Local History by Seán Beattie



  1. Jonathan Bell

    Hi Sean

    The NLI has been pretty good with Mervyn and myself, charging 20 euros a scan from the Irish Times archive. Having said that, they haven’t sent the last ones we ordered!

    Best wishes


  2. Exciting stuff !!!Can,t wait for next part of the story…..

  3. Catherine McWilliams

    Wonderful as usual, Sean.

    So much well researched Donegal History in such a concise form yet so very comprehensive

    Totally addicted!

    Catherine McWilliams

  4. Catherine McWilliams

    What a wonderful find! Cannot wait to read Rev Edward’s letters. Charlie McGlinchey, in ‘The Last of the Name’ speaks of the high regard the people of Clonmany had for the Rev Dr William Chichester. He is buried in St Columba’s, the Old Church in Straid, as is his mother, Mary O’Neill of Shane’s Castle, Antrim, and his sister, Mrs Catherine Ball

  5. Jennifer Doherty of Clonmany Genealogy

    Thank you Sean…..have posted on our Facebook page for the enjoyment of others. Thanks to Catherine McWilliams for the “tip-off”.

  6. More of this please …..Fascinating!!!!!!

  7. More please….

  8. Hanneke Young-Tammel

    A good following put to the Book about the Young’s of Culdaff, that will be to look at at the next Machlin Festival. The Chichester are also in the book, Edward Chichester was married to catharine Young of Culdaff House. Hanneke Young-Tammel

  9. Hanneke Young-Tammel

    Not only I (Hanneke Young-Tammel) is working on the book over the Young’s of Culdaff, but also the Granddaughter of Amy Young nee Stuart , the author of Three Hundred years in Innishowen, she is my great help with the English Text, and finding new information. Hanneke

  10. Poor Wolfe Tone another victim of imperialism.However you can kill the man but you can never kill his dream.As history has proved.

  11. Very touching correspondence.Sounds as if his poor mother was suffering from cellulitis.A very painfull condition.At least today it can be treated with antibiotic,s.It makes you grateful for modern medicin.

  12. My goodness they did get around.All that coming and going.Makes me dizzy!!!!!

  13. What did the authority’s expect.After all when family,s are struggling to survive and the Gov of the day is doing nothing to assist them!!!!!!
    As the old saying goes desperate times call for desperate measures.

  14. This will be a great read.Must try to get it.Scotland suffered the same plight right up to the 1930,s.We to lost many great men of true integrity.My personal hero John McClean a perfect example. Crushed by the establishment despised by the Gov of the day.They persecuted and hounded him till the end.The people of glasgow where warned!!!! not to attend his funeral or face being shot dead.
    Lead by the Clyde side workers10,000 Men women and children followed his coffin.I am proud to say members of my family walked behind him.There is a wonderful picture of him sharing a hustigns with Michael Collins in Belfast.

  15. Hanneke Young-Tammel

    My dear Sean, You spelled my Name wrong, it is Young-Tammel, I know it is a difficuld name Tammel, I have to spell it all the time, and I am not assisted by Rachel she is doing the major part, correcting my poor spelling of English and the she is visiting the British records offices. She is nor than a assistant. Till October.

  16. Catherine McWilliams

    Brilliant background to Ludwig Schenkel’s stay in Clonmany. Looking forward to seeing more of his outstanding work in your upcoming book. His work, our rich collection of historical and family history data (such as the Dresden Letters) and artifacts of bygone days should be on permanent display in a Heritage Centre in Clonmany

  17. Hanneke Young-Tammel

    Catharine Young’s brother James William, had to come home from university to help his father. His father had a to pay 2000 pound, as fine, there was illegal distilling on his land. In that time a Great- Great-Great-Great grandson of Robert Young and Elizabeth Hart, was murdered, His name was Norton Butler, he lived at Grousehall. Hanneke

    • Well I know my GGG Grandfather James Steele Nicholson bought it by the Gallon.He was a large land owner in the area.So it was also consumed by the Gentry!!!

  18. Very true these relics should return to their mother country.But don’t hold your breath.The Elgin marbles,In addition Auld Alba,s Stone of destiny spring to mind!!!

  19. It is truly right and just that these relics return to their mother country.However don’t hold your breath.The Eligin Marbles spring to mind Last but not least Auld Alba,s stone of destiny!!!

  20. Would really like to check this out in the summer.The burial of warriors standing up facIng enemy lands was a practice carried out in Scotland during the same period.In fact a great chief by the name of Wullie Norrie was proported to buried sitting on his charger in full ceromonial battle dress and war paint surrounded by treasure and his great sword
    Unfortunatley he has never been found.However when as a child you where not behaving .You were told Wullie Norrie would come & get you in the night.That soon sorted you out!!!!!!

    • No problem if you wish to check it out. It was part of the wider Bronze Age complex in this district with its ceremonial stone circle, court tombs and sacred pagan places.


  21. Betty Morrow Patch

    Hello Sean,
    I’m very impressed with your books, maybe some day I will get to read them. Indeed it has been a long time since we knew each other. Do you still live out the Malin Road in Moville? I go back nearly every year to Derry, but I have not been there since January 2011 and we always have a few runs to Moville, Drumawier, Greencastle and Shrove. While growing up my family always had the month of August in Drumawier, upper road, we loved it even if it was raining, usually was!

    I came back to America in February 1965, Married in 1966 and enjoyed living in New Jersey, Boston, San Francisco, near London , England, Maryland and back to England and my husband retired from the U. S. Navy in September 1981. We settled in New Jersey, but sadly he died suddenly on December 4, 1989 at the age of 48 of a heart attack. I am now a widow for as long as I was married. I have good children and grandchildren and have always been lucky to have wonderful friends. I went back to work for a while but have been retired now since 2007. I love Florida, when you were in Fort Lauderdale did you visit Hollywood ? its right beside me. Fr, Paddy O’Kane from Culfaff and Holy Family Church in Derry, has visited me often in New Jersey when I lived there.

    Did you remember Kevin McGonagle, my cousin, I know he was with you at St. Joseph’s. I saw Kevin last year when I was in Derry, he is now retired. I often wondered about Rosaleen Doherty from Main Street, Moville, remember she was in The Gondoliers with us. Do you know does she still live in Moville? I love Facebook as I have found friends all over the place and its good to good times together. Good Luck with your new book and I look forward to hearing from you again.


  22. Betty Morrow Patch

    Hi Sean,
    I’m finding these short stories very interesting. I have read a few tonight and I am enjoying all of them.
    Thank you,

  23. I found your page about Joseph Campbell and Bishop Mc Colgan just now whilst I was browing the net’. i really must tell you that I am a close relative of Joseph Campbell, in fact he was my great- great grandfather born in Carndoagh in 1730..I and my siblings were born there too. If you are interested, I could email you a photo of the old farmhouse as it once was.
    Particia Faulkner nee Campbell

    • Thanks Patricia for getting in contact. I would like to have the photo please and more about your link to Joseph Campbell if you have the details. You may be interested in the 1937 Folklore Collection which we exhibited at the Colgan weekend in Carn. The Carn schools collection is in the library in the town and has a lot about Carndoagh. If there is additional family information about Joseph let me know eg where he is buried etc.

  24. Catherine McWilliams

    Thank you so much, Sean!
    What a wonderful contribution from primary sources to aid our understanding of this momentous period in Irish history
    The depth of your research is an inspiration to us all, and, with the number of families listed, an absolute bonanza for the family historian!
    We appreciate your role as Editor of the Donegal Annual and look forward to a new edition later in the year.
    We are very excited about a new 600 – page pictorial Atlas with 700 photos/images which we understand has gone to press!
    Keep up the good work!
    Catherine McWilliams

  25. geordy austin

    Very interesting and so sad

  26. Colm O'Brien

    We’re delighted with the results we obtained and we owe much to the help which Sean has given us. We will be writing a report on the work during October (first we have to catch up with preparations for a new teaching year) and we will circulate this as widely as we can. I hope that we will be able to follow up with further investigations next year. One thing which our recent work establishes beyond any doubt is the efficacy of our investigation methods. If we can bring these to play elsewhere, we will be delighted. For news of our activities, see our blog bernician-studies-group.blogspot.co.uk

  27. John Campbell

    You might be interested in the story as I got it from my father, John Campbell, and my uncle, William Campbell, who got it from their father, William Campbell, that his grandfather or great-grandfather saved a priest who was being hunted by the English. The man hid the priest in a shed and his wife took him into the house and fed him and gave him clothes. The family had once lived at Carndoagh and Collon.

    My father, Uncle Bill and cousin Robbie went back to Carndonagh sometime in the 1960s for a few days. They found what they thought was the old house but the people there didn’t want to take them on and were a bit suspicious.

