Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 411] Numbered among the oldest residents of the county, and as an honored resident of New Bedford, Pulaski township, the esteemed lady, whose name heads this sketch, is widely known in a wide circle of acquaintances as the widow of the late Jeremiah Doran. Mrs. Doran was born March 10, 1816, and was a daughter of Capt. Alex. and Rebecca (Smith) Thomson. Robert Thomson, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Lancaster County, where he followed agricultural pursuits, always earning his subsistence by the cultivation of the soil. He also owned a large estate in Washington Co., Pa. His wife was Sarah Robison, who was also born in Lancaster Co., Pa. They were ever faithful to the precepts of the Presbyterian Church, and brought up their children to walk in like paths. Their children were named: Ellen (Allison); Polly (McCollister); Sarah (Cloakey); Thomas; Alexander, the father of Mrs. Doran; and Robert. Mr. Thomson served in the Revolutionary Army, and acquitted himself very creditably, winning the notice of his superiors for his meritorious work. In his politics, he was a stalwart of the old Jeffersonian school.

Capt. Alexander Thomson received the rudiments of an education in the common schools of his native place, and following in the footsteps of his father was a farmer all his days. He was a captain in the War of 1812. In Pulaski township, where he early took up his residence and identified himself with the best interests of the town, he rose to be one of the foremost men and was considered very well-to-do. His business instincts were well-developed, his judgment was at all times unerring and sure, thus admirably qualifying him for a successful career. His companion in connubial felicity was Rebecca Smith, whose father, John Smith, lived in Washington Co., Pa. Eleven children found places under the parental roof. Robert, the first-born, married Betsey McClain, and reared a family of seven: Albert A., John S., Sarah, William N., Rebecca J., Joseph, and Ira. Robert contracted a second marriage with Mary Carnahan, and their children were: Lizzie, deceased, Thomas M., Achsah, and David. The second child was Katherine, who married David McConahy of Mt. Jackson, and became the mother of Emily, Rebecca, Alexander, David, John, William N., Isabella, Samuel, and Lizzie. The third child, John, espoused Eliza Young, and was blessed with these children: Almon, Robert M., Thomas, Mary A., and Jeremiah D. Sarah, the fourth child, is demised. Mary married John Shehy of Ohio, formerly of Pulaski township, who is now deceased. His widow makes her home with her sister, the subject of this personal history. The sixth child, Rebecca, became the life-companion of William Sowash of Mercer Co., Pa., and has a family of four, James A., William N., Alva, and Jennie. The seventh child of Alexander Thomson was Jane (Mrs. Doran), whose name heads this article; she espoused Jeremiah Doran, who was a soldier of the War of 1812, being stationed at Erie, Pa. After his honorable dismissal from the service, he engaged in agricultural pursuits in Pulaski township, and became one of the solid men of that section. Mrs. Doran is now the worthy recipient of a pension, that the United States Gevernment grants her because of her husband's services. The eighth child of Capt. Alexander Thomson was also named Alexander; Alexander Thomson he won for his helpmeet Margaret Carnahan of Pulaski township, and they had a family of five: David M., Artibella, Robert W., Josephine R., and Katie, demised. The ninth child was Thomas R., who wedded Rebecca Smith of Smith's Ferry, in Beaver Co., Pa., and they had one daughter and one son, Maggie B. and Claudius K. The tenth and eleventh children were Milton and Andrew, both of whom are now deceased. Religiously, the Thomson family have remained true to the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Thomson, the father of Mrs. Doran, helped to build the first Presbyterian Church in New Bedford, this county.

Mrs. Doran and her sister, Mrs. Shehy, have never deviated from their expressed allegiance to the Presbyterian Church, and they hold memberships in the New Bedford Church. These ladies are worthy in every respect of the esteem in which they are held, which is called forth by their admirable lives. There are many friends, who hope that only kindness and peace may attend the ladies all their days. A portrait of Mrs. Doran's brother, Alexander Thomson, accompanies the foregoing sketch and may be found in proximity.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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