Toasting the Dohertys

Doherty duo team up to publish family genealogy book

Toasting the Dohertys

Jeri and Al Lunney go searching for her roots in Ireland and found some Guinness along the way. She has collaborated with Margaret Doherty Forde to write a Doherty family history.

By Lois Tuffin

DOURO – Two Peterborough-area natives who started separate journeys to trace their ancestral roots have reached the finish line together.

Margaret Doherty Forde and Jeri Doherty Lunney are publishing “Finding Lawrence’s family – from Ballywilliam to Asphodel” which traces two family trees that begin with the same man. When they discovered the coincidence, they teamed up to put the stories into one book.

Lawrence Doherty came to Asphodel Township, Ontario, in 1847 at the height of the famine in Ireland. He arrived as an indigent immigrant from Tipperary, Ireland, along with five other family members. The book describes Lawrence’s struggles in his new land, his successes and his failures.

“There have been many sad discoveries, but it is a tribute to their strength and survival that we are here today. We hope they would be proud,” says Ms Lunney of her ancestors. “We have searched high and low for the missing branches of the family, for land records and for stories of how our ancestors coped in their new land.”

The authors explore financial woes, addictions and illnesses.

“For my generation and future generations, the puzzle of our past is important research,” Ms Forde says. “Trying to put the pieces together, telling the stories, recording the facts as we know or find them is something I feel a need to do.“

The book profiles many families in Ontario, Alberta and Michigan — Dohertys, Heffernans, Mahoneys, O’Gradys, Condons and Delaneys, and many more – chapter by chapter. The authors also explore the history of the 1800s in Ireland and Ontario.

The book has separate chapters on arts and sports, to outline the successes of the Doherty clan.

The arts chapter features Robert Doherty (Ms Forde’s brother), a professional artist from Douro along with his two sisters, Emma and Margaret. It also features musicians and even a showgirl.

The sports chapter features NHL hockey player, George “Red” Sullivan, Tim O’Grady, who played hockey and lacrosse, and several others.

The book will be available in August 2014 but needs to be pre-ordered by July 10. It is a hard cover book with 460 pages, which sells for $50






W 1/2 Lot 9 Conc 6, Asphodel

We are devastated to discover that our Lawrence Doherty was a tenant on his land his whole life. His son, James, bought the farm but had to mortgage it. Money problems continued for 100 years. It’s all intertwined with the Read family.  It’s all in our new book- Finding Lawrence’s Family . . . from Ballywilliam to Asphodel.

Meeting new Dohertys

Yesterday I corresponded by a series of emails with a cousin, Kathy Doherty, (my second cousin once removed), who sent me wonderful pictures and stories of the members of her family. I have been unbelievably moved by a 16-page autobiography of her grandfather, J.J. Doherty. He was not a famous man by others’ standards, but he was the type of person who has made this country the wonderful place to live that it is today. He was a man of great faith, a family man, a man who fought for his country in the First World War, and a man who wanted his descendants to know about him. We will publish his autobiography in our Doherty family history — “From Ballywilliam to Asphodel”. Thanks so much to Kathy!

I also spoke with Maureen Doherty McIntosh of Calgary, a second cousin, and she has promised to send materials to me for the book.

I still await a package of materials from a wonderful woman, Frances Doherty Jackson, who wrote about her branch of the family in a document published in Consort, Alberta.

Margaret and I have been researching the saga of Lawrence Doherty’s land and are realizing why our fathers (and JJ) had their strict views about money.