    But when they went in to a place for a cup of tea, the folk there were nice to them. I think it was maybe a parish hall or a community place. There was a mural or a painting that showed the Campbell saving the bishop. They hadn’t known unti then that the priest that their ancestor had saved was a bishop. When they asked about it a man took a great interest in them. He told them more details of the story and told them that the Bishop had given the family a blessing and said that there would always be Campbells in that place and that they would do well. When my father said that maybe the blessing had worn off by now, because the family had moved to Scotland, the man told them that there were McCallions in it now and said “Sure that’s just the Irish for Campbell.”

    I think it was at that time that they found out about the book Inishowen: It’s History, Traditions and Antiquities. The story in the book is different from the story handed down in the family. We didn’t know about the priest being a bishop, or about the horse or the urgency of the escape. We had it that the family had hidden the priest for a period of time and looked after him.

    i therefore can’t be sure that Joseph Campbell is our ancestor. Maybe the story got muddled over the years or maybe they were the people who had hidden the priest in the first place, maybe relatives of Joseph’s?

    The family left after there was some trouble. They had always got on well with their neighbours who were mostly catholics, Then one night some young men came and broke the windows. My grandfather’s mother saw them. They had hankies over their faces and the collars of their jackets turned up but she recognised the sons of some of her friends among them.

    She never got over the shock and they decided to leave the place and go to Scotland. My grandfather was just a wee laddie at the time so I suppose that must have been in the 1880s or early 90s.

    They must have kept some connection with the place because my grandfather’s brothers were all asked to sign a document authorising one of them to handle the sale of a farm. That would have been quite a few years after they came to Scotland because they were grown men by this time. The brother who was allowed to act for them sold the farm and disappeared, leaving a wife and children in Scotland.

    As far as I know, all our Campbells left Carndonagh and came to Scotland.

    • Thanks for taking the time to send me this interesting account of the Bishop in hiding. Obviously all stories get some variation in the telling but the basic facts which you state and the Magtochair version are fundamentally the same: the family gave succour to a clergyman on the run. It may not have been obvious to them at the time he was a bishop as churchmen travelled in disguise and were forbidden to wear religious insignia.

      The breaking of the windows may have been related to the Land War 1879-82. The perpetrators would have acted indiscriminately in the belief that the family was not supporting their objectives. People of all religious persuasions suffered including Catholics in this manner.

      You can rest assured that among the ordinary law-abiding members of the community, Joseph Campbell was highly respected for what he had done. Michael Harkin (Magtochair) makes this very clear and he is trustworthy in my opinion. You have very sound evidence for believing that Joseph Campbell was an ancestor.

      • John Campbell

        Many thanks indeed for your kind response to my post.

        I wish I could remember more of the story as it came down through the family. I don’t think they knew the name Joseph Campbell until they went back to Carndonagh that time in the 1960s. They were very shy people and they didn’t really expect that one of their ancestors would be so well remembered. They enjoyed their tea at the community centre and they got on with the folk there. Could that have been the Colgan Hall? I see that on the internet. They were a bit embarrassed by the attention and I think that is what might have made them slightly sceptical that it really was their ancestor had saved Bishop McColgan.

        But that their folk had saved a priest they had no doubt at all. None. They had always known that. It was something that they were very proud of in their own quiet way. For them though, it was an anonymous group of the family that had been involved. The only individual mentioned was woman of the house. She was the one they remembered. I was told some of the words she spoke to the priest and what he said to her. I wish I could remember but I can’t now.

        It had to do with him not wanting to come in to the house. He didn’t want to get them involved. If he stayed outside then it would be safer for them. But she made him come in and take something to eat. I think it was warm milk and bread. He was in quite a bad way when they found him. She gave him clothes. There was some humour in the situation though because he wouldn’t put off his clothes and she had to persuade him. The exact words I can’t remember now but it was to do with her authority as the woman of the house. The priest wasn’t wanting to do what he was told and she had to to be firm with him but still let him keep his dignity. He offered some payment, which was refused and her saying he might need it yet. He offered a blessing that she accepted but with some turn of phrase that showed her spirit in some way. The bowl he used was kept for a long time after and showed to visitors. The priest had something that showed who he was but whether it was an object or an item of clothing, I can’t remember. Whatever it was, they asked him to hide it but he wouldn’t.

        I wish my Dad could have seen you website. He died in 2006 at the age of 86. He was born in Scotland but always considered himself Irish. He was often on the internet in his last years trying to find out more about his Donegal connections and he would have loved your website and been delighted to communicate with you.

        He tried to work out a family tree but at that time there wasn’t so much material online as there is now. I see a post by a lady, Patricia Faulkner, who is Jospeh Campbell’s great- great granddaughter. I wonder if she might have more details of the story and what was was said?


        I have found a website that has a family tree of Campbells from the area descended from a Joseph Campbell in Collin with some photographs too. Here is the url.


        I don’t see a great family resemblance. We all have pointy ears and Dad and Uncle Bill and Auntie May all had what I think of as a Donegal look about the cheeks and eyes. I’ve seen a similar look on people’s faces even away to the west in Donegal. I hope that doesn’t sound like a daft thing to say. It’s just when you see such a strong resemblance to your own family it makes you wonder. I’ve also seen it in Argyllshire, where they thought they originated. Then again, since clan Campbell were associated so much with Argyle it might not be a story that came down in the family but something that they had read about or had acquired through the years.

        It would be very interesting to find out where they came from, how they came to be in Collin. It is interesting what is conveyed in family stories. At no time did I realise from anything I heard or was told, that they lived so close to the sea. The sea just didn’t enter the picture. No mention of kelp or of boats. Nothing to do with the sea at all. They did talk about farming and cattle though. That must have been very important for them.

        In the story about the priest they help him escape from the English. I wonder if that is literally true or if it is a later addition. I wonder too if they meant the Anglican church authorities. They always called it the English church and they seemed much closer to the Catholics. Some of them married Catholics and Dad always had catholic friends. He was very saddened when he lost his friend Michael who was a priest. I think he was from Cork. He had gone back to Ireland for a holiday but died.

        I also wonder if the story about the windows being broken by Catholics was a later interpretation influenced by the 20th century troubles. The important part seems to have been that some of their friends and neighbours were involved.

        I think you must be right about the time scale. My father was born in 1918. He was twenty years younger than Uncle Bill who was the eldest. That would mean my grandfather married maybe in the 1890s and might have been born in the 1870s. I can’t remember now if he was two years old or five when they came to Scotland. I think they went to America first. His father met a lassie on the boat to America. I think she might have been Scottish. They got married in New York, I think in 1856, and had some business with cattle. I think they were buying cattle and bringing them to New York. Then they went back to Carndonagh and then they left for Scotland. But I might be confusing different generations.

        I never met my grandfather Campbell. My mother told me he spoke with an Irish accent although he had lived most of his life in Scotland. But then my father disagreed with that, saying it was an ordinary Glenboig accent he had.

        But the older folk in Glenboig in Scotland where they were from often had what sounded like an Irish accent. Most of the families came from Ireland and most of them from Donegal.

        My cousin told me that my grandfather could understand some Irish, which my father again said was not true, but Robbie told me he was with his grandfather often when he used to listen to Irish on the radio. Not Scottish Gaelic, Irish. Grandfather Campbell used to get angry when there was displays of Irish dancing which are still common at Highland Games. He thought it was a parody of the real thing.

        I’ve found some census returns online but none of the Campbells listed there are recorded as speaking Irish. I think it is very unlikely that any of our family spoke Irish but I hope that they did.


        However, listening to the recordings of Irish speakers from Clonmany, I hear a voice quality or accent that I recognise.



        I once met a man called Fergusson who was an Irish speaker from the west of Insihowen who was brought up in Paisley in Scotland and he had an accent similar to the Glenboig folk.

        At one time I thought all presbyterians must be planters and were put there by he Scottish and English governments precisely because they were English speakers. I’ve since found out that that wasn’t always the case. Some of the planters were Gaelic speakers from Scotland and some of them weren’t planted, the clans held lands in Scotland and in Ireland.

        But I think that’s going back a long way. I have no reason to believe that any of our crowd spoke Irish but it is interesting to wonder how they managed in a bilingual community and how they managed earlier on, when most people spoke Irish.

        Anyhow, that’s maybe getting away from the point of this thread.

        Many thanks again for your website that is clearly a labour of love and much appreciated.

        Go raibh mile maith agat. Ni riabh mi fhein riamh i gCarn Donagh ach bu fior mhaith leam a dhol ann airson saor-laithean ar rothair mus fhas mi ro shean.

        Slan go foill.

        Seon Caimbeul

        • John
          Thanks again. This is a great story, accurately recorded with abundant folklore. By adding this information on the web we are keeping the story alive. By doing so we improve the chances of new information coming forward as folklore and history are as unpredictable as volcanic ash – one never knows what’s next.

