The passenger list of the Bark Sherwood out of Liverpool, arriving in Philadelphia on March 31, 1849 shows names that line up pretty well with the Thomas Doran family.
Here are the ages shown on the passenger list:
Harry (Henry?): 14
Eleanor (Ellen?): 8
Here are the approximate ages I have for the family in 1849:
Nancy: 20 (not on this passenger list. Also couldn't find other possible names for her on this ship)
Could this possibly be our Doran family? The names and approximate ages line up pretty close to our Doran family, but not exact. The biggest difference is that the Thomas Doran on this passenger list would have been born in about 1804 but the Thomas Doran that I believe is the father of this family was said to have been born in about 1775.
Given when his children were born, that seems much too early for the father to have been born. Could it be that Thomas was 50 years old when his first child was born? I think that's unlikely. Given all the Thomas Dorans I've come across in this family living in Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, here's the way I am beginning to believe this family was structured:
Thomas Doran - The patriarch of the family and "Old Tommy" as he is noted in the newspaper articles. I believe he died on about December 28, 1875. I believe he was the father of a Thomas Doran.
Thomas Doran - The son of the patriarch of the family. This would be the husband of Catherine "Kitty" O'hara and the father of Nancy, James, Fanny, Henry/Harry, Margarett, Eleanor and Thomas.
Thomas Doran - The grandson of the patriarch of the family. This is the Tom Doran that moved to Texas, possibly committed murder (or possible self-defense) and was shot dead in a shootout in Junction, Texas.
Thomas Doran - The son of Nancy Doran and an unknown father. His death certificate says he was born in Brooklyn. The writer of his obituary probably confused him with one of the other Thomas Dorans living in Carthage.
The mystery continues. I would like to find more evidence proving or disproving my belief about all these Thomas Dorans. If you have any, please let me know!