Invitation to launch of ‘Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Coast’ by Ros Harvey & Seán Beattie



Carndonagh: the Marshall Monument –



Recently discovered inscriptions on a stone monument in Carndonagh parish.

This monument will feature in the Colgan Heritage Weekend in August 2018 – details later.

A Recent Discovery

The Donagh rectory was once a substantial landmark building commanding a spectacular view across Trabreaga Bay outside Carndonagh. The 200 year old trees are still looking healthy and vibrant but all traces of the structure have disappeared.  Fortunately, one of the rectors has left a memorial skilfully hewn on a massive, whitened whinstone on the farmland that encompasses the rectory. The memorial was largely the work of Rev. George Marshall, who held a Master’s degree from Trinity College, Dublin and who served the Protestant community in the area for a record period of 43 years from 1808 to 1851, probably one of the longest in Ireland.  He lived through some of the great phases in Irish history – the cholera outbreaks of 1817 and 1832, Catholic Emancipation, the ruthless Tithe War of the 1830s and the Great Famine and its aftermath. During the Tithe War, the rectory and the Protestant church were the focus of rowdy demonstrations, when the rectory children felt threatened. Outside such events, the rectory was a busy place and saw a steady stream of visitors such as John Norris Thompson, magistrate, members of the Coastguard and Constabulary and other neighbouring rectors such as Revs Chichester and Molloy from Clonmany, who have recorded their impressions of their visits to Donagh rectory in their journals and letters. Admiral Heath of Fahan – no relation to Ted – was a regular caller, with his beautiful daughter, Angel. In many cases, local diaries record that social gatherings – of which there were many – in the rectories were often used for match-making as friendships formed on such visits frequently led to matrimony.

Rev Marshall married Eliz. Wilson, the daughter of Capt. Wilson MP, Co Antrim. After her death, he re-married. Some of his children had distinguished careers in the army in India. He had a large family and one of his daughters, Honoria, married Sir Henry Lawrence of India fame; her life and travels across the world have been preserved in her letters and journals, originally deposited in the India Office Library in London. She was the first white woman to visit Kashmir and the first white to visit Nepal so she had some extraordinary tales to tell when she came on holidays to Carn and Culdaff. She died at the age of 46, having been an invalid for many years, possibly as a result of diseases encountered on her travels.

 It is not open to the public as it is on private lands and partly hidden from view. It consists of a number of inscriptions and a collection of around 20 symbols which are being deciphered. The main inscription is the name of the rector REV. GEORGE A MARSHALL, NAT. SEP 1769 OBIT 18—(Nat = short Latin for birth, obit – short for death). There is second inscription H.O. M 1840 with another word beneath still undeciphered, which may refer to his son. There are several symbols – mailed heads, coats of arms, boats, Latin, Arabic (?), a star (probably Star of India but may possibly be Masonic ?), a cross and a crescent together with circles and drawings of different scales. Every symbol and drawing have a story to tell.


The eclectic and indeed romantic lifestyle of the rector and his extended family is not recorded but the rough whinstone outside Carndonagh may throw up invaluable clues about the inhabitants of the Glebe rectory when finally deciphered. Truly an historic hidden gem to be treasured by the parish and beyond. RESEARCH BY SEÁN BEATTIE (Please refer to the website in any transcription; please note the site is in private ownership and this profile is not intended as a guide for visitors).

A Clonmany Rector’s Woes: Life in Inishowen in the 1820s

Clonmany Market House, venue for Lands of Eoghan Festival 8-10 September 2017

A remarkable insight into the life of a parish curate in the Church of Ireland has recently come to light. It is generally presumed by Irish historians that the clergy had a comfortable living, having a guaranteed income from the tithe. This was a levy on crops and produce which pre-dated the arrival of the Normans. Among tithe payers, the tax was not too popular, as it obliged all denominations to support the Established Church.

Apart from such considerations, the life of a country curate was not always a bed of roses. The letters of Rev Frances Lucas Molloy provide an interesting account of the ambitions, hopes and aspirations of a Church of Ireland curate in Clonmany throughout the 1820s. In August 1821, he petitioned the King for a transfer to another parish on the grounds of ill health. He had the support of the local physician, Dr. McDermott, who had diagnosed that he suffered from a hernia and was unable to carry out his duties because of infirmity. Such applications were not unusual and among the Chichesters, earlier incumbents of Clonmany, similar levels of dissatisfaction are evident, as they sought appointments in larger parishes to advance their church careers. Rev Molloy grew up in the

Rev Molloy grew up in the comfortable surroundings of a rural rectory in Co Monaghan, where he had a private tutor. He pursued a successful course in Arts at Trinity College, Dublin and graduated with a B. A. degree. He married Jane Hanna and they had three children. Sadly, two of his sons died before him.

Having received no reply from the King, he petitioned the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland seeking his support for a new parish. According to one of his letters, he had been offered a chaplaincy in the more salubrious climate of St Lucia but was unable to take up the post due to poor health. Bishop William Knox of Derry was sympathetic and approved of his plan to move to St. Lucia, if a suitable parish became available.

Molloy was a man who showed concern for the welfare of his parishioners and was highly regarded by his neighbours of the Catholic faith. He said he assisted them with job applications. They were welcomed at his rectory at Glebe House in Clonmany in times of personal distress. He cites one case which caused him a lot of anguish, when he arranged to send two young children to the Foundling Hospital in Dublin following the death of their mother. Perhaps unknown to him, the Hospital had a notorious reputation and death rates of 80% among child inmates were common in some years. The Dublin hospital was forced to close in 1830. He also claimed he helped to have children inoculated presumably by having forms completed and making appointments with the local doctor. Cholera was ever threatening in the 1820s and Ireland faced a major epidemic in 1832. Coastal areas along the Foyle and Swilly recorded large numbers of deaths as the epidemic spread inland along rivers and it moved inland.