          • Hi John.
            Hi John. If you contact me I may be able to help you find “your roots” Sorry it took me so long in replying to your post.
            Patricia Faulkner. (nee Campbell)

            If you get in touch with me I may be able to help you find “your roots”

            If you get in touch with me I may be able to help you find “your roots”. My branch of the Campbells are

            I know how frustrating genealogy can be,so I am willing to help you in your search. In my possession I have the Family Bible with births going back to my grandfather’s birth in 1810 to the present day. It’s not a “tree” as such

            I did a lot of research on the Campbells of Carndoagh last year and was helped hugely by Mr. Sean Beattie. Owing to illness in the family I had to give it up for a while as it’s so time consuming. I know how frustrating genealogy is so I am offering you some help.

          • John Campbell

            Many thanks Patricia, that’s really very encouraging indeed. I just wish my Dad was still around as he could have added a lot more information. He had some of the family tree on a computer programme called Brother’s Keeper but unfortunately that’s all lost now.

            Best regards,

            John Campbell

          • Hi John..
            If I had your contact address, or phone number I will send you photo-copies of the Campbell files that I have.

          • Thanks Patricia

            Hill Grove
            Co Donegal

          • John Campbell

            Many thanks Patricia,
            I’d hoped to find a copy of some of our family tree. I thought I had a print out of part of it but I cant find anything. I had hoped that that would at least give us a starting point to identify our line. I would certainly appreciate any advice you can give. My email address is seoncaimbeul@aol.com

            Best regards,


          • John

            I have documents here for you and will forward by post

            I will contact you by email


  28. Jennifer Doherty

    Sean, thanks for this….Jeremiah Kerr of Leitir, Urris was my Great Great Grandfather and was born in July 1852. He married my Great Grandmother, Maggie Diver (born Nov 1880) on 26 Jan 1902. They had seven children.

    Another of Jeremiah’s stories was Ashey Pet.

    Jennifer Doherty
    Clonmany Genealogy

    • Jennifer

      Thanks for identifying this for me which is very important for Inishowen history and the role of the Irish language.
      The collection did great work especially for Clonmany. Note age differences at marriage. Sean

  29. Good post! I would be very interested to see pictures, read transcripts, from that graveyard – any chance ?

    • The graveyard is just a few miles from me and I hope to visit it soon. Due to summer growth it is inaccessible but when I get there I will get back to you.

      I have seen entries in a Harvey diary in private hands about the death of one of the children


      • The image at the top of the blog is a close-up of Carrowmore Cross which has an image of Christ in monk like dress.

        Does look a bit like Meevagh


  30. Interested in thr image at top of your blog – is it the Mevagh Cross?

  31. brian Lafferty

    This is fantastic, the monastery at Carrowmore and the nearby archaeological sites of interest such as the Temple of Deen,Bocan stone circle and others deserve this extensive investigation. I think there’s a lot more to come from this extremely rich archaeological area. Credit to Sean,university of Sunderland,landowners etc for their hard work and research so far.

    • Small scale excavations have unearthed new information about the structure of the site, its importance as an industrial location for iron-working, opening up the possibility that the monastery was situated in a double ringed ancient fort. The links to Lindisfarne, Iona and Derry through Colmcille, Oswald, Aidan and O Brolachain are well established.

  32. Hi Sean
    What a wonderful account of the rectory at Carn but heartbreaking at the same time. I has the privilege of living in this beautiful old house as a child between 1960 and 1964 when my father, Samuel Simpson was the C of I rector of the area. I returned on a numer of occasions as I had wonderful memories of the place and the people. One of my last visits was circa 1993 or so when the house was still occupied I think. I posted this video of my visit if you’re interested : http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i8PGiKsUERs
    I returned about a year ago and noticed the entrance blocked by a large bush so didn’t go any further. Yesterday I looked at the house on Apple Maps and noticed that it seemed to be in ruins and your wonderful blog confirmed that today…what a terrible shame for a house to survive for over 300 years and reach such an ignominious end.
    Anyway, I suppose that’s progress and I will just be left with my memories of a house that brought us such joy for a small period of my life.

    • Thanks Peter for update. I did not know Rev. Simpson as I was in UCD at the time. I knew his successor Rev. Henderson I think. He used to drive a parishioner called Lizzie Crowe past my house on Sunday mornings to Carrowbeg church. Like the rectory this is also a ruin. I am interested if you have any photos of it or the interior. Using the internet I think we can at least keep the heritage of the rectory alive. The farm yard buildings are in great repair, superb red brick buildings. Pitt Kennedy would be very proud.

    • Hi Peter, Sean,

      I am delighted to have found some information on this property and the wider history of the family. I live near by so was doing some research on it and struggled to find much. I tried the youtube link but it no longer works – it would be great if you could re-send an updated link or any other material or photographic content you may have of the property.



      • John M. Collins

        Sorry, this is not my comment although I have checked on these Pitt Kennedys.

        John Collins

        Sent from my iPad


  33. Jennifer Doherty of Clonmany Genealogy

    Great article Sean! There is a place called “Norway” in Tullagh in Clonmany…..also an alleged Viking Fortress remains in Dunaff in Urris. Sarah Owen from Gortnahinchin, Clonmany once told me of a Viking battle which was supposed to have taken place in the “cuts” between Effishmore and Tirhoran, Clonmany. She said that the Vikings came in over Pinch, having moored their boats in the Swilly, most likely off Dunree and met in battle with locals who were protecting the monastery in Straid. I must get some more information on this and pass it to you.

  34. Interesting post – any pictures?

  35. LucyAnn Curling

    Haydn! No ‘e’.

  36. LucyAnn Curling

    Hi, I just found your blog and am very interested to see the page on the Kennedy family. The younger John Pitt Kennedy, soldier, engineer and educator, worked with Sir Charles Napier, long before he was knighthed. Napier was Resident (job title) in the Ionian island of Cephalonia (spelling varied through the generations, it was also spelt Cefalonia in the 19th century and is now Kefalonia) from 1822 to 1831. Napier and JPK planned and executed the majority of the road network of the island along with many public buildings, sadly destroyed in the 1953 earthquake which razed most buildings on the island to the ground. JPK was possibly Napier’s closest friend from that time on and was sole executor of Napier’s last will and testament. They wrote many letters to each other and I have transcribed some of JPK’s to Napier. There are Napier Papers collections in the British Library and the Bodleian Library. Another member of Napier’s team on Cephalonia was my 2x great grandfather Edward Curling who was related to Napier’s first wife, Elizabeth. Edward too kept in touch with JPK and even worked with him for a while before taking over as Land Agent to the Earl of Devon’s Irish estate in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.

  37. Thanks for that. Corrected name in title but forgot the rest. Interesting connections on Pitt Kennedy. It would be interesting to know if there are letters from him in the Napier papers in BL. I hope to have a look next time. PK had a remarkable career and your personal connection if interesting.

    • LucyAnn Curling

      Hi – I have transcribed either in whole or in part 8 letters amongst the Napier Papers written by JPK. 7 are in the British Library collection and one at the Bodleian. If you email me I’ll send you details. Do you have my email address? I’m reluctant to publish it here.

  38. Catherine McWilliams

    This was certainly a silent revolution, now long forgotten. Thank you so much, Sean, for bringing it alive for us in Clonmany. Greatly appreciated!

    • Good to hear from you Catherine

      Someone in Clonmany will trace John, I’m sure. A simple story about a life well lived in unsettling times.


      • Catherine McWilliams

        They will certainly know all about him in a few days!


  39. don@knoxandknox.ie

    I’m enjoying these posts a lot. Keep them coming. Note. My new email address

    Sent from my iPhone

  40. Came across your site by chance when I was writing a short post re Ludwig Schenkel. Suspect you may well have discussed Ludwig with my father. Is your Donegal book published as yet?

  41. She does indeed! Great story that I had not known before. From Carrigart, I had heard a lot about Cardinal Logue growing up, but not this story. Thanks for a most interesting blog.

  42. Thanks for sharing a great story and remembering the heroism and generosity of the Duchess of Marlborough.

  43. These are the stories we need to hear more of… there were a number of good folk like the Bishop and the Duchess who took it upon themselves to help in a practical way, yet they have virtually gone unnoticed. Thank you for bringing this story to our attention.

  44. Spurlyn and Sandy Harvie -Gates

    Thanks for this Christmas and His birth of long ago.

  45. Catherine McWilliams

    Just like yourself, Sean, Hanneke has done wonderful research. Let us hope that the highly educated young people of Donegal (and there are so many more in this generation) will be encouraged to undertake research, for postgrads or general interest, in the local area. Understanding what happened locally gives us a true perspective on the national story.

    • Hanneke is one of the most consistent and reliable researchers I know. Her new work on the Young family will be a revelation.

