While the American Colonies proved to be the entry point for our Doak's and the wilderness lands of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania were the first areas populated, Canada provided an irresistible attraction for these early pioneers. In addition to cheap land made available by the British Government to encourage settlement of Lower Canada, there were real political pressures brought to bear on the early Doak's in New Hampshire. As United Empire (UE) Loyalists, some of them refused to sign the "Association Test" which meant that they did not support of the American Revolution. Social pressure from their neighbors must have been tremendous in 1776 and later. Then a few years later, the build-up to the War of 1812 undoubtedly caused some of the Doak families to immigrate to Canada to avoid having to fight British Forces. Little hard evidence is available to support these views, but it is reasonable to consider that there were such social forces at work that helped dictate the movement of some of the Doak Families. In 1810, Robert Doak of Londonderry, married Abigail Crosby and set off for the the wilds of Canada, settling in a place called Compton, Quebec. He raised a large family there and for a hundred years until 1907, Compton was a Doak Place. There is a private Doak Cemetery there as testimony to their having lived and died there.
And then in later years, other social and economic pressures came to bear. The English speaking farmers of the Eastern Townships of Canada and the Doak Families at Compton, Quebec in 1890 through 1910 were selling their holdings in the Eastern Townships. The farms in the area were becoming very valuable due to demand from the French Canadian community living further north. Over a ten year period, most of the English speaking community in the E.T. had sold out thus insuring the conversion of that area from what was an English speaking majority to what is now a French speaking majority. The conversion was so rapid and so complete that there are efforts under way today to preserve the English speaking history of the area before it is completely erased from memory and records.
Land Records for Londonderry, N. H. in 1724 indicate that John Doak, son of Robert of 1718, went to Donegal, Pennsylvania. The early Donegal settlement of 1723 no longer exists although there is today a Donegal on the Pennsyslvania Turnpike and there was another Donegal Township in what is now Butler County in the late 1700's and early 1800's. We see no trace of the original Donegal on todays' maps. In 1883 Egel in his History of Pennsylvania, frequently refers to Donegal, but it is not certain which community he is referring to. The "old" Donegal of 1723 is now a land of farms bordered by the cities of Mount Joy and Marietta. John Doak did not stay more than 15 years in Pennsylvania. He moved on to Virginia and then eventually to North Carolina, where he died and is buried. So Donegal, Pennsylvania becomes a Doak Place, even though we don't yet know much about it.*
*We now know much more about the Doak's in Pennsylvania in the early 1700's. Kirsten Straight and her daughter Joycelynn wo are professional genealogists from Washington State. They have spent hundred's of hours pouring over the early records of Dauphin, Lancaster and Chester counties and have documented the farms that were owned by the Doak brothers of Londonderry, N.H. - John, Samuel and David. We have actually walked and photographed the actual farm land that John Doak last owned in Dauphin County before he sold out about 1737, and moved to Tinkling Springs, Augusta County, Va.. We think the sequence went like this -- John Doak sold his land in Londonderry, N.H. to his brother James in 1724. In 1724 he obtained his first farm near Donegal, Pa.. When he moved there he took his sister Thankful with him and she then married John Finley. In 1725, his parents sold their 550 acres in Londonderry, N.H. and headed for their son John's farm at Donegal. They had with them their children Samuel, David and Ann. Robert, the father, probably died enroute to Donegal. Margaret and the children made it. They all lived on John's farm until Samuel came of age. Then Samuel bought his own farm. When David came of age in 1731, he bought his brother John's farm and he and his mother farmed it until her death about 1737. John in 1731 or earlier, obtained the farm on Conewago Creek and Brill's Run in what is now Dauphin county. The three Doak brothers and their mother Margaret farmed the three farms until about 1737 when Margaret died. When that happened, they buried her on the farm and then sold all their properties and moved on to Augusta county, Va. where they show up about 1741. Their footprints from that point on have been well recorded by others. What Kirsten Staight and Joycelynn have done is prove without a doubt that these three Doak brothers WERE brothers and were all from a family that arrived as a group aboard one ship at Boston in Nov. 1718. (the text in red above is my conjecture and is yet proven).
In 1890, Arthur Burton Doak, went to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) from Compton, Quebec and settled. He was a Dairy Driver and later a supervisor in a Steam Laundry. He raised a large family and for a hundred years, Honolulu was a Doak Place. No Doak descendents live there now although other surnames married into by the Doak women may still be there.
In 1810, James Doak, son of James Doak Jr. married Elizabeth Park and they went to Prospect, Maine. He was a ships carpenter by trade and his descendents made their careers in and around the sea. James and Elizabeth had a large family and the Prospect/Belfast area of Maine was, and still is, a Doak Place.
We now think that Robert Doak (b. 1738 in Boston), son of James Doak, who was the son of Robert of 1718, MAY have gone to South Strabane, Pennsylvania and raised a family. A Robert Doak showed up in Strabane (near what is now known as Washington, Pa. ) and applied for a Land Grant in 1785. This was granted to him in 1792 and the 400 acres he was given became known as "Doak Plains". We are working with one of the descendents and with an excellent California genealogist to confirm this premise. There is a very good chance that South Strabane, Pa. may become a confirmed Doak Place. Many generations of Doaks lived and died there.