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Here is a "Broad Brush" treatment of the Migrations of the Doak Clan Since Early Times.

The Name "Doak" is supposed to have originated about 550 AD. It reported came from the term assigned to those who followed the teachings of St Cardoc, an early saint in Scotland. They were known as "Gille Dog" or  St Cardoc Servants.  The name was later shortened to Dog or Doig which was pronounced more like Doc. There is strong argument by some that this is not true. Could be, but for the time being it is an interesting explanation.

In any case, the Doaks were Scotch. In the 1600's they were Protestant (more specifically Presbyterians) in faith.

In Ireland, during the 1600's, the Irish (Catholic in Faith) Tribes were constantly fighting amongst themselves. The English Kings had on many occasions tried to subdue them and pacify the area, without success. The Irish were a feisty bunch indeed. King Henry the VIII in the late 1500's started the Plantation system which took land from the Irish Catholics and redistributed it to Protestants from England, Scotland and Wales whom he deemed more easily ruled. At the beginning of the 1600's this policy was in full swing and it is probable that some Doak families were part of this migration. But the Irish kept fighting and finally Oliver Cromwell won significant victories over them  to cement the English control of Northern Ireland. There were not enough Protestant families moving to the English controlled Northern Ireland Counties (6 of them) so in 1662 further programs were put in place to encourage Protestants to move there. During THIS period, it is also probable that  Doak families went to Ireland.  In  1688 , King James II and William of Orange fought a war in Ireland. In 1689 King James took his Catholic army to the City of Londonderry and laid siege to it. For 105 days his army lobed Mortar and Cannon shells over the walls into the city and thousands were killed. Disease took a terrible toll on both sides. If our suspicions are correct, our Robert Doak, who was 16, may have been inside the city walls at that time. Finally the Siege was broken by the success of an English ship (the Mountjoy) in breaking the boom blocking the river approach to Londonderry and the defenders were rescued. King James was defeated and went into exile and his soldiers were shipped off to other countries and colonies outside of Ireland. A period of Protestant control of Northern Ireland followed.

So we can see from the above how it was that many Scotch Doak families ended up in Ireland. And it might have not been all that pleasant there, as the land was harsh and violence was not uncommon.  But there were not too many alternative places to go. Some DID go back to Scotland, but many just stuck it out in Ireland. It was not possible to go to America during these years because of restrictive laws in the Colonies forbidding certain immigrants, especially those from Ireland. 

England had put into effect a body of laws called the "Penal Laws" that discriminated against Catholics, forbidding them to own lands, hold jobs or hold government or political positions.  The Church of England, run by a powerful bureaucracy of Bishops, tried to force non Church of England religions to "come into the fold" and join the "approved" church for England. In trying to force the well organized and numerous Presbyterians to convert the Bishops saw to it that the same set of anti Catholic laws discriminating against Catholics were also applied to "non-conforming" Protestants. The laws did not favor Presbyterians and in some cases were almost as harshly applied to Presbyterians as they were to Catholics.  So, many Scotch/Irish Presbyterians wanted to leave Ireland to escape this oppression.  They also hated the way the rents on the Leases they had held on their land for 100 years, were going up. The proprietors (Landowners) usually did not reside in Ireland and so raised the rents regardless of the economic damage done to the farmer/leaseholder. Also, the Scotch/Irish had been VERY successful in growing flax and wool and in developing manufacturing facilities to produce high quality goods for export. This success frightened the competing English merchants to the extent that a set of laws requiring all manufactured goods in Ireland to be delivered ONLY to English ports was put into effect. This ruined the export business for the Scotch/Irish and caused great economic hardship. All these things came to a head in the 1717 timeframe.

In 1714 things had started to change regarding immigration to overseas colonies. Some ships were able to land at American ports in that year and after that a few more ships were admitted each year, until 1718, when as many as 15 ships may have off-loaded Settlers at northern  American ports.  The American Colonies had finally opened up their ports to Irish Immigrants. In 1718 it is reported that 5 ships left Belfast loaded with families. While these ships (each carrying more than a hundred passengers) left from Belfast, the passengers on board were from many other cities in Northern Ireland. Londonderry was one of the major municipalities from which people came. It may be that one of the ships arriving between 1714 and 1718 carried a Doak family. The Doak clan at Marblehead does not seem connected to the Clan represented on this Web site. It looks like they were here, raising children as early as 1717. Other than that exception, I believe that the "Elizabeth" carried a number of Doak's, probably all from the same family, and it is THOSE Doak's that carried the line into Londonderry, N.H. and into Virginia and Pennsylvania in the south between 1718 and 1750.

So the "Elizabeth" arrived at Boston on November 3, 1718 reportedly with 115 people. Robert and his two sons and his wife and perhaps many other children and siblings were aboard. The Boston Selectmen were not exactly hospitable, "Warning Out"  30 of the 115 passengers. "Warnings Out" were applied to Heads of Household onlyl, so many of the remaining passengers were also Warned Out by reason of being family members of the Head of Household.  Robert was the first of the group of 30 Famly Heads. "Warning Out" simply meant that these folks did not have a skill needed in Boston. There were no jobs for them so they could not support themselves.  If they did NOT move, they would be put on the tax rolls and pity them if they could not pay the taxes!!  (If you want to know more about "Warning Out" read the more detailed description on the "Arrival" page).

So after spending the Winter in Boston, the Robert Doak's family and 18 other families went to the wilderness of New Hampshire in the Spring of 1719 and started a town of their own called Nutfield. The Doak's were assigned 3 of the original 27 plots. The name Nutfield was changed to Londonderry in 1722 after England gave them a Charter.  The Doaks'  lived there for about a hundred years, working as Farmers and Tradesmen.  Even though some held bitterness towards England for the Penal Laws, they were generally loyal to the English Crown and expected New England to remain part of the English empire.  But then along came the American Revolution in 1776 and the War of 1812 with England. The environment for UE (United Empire) Loyalists was not favorable in New England during these years. So yielding to the social pressures of the time, and family squabbles  and tempted by the promises made by England of cheap land up north in Southern Canada, one member of the Londonderry family  (Robert) made a move that started a line of Doaks that would propagate across Canada and the Northern and Western areas of the USA, including the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii). The following describes what happened:

 Robert Doak (of Londonderry, N.H. and later Compton, Quebec) was the Great Grandson of the immigrant Robert. For ten years he farmed his farm in Londonderry, N.H. Then for some reason in 1810, he sold his farm and married Abigail Crosby and he and Abigail traveled to Canada and settled on farm land just outside a small town now called Compton in the province of Quebec. Compton is only about 25 miles inside Canada, just north of the Vermont Border. For a hundred years their descendents  lived there and they were farmers and merchants and professionals. There were Lawyers and Accountants and Teachers in the family at that time.  They were active in the Community and strong church members.  Then once again, things began to change.

The village of Compton was part of a large area of south eastern Canada that was originally populated by immigrants from the American Colonies and from overseas in England, Scotland and Ireland. They were English speaking and loyal to England. This area was called the "Eastern Townships", also known as the ET.  There was a large French Speaking community to the north. These French were industrious and frugal and many became quite well off. Quebec as a province started passing laws that encouraged the Province to move in the direction of speaking the French Language and encouraging the French Culture.  The English speaking majority of the Eastern Townships (ET) were not persecuted by the new laws, but it was obvious that the French citizens from the north were interested in having farmland in the southern part of Quebec because it was more fertile and had been shown to be a prime area for raising cattle and horses.  So economic pressure came into play. The French Canadians were willing to pay very high prices for the farms in the ET so the English speaking farmers  accepted the money and got out. Most went to other newly opened areas of Canada and did some more pioneering. Others went to the USA to buy property and to ply their trades.  This process escalated to a peak from 1897 to 1907. In the short period of 10 years, most of the English speaking farmers of the Eastern Townships were gone.

So the migration from the Eastern Townships of Canada occurred over a ten year period ending in 1907, mostly because the old family members were dying off and the new generation were not necessarily farmers, but had been trained in other skills, and the money being paid by the French Canadians for land was too high to be turned down.

New news - February 9, 2001

We have found two new branches of the Doak family as follows:

The Maine Connection --

It has been shown above how Robert Doak (b. 1780) migrated to Compton, Quebec. We can now show what happened to his brother James, born 1783. James apparently learned the Carpenter trade. Prior to 1810 he moved to Maine and settled in Prospect, a Seaport community noted for its Ship Building industry. He had five children by his first wife Elizabeth. She died at age 49 and he was associated with a widow lady for a few years and then married "Mary" and spent the rest of his life with her. She died in 1862 and we think he died about the same time. By his first wife Elizabeth, he had three sons - Darius (a Ship Captain), Alexander (a Soldier) and Horace.  At least two of these three sons also had children. So there are a number of Doak descendents in and around Belfast Maine. They were tied to Seaports and ships.  More on this later as information comes in.

The Hawaii Connection --

When the Compton, Quebec Farmers sold their farms and their offspring headed to the USA and Western Canada, there was one son that we previously knew nothing about. He was Arthur Burton Doak, son of farmer Oliver Doak.  Arthur was born in 1860.  It turns out that HE headed for Honolulu, Hawaii, arriving there prior to 1890. The census of 1890 shows him as a Dairy Driver. He married Hattie Silva and he and Hattie had eight children - all born and raised in Hawaii. As far as we can tell, all those children are now deceased and all their descendents have left Hawaii and are back on the mainland scattered all over the USA.


The Doak Clan descending from Robert Doak aboard the "Elizabeth" of 1718 is now scattered all over the North American Continent. We have found members in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Yellowknife, Montreal and Kingston in Canada. In the USA we find them in Tampa (Fl), Woodstock (NY), Chapel Hill (NC), Wake Forest, Freeport (Il), Detroit, St. Petersburg (Fl) Hawaii, Vermont and other places.  If one understands the pattern that the Scotch Irish migration on this continent followed during the 1700's, one can also see how the Doak's were part of that migration. It looks more and more like Londonderry, N.H. and the Port of Boston were in fact the cradle of the Scotch-Irish migrations in the first half of the 1700's. Time and again we find that the settlers of communities in New York, Vermont, Maine, Quebec, British Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas all had ancestors that descended from the settlers of  Londonderry, N.H., or that had arrived at the Port of Boston and immediately traveled south to Virginia and Pennsylvania to establish themselves. And in most cases we can find evidence of Doak families on the frontier always pressing forward from frontier locations during the 1700's.

New News!!  (7/24/02)

We have now connected immigrant Robert Doak, arriving 1718 aboard the "Elizabeth" to the extensive line of Doak's that are well known and documented in the South. John, the son of the immigrant Robert, sold his land in Londonderry in 1724 and went to Donegal, Pa. where he settled for up to 15 years. He then went to Virginia and from there to North Carolina, where he died about 1770. He had a large family and later generations migrated into Tennessee and Kentucky as well as North Carolina. From Tennessee and Kentucky, migrations extended into Texas. I am not sure how much data I will include on this Web Site of the Southern Doak's as THEY are already well documented in books and on the Internet. I will have a page on the Greensboro, N.C. families. I will also include a page on the South Strabane, Pa. families if it turns out that their Robert Doak of 1785 descended from the Doak's of  Londonderry, N.H. (as I think that he did).

jrd  (12-06-00) Revised (12-25-00) Revised (2/9/01)Revised (10/24/01) Revised (6/20/02) Revised (7/24/02).