  46. Linda M Mason

    Rev. John Pitt Kennedy was my great great great grandfather and I was so delighted to find these interesting extracts about him and his home. His son, Evory the obsterician,, was my antecedent. I had no idea either that his wife, Mary, was widowed and therefore solely resposible for their large family. Not an easy job!! Maybe,one day, I might get to view the remains of the rectory.
    I know that Evory lies in a family vault in Dublin but I would love to know more of the Pitt Kennedys ie where buried and anything touching on the family’s life.

  47. My mummy went too this school Kathleen mc daid

    • Thanks for contacting me re Ballyharry School. The old school was at Cnoc an Amhraic about 200 yards in front of the school your mother went to.
      Ballyharry had a good reputation and produced fine pupils who did well in life.

  48. Seamus Kennedy

    Hello Sean. The Rev. John Pitt Kennedy was also my great great great grandfather and I am descended from his son Lt. Col. John Pitt Kennedy. I grew up in the ‘shooting lodge’ close to Cashelnagor Railway Station. However, I don’t think the Kennedys caused the placement of Cashelnagor Railway Station – rather, they built the house in Cashelnagor, in 1906, because it was close to the existing station. There is a station gate house further along the line close to Loch Trusk which is even more remote with hardly a road leading to it.
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards, Seamus Kennedy

    • Hello Seamus. Great to hear from you and for clarification about the station. I have to blame my good friend May McClintock for this; it may have been appropriate to say that they had some influence on the location but the date 1906 seems to put the matter at rest. The line and the station have become shrouded in myth and fable but this is inevitable given the location and route adopted. Lord Lifford was responsible for bring the line past his house at Meenglass but he was heavily involved as an investor.
      I was aware from May that the papers were in NLI but have never seen them. I was there last week and will check next time. It is good to keep pressure on NLI to engage with deposited papers. I am particularly interested in the relationship between the family and the Congested Districts Board. I have argued elsewhere that the CDB failed to access relevant research on the county when it carried out the Baseline Reports in the 1890s. This is the first area I would look at.
      I am also interested in anything on the Pitt Kennedys and Carndonagh.
      I would be keen to get a paper for the Donegal Annual 2014 if you know of anyone doing research or perhaps you may wish to contribute yourself. Or perhaps one of the family has written but is not yet published.

      I don’t think Donegal Archives in Lifford has anything on deposit but the archivist does a very good job on Donegal material. I know some people in the county who are very interested in the family history and will be very pleased to hear that they are being dealt with. Sean

  49. Kevin Doherty

    This is utterly fascinating. Do you happen to know if the woodlands at Cnocnacoilldara were sold on with the house or are they owned by the State or an organisation now? As a Churchtown Doherty I am very enamored by them and would love to know anything about them, Churchtown or Carn!

    • Kevin- Thanks for your comments. The good news is that the woods are in safe hands – those of local owners who will keep it under their control. A walk has been preserved from the main road to the mass rock and I have heard proposals for extending it across the hill. But this is unofficial and I am not sure if all landowners are on board.

  50. Sean,
    I just came across your site. I am very interested in Brig. General George Samuel Montgomery (1820-1898) and his family who lived at Fort Royal. Rathmullan until the 1940s. Some say this family were related to the Montgomery’s of Moville. Would you have any information on this?

    • Deirdra
      I am not aware of any connection between Montgomerys of Rathmullan and Moville as the name is not in the immediate family tree. The name Samuel was used by the founder of Moville and recurs in the family. There were a number of Montgomerys who came to prominence in Donegal and they were not connected to the Moville Montgomerys.

      • Sean,
        Thanks for that. I am still looking into the Rathmullan Montgomerys and how they came to live in Fort Royal.

  51. finally, two weeks ago, i received the re-print of THE FRIENDLINESS OF TOTAL STRANGERS. but the re-print fell apart on reading. so…i re-bound by hand all 200 copies. there is a feature in today’s DONEGAL NEWS, by the way.

    might the DONEGAL ANNUAL be able to give a short mention or review of it?

    all the best

    – louis

    • Pretty full for next edition of Donegal Annual but will try to fit in a hundred words with a picture of cover

      ATLAS OF DONEGAL is now available from Cork University Press.

  52. I enjoyed reading William Campbell’s Account Book 1916. I am his granddaughter, was born and brought up on that farm. I would very much like to get in touch with Paddy Mc Clure to hear if he found any more treasures!
    Patricia Faulkner (nee Campbell)

    • Patricia
      Paddy would be delighted to speak to you. My account is only a short sample of what the book contains and it would be worthwhile seeing the original as it offers delightful clues about the lifestyle of the Campbells when the world was at war and Ireland was in rebellion. Sean

    • Paddy will let you see the book I believe as he is a passionate historian and very helpful with requests.
      His address is Gortnacool, Carndonagh, Co Donegal
      He may have further information but the book itself is a gem for any family member.

  53. Great post – thanks! Love anything to do with railways and especially the Swilly railway The information there is super for people doing family research .

  54. Hi.
    Many thanks for contact recieved.-will endevour to send them as soon as possible . It will take a while to sort them out and photo-copy the relevent files
    Patricia (Pat)

  55. Colm O'Brien

    We’ll give more detail in due course about the event on 5 September. What we do and say will depend on what we have seen and done over the next 10 days but we’ll certainly give an explanation of what our project is about, how we are setting about it and what are our findings so far. We will be delighted to meet followers of the History of Donegal blog. Colm

  56. Excellent talk in McGrory’s last night – great turn-out demonstrating the interest in history and heritage

  57. Marie Wallace

    Hi Sean. I was one of the members of the Gleneely Development Group on the day that Nick visited us to look at the site for the viewing point. It has transpired that the Earl may not be the owner of the piece of land we are proposing to develop. I have checked the Griffiths Valuation and see that the landlord in 1857 was a John Thompson. Do you have any information on this Mr Thompson which could lead us to making contact with his descendents?

    • Marie, it is a shock for the committee to find that there is a new owner for the site. I note your reference to John Thompson in Griffiths Valuation which is a good start.
      The name is not common in the parish but exists in other parishes notably Moville; I expect someone may have been in contact with Thompsons of Moville and Glenagivney if only to eliminate these families from the search. There are no Thompsons listed in the data available for the 1700s so we can assume the family settled here in the early 1800s. My suspicions tell me the family was Protestant so a search of Protestant Birth/Marriage records for Gleneely might provide clues. I had a look at the 1901 and 1911 Census and but would need to re-check. I have not come across the name in land sales of the area. In short there is a lot of searching to be done and the church records in Gleneely and Bocan may be the place to start as these will give vital clues about the family. Meanwhile I will keep an eye out to see if anything comes up that may help the committee.

  58. Catherine McWilliams

    Congratulations, Sean, on your bringing so much of the history of Donegal to light not just in this most valuable blog, but in your outstanding publications at National and International levels.

    Not at all surprised that you have over 16,500 hits to this blog alone. Your work is greatly appreciated far beyond Donegal’s shores. Thank you!

    • Catherine

      It is amazing what local communities can do when people put their minds to developing their own resources – and this fact still obtains.

      • Catherine McWilliams

        Well that is certainly true of our forgotten county!

        Really disappointed to have missed Macklin and your book launches. Must settle into a winter of reading…so much to look forward to!

        Warmest regards


  59. Bella

    Hi….I’m researching lacemaking in Donegal as part of my Art History project in College…I have a particular interest in this as my grandmother and greatgrandmother came from Donegal and she and her mother and sisters were weavers and lacemakers….there is a photograph of them in the Ulster Museum, or the Folk Museum in Belfast, and also in a book I think entitled This is Donegal Tweed…. I would love to have more information on my grandmother and their work in lacemaking but all I have is my grandmothers maiden name….Lena (Helena) Keaney…they lived in Ardara. Would you know of any contacts who might be able to provide more information? Many thanks, B

    • There are currently no Keaneys listed in the telephone directory for the Ardara area but the name is common in the neighbouring counties of Sligo and Leitrim. I am not sure of Helena’s age but you may get some information on Keaneys in the 1901 and 1911 Census which are online in the National Archives in Dublin to begin your search. It is possible that relatives may live in and around Ardara and you may get help by emailng info@ardara.ie. There is an excellent museum in the nearby town of Glenties which you can access if you google Folk Museum, Glenties. A look at Catholic parish registers may be possible if you get in contact with the parish priest for the town of Ardara. The registers are usually available in the National Library Dublin but that would involve a visit. I do not think the County Archives in Lifford have a list of lace makers. So may women were involved in lace making that records were not kept. The Ardara area would be more famous for knitting and embroidery but lace making was also common. Many women from the area left to work in other parts of the county in the textile industries and settled down and got married so it is hard to establish links. There is a lace museum at Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan and also at Mountmellick in the south of the country where samples of lace work be viewed.

