Who were Sarah and Captain Daniel Dougherty?

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.

9 thoughts on “Who were Sarah and Captain Daniel Dougherty?

  1. I am President of Golder Homestead Museum Society Inc in Upper Hutt.
    In the Golder family we have Ellen (Nell) Aloysius Golder, the 10th child of John and Jane (nee Martin) Golder who was born 30 November 1895 in Upper Hutt. She marrried John (Jack) Dougherty in 1937 in Hamua and they farmed there at Coleraine. Jack was born in Lower Hutt. They had a child John who married Lois McKegg from Palmerston North.

    Are they related to your Sarah and Captain Daniel? If so it would be wonderful to do something in our Museum at 707 Ferguson Drive about the family connections.

    I am not related to the Golder family but am the President of the Society at the present time. My phone contact is 027 684 3626.

  2. I am spreading the good word about the Reunion, not related but willing to help.. Good luck with the Reunion… see you at Clareville Cemetery my friends….

  3. Hello,

    Are there any more updates on this event? I don’t do Facebook so am relying on information from this site.

    Thank you

  4. I’m the wife of Jack Richmond Breen, son of Pat and Winnie (Florence Louisa Winifred, nee Richmond) Breen.

    For your records, sadly Jack (88 years old) and our daughter Claire Tippett (55 years old) passed away last year.

    I would like to wish you all a very happy and enjoyable reunion.

    Warm regards
    Erina Breen and family

    • Hello Erina
      I am very sorry to hear of Jack’s passing and the sad news of your daughter’s death.
      I have put your email in our data base and will contact you concerning future descendant reunions.
      all the best
      Chris O’Flaherty

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