Captain Daniel and Sarah (Sally) Dougherty were one of the very early pioneering couples to settle in New Zealand.
Daniel first arrived in NZ in May 1836. He was third mate aboard the James Stewart, a whaling ship based in New Brunswick, Canada. For several months the James Stewart worked the waters off Cloudy Bay. Daniel returned to New Brunswick as Captain of the heavily laden James Stewart in June 1837. He made two subsequent trips to NZ in 1838 and 1841.
On his way home to Canada in 1841 he discovered and named Dougherty Island, a small 6 mile long dot in the far south of the Pacific Ocean. The island was sighted and confirmed by a number of mariners over the years but by the time Captain Scott (of Antarctic fame) passed over the charted position of the island in 1904 there was no sign of it. The island remained stubbornly invisible to all other seafarers and in 1937 the British Admiralty expunged it from their charts. The mystery surrounding Dougherty’s Island has never been satisfactorily explained.
Daniel decided to make his home in New Zealand and arrived in Wellington aboard The London with his wife Sarah and their two young children in May 1842.
They settled in Cutter’s Bay, Port Underwood, Marlborough. Daniel bought a schooner which he used for whaling and coastal trading. They spent about 7 years in Marlborough and in 1849 with the decline in whaling decided to move to Wellington where Daniel had been appointed pilot. The trip across Cook Strait in a rowing boat was long and arduous for Sarah and resulted in a miscarriage.
The Doughertys made their home at remote Tarakena Bay, near the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Daniel was Wellington’s second official Pilot.
Daniel died in 1857 after falling from his horse and Sarah moved to Thorndon, Wellington. She died there in 1898.
Daniel and Sarah had seven children, Robina, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ellen, Margaret, Daniel and William.
Robina married Tom Ladd and died giving birth to her first child Harry in 1867.
Elizabeth never married. She died in 1907.
Sarah married the Wairarapa farmer Thomas Telford. They had 11 children. Sarah was widowed in 1887. She died in 1915.
Ellen never married. She became the first woman in NZ to qualify as a chemist and in 1901 became the first registered nurse in the world!! She died in 1919.
Margaret married Howard Jacobson in 1867. They had 14 children. Margaret died in 1923.
Daniel married an Irish girl named Catherine Montague. They had % sons. Daniel died in 1923.
William married 3 times. He lived in Hong Kong and Australia. He had a total of 6 children and died in 1912.