  60. One of my favourite visits every summer was here .. my great grand uncles Bob and James made us very welcome . I loved that they chose to leave their clocks at GMT .. their cattle new nothing of the clocks changing so they took no heed either ! Elsie McCandless was my grandmother. This really is a family history lesson i a picture !

    • Theodore Elkin Somerville

      P.S. My email address is tesomerville@me.com.

      • Theodore

        Yes I would like to get more information on the Lecamey Elkins. Isaac Elkin, Leitrim House (not Lecamey) is mentioned in the show records for 1906 as prizewinner for a young foal.

        • yes i have a issac elkin on my family tree culdaff

          • Theodore E. Somerville

            Are you certain that “your” Isaac Elkin was buried at Culdaff? I spent quite a while in the graveyard there the year before last, and don’t remember seeing any Isaac. (Notably, there is an Alexander Elkin there, who died in about the 1830s.) My great grandfather Isaac Elkin, together with his wife and several of his children and grandchildren, is buried in the churchyard at Gleneely. The Elkins of Termone (Tremone?) have favored the churchyard of St. Buadan’s in Culdaff. My great grandfather Isaac was in fact born at Termone, but struck out on his own, building and residing at Leitrim House, which he passed on to his son Thomas George Elkin, my maternal grandfather. Thomas sold Leitrim before retiring in 1946, and I was personally present at, and well remember, that occasion. Isaac’s brother Edward, likewise, was born at Termone and struck out on his own, settling at Lecamey. Isaac was, I understand, highly respected in the local community. His gravestone attests that he was a “J.P.” (Justice of the Peace), though I don’t know the actual significance of that honor; he may have been merely the local equivalent of a Kentucky colonel. He lived until 1920, and my mother described him as a good-natured man who was wont to jocularly threaten naughty children that “for a farthing I’d give you a clout!” Theodore Elkin Somerville, New York.

          • Not sure where he is buried. I would need to check this.


          • Theodore Elkin Somerville

            I know very well where Isaac Elkin is buried, because he is my great grandfather and I have visited his grave many times, most recently in 2013. He is buried in the churchyard of the parish of Gleneely (not far from Moville), together with his wife, his son (my grandfather) Thomas George Elkin, Thomas’s wife, and two of Thomas’s children: Elizabeth (my aunt “Lala”) and Herbert. If you will provide me with your email address, I will be glad to send you a photo of the grave and headstone. It is not the original headstone; the original had badly deteriorated, and was replaced by my mother, Eileen Elkin Somerville, not long before her death in 2008 at the age of 100½. (She didn’t live quite so long as my father, who died in 2007 on his 101st birthday.)

          • My great grandfather Isaac Elkin, who is buried at Gleneely, was indeed married, in or about 1860, to Elizabeth Baird. Elizabeth died in 1901, and is also buried at Gleneely.

          • I recently got an original copy of Bob Elkin’s Teacher Training Certificate from Marlborough Street Training College, Dublin, dated 1894 from the Commissioners of National Education. It is a beautiful ornamented document worked in Celtic design. A previuos blog stated his wife died after one month but they were together for quite a while. The College building is still in use by the Dept of Education and I have attended meetings there, just off O’Connell St in Dublin. Sean Beattie

  61. Theodore Elkin Somerville

    A a great-grandson of Isaac Elkin and cousin of the Lecamey Elkins, I’d love to exchange further information with anyone who might be interested.

    • Michael McLaughlin

      Hi Theodore
      I recently bought Lecamey House and am really interested in learning more about the Elkin’s. We were given some info about the Elkin family tree and photographs of the family just after the turn of the century. Please get in touch.
      All the best


    • hello mr somerville i am related to your side of the family , I have been looking for cousins since i found out that I had a irish side, i would love to write to you , and send a picture of margret elkin child annie anderson, annie moved to south wales and married a james charles williams from cardiff. thankyou jackie pearson jackie christian medium is my facebook name

      • Theodore E. Somerville

        Sorry for my delay in responding. As I recall, the last time I visited St. Buadan’s Church in Culdaff, in the summer of 2013, I noticed the grave of a Margaret Elkin in the adjacent churchyard. I might even have taken a photo of it. It stood out in my mind because “Margaret” is not a name I associate with the Elkins. Theodore Elkin Somerville

  62. Kevin

    Sean, great blog and a fantastic way of finding out more about Inishowen. I love the sapper’s symbol, a great find!


  64. Fascinating post – thanks!

  65. Would love to see the maps

  66. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a brand new reader.
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  67. VRJ

    I know no Irish but in Scots Gaelic surely Dubh means black with a secondary meaning of hidden.Compare Sgian Dubh and dubh-sgeir which means hidden knife and hidden skerry respectively.

    • Agreed – rock is black; waters surrounding it are white ie the black rock surrounded by white water and that’s how it looks.

      • VRJ

        Yes that makes sense anyway I will be there myself in the summer so i’ll take a look.Last weekend i caught sight of The Donegal Atlas in a relative’s house in the UK East Midlands,very impressive production I’ll have to save some pennies.I like your site,it makes my annual visit to Inishowen more enjoyable.

  68. Monica McCann

    I’m pretty sure that’s my Dad in the fifth row, Jimmy McCann. He went to Ballyharry school and in 1940, he would have been 11 years old. Perhaps that is his older sister, Katie, and younger brother, Dan? I think so! Thank you so much for posting the picture! Monica McCann

  69. Hello. I am looking for my family history in Ireland and having some difficulty. My great great grandparents were Summer Elkin Wylie and Thomas Wylie( born Feb. 1st 1878 in County Tyrone. I believe he was a farmer. Thomas died soon after his daughter Eliza Jane my great grandmother was born July 21 1871.Her birth was recorded in Donegal. I am planning a trip to Ireland and would love to see where my family is from. Is this Elkin family a relation?

    • Kerry – not sure if this family is related. When a family uses a surname as a first name eg Elkin, it usually means this was the mother’s name. If your family are from Tyrone, then this is where your search should begin – the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh have a fine site and library and will be very helpful

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  71. Betty Morrow

    Hello Sean, I have enjoyed reading your Colgan Hall history very much. How are you? You’re keeping quiet on e mailing and coming out in Facebook! Anyway, hope you are well, congratulations on your son Conor’s show, I tried to get it on Facebook but did not manage. I was very interested on the ‘Clipper’ activities in Derry and wishing I was there, maybe 2016 I will get back to Derry, I see you are having sunshine again, No more room, Betty

  72. John Peterson/ Harkin

    Hi Sean. My grandad Thomas Harkin 1885-1976 from Falmore Leitrim his father Patrick Harkin mum Magery Mclauglin, Paddy Roe McLaughlin aunt .Tommy’s grandad Henry Harkin. Family of 13 but only have names for his brother, maybe aunt Rose, In 1966 my grandad Tommy visited a Beaty family, have a picture with a sign on the front of the BEATTY. Tommy said he had a Pub across from the Lace school Carromenagh he said it was the smallest Pub in all of Ireland. Meet John A. McLaughlin June 2011 I think my grandad worked in a Beatty Pub. Tommy and his family wife Bridget /Doherty(Lag House Pub) 3 kids brothers Joseph
    Nicholas cousins Paddy Roe , Mick and Willie McLaughlin emigrated 1926-27 to Brooklyn New York.

    • Hello John

      Thanks for email

      I knew Thomas and there are lots of Harkins still in the area

    • Forgot to add the Beatty pub is where I grew up
      The Lace School was some 100 yards above the pub not opposite
      Your grandad may have worked in my uncles’s pub in Crora, Culdaff which is still functioning part time

  73. John Peterson/ Harkin

    Hello Sean My grandfather Thomas Harkin 1885 1976 Falmore said he had a Pub across the road from the Lace House, he was friend of a Beatty. On his last 1966 he visited Beatty ,I have a picture of Tommy and my Mom going into house with a large sign BEATTY. I visited 2011, meet John A McLaughlin. Tommy’s cousin were Paddy Roe Mclaughlin ,Mick , all emigrated to Brooklyn NY 1926. My grandpa always talked about famous author . I just found out Michael Harkin was from Falmore he wrote book about Inishowen 1886.My grt grt grandpa was Henry Harkin all buried at Old St Mary’s .

  74. What an interesting story! Thanks to you for sharing!

  75. Loved it Sean, thanks for sharing.

  76. bettypatch@aol.com

    This was great Sean, I was able to listen to all. You have a great voice, very distinct, I also liked the Neil Simon show in Athlone, was that the show your son was in, in Ballyshannon?A woman was interviewed and a young man, was that your son? Now listening to a Derry show. Thanks so much Sean, Betty

    Sent from emy iPad


  77. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking tthe time and actual effort to create a great article…
    buut what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything


  79. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  80. bettypatch@aol.com

    Thanks for sharing Sean, wish I could attend, sounds great. Betty

    Sent from emy iPad


  81. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my phone during lunch break.
    I love tthe information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get
    home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my
    cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good site!