His final letter was to beseech the Chief Secretary, Henry Goulburn for a transfer but he never succeeded in securing his dream posting to St. Lucia. He described his parish as having 1,000 families, only ten of which were Protestants. Whatever level of discomfort he experienced, much worse lay ahead, when anger over tithe payments, particularly in poor harvests, led to public unrest and disorder which was ruthlessly suppressed by the police and army. The Tithe War lasted from 1830 until 1833 and contributed to a serious breakdown in community relations in Inishowen. Attempts to change the system led to the Tithe Rentcharge Act of 1838 but reform of the tithe was not finally effective until the passing of the Church Disestablishment Act of 1869. The Church of Ireland was largely disendowed but bishops and clergy were guaranteed their existing incomes for life. This was one of the main achievements of William Gladstone’s administration.

Rev. Molloy died in 1856 at the age of 77 and is buried in Kilmacrenan, outside Letterkenny, without realising his dream of working in a more exotic environment.His grave is marked by a headstone which includes all family members.

Seán Beattie


THE LAST OF THE NAME, dvd, video. Directed by Kate and Paul McCarroll. Produced by Seamus O’Donnell and Paul McCarroll, starring Paul Kelly. Duration 60 minutes, 2017

The film is a fine example of the rich tapestry of music, folklore, heritage and culture of the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal. It tells the story of a modest weaver called Charles McGlinchey, born shortly after the Great Famine, in Meentiagh Glen, Inishowen, who had a remarkable corpus of knowledge relating to the history of his community, from its poetry and literature to its heroes and villains. It was indeed fortunate that a Clonmany school principal, Master Kavanagh, recognised the breadth and depth of McGlinchey’s repertoire and managed to record and preserve it in long-hand as he sat patiently by McGlinchey’s fireside over the long winter months of the 1940s and 50s. What emerges in the film is a fascinating insight into a world that had long vanished, from the disappearance of the fairies to the rise to political prominence of a Clonmany native in the USA.

The film opens with playwright Brian Friel, who, in his rich, distinctive tones, speaks in praise of the humble weaver and tailor. He compares McGlinchey to “one of those men and women who have an intuitive sense of themselves” and who in advanced years are keen to relate their story. In subsequent episodes, there is rich commentary and learned analysis from academics and local experts who were associated with the celebrated McGlinchey Summer School, which first opened in 1998 and continued annually for ten years. By far the greatest contribution comes from the insightful portrayal of McGlinchey by  Carndonagh actor, Paul Kelly. By the end of the film, the viewer senses the presence of the real Charles McGlinchey, who entertains his listeners by his own fireside. Who could not be moved by Paul Kelly’s dramatic re-telling of the story of a series of evictions carried out in 1820 by a Catholic priest, Fr. Shiels, in Clonmany?

This is an excellent production not only for its high technical values but also as an invaluable record of a heritage that has vanished. The digital re-telling of the McGlinchey narrative is a legacy that will be treasured for many years. Paul Kelly’s acting is outstanding while the musical interludes by Lorna Henry, the Henry Girls and original material from Finbarr Doherty add an evocative and emotional element that runs throughout the film. Seamus O’Donnell and Paul McCarroll have captured the stunning beauty of the Inishowen landscape so beloved of McGlinchey himself. This multi-media exploration would warm the heart of historians, musicians and folklorists and is an illustration of how our ancient heritage can assert its place through creative technologies in the digital era. Let us hope that Paul McCarroll and his team will continue their invaluable work.

To contact Paul McCarroll, see the website for more information.

Seán Beattie, Culdaff, July 2017.

W. James Doherty, Buncrana, Historian and Engineer, 1834-1898

W. James Doherty wrote ‘Inis-Owen and Tirconnell – being some account of Antiquities and Writer in the County of Donegal’ in 1895. Running to 609 pages, it contains wood engraved illustrations with information on Donegal bells, Cardinal Logue, Donegal poets, the cross of St. Boden, Seán Óg O’Dochartaigh, the Cathach, Isaac Butt, Sir George Ferguson Bowen of Bogay, Newtowncunningham, William Elder of Malin, Bernard Doherty, Josias Porter of Burt, Robert Patterson of Letterkenny and John Joseph Keane of Ballyshannon.

Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 – 1940

Engineering contractor. William Doherty, who was born in Buncrana in 1834, started his career by serving a four-year pupilage from 1852 to 1855 an assistant to JAMES BAYLISS on the Lough Swilly Reclamation Works, which were being carried out by the contractors McCormack & Brassey. In 1856 he worked on the surveying and laying out of the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway and was contracting engineer for the Derry grain dock and wharf under D. & T. Stevenson. From the end of 1856 until 1858 he was contractor’s engineer on works at Birkenhead and Liverpool docks, under John B. Hartley, and from 1858 to 1862 at Hull Docks under Sir JOHN HAWKSHAW . He returned to Ireland in 1863 and set up in independent practice in Belfast, subsequently opening an office in Dublin, where he carried out several major works, including O’Connell Bridge, Grattan Bridge and Butt Bridge. A note in the Irish Builder of 15 July 1880, suggested that Doherty should receive a knighthood on the completion of Carlisle (O’Connell) Bridge: ‘The builder of the new Essex, Carlisle and Swivel Bridges is no mere contractor, for he has shown his capacity in originating methods of construction as well as carrying out the designs of others….For several years…Mr Doherty has been constantly engaged in works of magnitude and of great difficulty, and his practical skill and ready resources have never failed him in any one of his great undertakings. We therefore consider that such a man is entitled to credit…and honour, for his works will, for many a long year, reflect honour upon our city.'(1) The following month, on 17 August Doherty was entertained at a dinner in the Gresham Hotel and presented with an address ‘by a number of the leading citizens of Dublin’.(2)

Doherty was elected High Sheriff of the City of Dublin in 1893 and was nominated mayor the following year, an appointment which he declined on account of the poor state of his health. He died on 27 February 1898. A man of literary and antiquarian interests, he published various papers and two books on the antiquities of Tyrconnell and Innishowen.(3) He was an advocate of an improved educational system, and gave evidence before Sir Eardley Wilmot’s commission

Inst.CE: elected associate, 7 December 1875; reads paper, ‘Description of Cofferdams used at Dublin, Birkenhead and Hull’, 11 December 1877,(4) and contributes to correspondence and discussions on docks, harbours, embankments, &c.;(5) associate member, 1879.  ICEI: elected associate member, 18 March 1874;(6) council member, 1876;(7) elected member, 1890.(8)  RIA: member RSAI: member.(9)

Addresses:(10) Work: 76 Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin, and 121 Victoria Street, Belfast, 1874; 29 Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin, and 121 Victoria Street, Belfast, 1875; 29 Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin, and Belfast, 1883-1896
Home: 67 Wellington Road, Dublin, 1874; 52 Mount Street Lower, Dublin, 1875; Clonturk House, Drumcondra, 1883; St Mura’s, Co. Donegal, 1896.

