Submit a New Listing

DOUGHERTY – John J. “Irish John” and Sarah Armstrong Dougherty

“A story told is that Sarah as a young girl worked in the hotel in Westmeath. She walked home to Shawville, Quebec to visit her parents along the trail now the Sixth Line or Lookout Road and along the present Queens Line. When people saw that elegant lady they called her a Queen and that is how Queens Line was named.”

“His widow was left with 100 acres of bush, and seven children to nourish. According to a tribute from her eldest son James, she made a wonderful job of it too, considering the times.”

The two quotations are about the same woman at different stages of her life. The young, elegant  Sarah Armstrong Dougherty, who came into the wilderness and raised her family and the later Sarah, left alone to keep them “nourished”.

Source:  On the occasion of the 175 Anniversary of Beachburg an excellent book was produced: “Beachburg – A Rich Heritage, 1835-2010“. The DOUGHERTY family’s submission of text and photographs to this commemorative book is used here; plus additional text and photographs submitted by John D. Wright.

 The DOUGHERTY FAMILY of Westmeath Township

There are many descendants of Patrick O’Dougherty in the Ottawa Valley. In 1981 Evelyn Moore Price wrote an article about the lineage of the Dougherty Family:  1981,Dougherty Of Old Irish Line, submitted here by John D. Wright, a son of Beulah Dougherty Wright. Here are some excerpts:

One of the “renegac’es”, John Dougherty came to Westmeath township about 1850. Here, he met and married an Irish immigrant, Sarah Armstrong, who worked at the Adams Inn or hotel at Westmeath. He was a lumberman and continued in this industry after their marriage in 1851.

Five boys and two daughters were born in quick succession, the youngest, Robinson Dougherty, being born a few months after his father’s death due to pneumonia. His widow was left with 100 acres of bush (which is now cleared and farmed by Allan Broome), and seven children to nourish. According to a tribute from her eldest son James, she made a wonderful job of it too, considering the times. Each of her sons, James, John, David, Robert and Robinson, obtained good farms in this vicinity, three still remaining in the Dougherty name.

Alex Dougherty, son of James Dougherty, lives on a homestead. Ross Dougherty, son of Garnet and grandson of David Dougherty, lives adjacent to the village of Beachburg, and Harold Dougherty lives on the homestead of his father, Robert Dougherty. Sarah Dougherty married John Scott and Elizabeth, her sister, died in her early teens.

In an old Minute Book of the Westmeath Municipal Council is an entry dated about 1863, which stated “that the Council decided to pay the taxes of widow Dougherty which were 85¢.”

Mrs. Wright recalls her father, James Dougherty, telling an incident in his early years. In fact he was only 11 at the time “when the man who drove the mail from below somewhere” (it could be Portage du Fort) asked him to clear the road or path to Westmeath, of overhanging branches, promising him 50¢, when the job was completed. The young chap worked hard on that particular piece of road, as his mother needed badly to pay the taxes. The mailman told him it was a good job, thanked him and drove ahead (an example of gross ingratitude). The taxes were not forthcoming when he went unpaid. Needless to say, the boy never forgot this incident.

All members of the Dougherty family in Beachburg , Pembroke, and other places in the locality are descendants of “Irish John”; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

All family historical data similar to this one that are received are recorded and filed with the Ottawa Valley Historical Society. They are invaluable in keeping alive the history of Renfrew County to be preserved for posterity.

By 1981, all Dougherty grandsons have passed away and farms are all with other owners.

The Dougherty clan descended from Patrick O Dougherty born in 1750 in County Antrim, Ireland. He married Teressa O’Donnell Baldreag of Londonderry. They had two sons; Patrick, no descendants  and James J Dougherty born in 1785 in Antrim Ireland married Beatrice McKevitt. They had two sons, (1) Alexander and (2) John J. (Irish John) Dougherty.


JOHN J.  (Irish John) DOUGHERTY (1824-1865)  married in 1851 to SARAH ARMSTRONG, born 1825, from County Fermanagh, Ireland. They immigrated to Ontario, Canada in 1849, at the height of the potato famine in Ireland.