    • You are welcome..See charles macklin facebook for events in Culdaff this weekend; sorry it’s so fat to Carolina

  82. Betty Morrow

    Thank you Sean for keeping me up to date with the historical history, I am enjoying all the details and just sorry I am not able to attend.

  83. Liam

    Any idea about the Church of Ireland building at Linsfort (history, dates, etc)? Regards, Liam

    • Liam

      I have not done any work on Linsfort church. The church was built in 1779 and closed in 1972. The parish was amalgamated with Fahan Lower in 1921 and Fahan Upper and Inch in 1966. The parish was transferred from Derry Diocese to Raphoe in 1978. It was build at teh behest of the local landlord who was the key patron. The site is one of the best in Ireland. You can find a list of all clergy in CLERGY OF DERRY AND RAPHOE by Canon Crooks who lives near Manorcunningham and is an expert of church history. I may do a profile of the church and its clergy some time in the future so watch this site. I visited the church after it closed and recall seeing the baptismal font lying there. There were also some documents lying around the floor which I recovered but they are lost in my archives.

  84. mogue1ohara

    Thanks for this most interesting information, Sean, and I look forward to hearing more from you future researches. Aidan O’Hara

    • Aidan

      Sorry for delay in replying

      I was working on a new book on Inishtrahull and had a lot of info on the school there but I ran into difficulties with the publisher.

      I hope to have it all online some time this year. Thanks to the internet, this is possible.

  85. Enjoyed this article. A good excuse for celebrating Burns Night locally.

    • Elaine
      Sorry for delay

      It is worth going to Harvey’s Point if you have transport.

      George Mills tells me there were Burns here as tenants of Culdaff House.

  86. My great-grandparents were Annie Elkin and Robert Scott – is it possible to find out how to get a copy of this photograph – or where i can purchase a copy of the book this information and photo are in?

    • Rebecca – sorry for delay. I got the photos from Betty, and the photos are not in a book

      If you are related, my nephew owns the house and would welcome you if you call any time, preferably at weekends.

  87. elaine.graham55

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    • Thanks Elaine.

      Lots of history still to be uncovered in this area

      We hope to have a big conference on Carrowmore some time.

  88. Paul Doyle

    Hello Sean – I stumbled upon this article by you about Buncrana in the period 1916 to 1920 whilst I was looking on the Internet for references to Patrick Porter. I was speaking to his grandson Leo Porter today and I am currently reading a book by Malachy Sweeney – Troubled Times”. I’ve only got through about one-third of the book and finding that, so far, it deals mostly with events in South Donegal in the period up to 1919. I’m curious about the subject of your article and was quite amazed to come upon this website.

    I am fascinated by the change in the political landscape and in the events that occurred in Buncrana and Inishowen generally in the period from about 1880 when the Empire was at its height and Buncrana was a garrison town, to 1926 or thereabouts when the new order began to take shape. I too have read the minutes and other documents in the Buncrana TC archive (from 1914 ) but have often wondered why a substantial number of pages are missing from a scrap book kept by the Town Clerk, Charles Callaghan, covering (as far as I can recollect) the Councils activities and events in Buncrana in the period up to 1925?? The rest of this scrap book should be in the archive. I also recall reading an account of how the Town Clerk was visited one night and forced at gunpoint to hand over several documents, files etc., arising from the reluctance of the Council to recognise the new Department of Local Government and Public Health and cease to do business with the Local Government Board. It is also my recollection that Buncrana UDC was one of the last Councils in Ireland to so recognise the new Department of Local Government and Public Health. Apparently some of the minutes books are missing but it might be possible to assemble accounts about these periods from Council files/Derry Journal records.

    There are so many aspects about this period in Buncrana and Inishowen about which I am unaware that have been documented. I would welcome your comments.

    Many thanks for the book you sent me which I greatly appreciate.

    • Paul
      Excuse my delay in replying. The UC at Buncrana was dominated by Unionists and I suspect they found it difficult to accept the new regime. Someone did not want the truth to get out.It may be possible to re-construct the missing years from news paper reports but this will only be second best. I think a note should be added to the files to explain the gaps with a possible explanation which may be of interest to researchers in the future. The change in the political landscape occurred gradually but what happened between 1914 and 1922 was breath taking. I would like to see your 1916 file photocopied for the Buncrana library where I could get back to it easily. It is a treasure.

  89. Dr Arlene Crampsie

    Interesting post, thanks for this. Readers of this post might also be interested in the excellent recent publication by Dr Niamh Brennan, Donegal County Archives Service: Buncrana Urban District / Town Council: A short history. This is available on request from the archives office or can be downloaded from this link: http://www.donegalcoco.ie/culture/archives/publications/. Could you please post the references to the relevant minute books quoted above so that those of us interested can follow up?

    • Arlene – i was delayed in getting back to you as my internet connection collapsed in the storm. I presume your question refers to the minute books of Buncrana Urban Council. A former town clerk had a file from 1916 in his possession and he handed it over to some Council staff members on the day Niamh launched her book. As a guest at the launch, I had 15 minutes to peruse the contents and asked a public representative to photocopy them for Buncrana library before they went to Lifford. I am not sure if this has been done. I believe the 1916 file with an interesting collection of letters is now in the County Archives at Lifford. They make very exciting reading and I was regret I was unable to examine the contents in more detail. May do so later.

  90. bettypatch@aol.com

    Sean, I was surprised with this subject as my great grandfather was on the Minnehaha sailing ship. In our sitting room there was a replica of the ship in a glass case. I heard stories all of my childhood about the Minnehaha.

    If you have more news I would love to hear details of the history of this sailing ship.

    Thank you,


    Sent from emy iPad


    • Owen McGonigle has written a new book about the ship. His great great grandfather was on the crew.

    • Please upload a picture to Facebook

    • Craig Dougherty

      Please let me know how to get this new book. My GGGrandfather came from Ireland to the USA on 23 May 1873 on a Minnehaha Clipper ship. Pat McGonigle is the Captain on my passenger list for James. Researching this I find a few ships with this name. I have read that Joseph Joshua Sempill painted two pictures of it. One alone and one with a barque named Village Belle. I may be wrong but I thought that I read that this particular ship was sold in 1873 to a Baltimore, USA company. This 1878 date is confusing me. I would love to get a copy of a picture of this ship to hang in my Genealogy research room. Would love to get my hands on a model of it also. Thirsty for any information on the Minnehaha. Cheers, Craig Dougherty irishkungfu1@yahoo.com

      • Craig
        May be on amazon;
        Look out for THE MAIDEN CITY AND THE WESTERN OCEAN which is i libraries or perhaps second hand as it contains a lot of info about shipping from Derry.

  91. The 1916 file was actually handed to me, County Archivist, for the County Archives, on the day of the launch of the Buncrana Urban District Council: A Short History book. It is now part of the large collection of invaluable archives of the Urban District Council/Town Council of Buncrana. I have read through the file, it is an administrative file relating to the activities of the UDC in the year 1916 and contains correspondence and government circulars about issues ranging from housing to maintenance of roads, county roads in Donegal, financial issues affecting the Council, development of the town and rates and valuation. There are some circulars relating to the ongoing World War 1. This file, along with the rest of the collection of the Buncrana UDC, is available at the Archives research room for viewing on request, by prior appointment. The surviving minutes of Buncrana UDC are likewise available and form part of the same collection. Some of the file is being scanned at present. The booklet is also available, on request and is online as Arlene has already mentioned. Hope this helps,
    regards, Niamh Brennan, Archivist, Donegal County Council.

  92. Thank you so much for going to the effort of sharing these here so that we can have a good look. It is not always easy to find documents like this catalogue and so to have them generously shared is brilliant. I have even caught a glimpse of Tirhoran where my own family came from and still live.

  93. LucyAnn

    Thanks for uploading these Sean. They look very interesting, although I can’t quite read the small print and I don’t seem to be able to find a way of zooming in. Is that just me and my laptop? I note that the sale in the same year the John Pitt Kennedy died. Did he have a hand in organising it?

    • Lucy Anne

      I do not think he had a hand in organising it

      See my latest post on Enid Blyton -Pitt Kenn
      edys are Carys were quite close. You could see one house from the other with views over Trawbrega Bay


  94. Well, Sean, I always learn something interesting from your history of Donegal blog. Today’s is no exception, and I had no idea of Enid Blyton’s connections with Carndonagh and Inishowen. By coincidence, my wife, Joyce, and I had lunch with a couple of friends at the Stillorgan Park hotel in Dublin last Friday, and a couple of the next table overheard me referring to “The Famine Diary” book, published in 1992, that became a bestseller even before the famine commemorations had begun, and then through my own efforts and an intervention from my friend Jim Jackson of the French department and TCD, the facts were revealed about this work of fiction. But that’s another story. Anyway, the lady at the next table said that her husband David who was with her, and was beginning to feel the effects of the early onset of dementia, was a member of the Hamilton family of the book, “John Hamilton Of Donegal 1800-1884: This Recklessly Generous Landlord”. Perhaps they are the same Hamiltons as those related to Enid Blyton.

