This coronet belonged to John Doyle, older brother of Grandmom’s mother, Annie.

I don’t know much about John. In the 1880 Census, he is 24 and living in Williamstown with his mother Ann Kavanaugh Doyle, his younger brother Martin and his sister Annie. His occupation is “laborer.”

John was born around 1856, ten years before his family moved to Williamstown. At the time of his birth, the Doyles lived about 16 miles to the east, in Swatara, Schuylkill County.

According to Grandmom’s family history, written in 1978, “John Doyle never married. [He] spent his adult life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a musician (coronet) in the town band and managed a pool room and cigar store in Carlisle for Bert Clipper of Carlisle.”

The Carlisle Town Band still exists and has a website: Here is some history of the band from the website:

“The Carlisle Band was formed in 1844 and has been performing continuously since 1900.

“This fact gives the distinction of being one of the oldest town bands in existence. From 1905 to 1925, the Band was mustered into the military as the Eighth Regimental National Guard Band. The Band served with the US Army on the Mexican Border and became part of the 28th Division. The Band ended its military career as the Governors Own 104th Calvary Band.

“At one point, it performed mounted on horses. In 1925 it reverted back to civilian status and again became The Carlisle Town Band.”

A few of John’s letters to Annie Doyle survive. He also wrote to Grandmom, and she seemed to have kept in touch with him. Maybe that’s why she ended up with his coronet. I get the impression from his letters that John may have been down on his luck sometimes. He died on September 17, 1924.


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