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, courtesy of Mrs Carol Morgan, and from the obituaries of Doherty in Min Proc ICE 135 (1898-99) Pt 1, 365 and IB 40, 1 Mar 1898, 38. There are some minor differences in Doherty’s account of his early career in his application for membership of the ICEI, see ICEI admissions applications, I, 141.

Thanks to Maura Harkin, Carndonagh, for the extract from the Dictionary of Irish Architects.


Hart of Muff County Donegal

Doe Castle.

For more information on the Hart family see Henry Travers Hart, The Family History Of Hart Of Donegal, published in 1907. Only 40 copies were printed so the book is extremely rare. There is a copy in Letterkenny library. George Vaughan Hart carved his initials G.V.H on the walls of Doe Castle- a good example of historical graffiti. The main family seat was at Kilderry at Muff and they also owned a two-storey lodge on the border in the village. The last member of the family to live in Muff was Frank Hart who died some years ago.(see V 11 below). I corresponded with Frank for many years on Hart history and he was always generous with his information. He wrote in an exquisite hand on coloured notepaper. The family papers and photos are in PRONI in Belfast.and they offer a superb insight into life in Donegal especially Inishowen over the centuries. Fortunately the family retained all their letters and it is fascinating to read of their accounts of life in Greencastle in the 1800s as family members wrote home to Muff.

Guided tours of the castle will be available during the summer months. A trip on the Buncrana-Rathmullan ferry which operates during the summer season will ensure that you get to Doe Castle via Milford in less than 30 minutes from Rathmullan. The castle has an interesting history connecting with the MacSweeneys and refugees from the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Male descendants of George Vaughan Hart of Doe Castle


I.1            George Vaughan Hart, Lieutenant‑General and M.P. Born 1752, died on 14‑06‑1832 in Creeslough, Co. Donegal, buried in Muff Churchyard. Tablet Muff Church. gov. of Culmore and Londonderry, son of Rev. Edward Hart, Rector of Desertegny, 1765‑93, and Elizabeth Ramsay.

Married on 22‑07‑1792 in Fort George, Madras to Charlotte Ellerker, 18 years old, born on 06‑12‑1773 in Holy Trinty, Kingston upon Hull, died on 20‑05‑1827 at the age of 53, buried in Muff. Charlott Elleker of KIngston‑upon‑Hull, who had been brought up by her Uncle Major‑General Edward Ellerker of the East Indian Company’s Army. Daughter of John Ellerker and Elizabeth Cleavin.

From this marriage:

  1. Elizabeth Grant, born 00.6.1793, christened on 11‑08‑1793 in St. Mary’s Parish, Fort George, Madres, died on 28‑03‑1823 in Cheltenham. Clothes caught on fire and was burnt to death while taking private devotions on Good Friday, when saying her prayers. unmarried. Will P.C. Canterbury, Admin. Granted, 27 June 1823.
  2. Maryanna, christened on 23‑12‑1794 in St. Mary’s Fort George, Madres, died Dec. 1811.
  3. Henry Edward, born 1797, died on 17‑05‑1797.
  4. John Richard James (see also II.4).
  5. Henry, born on 29‑12‑1802, died on 14‑07‑1850 in Belgaum, India at the age of 47.
  6. George, born ca. 1803, died as a infant.
  7. Charlotte, born 1804, died on 17‑08‑1827 in India, “Was engaged to another men; in a fit of pique she broke off the engagement to marry George Gough, who was in the Indian Civil Service. Her father compelled het to marry Gough, and on her way to India to join her husband she died of a broken heart.”

she married on 12‑02‑1827 in Calcutta to George Gough, 24 years old, Commissoner at Patna, of Rathronan, Co. tipperary, born on 07‑04‑1802, died on 18‑04‑1889 at the age of 87, son of Very Rev. Thomas Bunbury Gough, Dean of Derry, and Charlotte Bloomfield.

  1. George Vaughan (see also II.10).
  2. Edward, born 1812, died on 01‑05‑1836. Mr. Inglis tomb also intimates the death of a youth who resided with him for some time, and who had spent a few of his earlier years in the navy. He was the son of General Hart of Doe‑Castle, Kilderry Ireland and died in 1836, at the early age of twenty five. His brother and sister had made a journey to visit him in Glenesk, and while resting at the Gannaochy Bridge on their way thither, they accidentally received the melancholy intellegence of his death. (Scotland).
  3. Frances Alicia Anne, born on 02‑03‑1813, died on 31‑07‑1867 at the age of 54.

Married at the age of 27 on 05‑03‑1840 in Muff to Rev. Robert Chichester BA, 25 years old, Rector of Ballinascreen, born on 06‑03‑1814, died on 02‑06‑1878 at the age of 64, buried in Ballynascreen, son of Rev. Edward Chichester BA MA, Rector of Kilmore, and Catharine Young.

  1. William (see also II.15).
  2. Georgina Susanna, born on 12‑09‑1818, died 1882.

Church marriage at the age of 25 on 20‑01‑1844 in Muff Church, by Rev. george Stewart to Ven. Edward James Hamilton, 24 years old, Archdeacon of Derry, born on 14‑05‑1819 in Dublin, died on 08‑07‑1896 in Co. Londonderry at the age of 77. There is a memorail window in derry Cathedral presented by his friends, son of Richard Hamilton, Rector of Culdaff and Cloncha, Co. Donegal, 1823‑47, and Catharine Tipping.

