Doherty


Select Doherty Surname Genealogy

Here are some Doherty stories and accounts over the years:

Doherty and Variant Spellings


The spellings O'Doherty and Doherty are to be found in Ireland, Docherty in Scotland, and Dougherty and Daugherty in America.  The table below shows the approximate numbers for these spellings in Ireland and elsewhere today.

Numbers (000's)
O'Doherty
Doherty
Docherty
Dougherty
Daugherty
Total
Ireland
   2
  14
   2
   2
   -
   20
UK
   -
  24
  12
   2
   -
   38
America
   -
  10
   -
  14
  12
   36
Elsewhere
   -
  14
   1
   2
   -
   17
Total
   2         
  62         
  15         
  20        
  12
  111       


Doherty Strongholds in the Inishowen Peninsula

The Inishowen Peninsula is triangular in shape, flanked on the east by Lough Foyle and on the west by Lough Swilly.  Projecting from the north coast into the Atlantic Ocean is Malin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland.  The landscape is composed of rugged mountains covered in blanket bog, terminating along the coast in steep cliffs or broad sweeps of sand.

The early base of the Dohertys in the Peninsula was at Castleross at the mouth of the Shanagore river.  By the early 15th century, they held fortified places at Burt, Inch, Elagh, Culmacatraine, and Buncrana.  At the north end of Buncrana, an old six-arched bridge spanning the Cranna river led to O'Doherty's Keep. O'Doherty's Keep was described as being a small, two story castle, inhabited by Conor McGarret O'Doherty. It was upgraded by Hugh Boy O'Doherty in 1602 as an intended base for Spanish military aid that he hoped would be arriving.



Sir Cahir O'Doherty's Fate

The Scot who shot Cahir left the city on horseback and stopped for the night at an inn owned by a Gallagher.  He in turn managed to get the Scot drunk and robbed him of the sack containing the head, so claiming the payment.  The head of Cahir was placed in a niche of the church of St. Adouan.  There he remained until 1954 when it disappeared, possibly blown away by the wind.  Cahir’s sword is conserved in O’Dogherty’s Tower, a museum in Derry.



O'Doghertys in Spain


The line from Sir Cahir O’Doherty, who was killed in 1608, passed on the death of John O'Dogherty in 1784 to three O’Dogherty brothers – John, Henry and Clinton Dillon – who with the assistance of their uncle left Scotland for Spain.  All three served in the Spanish navy.  Henry and Clinton Dillion both died young.  But John distinguished himself in battle, rebuffing the French in 1809 as they were seeking to capture Vigo.  He died in 1847. 

His O’Dogherrty line continued to Pascual O’Dogherty, who became an admiral in the Spanish Navy in 1974, and Ramon O’Dogherty who was recognized as the chief of the Doherty clan in 1990.



John Doherty, Manchester Radical

John Doherty, born in 1798, went to work at the Buncrana cotton mill at the age of ten.  At the age of eighteen he left Ireland to seek better pay and conditions in England.  He found work in a textile factory in Manchester.  Doherty became politically radicalized after having been unfairly arrested, charged with assault, and sentenced to two years' hard labor. 

He realized that it was very difficult for local unions to win industrial disputes.  He therefore called a meeting of Manchester trade unionists where it was decided to form a General Union of Trades.  In 1830, the organization started publication of the
United Trades' Co-operative Journal.  Doherty as editor attempted to use the journal as a means of communicating information to fellow trade unionists. 

In 1832, Doherty opened a small print shop and bookstore in Manchester.  The following year he expanded the business and including a coffee-house where ninety six newspapers, including Doherty's own
V
oice of the People, could be read.  The Rev. Gilpin, a local clergyman, objected to some of the articles included in the newspaper and as a result Doherty was sent to prison. 

Disappointed by the 1833 Factory Act, Doherty joined other reformers in the Society for Promoting National Regeneration. The main aim of this organization was an eight-hour day for all workers.  He continued to work for social and political reform until his death in 1854. 



Dohertys and Doghertys in Donegal and Elsewhere

Dohertys continued to be found in Donegal mainly during the 19th century.  The table below shows the incidence of the Doherty name in the Griffith’s Property Surveys of 1848-64.

County
Numbers
Percent
Donegal
  1,430
   47
Derry
    319
   10
Mayo
    136
    5
Elsewhere
  1,165
   38

Donegal still accounted for most Dohertys in Ireland according to a 1992 telephone survey, but the share had fallen to 30%, of which more than half lived in Inishowen

The other main spelling variant at Griffith's time was Dogherty.  In contrast to the 3,033 Dohertys there were 918 Doghertys.  Donegal and Derry again were the main counties for Dogherty.



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