County Donegal Genealogy

County Donegal Genealogy

Donegal Ancestry * DONEGAL FAMILY HISTORY * COUNTY DONEGAL ROOTS

Irish name: Dún na nGall

County Donegal is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland. It is located in the Province of Ulster. It was named after the town of Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall). The population of the county is 147,264 according to the 2006 census. In terms of size and area, it is the largest county in Ulster and the fourth largest county in all of Ireland.

Throughout history, it has sometimes been referred to as County Tirconaill, County Tirconnell or County Tyrconnell. The former was used as its official name during 1922–1927. This is in reference to both the old túath of Tír Chonaill and the earldom that succeeded it.

Uniquely, County Donegal shares a border with only one other county in the Republic of Ireland, County Leitrim. The vast majority of its land border is shared with the Northern Irish counties of County Londonderry, County Tyrone and County Fermanagh. This apparent economic 'isolation' has led to Donegal people maintaining a distinct cultural identity and has been used to market the county with the slogan Up here it's different. It has been labelled the "forgotten county" by its own politicians, owing to the increasing regularity with which it is ignored by the government, even in times of crisis.

Much of the county is seen as being a bastion of Gaelic culture and the Irish language, the county holding the second-largest Gaeltacht area in the country with a population of 24,504. Despite Lifford being the County town, the largest town is Letterkenny. Both Letterkenny and the nearby city of Derry form the main economic axis of the North-West of Ireland.

County Donegal is famous for being the home of the once mighty Clann Dálaigh, whose most famous branch were the Clann Ó Domhnaill, better known in English as the O'Donnell Clan. Until around A.D. 1600, the O'Donnells were one of Ireland's richest and most powerful Gaelic (native Irish) ruling-families. Within the Province of Ulster only the Clann Uí Néill (known in English as the O'Neill Clan) of modern County Tyrone were more powerful. The O'Donnells were Ulster's second most powerful clan or ruling-family from the early thirteenth-century through to the start of the seventeenth-century. For several centuries the O'Donnells ruled Tír Chonaill, a Gaelic kingdom in West Ulster that covered almost all of modern County Donegal. The head of the O'Donnell family had the titles An Ó Domhnaill (meaning The O'Donnell in English) and Rí Thír Chonaill (meaning King of Tír Chonaill in English). Based at Donegal Castle in Dún na nGall (modern Donegal Town), the O'Donnell Kings of Tír Chonaill were traditionally inaugurated at Doon Rock near Kilmacrenan. O'Donnell royal or chiefly power was finally ended in what was then the newly created County Donegal in September, 1607, following the Flight of the Earls from near Rathmullan. The modern County Arms of Donegal (dating from the early 1970s) was influenced by the design of the old O'Donnell royal arms. The County Arms is the official coat of arms of both County Donegal and Donegal County Council.

The modern County Donegal was shired by order of the English Crown in 1585. The English authorities at Dublin Castle formed the new county by amalgamating the old Kingdom of Tír Chonaill with the old Lordship of Inishowen. However, the English authorities were unable to establish control over Tír Chonaill and Inishowen until after the Battle of Kinsale in 1602. Full control over the new County Donegal was only achieved after the Flight of the Earls in September, 1607.

County Donegal was one of the worst affected parts of Ulster during the Great Famine of the late 1840s in Ireland. Vast swathes of the county were devastated by this catastrophe, many areas becoming permanently depopulated. Vast numbers of County Donegal's people emigrated at this time, chiefly through the Port of Derry. Huge numbers of the county's people who emigrated were to settle in Glasgow in southern Scotland.[citation needed]

The Partition of Ireland in the early 1920s was to have a massive direct impact on County Donegal. Partition cut the county off, economically and administratively, from Derry, which had acted for centuries as the county's main port, transport hub and financial centre. Derry, together with West Tyrone, was henceforward in a new, different jurisdiction officially called Northern Ireland. Partition also meant that County Donegal was now almost entirely cut off from the rest of the jurisdiction it now found itself in, the new independent state called the Irish Free State, known since April 1949 as the Republic of Ireland. Only a few miles of the county is physically connected by land to the rest of the Republic. The existence of this 'border', cutting Donegal off from her natural hinterlands in Derry City and West Tyrone, has greatly exacerbated the economic difficulties of the county since partition. The county's economy is particularly susceptible, just like that of Derry City, to the currency fluctuations of the Euro against Sterling.

Added to all this, in the late twentieth-century, County Donegal was, by the standards of the rest of the Republic of Ireland, to be adversely affected by The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The county was to suffer several bombings and at least two assassinations. In June 1987, Constable Samuel McClean, a Donegal man who was a serving member of the R.U.C., was shot dead by the I.R.A. at his family home near Drumkeen. In May 1991, the prominent Sinn Féin politician Councillor Eddie Fullerton was assassinated by Loyalist paramilitaries at his home in Buncrana. This added further to the economic and social difficulties of the county. However, the Good Friday Agreement (G.F.A.) of April 1998 has been of great benefit to the county.

ome towns and villages of county Donegal where we have researched Donegal Ancestors are;

1. Donegal Town 2. Killybegs. 3. Stranorlar 4. Lifford 5. Letterkenny 6. Derrybeg. 7. Creeslough 8. Milford 9. Ramelton 10. Ballybofey

MY IRISH ANCESTORS FREE GENEALOGY ASSESSMENT

If you need advice from one of our genealogy research team send a message and we will be happy to help. click HERE for more information

OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

My Irish Ancestors have reduced our Preliminary Research by 65%

Was £130 Now £49.99 CLICK HERE for more information

Civil Parishes of County Donegal

What follows is a listing of copies of Roman Catholic parish registers fo county Antrim that can be researched in either the Public Records of Northern Ireland in Belfast or the National Library in Dublin. If you are researching Donegal ancestors, there are 52 civil parishes in County Donegal . They are as follows;

1. Aghanunshin 2. Allsaints 3. Aughnish 4. Barr of Inch or Mintiaghs 5. Burt 6. Clonca 7. Clondahorky 8. Clondavaddog 9. Clonleigh 10. Clonmany 11. Convoy 12. Conwal 13. Culdaff 14. Desertegny 15. Donagh 16. Donaghmore 17. Donegal 18. Drumhome 19. Fahan Lower 20. Fahan Upper 21. Gartan 22. Glencolumbkille 23. Kilbarron 24. Kilcar 25. Killaghtee 26. Killea 27. Killybegs Upper 28. Killybegs Lower 29. Killygarvan 30. Killymard 31. Kilmacrenan 32. Kilteevoge 33. Inch 34. Inishkeel 35. Inishmacsaint 36. Inver 37. Leck 38. Lettermacaward 39. Mevagh 40. Moville Lower 41. Moville Upper 42. Muff 43. Raphoe 44. Raymoghy 45. Raymunterdoney 46. Stranorlar 47. Taughboyne 48. Templecarn 49. Templecrone 50. Tullaghobegley 51. Tullyfern 52. Urney ;

Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

Church Records Land Records Directories
Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
Newspapers

MY IRISH ANCESTORS FREE GENEALOGY ASSESSMENT

If you need advice from one of our genealogy research team send a message and we will be happy to help. click HERE for more information

OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

My Irish Ancestors have reduced our Preliminary Research by 65%

Was £130 Now £49.99 CLICK HERE for more information