Beere School

Top row: Annie Burke (Madigan), Mary Kilroe, Belinda Burke, James E. Henshaw - teacher;
  no names given for next two girls.

Middle row: Hannah Mansfield, Lizzie Herbert, Annie Dougherty (Carmody), Maude Kilroe,
 Joe Styles, Richard Mansfield, Hugh Kilroe, Frank Herbert, Charlie Styles

Bottom Row: Earl Arthur, Hugh Doherty, George Styles, Tommy Mansfield,
Leo Herbert, Arthur Bates, Horace Bates

Hunting Down History:   On April Fool’s Day, 2002, a dear cousin of mine, Joe Madigan died. Among his effects was this picture. We had no idea if it belonged to his father or mother. Since I’m the “family genealogist”, it was passed to me. I decided to try the mother first. We have two report cards of hers from Wayne County’s Beere School: teacher, James Henshaw.  So, I thought, if she kept report cards, maybe she also kept pictures.

Next a stop at the Beere School, which is located a few miles north of Honesdale on Route 670. There were no windows nor doors in the original.  However the siding was the same! All I could say was, maybe, if the picture had been taken at the rear of the school where there were no windows, we might have a match.

Then, I asked Tom Fives, who knows a lot of Pleasant Mount history, if there were any Henshaws around. A few more phone calls and I visited the Jenkins. She is a granddaughter of James Henshaw. Mrs.Jenkins didn’t think there was a match, although I could see many similarities. She would be seeing Henshaw’s daughter soon and would ask her.

Well, the daughter confirmed the identity of her father, the teacher. We not only had confirmation of the identity of James Henshaw, but one of his grandsons had the identical picture with most of the children identified!

Meanwhile, I’d also remembered there were several of my relatives who would have attended the Beere School at that time.

My maternal grandparents were Mary Burke and James Doherty. After arriving from Ireland, the Dohertys settled down the road from the Beere School, towards Tanners Falls. This property was in the possession of the youngest Doherty child, Sarah Kilroe at the time of the photograph. John Doherty, a son of James, lived shortly north of the Beere School on the Bethany Turnpike.

The Burkes lived a little north of the school, just south of my great grandmother’s brother, Peter Herbert. There were many inter-marriages between the Herbert/Burkes and the Dohertys.  Ten of the children in the photo, including Annie Burke (Madigan), are shown. I have a strong feeling that the unidentified girl on the left is Rose Doherty (Huff).    I have a picture of her not too many years later; see Our Connections A-17. The other is most likely Maude Herbert (McGraw), sibling of Frank and Leo.  (Maude Herbert photo.)

Here’s the picture - Begin with my grandparents, Mary Burke and James Doherty. James’s brother, John had children, Annie and Hugh. E. Amazingly, the spelling differs, but this was the time when the whole family was changing the spelling from Dougherty to Doherty. There are no other families of that name in the census records for that area. And as I said in the previous paragraph, one of the unknowns might be Rose. I’ve checked my charts, and those ages fit the apparent ages in the picture.

James had a sister, Sarah - that’s all the Kilroes. Brother Eddie (age 11) was already in school. (Evidence found in the files of the WCHS.) Mary Burke Doherty’s much younger sisters were Annie (former owner of the picture) and Belinda.  Mary’s uncles, the Herberts were in this country by 1867. The Burkes arrived in 1881. Peter Herbert married Belinda Doherty, sister of James. The Herberts in the photo all match my Peter Herbert chart. Peter remained in Wayne County longer than Patrtick. His son, Leo briefly taught at Beere School.

Genealogy research has often been described as akin to detective work. Working on the identity of this picture certainly is a case in point.

- Mimi Steffen