  1. Mary, died young.


II.4          John Richard James Hart, born on 12‑04‑1798 in Bath, died on 15‑03‑1838 in Doe Castle, broke his neck at the age of 39, buried in Muff, Co. Donegal, fought at the Battle of Wateloo on 18 June 1815 at the age of Sixteen. he was with his Regiment in pursuit of the French. Son of George Vaughan Hart (see also I.1) and Charlotte Ellerker.

Married to Sophia Canning, bor e a son of Capt. John Richard James Hart, From this marriage:

  1. John Henry Eustace (see also III.1).


III.1         John Henry Eustace Hart, Architect and Engineer, born on 14‑08‑1833, christened on 22‑08‑1833 in Bally, Clonadorka, Co. Donegal, died 1927, son of John Richard James Hart (see also II.4) and Sophia Canning.

Married to Alice Jacob.

From this marriage:

  1. Henry Eustace (see also IV.1).


IV.1         Henry Eustace Hart, son of John Henry Eustace Hart (see also III.1) and Alice Jacob.

Married to Hilda Isabel Poole.

From this marriage:

  1. Eustace John Hewitt (see also V.1).


V.1          Eustace John Hewitt Hart, son of Henry Eustace Hart (see also IV.1) and Hilda Isabel Poole.

Married to Mary Sanforth Jefferies.

From this marriage:

  1. Jennifer.

Married to Richard Dennis William Miller.


II.10        George Vaughan Hart, Commander R.N. Born on 07‑06‑1805, died on 13‑05‑1895 in Kilderry at the age of 89, son of George Vaughan Hart (see also I.1) and Charlotte Ellerker.

Married at the age of 30 on 26‑09‑1835 in Rathmullen Church to Jane Maria Hart, born 1809, died on 13‑05‑1895 in Kilderry, daughter of George Vaughan Ledwich Hart, curate to the Dean of Derry, afterwards Rector of Castlebar, Co. Mayo, and Maria Murray Hume. At Rathmullen church, by Rev. George Vaughan Hart Jr. Lt. George Vaughan Hart RN, son of Lt. Gen. George Vaughan hart of Kilderry co. Donegal to Jan Maria daughter of Rev. george Vaughan Hart, Rector of the Union of Castlebar and late of this City.

From this marriage:

  1. Maria Henrietta, born on 01‑04‑1837 in Glenalla, died on 22‑07‑1864 in Dublin at the age of 27. Unmarried, buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.
  2. Charlotte, born on 15‑10‑1838 in Kilderry, christened on 02‑12‑1838 in Muff, died on 27‑03‑1928 at the age of 89.
  3. Elizabeth Jane, born on 22‑04‑1840, christened on 28‑06‑1840 in Muff, died 1849 in Kilderry.
  4. Marianne Vaughan, born on 26‑12‑1841, christened on 20‑02‑1842 in Muff, died on 19‑12‑1854 in Dublin at the age of 12. Unmarried, buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.
  5. Josephine Frances, born 1843 in Doe Castle, Creelough, Co. Donegal, died on 17‑04‑1920, unmarried.
  6. William Edward (see also III.8).
  7. Catharina Grace, born on 30‑12‑1845, christened on 01‑03‑1846 in Muff, died 1872 in Kilderry House, buried in Muff, Co. Donegal.
  8. John Hume, born on 28‑11‑1847 in Kilderry, christened on 13‑02‑1848, died 1872 in Singapore. He died suddenly at Hong King after having served in Singapore and Hong Kong.Entered the Royal Artillery from the Royal Militay Academy in 1869.
  9. Aldelaide Elizabeth Jane, born on 27‑01‑1849, christened on 11‑01‑1850 in Muff, died 1880 in Redcar. Died at Redcar, Yorks, after the birth of a child, which died in infancy.

Married at the age of 30 on 07‑08‑1879 in Muff to Ernest Stepley Wilcox, born 1854 in Withburn, died on 06‑05‑1928 in Somerset, son of William Wilcox and Mary Anne Marwood.

  1. Georgina Susanna, born on 12‑09‑1851 in Port‑a‑Chapel, Greencastle, christened on 09‑11‑1851 in Muff, died 1884 in Dover, unmarried.
  2. George Percival, born on 15‑05‑1853 in Kilderry, christened on 26‑06‑1853 in Muff, died 1872 in Temple‑Ard, buried in Muff, Co. Donergal.


III.8         William Edward Hart, born on 24‑12‑1844 in Kilderry, christened on 23‑02‑1845 in Muff, died on 21‑06‑1919 in Kilderry at the age of 74, buried in Gleneely. Census 1911

William Edward Hart   Head of Family Church of Ireland age 66

Adelaide Hart Daughter Church of Ireland age 18

Margaret McGeeham  Servant Catholic age 22 co. Derry, son of George Vaughan Hart (see also II.10) and Jane Maria Hart.

Married at the age of 33 on 07‑08‑1878 in Galway to Bessie Louisa Allman, 24 years old, born on 14‑06‑1854 in Galway, died on 28‑11‑1892 in Falmore at the age of 38, buried in Gleneely, daughter of Dr. George Johnston Allman, LL.D.,D.Sc.,F.R.S. Of Queen’s Collage Galway, and Louisa Taylor.

From this marriage:

  1. John George Vaughan (see also IV.3).
  2. Henry Percival (see also IV.5).
  3. Andrew Chichester, born on 30‑09‑1882 in Port‑a‑Vele, Greencastle, christened in Greencastle, died on 01‑07‑1916 in Thiepval at the age of 33. Killed in action at Thiepval, France, whilst serving with the machine guns of the 36th (Ulster) Division, 1st July 1916. He recieved a commission in the 11th (Service) B.N. of the R. Innis. Fus. in 1915. Prior to the war he had been ranching near Calgary, Alberts. Saterday, buried in Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France. Grave nr I.E. 28.

Married 00.4.1916 to Minnie Heuston, died 1933, daughter of Robert Heuston.

  1. Isabel Mabel, born 1886 in Port‑a‑Vele, christened in Greencastle, died 1952.
  2. Frances Edith (F.E.), born on 25‑06‑1888 in Port‑a‑Vele, Greencastle, christened in Greencastle, died on 18‑07‑1976 in Aghnaloo House, Limavady at the age of 88, buried in Aghnaloo Church Yard.

