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 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.

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