    You mentioned there’d be forthcoming news of other writers with an Inishowen connection. I just wondered what others think of John Toland, and are Inishowen people happy to acknowledge him as one of their own? Or perhaps, as one of the first people to be called a freethinker, there is no great desire on the part of some to celebrate his contribution to philosophical thought in the early years of the age of Enlightenment.

  95. What’s the sources for this?

  96. Aideen Doherty

    knew there was something in it .. I was a member of the carndonagh branch of the FAMOUS FIVE .. and spent many days seeking adventures around the town and as far away as Glasha !! Fond memories for the church road gang

  97. Thousands attended that meeting and it aim was popularising the Irish Volunteer Movement.Thomas McDonagh started the meeting by stating that in a district like Inishowen it was Unnecessary to make an appeal for patriotism . I Wonder if you could say the same thing today . Thomas was executed on May 3rd 1916 for his part in the Easter rising and brought a great sadness no where so than Donegal where he delivered a rousing address .

  98. Catherine McWilliams

    The life and times of the families portrayed in these postings provides for us a picture of an Inishowen long forgotten….

    Love the family connections for those of us with an interest in family history…..Great work Sean!
    Love it all!

    • Looking forward to meeting John Cary. We have tracked down a housekeeper from Castlecary aged 89

  99. Betty Patch

    Enjoyed this very much, thanks Sean.

  100. Betty Morrow Patch

    Thanks for sharing Sean,

  101. I Have a Souvenir spoon of the Athenia from her early Passenger days with her name and Company Crest .

  102. Betty

    Thank you Sean, I enjoyed your post.

  103. Catherine Duff

    Is anything known of a Major Colhoun , possibly a relative of Mabel Colhoun, who was resident in Greencastle during WW2. His house was opposite the Royal Naval base at Magilligan and my mother, Annie Davis was his cook/housekeeper. She often spoke (very kindly) of him and his wife but being silly we only half listened to what she told us. I would dearly love some more info on him and his wife. They discovered my mum could do semaphore (taught by my RO father who was on Atlantic tanker convoys in the Merchant Navy). They moved from near Rathmullan in ~ 1941 to Greencastle taking my mother with them having found she had this ability and we wondered if they had a specific reason for this move. Date: Sun, 3 May 2015 13:40:49 +0000 To: katyduff@hotmail.co.uk

  104. patrick lafferty

    great piece of information. Would love a photograph of train at drumfries station on Buncrana/Carndonagh line

  105. Betty Morrow

    Thanks Sean, U Boat history very good, I was seven but do not remember!

  106. Betty Morrow

    Very good Sean, I love to read all your history stories and enjoy every one of them.
    Thanks again,

  107. Hello – is Fr Art O’ Reilly still living?

  108. Betty Morrow

    Very good Sean, I love history and you sure can supply it. Thank you. I thought you had gone away someplace as I did not see any posts in a few days. I just saw on Facebook the month of June s going to be hottest ever in Ireland, hope that includes the northern part as well.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • Pretty awful here today – like winter.

      Still blogging away but may take a rest for the summer.

  109. Betty Morrow

    Did I do something wrong?

  110. Theodore E. Somerville

    Snippets of this kind are interesting to be sure, but would be even more so if their source were cited.

  111. George Mills

    All the famous five books and the “Island of adventure” and the “sea of adventure” were part of growing up in Culdaff House and are still here in the attic I expect! If we had known we were related we might have had them signed !!

  112. Fr Bonner’s house in Church Rd
    Many great citizens assisted in many famine times in Inishowe

    • Yes it a pity it was demolished. As a teacher in the school I was not in a position to object.

  113. brian mc cafferty

    would it be possible to confirm that a neil or neal mc cafferty was station mater at fahan at approx 1869

  114. desmonddoherty

    Sean, Is that Hubert O’Donell’s (Mary Robinson’s grandfather) next to Broadbins? Des

    Sent from my iPhone


  115. raymond blair

    Growing up as a boy in Donegal in the 1970’s I heard the Brethren being referred to by the nickname “The Dippers” arising from their practice of immersing their followers in water as a sign of their commitment.

  116. Trish Brady

    James Brady Station,aster at Burnfoot was my grandfather. My family knew the Quigleys.

    • Trish Brady

      Actually my greatgrandfather, though his son n James, my grandfather was also a clerk on the railway.

      • The railway was a major employer and it is sad to see our rail links in this county have disappeared.

  117. David Lowe

    In fact the Plymouth Brethren, contrary to the name, is an Irish sect and was founded in Dublin by a group of Protestants and some Catholics who were disillusioned with ‘High Church’. The movement eventually spread to Plymouth, where it had a particularly successful uptake, and the name Plymouth Brethren stuck. In truth, it all began in Dublin and is thus effectively an Irish religion. More here at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Brethren

  118. Pretty part of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site
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  119. Deborah Misiag

    Any information on a Dykes family who worked for the Harveys? I am trying to find out when they arrived on the property.

  120. Kay Bright

    Hi, Sean. I am trying to find any information relating to the history of the old School at Templemoyle, together with some pictures of the original building and pupils. Would you be able to point me in the right direction. Many thanks. Kay

  121. david

    November 23 1869 
    Nov. 13, in the Roman Catholic Chapel of Upper Fahan, by the Rev. B. McEldowney, P.P., MR NEAL McCAFFERTY, station master, Fahan Point, to MISS M. DOHERTY, Ridgeway, Fahan


  122. Pascale Chometon

    We don’t pay enough attention to some buildings we pass by every day. It is great that thanks to people like you, we know more about them. It gives us an idea of what Carn was like years ago. The building in which Café Donagh is located has a rich past too. I was told by local people that it was once the police station of the town. Merci beaucoup pour ton article, Sean. C’est très intéressant!

  123. desmonddoherty

    Well done again, Sean. I look forward to the Annual in Sept.
    PS I believe that the N Doherty, Annagh would have been my grand-uncle Neil D (‘Brown’)

    • I was hoping this might help some families with genealogies relevant to 1916

  124. Debbie Misiag

    Interesting story on the Harveys. My family worked the land of the Harveys. I am trying to figure out when they came over from Scotland. My great grandfather was Robert Dykes, son of John Dykes and Elizabeth McLaughlin. I am hoping if I search the Harvey’s I should be able to find out the year the Dykes came to Malin or at least to Ireland.
    Debbie Dykes Misiag

    • The Harveys have been here since the Plantation adn the house was built in 1770 but they were in Derry earlier

  125. Grace Toland

    Hello Sean,

    I don’t think we have met in person but I read your History of Donegal posts with great interest. I am currently Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive based in Dublin, and a native of Inishowen. Your latest contribution on traditional music prompts me to draw your attention to a digitised edition of ‘Old Irish Croonauns’ on the Irish Traditional Music Archive’s website. There is also an introductory essay on the publication and Honoria’s contribution.


    Other sources from the site which may be of interest to you are: Grace Orpen’s ‘Local Donegal dances’ and the Inishowen Song Project.



    I’d be delighted if you could bring these resources to the attention of your readers. I would also really welcome information or suggestions re other Donegal traditional music sources for the ITMA collection.

    Kind regards, Grace

    Grace Toland Director

    Irish Traditional Music Archive http://www.itma.ie

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hello Grace. Yes we may not have met but our paths have crossed many times in Clonmany over the years and I am aware of your work. I will being the digitised editions to the attention of some of our musicians in Inishowen who are interested in pursuing the connection with Honoria, among others. I have just recently taken note of Honoria although I have researched her father’s work many years ago. It is great to be able to read this material online and that is something I will do shortly. Regards, Sean

  126. Betty Morrow

    Thank you Sean, I loved your history and enjoyed the story of long ago, thanks, Betty.

  127. Betty Morrow

    Wish I was home to go see this, thanks for sharing.

  128. Linda McSheffery

    Hi Sean, I was hoping you might have some history on the McSheffrey Bridge, i believe it is on the road to Carndonagh. Thank-you for any help.

    Kind Regards

    • Linda
      The bridge was built by the DonegalGrand Jury which met regularly in Lifford and was composed mainly of landlords until it was abolished with the setting up of Donegal County Council. Landlords such as Harveys of Malin and Youngs of Culdaff would have been active in promoting it as previously the area was tidal and cut off from markets in Carn and Derry. The bridge was an important junction, like O Connell St. Bridge in Dublin today. I would need to check the Grand Jury Records in Letterkenny Library before I write more.