Married at the age of 22 on 10‑10‑1910 to Henry Crofton Young, 42 years old, born on 27‑12‑1867 in Culdaff House, died on 25‑08‑1934 at the age of 66, buried in Aghanloo Church Yard, son of Robert George Young and Letitia Stavely.

  1. Adelaide Isbael Louise Bessie (Ada), born on 25‑11‑1892 in Falmore, christened in Gleneely, died on 04‑01‑1999 in Aghanloo House, Limavady at the age of 106, buried on 10‑04‑1999 in Aghanloo Church Yard.

Married 1936 to Ray Rudd Foxlee, born 00.10.1892, died on 25‑12‑1975, son of William F. Foxlee and Fanny E.


IV.3         John George Vaughan Hart, born on 30‑05‑1879 in Londonderry, christened in Muff, died on 15‑04‑1946 at the age of 66, son of William Edward Hart (see also III.8) and Bessie Louisa Allman.

Married at the age of 38 on 23‑07‑1917 to Katherine Georgina May Garstin, 28 years old, born on 30‑05‑1889, died 1970, daughter of Ven. William Fitzroy Garstin, Rector of St. Luke’s Belfast, Rector of Conwall (Letterkenny), afterwards Archdeacon of Raphoe, and Catherine Emily Hamilton.

From this marriage:

  1. Marion Vaughan, born on 18‑05‑1920 in Kilderry, died on 26‑11‑2001 at the age of 81.

Married 1944 in Londonderry to Rev. Louis Warden Crooks, Archdeacon of Raphoe, born 1912, died 1989.

  1. Catherine Jospehine Hamilton, born 1921, died 1924.
  2. George Vaughan (see also V.6).
  3. Tristram Beresford (see also V.8).
  4. Francis Elleker (Frank) (see also V.11).
  5. Richard Eustace (Dick) (see also V.13).


V.6          George Vaughan Hart, born on 10‑02‑1923 in Kilderry, died on 30‑01‑1969 in Virginia, U.S.A. at the age of 45, arrive 13 July 1950 from London Airport, son of John George Vaughan Hart (see also IV.3) and Katherine Georgina May Garstin.

Married 1946 to Ann Lyle Button, born in New York, daughter of John Button, Stockbroker.

From this marriage:

  1. George Vaughan (see also VI.3).
  2. Donald Demarest (see also VI.6).
  3. Steven Lyle, born 1950 in Leesburg, Viginia, died 1950 in Leesburg, Viginia.
  4. Deborah Hamilton, born on 20‑09‑1952 in Leesburg, Viginia.


VI.3         George Vaughan Hart, born on 06‑03‑1947 in Leesburg, Viginia, son of George Vaughan Hart (see also V.6) and Ann Lyle Button.

Married (1) 1969 in Washington, D.C. Spouse is Ann Coleman.

Married (2) 1981 in Washington, D.C. Spouse is Diane Waters.

From the first marriage:

  1. Jennifer Coileen, born on 16‑11‑1969 in Washington D.C.

From the second marriage:

  1. Megan Deborah, born on 27‑10‑1986 in Leesburg.
  2. Lauren Anne, born on 20‑05‑1988 in Leesburg.


VI.6         Donald Demarest Hart, born on 17‑03‑1949 in Leesburg, Viginia, U.S.A. Son of George Vaughan Hart (see also V.6) and Ann Lyle Button.

Married 1978, divorced 1981 from Nancy Korpi.

From this marriage:

  1. Maureen, born 00.04.1979.


V.8          Tristram Beresford Hart, born on 02‑01‑1925 in Kilderry, died on 08‑10‑1994 in Hamilton, New Zealand at the age of 69, son of John George Vaughan Hart (see also IV.3) and Katherine Georgina May Garstin.

Married (1) 1946 in Canada, divorced 1957 from Julia Hope McDonald, christened on 14‑05‑1926, cremated on 17‑10‑1989 in Redditch Crematorioum, service, St. Laurence Church. Alverchurch, buried 00.10.1989 in St. Laurence Church, Alvechurch, of the ashes, of the Peace River District, Alberta.

Married (2) 1959, divorced 1981 from Joan Blowers, of Thorpe‑le‑Soken, Essex.

From the first marriage:

  1. Robert Harry Sheridan (see also VI.10).

From the second marriage:

  1. Michael Thomas Edmund, born on 29‑11‑1959 in Auckland, New Zealand.
  2. Roy Christopher Beresford, born on 17‑02‑1961 in Auckland, New Zealand.
  3. Aileen May, born on 24‑07‑1962 in Auckland, New Zealand.


VI.10       Robert Harry Sheridan Hart, born on 01‑10‑1946 in Westminster. His home side is http://www.familyreemaker,com.users/h/a/r/Robert‑H‑Hart/FILE/0005page.html

, son of Tristram Beresford Hart (see also V.8) and Julia Hope McDonald.

Married at the age of 24 on 16‑01‑1971 in Godleston‑on‑Sea, Norfolk to Jennifer Pearson, daughter of Sidney Pearson and Hilde Wright.

From this marriage:

  1. Tracy Jane, born on 27‑02‑1973 in BAOR Rinteln.
  2. Timothy Robert Clayton, born on 21‑06‑1975 in Devizes, Wiltshire.


V.11        Francis Elleker (Frank) Hart, born on 17‑06‑1928 in Kilderry, died on 15‑08‑2000 at the age of 72, buried on 18‑08‑2000 in Muff, Donegal, son of John George Vaughan Hart (see also IV.3) and Katherine Georgina May Garstin.

Married 1961, divorced 1965 from Joan‑Mary Wendy Allen Franks, daughter of Dr. J.L. Franks and Mrs. Franks.

From this marriage:

  1. Georgina Susanna, born on 14‑11‑1961 in Salisbury, Rhodesia.

Married to John Trevelyan Evans, born 1961.

  1. Henry Chichester Vaughan Edward, born on 14‑07‑1964 in Salisbury, Rhodesia.


V.13        Richard Eustace (Dick) Hart, born on 18‑04‑1930 in Ballynagard, son of John George Vaughan Hart (see also IV.3) and Katherine Georgina May Garstin.

