shields ancestry

This photo is either Elizabeth Dougherty O'Connor – Grandma Gen’s grandmother – or it could be Elizabeth’s mother, Margaret Kennedy Dougherty. 


Elizabeth was married to Charles O'Connor, and her children were Delia (aka Ma Kirwan, Gen’s mother), Thomas, and Theresa. The O'Connors are the family who moved to Connecticut.

Here’s the info from the documents we have for Elizabeth, not surprisingly with contradictory information:

1900 census: born Aug 1853, Ireland; immigrated 1870; 3 children. 

Death certificate: died on Nov 20, 1916, in Norwalk, CT; born 1848; died of apoplexy. 

Cemetery deed: born 1845. Father’s name listed as William Delaney (should be Dougherty); husband’s name listed as John O’Connor (should be Charles).


If it’s Margaret Kennedy, she was born around 1815 in Ireland. Her husband was William Dougherty who was born around 1800 in Ireland and died in 1877 in Brooklyn.

Margaret’s Death certificate: Died June 16, 1886 from acute bronchitis; widow; parents born in Ireland; living at 148-9th St., ward 6;  immigrated 1864.


They'e all buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, St John’s Section, Range K, #48

Joseph Edward was the first child of Frank and Dora (Murphy) Shields. He was born in September 1882 and baptized at St Patrick’s; his godparents were Owen McNally and Catherine Costello (I have no idea who they were). He enrolled in the US Army on Sept 16, 1902 as a Private in Company G of the 8th US Infantry. At the time of his enlistment, his occupation was golf-club maker. He died on Oct 23, 1904, at Fort Jay (also known as Fort Columbus, on Governor’s Island), in New York Harbor, from typhoid fever.  

According to the Chief’s diary, “Joe’s sickness was due, it is thought, to the drinking of bad water down in Manassas, Virginia. Was there with his regiment in exercise of duties of a soldier. Was sick four days before he entered the hospital. His family received notice of his illness only about fifteen hours before he expired.” He was buried with military honors at Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, St James Section, Range E, #82. Frank and Dora are buried with him; Gen and the Chief are buried with her family nearby.