A story told that Sarah as a young girl worked in the hotel in Westmeath. She walked home to Shawville, Quebec to visit her parents along the trail now the Sixth Line or Lookout Road and along the present Queens Line. When people saw that elegant lady they called her a Queen and that is how Queens Line was named. She likely met John as she walked by his farm.  John left farms to each of his four sons in the area of Lookout Road near Beachburg.

John was known as “Irish John” and he and Sarah had seven children:

i. Alexander James Dougherty (1852-1932) m. Jane Mitchel,

ii. Sarah Jane Dougherty (         ) m. John Scott

iii.  Elizabeth Alice Dougherty died in her early teens.

iv. David William Dougherty (1858 -1931)  m. Esther McIntosh. David William’s grandson: Ross, DOUGHERTY, Ross.

v.  John Job Dougherty (1859-1920) m. Frances Condie. See CONDIE entry,

vi. Robert Francis Dougherty (1863-1935) m. Sarah Crozier

vii. Elizabeth Dougherty

Viii. Robinson Dougherty (1863-1931) m. Margaret Jeffrey. See JEFFREY entry.


The Descendents of “IRISH JOHN’s” Eldest Son: ALEXANDER JAMES.

Alexander James Dougherty married Jane Mitchell (1852-   ). Their children were:

Dougherty family

Jane Mitchell (1837- ) & Alex Dougherty (1852-1932) with the older three of their children. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Hilda Dougherty  Wright, H 90th, married John C.  (J.C.) Wright and farmed at lot 14 Con 7 EML Westmeath Twp,
  2. Alice Dougherty married Percy Wright (brother of John), and farmed at Tisdale Sask., See Wright entry.
  3. Sarah Dougherty married Wm Labow and lived in Pembroke,
  4. Ida Dougherty married Samual Wallace and farmed at Violet Grove, Alberta,
  5. James Dougherty was a mining engineer and had a career in Timmins and later with Queens University,
  6. John Dougherty was Agricultural Rep in the Chatam Ont area and later a State Farm Insurance agent there.
  7. Alexander Dougherty farmed the home farm at Lot 12 Con 7 EML Westmeath Twp.
Five Dougherty Daughters

Five Dougherty Daughters


The following notes have been submitted by John Dougherty Wright <>:

My Grandparents on my mother’s side were both born in Westmeath Township. They were Alexander James Dougherty 1882-1932, (from a family of seven) and Jane Mitchell 1857 – 1935, (from a family of twelve on the farm next door). They raised eight children on the north half of Lot eleven Concession seven EML in Westmeath Township (one mile down the road from the Wright farm along Lookout Road).

John Lorne Dougherty born1880, married Zella Elizabeth Hanham who was a school teacher from Port Colborne, Ontario. She met John Lorne Dougherty while attending MacDonald Institute to become a home economics teacher. He was attending the Ontario Agricultural College (later Guelph University). They both graduated in 1914 and were married in 1916. They relocated to Chatham Ontario where John worked first as The Provincial Agricultural Rep. And later as the State Farm Insurance agent. They had four children, Lloyd, John, Mae and Doris.

Ida Jane Dougherty born 1857, married Samual Wallace of Beachburg area. They homesteaded at Violet Grove, Alberta, raising three sons, Leslie, Keneth and Beresford.


James William Dougherty

Alexander Mitchell Dougherty born 1887, married Nellie Ethel (Helen) Wright of Westmeath Township (no relation). They remained on the home Dougherty farm and raised two daughters, Grace and Phyllis.

James William Dougherty born 1890 married Lillian Mary Lord of England. Following five years of service in the Canadian Army (Queens Engineers) which included the WW1 where he was awarded the Military Medal for service at Vimy Ridge, he completed his education at Queens University and was employed at Holinger Mines in Timmins Ontario where he worked his way up to assistant Superintendent at retirement. After retirement he lectured for ten years at Queens University. They had one child, Rosemary.

