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Finding ancestors in Donegal County

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Florida
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Finding ancestors in Donegal County

My husband's great grandparents were from Ballyshannon, and other relatives in Donegal Town, and some left by ship from Moville to come to NY. He has a couple more small villages to check out, too, in County Donegal, but I don't have the names handy.

Do you have any hints on working with the local villages and parishes to get more indepth information on ancestors - such as where they might have lived in the village? Or can you point me to links that would help?

We hope to travel Sept/Oct for a week or so, but possibly as late as next April/May. Will we run into resource places closing early if it's early or mid October? Or would we be better off to wait until next April or May?

Saginaw, Michigan
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1. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

These will get you started, with any luck.

A general guide to tracing ancestors in Co Donegal:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal/genbooklet.pdf

Explanation of some helpful terms:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bhilchey/DonegalMain.html

Handy map:

askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/…

I've not had time to check this thoroughly, as yet:

http://indigo.ie/~donances/new_web/index.html

Edit: Looks like you'll have to copy and paste those links that don't show up properly.

Edited: 3:49 pm, July 25, 2012
Saginaw, Michigan
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2. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

Ballyshannon and Donegal town are in the Catholic Diocese of Raphoe:

http://www.raphoediocese.ie/parishes/details

It would help if you knew any further details in terms of those villages (or, likely even townlands, an area that does not necessarily include a village or town, per se) where your ancestors lived and died.

It opens up a much better chance of success of finding your ancestors with the townland or village or parish name available.

When you do locate the additional information, please post them and that will help the process move forward.

It's a good idea to do as much research as possible on the internet ahead of your travels, in the interests of good value for time and money.

Saginaw, Michigan
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3. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

This looks like it would be of help also:

Genealogical Resources at Donegal County Library in Letterkenny:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal/countylibrary.htm

new york
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4. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

You may want to check out the Irish census

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/

What I love about it is the fact it lists everyone living in the house, which may include nieces, etc.

I was able to trace my own great grandparents and was surprised to see that my great grandfather could not read or write...

I am lucky to still have close family living in Ireland...but to see the names on paper is very special... Best of luck to you!

North Coast, N...
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5. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

It might also be worth contacting the centre for migration studies at the excellent Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh (which in itself you should include in your visit)

nmni.com/uafp/…opening-times

ni-libraries.net/virtual/…

Dublin
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6. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

You should do as much research online in advance of travelling as you can, as there is no point sitting looking at records on a PC in Donegal when you can do that before you travel.

The main records available for Donegal are the 1901 and 1911 Census returns which as noted by Noseymama, are available online. Census type records pre 1901 are very limited. You can check Griffith's Primary Valuation from the 1850s which lists heads of households on a location by location basis - it is online and searchable at askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.… This site also has maps which can allow you to identify the farms on which the names individuals lived in the 1850s.

You can also get some limited information from circa 1830 on Tithe Applotments some of which are on http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal (The site already mentioned by Uasal) . This site has one of the best collections of Donegal records, as it has information on parish records which are not generally accessible otherwise. Parish records in Donegal usually start between 1780 and 1850 - before 1800, records are very very limited.

One major source of records is Donegal Ancestry in Ramelton which can do searches for you, for a fee. See http://indigo.ie/~donances/.

Florida
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7. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

Thank you all for great insight and information. We plan do to as suggested and get plenty of research done pre-trip, which will be next May. Thank you again, all of you.

Saginaw, Michigan
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8. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

Reenie:

You might also be able to find help via this yearlong, countrywide event in Ireland in 2013, called The Gathering:

http://www.thegatheringireland.com

Here is the link for The Gathering in Co. Donegal:

http://donegalgathering.com

Part of which encompasses: The Donegal Diaspora Project:

http://www.donegaldiaspora.ie

Cavan
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9. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

You should find something from most of the sources mentioned above particularly the 1901 & 1911 census pages which are free online: www.census.nationalarchives.ie

If you are looking for maps: www.osi.ie

Parish records can be found on: www.rootsireland.ie

A listing from Griffith Valuations 1857 can be found online or details on microfilm at the county library: www.donegalcoco.ie

10. Re: Finding ancestors in Donegal County

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