Dowd Family History

Draft - December 10, 1998

compiled by Michael A. Dowd

Our ancestor, Thomas Dowd, died in Orange, New Jersey in 1894. His death certificate reports that he was born in Ireland in 1827 to Peter and Mary Dowd. His obituary in the Orange Newspaper gives a very full account of Thomas' impressive life.

Orange Chronicle 3 March 1994 -

Thomas Dowd superintendent of the Orange water works died at the residence of his son Henry M. Dowd, 136 Day St., yesterday afternoon at 5:30 of pneumonia. He had been ill since Washington's birthday and conscious recognizing the children occasionally but not being able to speak. Mr. Dowd was a native of Ireland and was born in County Cavan. He was about 60 years old. When 21 he came to this country and went to Princeton, NJ. Where he was employed in the gas works there. He was promoted from time to time till he became superintendent of Trenton gas works. In 1864 he came to Orange as the superintendent of the old gas works on White Street, continuing in that position until the works were abandoned. He then entered the employ of the McKim Brothers of N.Y. as superintendent of the construction of the household gas works, and during this connection with them he built works at Arlingotn, NJ; Garnerville, N.Y.; Rhinebeck-on the Hudson, North Hampton, Mass; and a number of similar places. Finally he was sent to London, England where he successfully negotiated the sale of the right to an English syndicate. In May 1884 he was appointed superintendent of the Orange water works and he has filled the position since.

Mr. Dowd was married just before coming to this country to Miss Ann Martin of County Cavan,. She died in 1885. They had the following children; Mrs. Frank R. Harff, Mrs. Thomas F. Garrett, Father John F. Dowd, the young priest who died about a year ago, Thomas M. Dowd, Edward J. Dowd, and Henry M. Dowd, the present clerk of the water department. Mr. Dowd was a man of domestic tastes and belonged to no societies or lodges. The only political ambition that he had was to run for alderman in the second ward some time ago. He was defeated by Charles E. Metcalf. The funeral services will be held at St. John's church 10:00 Monday morning when a solemn high mass of requiem will be sung for the repose of his soul. The interment will be in the family plot in the cemetery of Holy Seplechure.

The obituary states that Thomas was born in County Cavan and that he married Ann Martin just before he came to America. Research in the records of County Cavan successfully located the record of their marriage in the civil parish of Scrabby in the southwest part of the county.




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