Married 1948 to Gladys Irene Dore, born 1937.

From this marriage:

  1. Kathryn Pearl Sharon, born on 18‑06‑1957.

Married to Mark Henry Quinn.

  1. Valerie Laverne Dianne, born on 18‑06‑1957.

Married 1978 in Calgary, Canada, divorced 00.00.0000 from Donald Warr.

  1. Tamara Jennifer Rosalind, born on 20‑11‑1958.

Married 1979 in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada to Robyn Fernondo Nadeau.

  1. Keely Genoa Irene, born on 31‑07‑1960.


IV.5         Henry Percival Hart, born on 22‑11‑1880 in Port‑a‑Vele, Greencastle, christened in Greencastle, died on 08‑04‑1951 in Ottery St. Mary, Devon at the age of 70. During the first Wold War he served in Fance and Mesopotamia, coming over with the Indain Division in 1914 (he had been serving in India prior to the outbraek of the war ince 1909) He was awarded the M.C. in 1915 for attending and bringing in wounded under ire, when himself wounded. Son of William Edward Hart (see also III.8) and Bessie Louisa Allman.

Married 1911 in Burma to Nelly Reddie McNeil, born 1878, died 1964, daughter of Rev. Charles McNeil, Minister of St. George’s Free Church, Dumfries.

From this marriage:

  1. Charles Percyvall McNeil (see also V.15).
  2. Eleanor Georgina Mabel, born on 10‑07‑1914, died on 03‑10‑1983 in Chichester at the age of 69.

Married 1943, divorced 1956 from Graham Everhard Lewis, Architect.

  1. Dr. Robert Arthur Chichester Hart, M.R.C.R., L.R.C.P. Born on 09‑09‑1920, died on 14‑06‑1986 at the age of 65.


V.15        Charles Percyvall McNeil Hart, born on 08‑01‑1912 in Rangoon, Burma, died 00‑5‑1996, son of Henry Percival Hart (see also IV.5) and Nelly Reddie McNeil.

Married 1946 to Elsie Margaret Rea, born 1917, died on 11‑06‑1994, daughter of Kynoch Leathart Rea, Stockbroker.

From this marriage:

  1. Susanna Margaret, born on 30‑10‑1947 in Inckham, Kent.

Married 1976 to Dr. Christopher John Davenport George, Ph.D., M.Sc. Son of Hanner Charles John George.

  1. Elizabeth Caroline, born on 11‑02‑1950 in Aberour, Fife.

Married 1977 to Dr. Alan Duncan George Wright, M.B.Ch.B.,F.F.A.R.,C.S. Son of Duncan Wright, F.R.C.S. and Dr. Lilian Wright.


II.15        William Hart, born on 16‑06‑1816, died on 24‑03‑1904 in near West Drayton, Berks at the age of 87, buried in Eastbourne, son of George Vaughan Hart (see also I.1) and Charlotte Ellerker.

Married at the age of 23 on 29‑01‑1840 to Frances Anne Frere, 20 years old, born on 04‑12‑1819, died on 07‑09‑1898 in Eastbourne, Sussex at the age of 78, daughter of Edward Frere and Mary Anne Greene.

From this marriage:

  1. Frances Mary, born on 06‑02‑1842, died on 30‑07‑1886 in London at the age of 44.

Married at the age of 19 on 09‑10‑1861 to Joseph Bonus, Major‑General.

  1. Henry George, Headmaster of Sedbergh School, Yorks. Born on 16‑04‑1843, died 1921.

Married at the age of 30 on 09‑08‑1873 to Honoria Letitia Lawrence, 23 years old, born on 26‑04‑1850 in Lahore, Bengal, christened on 28‑05‑1850 in Agra, Bengal, died on 18‑12‑1923 at the age of 73, daughter of Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, Brigadier‑General, and Honoria Marchall.

  1. Edward Chichester (see also III.20).
  2. William Ellerker (see also III.22).
  3. George Henry Reeves, born on 04‑10‑1847, died 1917.
  4. Charlotte Isabella, born on 22‑11‑1853.
  5. Edith Vaughan, born on 27‑11‑1857, died on 28‑04‑1896 in Colchester at the age of 38.

Married at the age of 20 on 09‑01‑1878 to Henry Cleland Dunlop.

  1. Mabel Catharine Rivers, born on 06‑09‑1862. Living in 1907.


III.20       Edward Chichester Hart, Colonel of the Royal Engineers, born on 05‑08‑1844 in Dharwar, died 1926, son of William Hart (see also II.15) and Frances Anne Frere.

Married at the age of 27 on 25‑06‑1872 in Chichester to Marian Eliza Travers, 24 years old, born on 15‑05‑1848 in Fort Johston, Co. Armagh, daughter of Julius Brockman Travers, Colonel.

From this marriage:

  1. Henry Travers (see also IV.14).
  2. Herbert Frere (see also IV.16).
  3. Mabel Lilian, born on 09‑06‑1879 in Chatham, died on 11‑11‑1899 in Bournemouth at the age of 20. Unmarried.


IV.14       Henry Travers Hart, Lieutenant‑Colonel of the Royal Artillery, born on 06‑05‑1873 in Mahableshwar, near Bombay, died 1948, son of Edward Chichester Hart (see also III.20) and Marian Eliza Travers.

Married to Phillis Hope Matthews, born 1883 in Fareham, Hampshire, died 1941.

From this marriage:

  1. Joan Christian, born 1909, died 1985.


IV.16       Herbert Frere Hart, Royal Medical Corps, born on 09‑03‑1875 in Satara, near Bombay, died 1935, son of Edward Chichester Hart (see also III.20) and Marian Eliza Travers.

Married to Violet May Elizabeth Guy, born on 14‑12‑1904 in Fauesmith, Oramge River Colony, South Africa, died 1964, daughter of Gustavus Guy.

From this marriage:

  1. Mabel Charlotte, born on 04‑04‑1906 in Carnarvon, Cape Colony, died 1986.
  2. Kathleen Travers, born 1908, died 1973.

