Mary Jane Dove, b: 13 May 1852, d: unknown – father: James Henry Dove, b: abt 1822 – mother: Nancy McDonald, b: abt 1833
Putting The Puzzle Together: James Henry Dove is my maternal 2x ggrandfather. During my mother’s lifetime I do not believe she ever knew his name. I have been fortunate to establish contact on line with a descendant that shares the same 2x ggrandfather. He passed on some information he had uncovered that helps piece this family together. The story goes…….James Henry Dove had to go off to war. He enlisted with the Confederate 32nd Alabama Infantry Regiment in April 1862 leaving his first wife and six children behind. He survived and returned to find his wife, Nancy McDonald Dove, had died of yellow fever. Mary Jane and two other children were placed in a Catholic Orphanage in New Orleans, LA. It was believed that Mary Jane grew up in the orphanage and became a Nun.
I was so fascinated with this story I immediately pointed my research in the direction of finding Mary Jane Dove. They lived in Clarke County, Alabama when the war started so I am not sure how they made their way to New Orleans or when her mother died. She was only about 10 years old when her father left so she could not have been much older when she was placed in the orphanage.
I first found her in the 1880 census in New Orleans listed as Sr.(sister) Mary Dove. The last page of the census listed the name of the orphanage as St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and the street was Laurel St. in the Orleans parish. I was so excited to now have a name of the facility. My next search was to find out where she was in 1870. I searched the Orleans Parish enumeration districts line by line and……bingo…..I found her. The information is not completely accurate because her birth place is listed as Texas ……but ….I know it is her. I also found her sister, Ellen Dove, listed in this same facility……….another tiny piece of the puzzle!
I’ve researched St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and found that it was run by the Sister’s of Notre Dame. Yesterday I spoke with one of the sisters in charge of the archives……….hopefully we can find out when she became a nun, when she died, and where she is buried.
by: Louise Bernero