The research behind this article was carried out by James Stewart, initially using information supplied by his mother-in-law, Dorothy Baker, a descendant of the Dugans of Portsmouth.

This story starts when Patrick Dugan & Mary Harris married at St.Mary's Church, Portsea on 27th May 1783. According to the Portsmouth Museum Records Office the marriage ceremony was performed by Joseph Horce Curate at St.Mary's Church. Patrick Dugan signed his name Mary Harris made her mark. Patrick may have been the first member of the Dugan family to live in Portsmouth as we know that he was born in Cork, Ireland. Mary's father was James Harris (b. 27th June 1739) who was son of James Harris and Sarah Privett who were married in St. Thomas's Church, Portsmouth on 28th September 1727.
Patrick and Mary initially lived on Isle of Wight where three of their seven children were born. Mary Ann (b.1784), Patrick jnr. (b.1785) and John (b.1787) were baptised at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Shalfleet, Isle of Wight. Around 1788 the family moved to the mainland and settled in Portsmouth where four more children were born; Thomas (b.1789 d. 1791), William Henry (b.1791), James (b.1793) and Thomas (b.1794). All four were baptised at St. Thomas's Church, Portsmouth.
Of the seven children, we are here interested in the life and career of Patrick Jnr. who, around 1806 married Julia Poynter with whom he had 11 children six girls and five boys. According to Pigotts Business Directory (1828) Patrick was a self employed tailor and draper with premises at 17 Penny Street but by 1842 the business had moved to 20/21 High Street when it appeared in the 'Strangers Guide' by WM Charpentier. Two of the sons, Robert Poynter Dugan (b.1810) and George Patrick Dugan (b.1822) became partners with their father in the tailoring business, the actual partnership taking place sometime between 1852 and 1859 when the business is listed in Whites Directory 1859 as Dugan & Sons.
Evidence exists which shows that between 1830 and 1845 Patrick was also the landlord of the Military Arms at 1 Barrack Street, behind the shop at 21 High Street, but it is not known how he combined this with his drapery business.
According to a newspaper notice in the Hampshire Telegraph dated 12 January 1861 the business partnership of Patrick Dugan and his two sons Robert & George was dissolved by mutual agreement following Patrick's retirement at the age 76. This left the two sons as co-partners in the business, confirmation coming in the form of an additional notice in the same newspaper on same date. Interestingly, the latter notice contained a reference to the fact that their father Patrick had been in business as a Tailor & Outfitter in Portsmouth for 53 years, since 1808. No mention is made of the Military Arms.
Whilst their father Patrick Dugan continued to live at 20 High Street, Robert Dugan was resident at 21 High Street whilst George Dugan was living at 90 St.Thomas Street.
George Dugan had married Amelia Howe (nee Blake) who had been widowed some 3 years earlier shortly after marrying John Edward Howe who had contracted Cholera in the summer of 1849. Amelia was aged only 19 years at this time and as a childless widow supported herself as a domestic servant. George and Amelia married in Portsea in 1852 and between 1853 and 1870 they had 9 children.
The 1861 Census recorded the following:-
21 High Street - Patrick Dugan (75, Retired Outfitter, born Shalfleet IoW) and grandaughter Emma Frances (15);
22 High Street - Robert Dugan, (57, Tailor and Outfitter);
[Note: these two addresses correspond to 20 and 21 High Street in most other records]
90 St Thomas Street - George Dugan (38, Draper and Outfitter), wife Amelia (31), children Amelia (7), Alice (?, 6), Julia (4), Eliza (2) and George P. (u/1)
The 1860s were destined to have a dramatic effect on the lives of the family for at some point around 1865 the part of the family business at 21 High Street closed. The reason for this is not known for certain but on 11th January 1864 there was a fire at the Pike Spicer Brewery immediately behind their premises which caused 15,000 worth of damage and though it didn't destroy the family business their entire stock was probably lost. It is known however that by 1867 the building had been demolished and replaced by the Clarence Hotel and that in the 1871 census George is listed as a Coal Meter (Merchants?) Labourer, a position he maintained until after the 1881 Census. In the meantime brother Robert Dugan continued working at 20 High Street where he was listed in 1871 as an Outfitter and Harrier but by 1881 he had retired and was living with his daughter Matilda and son in law William R. Blake at 25 St. Johns Street, Portsea.
Two of George and Amelia's children became ill in the June of 1862; Eliza Rose aged 3 and George Patrick aged 14 months died within two weeks of each other shortly after which George and Amelia Dugan must have moved away from St. Thomas Street as the next four children were born in different areas of Portsmouth. In 1871 the family were living at St. Nicholas Street, Portsea and in 1881 they were at 11 Union Street, Portsmouth.
Of the four later daughters born to George and Amelia, Florence (b.1863 in Portsmouth) married Alfred Smith, a butcher in 1881 at St. Mary's Portsea and lived at 17 Union Street, Portsea; Blanche (b.1866, Southsea) married Thomas Kemp Gulland an Army Corporal in 1889 at Holy Trinity, Portsea and lived at 1 Union Buildings, Portsea in 1891 (they emigrated to Canada between 1901 and 1906); Laura (b.1868, 5 Pembroke Street, Portsmouth) married James Knight - a Stoker on HMS Jumna in 1885 at the Parish Church, Portsea, there was one child from the union James William Knight (b.1888, Portsmouth); Eveline (b.1870, Gosport) married James Dedman, an Able Seaman, in Portsmouth 1902.
The remaining research follows the line of Laura Dugan whose husband James Knight drops out of the picture as she met a soldier named John Henry Bell (b. 1864, Bury St. Edmunds) and ran off with him to Merthyr Tydfil. They were married in December 1891 at Cardiff Register Office where Laura described herself as a spinster. The couple had several children, moving the family first to Bristol and then to Leeds. One of the children, Florence (b.1898) married William James Baker in 1919 in Leeds and one of their children was Dorothy (b. 1932) who later became the researcher's mother-in-law.
Research by James Stewart.
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In addition to this information relating to Patrick Dugan Jnr. and his descendants we also know a little of his brother William Henry and his family thanks to research carried out by Graham Dugan and his father Frederick.
William Henry Dugan married Isobella Keat at St. Mary's, Portsea on 8th April 1811 and one of their children was James Harris Dugan, a carpenter/builder, who married Sarah Gosney (b. 1823), also in St. Mary's on Christmas Day 1841. One of their children was Foster Dugan (b. 25th January 1852, d. 25th December 1928) who married Selina Naomi Cook (b. 19th August 1855, d. 11th September 1928) on 7th October 1873, again at St. Mary's. Foster and Selina had 13 children, one of whom was William (b. 1883, d. 1940), a Master Builder, who married Mary Margaret Kathleen Mifflin (b. 1885, d. 1959) at the Registry Office in Portsmouth on 3rd August 1907. They had 5 children, one of whom was Frederick Foster Dugan (b. 1st October 1915, d. 18th November 2010), a Master Builder, who was the father of Graham Dugan.
Edited by Tim Backhouse
December 2010