Married to G. Hooper, died 1973.

  1. Eveline Nancy.

Married (1) to M. McDonald.

Married (2) to S. Stevens.

  1. Edward Guy (see also V.27).


V.27        Edward Guy Hart, son of Herbert Frere Hart (see also IV.16) and Violet May Elizabeth Guy.

Married to M. Day.

From this marriage:

  1. Patrick (see also VI.29).
  2. Michael (see also VI.31).


VI.29       Patrick Hart, son of Edward Guy Hart (see also V.27) and M. Day.

Married to N. Ruxton.

From this marriage:

  1. Elizabeth.
  2. Julia.
  3. Robert.


VI.31       Michael Hart, son of Edward Guy Hart (see also V.27) and M. Day.

Married (1) to J. Braithwaith.

Married (2) to J. Armstrong.

From the first marriage:

  1. Brendan.

From the second marriage:

  1. Thomas.
  2. Jessica.


III.22       William Ellerker Hart, born on 17‑06‑1846 in Dharwar, died on 27‑10‑1892 at the age of 46, at sea between Bombay and Aden. Son of William Hart (see also II.15) and Frances Anne Frere.

Married at the age of 28 on 29‑12‑1874 in Bonbay to Kuturah Jessie Bruce Millington, 21 years old, born on 21‑05‑1853, died on 28‑03‑1897 at the age of 43, daughter of John Boyfield Millington.

From this marriage:

  1. Dorothy Frances, born on 05‑12‑1875 in Bombay, died 1953.
  2. Gordon Cecil, born on 04‑08‑1877 in Bombay, died 1938.
  3. Wilby Irvine, born on 31‑03‑1881 in Bombay.
  4. Wiliam Errol Frere, born on 10‑08‑1885 in Bombay, went to Canada.

Married to Tatina Walton.

  1. Innes Ruth Gray, born on 22‑10‑1889 in Mahableshwar, near Bombay.
  2. Lawrence Hereward (see also IV.25).


IV.25       Lawrence Hereward Hart, born on 03‑07‑1891 in Bromsgrove, son of William Ellerker Hart (see also III.22) and Kuturah Jessie Bruce Millington.

Married to Violet Emmiline Searle, born Sep. 1898 in Bedminster, Glochester.

From this marriage:

  1. Helen Dorothy, born 1925.
  2. Diana Wilby, born 1929.


The Woods of Lisnagra

Hart coat of arms


High on the bleak moorland of Lisnagra

There is a shady wood of swaying trees

That creak and groan when bowed and tempest tossed.

A sandy track emerges from the wood

Winding o’er the moor of Lisnagra

To meet the mountain boulders strewn and wild

Where white marsh flowers bow before the gale.

And overhead the lonely curlew flies

Uttering screams that pierce the solitude

And echo far o’er mountain, lake and fall.

Eithne Anderson. (extract)

The poem is taken from a press cutting found in a copy of THE FAMILY  HISTORY OF HART OF DONEGAL by Henry Travers Hart in 1907. Only 40 books were printed for family distribution and only a handful exist in Donegal. There is one copy in Letterkenny library. The author is Eithne Anderson who lived in Yorkshire but she had no family connection with the Hart family and the poem may have been written after the book was published in 1907. Anderson was a common name in Upper Moville parish.

The woods at Lisnagra are west of Muff and can be reached by turning right at Harkins on the way to Derry. They featured recently on RTE and BBC but are not generally known as a tourist attraction. Some visitors have seen squirrels emerge from the wood and they are quite numerous. A walk through the woods on a warm day is something to remember.

The Hart bookplate is shown here with the motto COEUR FIDELLE. In the book, the second L is deleted probably by a family member. FIDELLE may have been the original old French spelling of the word “fidèle”.  Unusually, the motto is in French translating as Faithful Heart. The family seat was at Muff with other connections at Carrablagh in Fanad and at Doe Castle where George Vaughan Hart planted his initials GVH on the wall facing the sea.  A nice piece of historical graffiti.

Time has moved on and the curlew is now an endangered species. Farmers in certain areas who enter environmental schemes will be paid up to 4,000 euro to engage in programmes of conservation to protect the curlew. Much of the damage has been done by afforestation as the curlew laid its eggs on the ground and the forests have attracted large numbers of foxes which devour the eggs. I have not heard a curlew in Inishowen for years.

I had a lot of correspondence with the late Frank Hart of Muff but as he has passed on, I am still searching for more information about the author of the poem.

Buncrana lady in Mountjoy jail


On 9 June 1923, the newspaper ÉIRE THE IRISH NATION published a letter from an unnamed Buncrana lady who complained bitterly about conditions in Mountjoy jail, Dublin. The banner headline ran BRUTALITY TO WOMEN IN BUNCRANA.

Her jailers were not British soldiers but officers of the newly-established Irish Free State, (referred to as Staters who were pro-Treaty) in the final days of the Civil War. At the time of writing, her parents lived in Buncrana but she had been released and was living in the town.  Below, some extracts are quoted:

I have no longer permission to get letters or parcels or newspapers. This right was denied me because I accused the Staters of the murder of poor Charlie Daly and his comrades. Times have changed for the worse in the last fortnight. We have been changed to other quarters – a terrible place. We sent up a protest against having to lie on planks only six inches off the cement floor. Instead our protest went unheeded. Fifty Slavers were marched up and took positions outside our cells, which were barricaded. We delivered a free address, accusing them of being guilty of the murder of Charlie Daly for the sake of a miserable pittance a week and called on them to leave off their English uniforms. After a while, my cell door was burst in. Four Creeslough girls and myself were attacked and dragged unmercifully out. I was last. The Staters were angry at hearing the bitter truth…..Well I got badly beaten. We were slammed into the place and given wet bed clothing………

Other letters support her story. Similar conditions obtained in Kilmainham jail. Names are not given but there are references to a Miss MacDermott and a Mrs. Barrett in related letters. The lady who wrote the letter above may have been a member of Cumann na mBan in Buncrana but she may have joined in another town. Any help in identifying the lady would be welcome. She belonged to an anti-Treaty family.

