March 28, 2012

The Pioneers, Joseph and Sarah True Doty

It's difficult to imagine the wilderness of Michigan in the late 1830's when my Doty ancestors settled there after a trek from New York, either by boat or by land.  Great-great grandfather, Joseph Doty Jr. was born in or near Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York, just northeast of Albany. on August 29, 1804.   

Around 1834, his obituary stated that he was converted and baptized into the Baptist faith.  Then on August 13, 1835, he married Sallie G. True.  Sallie/Sally was a native of Vermont, born on the 4th of July, 1814 in or near Hardwick, Caledonia County, Vermont.  However, she grew up near Covington, New York, which is just east of Buffalo, and that is where the couple were married.  Since county boundaries changed frequently in the early days, sometimes researchers list this as Genessee County and where Joseph was born as Albany County.  I am not sure if Joseph's family had relocated to Covington or that area when the couple met.

On April 15, 1837, Michigan Land Records show that Joseph Doty purchased 40 acres of land at the Land Office in Detroit.  The usual procedure in that day was that the purchaser would come and clear some of the land and perhaps build a shelter before bringing his family.  Several sources indicated that Joseph and Sally came to Raisinville Township in January of 1839.  The easiest way perhaps would have been to come from Buffalo over to Detroit, if the lake were not frozen.  In the Doty homestead, I have seen the very large chest brought by the family that probably held most of their worldly goods.

The 1840 census for Raisinville Township, Monroe County, Michigan just enumerated by name the heads of household.  It shows Joseph Doty (1 male, age 30-40), 1 female 20-30 (Sally), 1 female under 5 (daughter Emeline) and 1 female 30-40 and I am not sure who that would be.
In the 1850 Federal Census enumerated on July 17, 1850 for the same place, Joseph Doty Jr., aged 45, a farmer born in New York, had real estate worth $1000.  Sallie T Doty, 36, his wife, was joined by children: Emeline, 10; Sarah, 7; William E., 5; Charles, 3; and George W. 1.  John McGuire, 29, born in Ireland was a laborer on the farm, and he, too, owned real estate worth $200.

The next reference I could find for Joseph appeared in the Monroe Commercial newspaper on June 3, 1858 on page 3. 
 "Joseph Doty, Esq., of Raisinville has presented us with a dozen of the largest hen's eggs we have ever seen.  They weigh forty ounces, and the largest measures eight and seven-eighths inches around.  If that eggs-ample can be eggs-actly beat in this country, or by any other live man, we would like to have its eggs-istence eggs-pressed by an eggs-hibition of the same in our office, and we will eggs-change hats with the owner of the eggs-traordinary hen.  This is eggs-actly so, without any eggs-aggeration as may be verified on eggs-amination.  We feel eggs-hausted with this eggs-ertion."

On November 8, 1857, the church the Dotys attended was organized into a Baptist church with 9 members, among them Joseph Doty.
No women were listed as members, probably just because they were not voting members.

In the 1860 Census, it is evident that Joseph had had success as a farmer and land owner.  At 55, he now owned real estate worth $4000 and had $450 in personal worth.  Sally was 46 and daughter, Emeline was 20.  Sarah was 17, William -15, Charles -14, *George - 12, and now there was Hellen, 9.
Helen M. was also sometimes referred to as Maria later on. This census also indicated that Emeline was born in New York, but her birthday is the summer of 1840 and they came to Michigan in January 1839...unless Sally went home for the birth of her first child.          
Sadly, in 1865, son Charles died in the War Between the States in Huntsville, Alabama.  More on Charles later.
In the 1870 census, only two children were left at home with Joseph, now 65, and Sally, 55. George W., 22, and Hellen M., 19 were listed as servants, meaning, I assume, that they labored on the home place.
On June 20, 1874, Sally True Doty died of heart disease at the age of 61 years, 11 months and 15 days.  She was buried in the Doty Cemetery on the homestead property.

Sally's obituary appeared in the Monroe Commercial on July 9, 1874, p. 4:
"Mrs. Joseph Doty, of Raisinville, Monroe Co., died very suddenly on the evening of the 20th ult.  Though not feeling very well, yet she was around all day attending to her household duties, and had made arrangements to come into the city the next day (Sunday) to attend church.  She suffered some pain during the day and evening, but no one anticipated any serious results.  She retired in the evening about 9 o'clock and in two hours, (had) several minutes of loud and difficult breathing, which led her daughter to arouse the family, she was dead.
Mrs. Doty was born in Hardwick, Caledonia county, Vermont, on the 4th of July, 1814.  Most of her early life was spent in Covington, Genesee Co., N.Y., where she was married in 1835.  On the 1st of January, 1839, she and her husband came to Michigan, and settled on the farm in Raisinville, where they have continued to live until her death, a period of over 35 years.  She will be greatly missed, not only by her family and a large circle of friends and neighbors, but also by the Baptist Church in this city, of which she was a constituent member, and remained faithful until her death."

The 1876 atlas showed that by the time of this atlas, Joseph had sold the homestead farm to sons, George and William T.  If you look to the right of the apple tree marker on the map, their land is visible.
In a previous post, I mentioned that after Sally's death, Joseph moved in with son, George W. and his new wife, Alice Newcomer Doty.  Joseph passed away on January 15, 1878. 
His obituary appeared in the Monroe Commercial on January 18, 1878:
"Raisinville...Died.  On the morning of the 15th, Mr. Joseph Doty, aged seventy four.  Mr. Doty was born in Burns Township, Albany County, N.Y., August 29th, 1804.  Married Miss Sallie G. True, August 13, 1835.  Came to Michigan in January 1839, and settled in Raisinville, Monroe County, upon the farm which he owned until about three years ago when he sold it to his two sons.  He lived with one of his sons since the death of his wife, which occurred three years ago last June.  He was converted and baptized during the winter of 1834, and united with the Baptist denomination, where he continued a faithful member until his death.  He leaves two sons and three daughters, besides a large number of friends and neighbors who deeply feel their loss.  Funeral took place on the 16th when a large procession followed the remains to their final resting place in the Raisinville Cemetery, north side.  Services at White church by Rev. T.M. Shanafelt, formerly of Monroe city."

Later in the month, another article concerning Joseph's death appeared in the Monroe Commercial on January 25th:
"London News - It is with regret we learn of the death of Joseph Doty on Jan. 13th, 1878, and also regret that no word was sent that we might follow his remains to their resting place.  The father of your correspondent and Mr. Doty grew up together, each married and went west.  For 45 years they knew nothing of each other.  Dr. Jeffery, while journeying with his own conveyance to see one of his children who had married and gone further west, noticed two men in conversation, and reining up to inquire for London, heard the name of Joseph Doty mentioned and upon inquiry, found he would go within a few miles of him.  The next day found him intent upon a surprise.  Never shall we forget the joy each manifested at meeting, then and subsequently.  Two years ago, the Dr. crossed the river, and now Mr. Doty has gone to meet him.  Both lived to a good old age, neither beyond their usefulness.  Both were intent upon the Master's service."

In these days of email and instant messaging, we sometimes forget the lag in communication in the early days of our country!
I have never come across a photo of Joseph or Sally True Doty, but I feel like one probably exists in the missing Doty Bible which was filled with old tintypes in the back.  Oh, how I wish that Bible could be located! 

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