Alice Isabel Dougherty Born 1892, married Percy Ellis Wright (See Wright entry)

Sarah Kathleen Dougherty born 1895 , married William James Labow of the Cobden area. They resided in Pembroke Ontario where William owned and operated the Supertest Service Station and GMC dealership on Pembroke Street, just west of the bridge. They had no children.

Annie Laura Dougherty 1897 – 1921

Hilda Irene Dougherty Born 1898, Married John Charles Wright (See Wright entry).

For more details go to:

The Descendants of “IRISH JOHN’S” Fourth Son: ROBERT FRANCIS.


ROBERT FRANCIS Dougherty married SARAH CROZIER, daughter of Adam Crozier and Sarah Simpson.   They lived on a farm near Beachburg at the bottom of Dunn’s Hill and had five children:

1.    ELIZA  MARTHA Dougherty (1893-1983) married JOHN COWIE and they had one daughter Grace (1924-1932).

2.   SARAH ELLA Dougherty (1895-1982) married PERCY JOHNSON and they had seven children: Sarah Bernice (1923- 1980) married Des McGonegal- no children; James William (1927-1944) drowned in Little Lakes near Beachburg; Gerald (1930-197) married Dale McClelland; Glenwood Harold (1933- 1997) married  Erma Johnson; Gwendolyn (1933- 2004) married Bill Ashley; Marion (1937-1951); Robert John (1938 – 2005) married Ivy Davieaux.       Percy spent many years working at Schreiber on the railroad so Ella raised her family in their small home on Cameron St. in Beachburg.

3.   LENNOX Dougherty (1889-1961) who married JANET COWIE (1894-1972) and they had one daughter Beulah (1919- 2008) who married Kenneth Collins and had four children: Marilyn, Barbara, Richard and Anne.  Beulah’s second marriage was to Erwin Wilson. Lennox and Janet farmed on Lookout Road at the present farm of Neil & Connie Hawthorne. You can bet Lennox’s best farm hands were the two oldest daughters of his brother Harold, Edith and Eleanor who worked hard at the threshing mill the brothers shared.

Lennox and Jane with daughter Beulah, 1958. Photo from J.D. Wright.

Lennox and Janet with daughter Beulah, 1958.                     Photo from J.D. Wright.

3.    ROY Dougherty(1891-1970) married LILY BLACK and had five children: Keith (1917- 1992) Thelma 1919 who married Gerald McCulloch, Lyle Clive (1921-2007) who married Lois McLaughlin, Harris (1923- 1995) who married Georgette Cyr, Robert Graham who married Ella Mich and Shirley (1930-1946).  Roy was injured in a farm accident as a young man, and spent most of his life in a wheelchair, his later years in the village of Beachburg. Keith and Lyle both served in the Canadian Navy.


Lyle George Dougherty

4.    LYLE Dougherty:  Lyle George  (1898-1917) was killed at Vimy Ridge just before the end of World War 1 ended.

5.    HAROLD ARMSTRONG Dougherty (1909-1980) DOUGHERTY, Harold  ,  was six years old when his mother died. His sisters Eliza and Ella raised him until they left home to be married. He worked with his dad on the family farm, and married MARJORIE HOWARD (1913-2000) who lived nearby. She took with her thirty turkeys, fifty hens and a cow.  They had nine children, seven girls and two boys.  Their children are: Eleanor m. Marvin McLaughlin, Fay m. Ira Anderson, Bethea m. Ralph Little, Margaret m. Terry Behnke,  Lyn m. Lin Hawthorne, Roland, Robert, Edith, Evelyn.

Harold & Marjorie on their Wedding Day

 Read A True Love Story about Marjorie and Howard’s courtship in 1932.

Harold and Marjorie retired to Beachburg in 1972 to the former home of Wilfred Bennett. They enjoyed travelling until his untimely death. Marjorie continued to live there until her passing in 2000. The family of Ray and Kathy Hiderman took up residence there.

