Monday, August 13, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas and Leona Dougherty

Thomas and Leona Dougherty nee Ganss, Calvary Cemetery, Drums, PA
When I visited Pennsylvania last summer I went looking for the grave of my great aunt Helen Elizabeth "Betty" Bronsavage.  She was hard to find, but as I searched I took the opportunity to take pictures of tombstones with family names on them.  I don't know if any of them are members of my family though. Most of my family members were buried in Hazleton city's cemeteries and this cemetery was in Drums (close to Hazleton, but no cigar).  We guessed that Helen was buried out there because none of the Catholic cemeteries in the city would want an adulteress and murderer buried there.  In fact she was buried in unconsecrated ground, which has since her burial been consecrated.  Anyway, that was a tangent.  This post is on Thomas and Leona Dougherty after all, and the Dougherty surname is one in my family tree.

Rather than just throwing up the tombstone for Thomas and Leona, I decided to do some quick research.  After all, I'm trying to see if they are any relation...not just someone that shared a surname.  The first place that popped up was the 1940 US Federal Census.  Gosh, I'm loving that it's been indexed (Thanks indexers!).  In 1940 Thomas and Leona was living in Hazleton on Wyoming Street and had two children:  Thomas (Jr), and Conrad.  There was gold in that thar' census (although not for my line) the form of a 76 year old gentleman living with them by the name of Conrad Ganss.  Conrad is listed as Thomas' father-in-law.  So now we know (theoretically) that Leona's maiden name was Ganss.

Thomas' tombstone have a military marker for 1941-1945, but I found no enlistment records for him.  I also did not find him in Hazleton in earlier census records and frankly he would have been in his fifties during WWII.  A possibility, but WWI would have been a better fit.  That doesn't mean he wasn't there (or didn't move there after 1930)...and I'll be the first to admit that I only did a cursory search.  If he is one of my Doughertys then he would have (most likely) lived in the Hazleton area.

Leona, was found in other census records and was living in Hazleton with her parents, Conrad and Catherine.  Conrad and Catherine had (at least) eight children:  Rosal, Anna, Conrad, Walter, Catherine, Hilda, Albert, and Leona.  Judging by the 1900 US Federal Census Conrad and Catherine had 2 children (names unknown) that died young.

No connection with my family in this quick search, but that too is information to a genealogist!