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52 Ancestors A New Name on a Branch

Image courtesy nuttakit /
Image courtesy nuttakit /

I have a new name for a branch on my family tree. This branch is one I am just starting to piece together. The name I found doesn’t lead me anywhere in particular except to give me more confidence that I have found the right DeLong family in census records.

When I was putting together a timeline for my grandfather, Raymond C Williamson [52 Ancestor’s post #2], I noticed someone enumerated with the family in the 1892 New York State Census and 1900 US Federal Census that I had no record of in my files. The 1892 NY State Census doesn’t give any designation for family members and the 1900 US Census lists this mystery child as a boarder. I am sure I noticed her there earlier, but before now I couldn’t put two and two together to see that she was possibly a niece to Georgiana [DeLong] Williamson. Georgiana is my great grandmother and Raymond’s mother. I hadn’t pursued this line for quite some time because of the DeYoung/DeLong brick wall I originally encountered. And I have yet to find Georgiana DeLong with her parents in any US Census [still hopeful for the 1861 Canadian Census], but I have found a DeLong family that I am confident is her family. One of the other daughters is Viola Ida DeLong.

So with all that explained, let me introduce you to Viola I Dorgan, the mystery child enumerated with the Williamson family in 1892 and 1900. She is my first cousin 2x removed. As I was uncovering her information in census records and newspaper clippings, in my head Viola seemed a little like an antithesis to Raymond and I decided I wanted to post a little something about her. Viola’s story is one of a family connection that death and separation couldn’t break.

Viola I Dorgan, age 8, enumerated with Thomas E Williamson and family in 1892 New York State Census, Monroe County, Rochester
Viola I Dorgan, age 8, enumerated with Thomas E Williamson and family in 1892 New York State Census, Monroe County, Rochester

I gathered from the record above that Viola might be Thomas and Georgiana’s niece. Then I wondered which one of Georgiana’s sisters she belonged to and why was she living there? By the 1905 NY State Census and the 1910 US Census, Viola is out of the Williamson household so I thought [okay, assumed] she was married and I thought [okay, assumed] I would not be able to find her again. I was wrong.

While I was writing up my last post for my grandfather Ray, I got sidetracked searching through the Historical Marriage Records Research Site at the City of Rochester Municipal Archives. On a lark, I searched for the surname Dorgan hoping to find something on Viola Dorgan. What I found instead was an 1882 marriage record for her parents, Viola [Delong] Jones and William Dorgan.


I was pretty excited to see the bride’s parent’s names and information for bride’s birthplace. [I’m sure I did a happy dance.] It confirms I have the correct DeLong family in the 1850 US Census and then again in 1870 and 1880. But then it was… Wait? What?! Last I saw, in 1880, Viola was married to Dr Charles Jones and living in Greece, New York with their three children, Fana, Bertha and Frank. I did a little more digging and found two siblings for Viola DorganDaniel and William. So I dug a little deeper in the 1892 NY State Census and found most the children farmed out to various relatives in neighboring communities. [I still need to do some more digging to find everyone and to locate information on the probable deaths of Dr Charles M Jones, Viola [DeLong] Jones Dorgan and William Dorgan.]

It looks like there are six orphaned children:

  1. Fannie [Fana] Jones, born about 1876 — living with Charles’ sister, Josephine
  2. Bertha Jones, born about 1878 — living with Charles’ sister, Josephine
  3. Frank D Jones, born September 1879
  4. Daniel Dorgan, born about 1883 — living with Viola and Georgiana’s sister, Ada
  5. Viola Ida Dorgan, born about 1884 — living with Georgiana
  6. William E Dorgan, born 1 March 1886

In my quick searches, I did not find any other information for Frank D Jones nor Daniel Dorgan. Neither are mentioned in Bertha’s 1932 death notice whereas Fannie, Viola and William are. Frank and Daniel may be deceased by that time. Although Ada ends up in Illinois with her husband so perhaps there are records for Daniel there. I didn’t dig that deep.

Although this family was one of half-siblings that were separated after losing their mother and apparently both fathers, they still managed to reunite and live into adulthood with strong family ties. It seems as though Viola Dorgan had a life full of family despite their early separation from one another. In a 1908 marriage announcement for William E Dorgan to N Louise Jones, Viola Dorgan is mentioned as the attendant to the bride. Viola herself never marries but it appears she had a well-paying job / career as she is listed in the Rochester papers in 1933 and 1938 as the newly registered owner of an automobile. She lives with her half-sister, Fannie and Fannie’s husband, Alexander MacKenzie, until their deaths in the 1940s. I did not find a death notice for Viola but she is frequently mentioned in the society column of Rochester newspapers traveling with family members or traveling to visit family and friends into the late 1950s. She was apparently close to her nieces and nephews even after her siblings deaths.


  1. This post was last updated/edited on 14 March 2014.
  2. If you have questions about or corrections to anything posted here, please post a comment or contact me using the form on my Contact Me page.
  3. More about Viola Ida Dorgan will be found on the DeLong Surname Page as soon as I get it updated


Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “52 Ancestors #3 A New Name on a Branch (Viola Ida Dorgan).” My Family History Files, 23 February 2014 ( [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.