6.    EDITH MURIEL Dougherty (1933-1956) married MURRAY SIMPSON and lived on a farm in Cobden She died in childbirth; Eleanor May 1935 married Marvin McLaughlin (1928-1994) and they had four children, Terry, Garry, Dawna and Jeffrey who live in the Beachburg area. Marvin farmed and did mechanical work while Eleanor was an elementary teacher for thirty-five years, thirty of them at Pine View in Petawawa until her retirement. She moved to Beachburg in 1999; Sarah Evelyn (1937-1937); Marina Faye 1938 married Ira Anderson (1937- 2008) and lived in Pembroke They had four children, Laura, Kevin (1966-1989), Angela and Steven

7.     MARJORIE BEACHEA  Dougherty (1940-   ) married RALPH LITTLE and lived in Ottawa with three children, Mitchell, Connie and Bradley. Robert Armstrong 1942 retired to Beachburg after his service with the CNR in the Toronto- Woodstock area. Margaret Ann 1944 married Terry Behnke and lives in Petawawa. They had two children Pamela and Todd who also live in Petawawa. Ronald Harold 1945 married Lynn Gervais and live in Ottawa. They had three boys Trevor, Travis and Tristan who live in the Ottawa area. Catharine Lynn 1951 works at the Treasury Branch in Edson, Alberta but hopes to retire in Ontario.

8.     JOHN JOB DOUGHERTY (1859-1920) second son of John and Sarah married FRANCIS CONDIE (1861-1947) Their children were Dorothy, Myrtle, Fanny Dell (1888) and John Leslie (1892- 1972)  Myrtle married Alex Barr. Though they had no children of their own they fostered several. Fanny Dell married John A Brown and they had two children Dorothy and Ellard. Leslie married Ida Collins and they had two children, Raymond and Vivian. They lived on Lookout Road on the present farm of Isabel White. Ida died shortly after the birth of Vivian so Leslie had to give his children to his sisters to raise.


John Job Dougherty, b. 1859, married Francis Condie, b. 1861. Children: John Leslie, b. 1892: Myrtle, b. Fanny Dell, b.

Myrtle and Alex raised Raymond while Vivian lived with Fanny Dell and John A Brown. The Barrs lived on a farm on the present LaPasse Road known as the Collins farm. They later moved to Beachburg to the home where Raymond and his family have lived on Main Street.


Raymond Dougherty

9.    RAYMOND (1919- 1998) married EVELYN BROOME and they had four children, John (1942), Caroline (1947), Neil (1949) and Deborah (1956).

Raymond served in the army for a term. He was well-known as an antique dealer or just liked buying up old stuff and a jack-of-all-trades. He served as Councillor and Reeve of Beachburg for a few terms. Raymond was active on the Beachburg Fair Board. He loved to go hunting with his buddies and even turned his hand to carpentry. After his death, Evelyn has continued to live in the home Raymond inherited from his Uncle Alex Barr.

Dougherty Cousins at 75th Birthday Celebration in 1970s. From left: Ella, Janet, Leslie, John, Pearl, Eliza, Garnet, Margaret, Sarah.

Dougherty Cousins at 75th Birthday Celebration in 1970s. From left: Ella, Janet, Leslie, John, Pearl, Eliza, Garnet, Margaret, Sarah.

Garnet Dougherty’s son: DOUGHERTY, Ross.

The Descendants of “IRISH JOHN’S” Fifth Son: ROBINSON

Robinson Dougherty (1863-1931) married Margaret Jeffrey.  The children of Robinson and Margaret Dougherty were:

  1. William
  2. Lloyd  Dougherty McLeese Accident 1949
  3. Eva Myrtle Dougherty (1891-1952) m. James G.  Davidson (1880-1953) on June 4, 1909. Buried at Westmeath Union Cemetery. See DAVIDSON entry.
  4. Pearl Ethel m. John Davidson   Davidson, Pearl Dougherty
  5. Irene m.  Alex Sanderson