Section 30 – Donohue

Written by Sandy Kinter, from Waterford Genealogical Society E-Newsletter Volume 16 Number 7

Located in western Waterford Township, Section 30 has changed from a neighborhood of farms to residential, with homes surrounding Pleasant Lake. The section is bounded on the west by Williams Lake Road and White Lake Township. On the east side of the section is Hospital Road and to the north is Elizabeth Lake Road. The quiet of the farms has been replaced by the occasional roar of a jet taking off from Oakland County International Airport, located a little more than a mile to the north, the roar of busy traffic traveling on Williams Lake Road, and even the roar of a boat engine on Pleasant Lake.

The Donohue Family

In the southwestern corner of Section 30 is a tiny slice of land owned by L. Hathaway. Linus Hathaway resided in Section 31 and the Hathaway family will have its own story with that section. The southeastern corner of Section 30 contains a 40 acre piece of property owned by F.O. Jones. Franklin O. Jones was reported with the biographies of Section 29.

The 1872 plat map of Waterford Township shows the eighty acre farm of J. Donohue, in Section 30, on Williams Lake Road. The map does not have the little black square that locates the residence, suggesting that there was no house on the property in 1872. There is no entry for a J. Donahue in the 1870 census on the census taker’s route down Williams Lake Road toward the Hathaway family. It was the 1880 census entry that provided a clue. In that census, reported in Waterford Township, and recorded after the Hathaway family, is John Donahue, age 35, born in Ireland, and his mother, Ellen Donahue, age 67, born in Ireland. (1) On 13 December 1870, John, Thomas, and William Donahue are purchasing part of Section 30, in Waterford Township, from Theron A. Flowers of Pontiac, Michigan.

John Donahue is found in the 1870 census residing in White Lake Township as a farm laborer on the farm of Sloan Cooley. (3) Close by are his parents, James “Odonohue”, age 64, born in Ireland, and wife, Ellen, age 60, born in Ireland. (3) In the 1900 census, brothers John and Thomas, along with their mother, Ellen, are residing on their farm in Section 30. (6) John says he came to the United States in 1865 and he is a naturalized citizen.(6) Thomas and Ellen say they arrived in 1867 and Thomas is a naturalized citizen. (6)

James Donohue died 24 November 1879, in White Lake Township. (4) He is buried in St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, White Lake Township. (5) Ellen’s death certificate is found under the name Ellen Donaheau and she died 9 October 1905, in White Lake Township. (5) She is also buried in St. Patrick’s cemetery. (5) On Ellen’s death certificate it says her parents were Edmund Ose and Mary Doyle. (5) The death certificate of her son, John, says his mother was Ellen Hallissey. (7) To make things more confused, the death certificate of daughter, Mary Burke, says her mother was Ellen Ahassey. (8) Mary’s death certificate says she was born in Cappoquin, Ireland and both parents were from Lismore, Ireland. (8)

The person who started this story, John Donohue, was born 16 October 1839, in Ireland. (7) He never married, and died 20 July 1934, in Pontiac, Michigan. (7) John is buried in the Mt. Hope Cemetery, Pontiac, Michigan. (7)


  1. 1880 Census, page 422C, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  2. Oakland County, Michigan, Deed Records, Volume 101, page 446, Image 233,
    FHL#0975455, FamilySearch,
  3. 1870 Census, pages 619 and 620, White Lake Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  4. Saint Patrick’s Church Catholic Cemetery, White Lake Township, Michigan,
    Find A Grave, www.findagrave.conm
  5. Death Certificate, Ellen Donaheau, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952,
    Menominee-Oakland, 1905, Ancestry,
  6. 1900 Census, page 314A, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  7. Death Certificate, John Donahue, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952,
    Pontiac, 1930-1936, Ancestry,
  8. Death Certificate, Mary Burke, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952,
    Pontiac, 1936-1941, Ancestry,

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