Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Irish Immigrant Becomes A U.S. Citizen

With just one week until Election Day, I wondered about William Dooley. Could our immigrant ancestor have been a registered voter? Were his sons registered voters?  Ancestry.com provided the answers to my questions.

The 1870 U.S. Census reports that William Dooley was a male CITIZEN of 21 years of age and upwards. William could vote!

1888 Voter Registration For William and Stephen Dooley

The City of Chicago’s 1888 Voter Registration Record showed William Dooley and his son Stephen Dooley as registered voters. The record provides valuable proof of the date and location of William Dooley’s naturalization. It shows William filed his naturalization papers in The Recorders Court of Cook County during March 1856!

1892 Voter Registration for William Dooley

The 1890 and 1892 City of Chicago Voter Registration confirms the Date of Papers as 1856 and the Court as The Circuit Court of Cook County.

This is all very good news. I am just a train ride away from The Cook County Circuit Court Archives and William Dooley’s naturalizations records, right? Not so fast for catastrophe struck Chicago.

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871, destroyed much of the city.  Wooden buildings, wood plank sidewalks and tree-lined streets fueled the flames that devastated Chicago. Along with the loss of life and devastation of property, records valuable to today’s genealogist were destroyed. William Dooley’s 1856 naturalization record located in Chicago’s Circuit Court was burned.

Fortunately, in 1980 an amateur genealogist stumbled upon twenty voter registration ledgers in a county building. The1888, 1890 and 1892 ledgers are available through Ancestry.com and The Illinois State Archives.


“Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, 1888,” Cook County, Illinois, voter registration, William and Stephen Dooley; digital image 114 of 604, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2012); citing Illinois State Archives microfilm.

“Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, 1892,” Cook County, Illinois, voter registration, William Dooley; digital image 213 of 397, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2012); citing Illinois State Archives microfilm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mystery Solved!

My blog posts have been few and far between lately, but that does not mean my genealogy has been put aside. As of late, I have devoted my time to thinking and reading.

I was forced to pause when I discovered a family tree on Ancestry.com that claimed the same 1870 and 1880 census records for William and Ellen Dooley family. This discovery rattled me, as I was confident in my decision-making, however, it forced me to pause and rethink the William and Ellen Dooley evidence.

Here were two Dooley families headed by a William and Ellen. Their children’s names and ages were similar with one exception. 

My William and Ellen Dooley’s youngest son was David Francis Dooley who eventually married Elizabeth Lawless. David and Elizabeth were childless. This was a blessing, as they later became guardians for their orphan niece and nephews.

“The Other Dooley Family Tree” had a William and Ellen Dooley whose youngest son was David Joseph Dooley who married a Martha Schultz. David Joseph and Martha raised a large family of eight children.


How do I discern which tree has correctly claimed these two census records? I checked and double-checked the evidence of both trees and I eventually found the flaw! William and Ellen Dooley’s firstborn son, Stephen C, held the clue.

My Stephen C. Dooley married Sarah “Sadie” Hayes and together they had one daughter, Sadie. Eventually, Stephen and Sadie parted ways. Stephen remained in Chicago while the “Two Sadies” moved to Detroit.  This information is confirmed in Stephen C. Dooley’s obituary and through a living Dooley relative. I know this is true.

“The Other Dooley Family Tree” also claimed Stephen C. Dooley and his “Two Sadies.” They cannot possibly belong in “The Other Dooley Family Tree” along with David Joseph and Martha Schultz as they are firmly planted in my Dooley Family Tree.

It took quite a bit of time to compare both trees, but I am glad I did. I can say with complete confidence that I have correctly claimed the 1870 and 1880 U.S. census records for William and Ellen Dooley.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicago Ancestors.org

Chicago Ancestors is an informative website run by the Newberry Library that is packed full of information about Chicago. I had discovered it years ago and finally decided to take a peak at what it offered. Street Guides and City Directories are available for search online and are organized by year. I decided to experiment and see what I could find.

William Dooley: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records report a Chicago residence.

Page 228 of the 1870 Chicago City Directory shows:

“Dooley, William, expressman, r. 23 E. Hinsdale”

Then he is on page 354 of the 1880 Chicago City Directory:

“Dooley, William, express, house 31 Henry”

The earliest Chicago City directory available on the website is 1866.  This directory reports two William Dooley’s living in Chicago. Could one of these men be my William? While I cannot say yes with any degree of certainty, I would guess that William, the sailor, may be my guy as both the1866 and 1870 William Dooley live on E. Hinsdale.  I just need to remember that by 1866, William had two sons both who report an Illinois birth.

“Dooley, William, porter, J.H. Reed & Co.”
“Dooley, William, sailor, 19 E. Hinsdale”

William Dooley, The Expressman

William was employed as a driver of express wagons. Could I possibly find the names of Chicago Express Businesses? If so, perhaps one of these businesses employed my William.

1870 Express Businesses in Chicago
Adams Express Co.
American Merchants’ Union Express
United States Express

1880 Express Businesses in Chicago
Adams Express Co.,
American Express Co.
Baltimore & Ohio Express Co. United States Express Co.
United States Express Co.
Western Express Co.

Well, this has been a fun Friday night exploring ChicagoAncestors.org and learning a little more about Chicago resources and William.


Monday, October 8, 2012

So Sorry

I am so sorry not to be currently blogging. I have been diligently working on my Genealogy Society’s 2013 program. It is coming along and I hope to finish up soon.
I have scheduled excellent speakers and very interesting topics.

Jennifer Holik will be speaking on “Finishing the Story: Tracing the Life of a Deceased Soldier.” Jennifer is a great speaker and has authored several books on teaching children to love genealogy.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom will be speaking on cemetery research. Jeanne appeared in the Jason Sudekis episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

All in all, I have been quite busy with my genealogy. In addition to working for my local genealogy society, I have been attempting to write a Dooley Family research report. I find it difficult to put my thoughts into words in a logical well-ordered manner.