Sunday, June 4, 2017

Nancy Jane Dougan (1847-c 1877): Her Family - Ireland to North Carolina Colony

Standard of Ireland 1542-1801

Our great-grandfather, James Samuel Raney (1868-1954), was named for each of his grandfathers. His mother Nancy Jane Dougan (1847-c1877), married Everett Rainey (1844-1899) when he returned from the Civil War, and later died in a house fire with her daughter Sarah about 1877HERE

The Dougans moved as an extended family group from western Tennessee to southern Indiana about 1831. Samuel Dougan (1820-1870), our 3rd great-grandfather, was among them. But I'm getting ahead of my story of this pioneering family with roots in County Donegal, Ireland, so I'll start at the beginning.

Thomas Dougan (1685-1776), our 7th great-grandfather, was born in County Donegal, Ireland.
County Donegal in dark green up in northwest Ireland
A couple of years back, before I knew we had this ancestor, Jay and I drove from Galway in western Ireland up to Derry, Northern Ireland, bypassing County Donegal because it had only a few winding roads on the map and looked really mountainous, and we had only that day to reach our destination.
County Donegal
Some claim Thomas was born in the town of Donegal in the south of the county, some say otherwise. The English gained full control over Ulster, including County Donegal, in 1607, and the region became a plantation (meaning a settlement), the Catholic Irish forced out to be resettled by Protestant Lowland Scots and English. His mother was Katherine Kerr (1658-1688), our 8th great-grandmother, allegedly born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, who married in 1684 Benjamin Dougan (1655-1750) our 8th great-grandfather, born in Donegal. They both died there. 

Our 7th great-grandparents, Thomas Dougan (1685-1776) and Eleanor O'Connor (1695-1784) married in Donegal about 1709 and had three sons and a daughter in Ireland, including Thomas Hill Dougan (1719-1769), our 6th great-grandfather.  This family immigrated to Pennsylvania Colony after 1723, possibly as late as the early 1740s.  

"The Scots – Irish who poured into America from Ulster were middle class farmers and craftsmen who came from poor rural counties of Northern Ireland where English rule had grown increasingly severe and where the 1740 famine in Ulster hastened their departure. They were nearly all Presbyterians. Arriving in Philadelphia, they made their way westward to Lancaster and Harrisburg." 

Present-day Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Thomas Hill Dougan (1719-1769) married Mary Kerr (1726-1824) in 1744. Mary's family had immigrated from lowland Scotland. All of their six children were born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including James Dougan (1754-1837), our 5th great-grandfather. Most of the Dougans, including their aged immigrant parents Thomas and Eleanor O'Connell Dougan, moved with a group of Quakers overland down to North Carolina by 1763, where Thomas Hill Dougan bought 520 acres at Deep River, in what became Randolph County. A surveyor called North Carolina "delicious country" and so it was.

Years ago I visited the county museum in Greensboro and saw a large Conestoga wagon, manufactured in Pennsylvania. By 1765 they were being used heavily on the Great Wagon Road south.
Conestoga wagon dipping in center so the goods wouldn't shift.

I never imagined that my ancestors may have used one to move their households south on the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to North Carolina because I didn't know we had ancestors who settled there.
Great Wagon Road, originally called The Warriors Path because it had been in use by Native Americans for hundreds of years
Thomas Hill Dougan died in 1769 and his widow Mary was granted the administration of his estate in 1770.

These ever-so-great grandparents had a daughter and five sons in their prime of manhood. A few years later the American Revolution began. In my next blog, I'll tell you of the sons' participation in that war.

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