Seán Beattie 31/12/2016


Excavations at Carrowmore and Cloncha 2011-2016

The link below contains an update on the surveys and excavation works carried out at Carowmore and Cloncha over recent years by the Bernician Studies Group, as published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol 72, 2013–14. All works on the sites have government approval under licence. 

Download the document here: Cloncha and Carrowmore Update Dec. 2016

There are also maps of Inishowen showing key sites involved and examples of material excavated under licence. 

It is hoped the group will continue their work in 2017 with a major focus of Cooley monastic settlement, the graveyard and old church.

As a result of this work, some of our major religious sites in the peninsula are now attracting visiting groups. The research to date will aid further study and highlight the importance of the monastic clusters along the Wild Atlantic Way. New signage at viewing points on the Wild Atlantic Way will direct visitors to the locations under review. The work which has been undertaken so far is the first major attempt to understand the archaeology of the sites involved.

Sean Beattie

Blue Plaque unveiled in honour of Jack Crawford (Carndonagh), 1847-1917

Maura Harkin and Ray Lannon at the unveiling of the Crawford plaque in the Diamond, Carndonagh.

Maura Harkin, historian and archivist,  with Ray Lannon, chair of Colgan Heritage Committee at the unveiling of the Crawford plaque in the Diamond, Carndonagh. This is the first blue plaque in Inishowen. 

Jack Crawford’s story is stranger than fiction – the story of a boy who was born in Carn in 1847 in poor circumstances during the Great Famine and who went on to achieve fame as Chief Scout or reconnaissance officer of the US army. When he died in New York 100 years ago, his name was a household word.

His parents were Scottish so the Ulster Scots connection is very strong. He was baptised in Hillhead Presbyterian Church on 4 March 1847, the same church where his parents were married and their children were baptised. Both parents went to America and left the Crawford children in the care of an uncle, who lived in the Diamond; Jack had a free and easy life but now and again, he had odd jobs for example as a cattle herd. But at the age of 15, Jack became restless, left Carn and joined his parents in  Pennsylvania. Having never attended school, he was illiterate and found work in the coalmines of Pennsylvania for less than 2 dollars a week, just like the hired children on the Laggan here in Donegal.

America is the land of opportunity and between 1861 and 1865 the American Civil War was in full swing and young men were in demand not only on the battlefields but on the ranches and farmlands. At 17, he joined the army but was injured and was hospitalised. The Sisters of Mercy took him under their wing, and during a nine week stay in hospital taught him how to read and write, thus opening up a whole new world to the ambitious Jack Crawford.

After the war, he held a position as postmaster in Pennsylvania and started to write poetry, the first steps into a literary career. Marriage followed but the call of adventure was too strong and in his late twenties, he was back in the army, this time as Captain with the Cavalry of the Black Hills Rangers of Dakota. America was in the throes of the Indian Wars, this time against the Sioux, a bloody period when the state attempted to drive the Indians off their lands into reservations. It was at this time that he met Bill Cody – better known as Buffalo Bill – and Jack got Cody’s job as Chief Scout of the Fifth Cavalry. Jack’s deeds of daring brought him to national prominence. His greatest feat was when he rode 350 miles in 4 days to carry dispatches about a victory at Slim Buttes to Fort Laramie. The news was flashed across the American press and he became a household name.

Cody was impressed and invited him to join his Wild West Show and here he got a taste of the world of entertainment, storytelling and singing for which he had a flair. After a year with Cody, he branched out and created his own Wild West Show and began touring across America. There was  great interest in this type of entertainment, especially stories of deeds of daring by US citizens and Jack Crawford had captive audiences everywhere.

The Indian Wars were ongoing and the Apaches were in the mainstream. Adventure called again for the third time and Jack re-located to New Mexico, again in his role as Chief Scout. When this phase of the wars ended, Jack settled again into civilian life and dedicated more time to writing.

As age took its toll, he turned his back on adventure and returned to entertainment. He began to spread his wings and in the 1890s became interested in a European tour. In 1894, he set off on a 4 month tour of English music halls drawing huge crowds for his one-night shows. He came back to Ireland for the first time in 1894, 32 years after leaving Carn as a teenager. But this time he was a celebrity, a man of action, a published author of 7 books of poetry, 100 stories and 4 copyrighted plays. It was a much more prosperous town that he returned to. The Balfast Banking Company had just been established a few doors from where he had lived to cater for the rising middle-class in the area. (Former Northern Bank site, soon to be a restaurant)  He drew a full house in Derry and among the audience was Bishop Alexander, husband of the hymnist Mrs Alexander (All Things Bright and Beautiful). He booked the courthouse in Carn – the Colgan Hall was but a dream at this stage – and on Tuesday 7 August 1894 delivered a cracking performance to a full house. He was at home, just 100 yards from where he had spent his wayward childhood days but now a world celebrity. (The old courthouse was burned and replaced by the modern building)

He seems to have made some money because when he returned to America, he joined up with a group of investors and headed for the Klondyke. (He did not meet Micí McGowan, who made a fortune in the gold rush and came home to Gortahork where he built Whalebone House which still stands). But as thousands found out, the hills were not paved with gold. Captain Jack Crawford died in New York in 1917. His papers are in the library of New Mexico for anyone who wishes to do further research.

The final piece of the jig saw is a local one. The Schools Folklore Collection of 1937 has an interesting article by Vera Butler (Doherty), then a teacher in Glassalts NS, who says she got his story from relatives. In a long contribution, she recounts how her father met Jack in New York in 1902 and they dined together, exchanging stories about Inishowen and no doubt getting an account of his courthouse appearance. Jack gave him a book of poetry so maybe this is still around somewhere in Carn. Vera adds that she got a copy of his poems as a present from her father. The mystery of Jack Crawford deepens. But that is a story for another day! He certainly had a full life.

(See for Vera’s hand-written account/ Donegal/ Glassalts NS).


Seán Beattie

(with thanks to Ulster Scots Agency which funded the plaque, Maura Harkin, Maud Hamill and Mairead Ferguson of Ulster History Circle for promotion and research, John Cunningham, Glentogher for church register, Dessie McCallion and Colgan Heritage Committee).