we all keep prety healthy

I will now close hopeing to hear from you when you get the time as “Ada cant get time with all her club duties & Studies”

Give my love with a big hug to Ada & Dorothy & also keep some for yourself from your loving old Mother

Margaret Helen died 10 October 1919 and is buried on Staten Island with her mother, sister, husband, 2 of her daughters, and a brother in-law.

Death Certificate - Margaret H. Dougherty

Death Certificate – Margaret H. Dougherty


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.

Tag Cloud

ARK Design

Send more cards.

The Armchair Genealogist

Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Tales of a Family

Finding my Way Home

Vita Brevis

A resource for family history from AmericanAncestors.org

Amy Johnson Crow

Modern Genealogy Made Easy

Ancestry Blog

Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: