We will have as much information as we can find on Doak's of this location as soon as we can positively confirm that the original settler of this location in Pa. was a descendent of Robert Doak, immigrant of 1718 at Boston. It should not be too much longer.
There was ANOTHER Robert Doak just to the northwest of Strabane at Hanover Township in Beaver County. We don't connect this individual into our line even though he fits in the timeframe. The names of his children did not follow the typical names found in our line from Boston. There is documentation that this Robert Doak of Hanover Township, Beaver County was an immigrant from Ireland/Scotland. Check out the Web Site for this family at www.mousemagic.com.
Well it has turned out to be tougher than we thought - tracing this Robert Doak of So. Strabane. We are currently thinking that THIS Robert of So. Strabane IS the Robert Doak of Londonderry, N. H. born 1728 to James and Martha (Rankin) Doak. James was the son of immigrant Robert arriving Boston in 1718 aboard the ship "Elizabeth". James was a farmer at Londonderry all his life. He and Martha (Rankin) were married 1726 at Boston and their son Robert (probably the first son) was born two years later in 1728. We have no information on this Robert and know nothing about his life. He probably grew up on the farm at Londonderry. We find no record of his death there nor do we find any records of his living in the Londonderry area after his birth at Boston in 1728.
So here is our thinking on this individual at this point. This is almost ALL conjecture and needs supporting proof:
Robert probably was a farmer. As he grew up on his fathers farm and came of age (about 1749), he knew that his uncles John and Samuel had gone to Donegal 20 years earlier and that they had owned several farms in the Donegal area. He would also have known that his grandparents, Robert and Margaret had sold THEIR Londonderry property and headed for the farms in Donegal, taking all their young children with them. The area around Donegal no doubt had grown considerably in those 20 years. Donegal, as a town, was in decline and Harrisburg just to the West was developing rapidly. It is very likely that Robert decided to go to the good farm lands at Harrisburg to be a farmer, especially since his relatives had been successful there with their farms.
So it would be safe to assume that Robert did go to the Harrisburg area. He became a farmer there, met and married there prior to 1763 when his 2nd child, a son, William was born. His other son Robert by the looks of his Census records, was probably born later. maybe 8 years later. There was a daughter Jean whom we feel was the oldest child. As a girl's name, Jean was unusual in Doak families of this line, however, it would not have been unusual for a Doak to name a daughter after his uncles daughter. His uncle John DID have a daughter named Jean. We think that Robert of South Strabane named his daughter after his cousin.
Glenn Doak2, a living descendent of this line of Doaks, says he thinks he heard that the wife's name was "Sarah". We hear nothing about her being with the family in South Strabane. Was she ever even there? We don't know.
In 1780, 400 acres of land were granted to Robert Doak at South Strabane. It was called "Doaks Plain". Robert at this time would have been 52 years old. Robert reportedly "came from Harrisburg" 1 with his son William. If our conjecture is right, William would have been 17 years old at this time and his brother Robert Jr. might have been just 9 years old. Their sister Jean would have been 18 or older and perhaps even married to John Boggs by this time. This would explain why neither of the sons held any land in their name in 1780. The father, Robert, got the grant as the only adult in that year.
Robert died in 1803 intestate.
Other items for consideration:
This Robert named his daughter "Jean". This is not a name commonly found in the Doak line. Yet his uncle John also named one of his daughters "Jean".
We need to go to Harrisburg and dig through the records there to find land deeds or records of land transactions between 1749 and 1785. We need to search for marriage and birth records. It is planned that we will do this in the Spring of 2005.
Note: 9/2005. I visited the courthouse at Harrisburg and went through all the "D" indexes for Warrants issued in Dauphin County from the beginning up until 1800. I found no land records for "Doak" or any spelling that was similar. We know that Doak's were there, but maybe they did not own land.
If you are interested in this line of Doak's, check out Leonard Gordon Doak's Family book "Doak Stories - The Robert Doak Line from 1718 to 2004". 130 pages of photos, Family Tree info and stories on the Doak's descending from Robert of 1780 down through his son William of 1763. See it here.
1 Crumrine "History of Washington County, Pa. Pages 952-960" -- "Robert Doak came from Harrisburg before 1780 and settled on land which was surveyed June 2, 1785, containing four hundred acres, named 'Doak's Plains'. Patent for it was obtained Sept. 17. 1790. He died in 1803 -- ". (Balance of paragraph is intentionally not included here.)
2. Glenn Doak is a direct descendent of this Robert of So. Strabane and has done considerable research on this line. Glenn has been great about feeding information to us on this line. If you have any comments or information that might be useful to him or to us in our research efforts please contact him via email at email@example.com or to your Web Master at firstname.lastname@example.org.