SMS München
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July 30, 2009

Robert Doherty, born in 1880 in Liverpool, England, the son of Irish immigrants. In 1903, Robert married my wife's great aunt Catherine Duffy who was born in Ireland in 1882 and whose family emigrated to Liverpool, England sometime during the 1880's.

Robert and Catherine had three sons: William, Owen and Daniel all born in Liverpool. Daniel was born in 1910 and died in 2007 in New York, NY. In 1913, Catherine emigrated to the United States, joining her older sister who had emigrated some years earlier. Catherine left behind her three sons. Daniel lived with his uncle, Patrick Duffy and his aunt, Mary Carr Duffy and their family. Between 1920 and 1922, Patrick and his family came to America. Daniel was sent to live with his mother, Catherine, his two older brothers and his mother's new husband, John Leiter.

Daniel never married but stayed close to his Duffy cousins. After he died, I was given his photographs including the attached. My wife's family generally believed that Robert had died at sea but no one, including his son Danny, ever spoke of his being in the German Navy. My son and I were looking through them and he saw the name on Robert's cap "SMS Muenchen." I think it is likely that Robert Doherty considered himself an Irish patriot and joined the German navy to fight the British in WWI.

We believe Danny Doherty's mother Catherine gave Danny the photo of his father along with a wedding photo of her and Robert which she had reproduced by a photographer in Brooklyn. I would really like to learn more about Robert and what may have happened to him and whether there were others like him.

Charles M. Reiser
Northport, New York

Robert Doherty


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Page published Jan. 8, 2007