      • Linda

        Thank-you so very much Sean for taking the time to reply.
        I am hoping take a trip over to Carndonagh to view it in person someday, and the history you have shared was wonderful.
        I was told but again this could just be a family story that got bigger and better if you get my drift, They said that the bridge was named after the McSheffrey family of Carndonagh who lived on Carrowreagh rd i think it was. Again this is a story that has been told since the 1880’s 90’s so it could have got mixed up along the way.
        Kind Regards

        • Mary Mcsheffrey Murphy

          In regards to McSheffrey bridge my Father was Henry Mcsheffrey and he
          Also told me a story of. McSheffrey Bridge and how it came to be
          He had given me a book on the history of some of the McSheffrey s
          I think most came to Ireland from Scotland….where my father was born
          Was called Scotch Ballyharry , obviously a nickname
          And most McSheffreys were related very uncommon name

  129. Marie Wallace

    Excellent article Sean. Very interesting.

    • Thanks Marie – new book out perhaps next year on the base.

    • Mike McTague

      Fascinating, I have driven past that building hundreds of times and never knew what it was! Also, I assume that the Garda Jim Beatty might be related to the author, but the surname spelling is different… I bought a copy of Jim Beatty and Jim McLaughlin’s Atlas of Donegal as a present for my Dad Seamus last Christmas, best present I ever got for him!

      • Mike yes I am related to Jim Beatty (although my spelling is Beattie). I edited the Atlas you mention. I have seen photos today of several hundred US navy men outside the base in 1918. They even had their own band called the Troubadours. More to come…..Sean

  130. Paddy Roddy

    Is the site at Cooley wheelchair accessible for the open day

  131. Amanda

    Hi there, just wondering where and what time are the lectures being held tomorrow in Carn? Also, what time is open day running from-to in Cooley? Thank you

    • Sorry Amanda I did not see this in time. A visit to Cooley graveyard is worthwhile to view progress and meet the diggers who will be there this week until 27 August.

  132. Where is house 3 physically located in Culdaff? Thats my grandparents listed their, John and Ellen Mills.
    Thanks for your help and information.

    Jack Mills

    • I am not sure about this one as the census does not give maps of houses just a count of heads.

  133. Anne Breslin

    My great uncle(by marriage)Clarence Verne mc Daniel,from Colorado was stationed there.He married Rosena Kavanagh from Derry.

    • Anne

      Thanks for this information. Pictures exist of the entire camp and a US academic is writing up the history. Please keep in touch with developments


      • Kelly McDaniel

        Clarence Verne McDaniel was my grandfather and I am actively researching his life while he was at Ture and his marriage to my grandmother Rosena Kavanagh. I would be very interested in any information available from the write up as mentioned including photos. My father is turning 90 in 2 weeks so time is short for me to include details of his father at his birthday celebration if possible (I already have a binder of other things related to Clarence and Rosena.
        How would I go about looking at the write up? Email would work best for me.
        Best regards from Canada and thank you!
        Kelly McDaniel

  134. Gerry mcsheffrey

    Hello Sean have you got any photos of the mcsheffrey bridge

    Gerry mcsheffrey

  135. John Collins

    Encountered the Pitt Kennedys when chasing my COLLINS lines. A Dr. Robert Collins married as his second wife, a Mary Kennedy, daughter of John Pitt Kennedy on 16 Aug 1849 at Taney Parish C of I, Dublin. She was living at St. Bridgets, Clondkeagh and Collins at 2 Merrion Sq. North, Dublin. Witnesses were Evory, William, George and “Irishtorn” (sic) KENNEDY.

    Evory was an obstritician like Collins and a few years younger, and both closely associated with the Rotunda Hospital. Collins is noted for his modifications in hospital practices that reduced childbirth fevers and deaths markedly. Kennedy would have been involved in those changes.

    Does anyone have details on which John Pitt Kennedy was Mary’s father? No children are known by that marriage although Collins had five by his first wife Barbara Clarke, daughter of Dr. Joseph Clarke, also of the Rotunda.

    • The Kennedy papers in the National Library in Dublin will provide the answer if you call.

      • John Collins

        Thanks Sean.
        Since I live in Canada, I’ll have to work on how I make contact with N.L.I. In Dublin. I do not expect there were children as both were age 49 at marriage. He was buried in his family plot at Coolick, north of Dublin. Her name was not with his so I suspect that she may heve been buried in her family’s plot.

        Mary’s status, spinster or widow, was not mentioned in the marriage record. I have no knowledge that she brought children into the marriage.

        Since the prior post, I have come to believe that the Rev. John Pitt Kennedy (born 1759) was her father, and the younger males of that family name were her brothers.

        Best to all

        John Collins

        • Sorry for delay in replying – just seeing this now.
          The online facility will be a help.

    • Seamus Kennedy

      If you click on the ‘online catalogue’ button on the national library of Ireland website, it will bring you to a wealth of information on John Pitt Kennedy, all searchable online. Hint: click on the ‘context’ button to see background information.
      Seamus Kennedy

  136. Denise McColgan

    Thank you for this great piece of Inishowen news and history regarding Jack Crawford, Sean. It’s also a delight to see a Maura in the picture! Best regards, Denise

  137. Seamus McTague

    Not at all surprised to read this. Brutality seems to have been the norm in those days. Just finished “After the Rising ” by Seán Enright. It covers the aftermath of 1916 from a legal point of view. Well worth a read.It deals with the period up to The Treaty.The ruthlessness of both sides was an eye opener to me.

  138. Raymond and Carole Blair

    Hello Sean – that is very interesting about the Buncrana lady. It is almost certainly not the same lady but I have seen a reference to a Miss Eithne Coyle from somewhere in Donegal, a young girl from an anti-treaty family, who was involved in a hunger strike in mountjoy in 1923 – again many modern parallels!




    • Raymond
      Eithne Coyle was definitely involved at some stage. I think she lived in Falcarragh and was married to a Moville man (whose family I cannot trace)
      Iam hoping someone in Buncrana will reply but as we know 1923 is as long time ago and memories are short.
      Regards, Sean

  139. Peter Hope

    Hi Sean, I came across your blog when searching for details of the Rectory captured in a few slides taken by my parents. I stayed at the Rectory in late 1965 as a youngster with my family. The Padre (as my mother called him), Alec (or Alex) Stewart had been based in Beira, Mozambique, during the early 1960’s where my father (an expat from South Africa) worked for the Standard Bank. I have digitized a couple of slides if you are interested. Regards, Peter Hope.

  140. Fearghal Mac Lochlainn

    A very interesting piece Sean. It would have been hard times to live in. The civil war was Irelands shame. So many cruel deeds done on what we’re once comrades in arms. Here’s a link to a photo to a photo of Eithne Coyle.


    A couple of my Great GrandUncles were part of Clonmany IRA during war of independence. Would you have any information from that area. Their surname was Hirrell .
    Thank you for Sharing Sean.

  141. Fearghal Mac Lochlainn

    Brilliant reading Sean. Thank you very much for a great bit of history.

  142. mogue1ohara

    My twin brother and I lived in Muff in the 1940s and went to Carnamoyle National School. We turned left up the White Hill Brae (where Harkins shop is now), the ‘sandy track’ that Eithne
    Anderson says went ‘Winding o’er the moor of Lisnagra’ into the ‘shady wood of swaying trees’ that we found – and still find – enchanting and delightful. My daughter, Kathleen, who lives near Greencastle told me she was there recently with her three children, drawn back once again to experience the allure of that magic place that I introduced her to when she was a child. I shall forward your post on to her and I know she’ll appreciate it as much as I do. Thank you.

  143. Thanks for your personal memories Aiden. I quoted only half the poem. It has very interesting vowel sounds which are part of the internal rhyme. To my shame, I first visited this place only this year but that is Donegal – always something new to discover. You know Muff well. Sean

  144. raymond blair

    Great overview of the very accomplished Hart family – how would one assess them as landlords I wonder – good, bad, or somewhere in between/ I get the impression that they were benevolent but I may not have the full pictire

    • Raymond

      They had a good record and very very opposed to Lord Leitrim whom they said gave landlords a bad name

  145. I often wondered about those initials in Doe Castle– excellent post – thank you !

  146. mogue1ohara

    Many thanks for the information on William James Doherty. His book is of such importance and although I had a copy once, it got burned in a fire. However, I can read it here, and that is some consolation: https://archive.org/details/inisowentirconne00doheiala.

  147. mogue1ohara


    Many thanks for the information on William James Doherty. His book is of such importance and although I had a copy once, it got burned in a fire. However, I can read it here, and that is some consolation: https://archive.org/details/inisowentirconne00doheiala.

    I look forward to seeing you the Colgan Heritage Weekend. It looks like it will be an interesting weekend.

    Regards, Aidan.

  148. raymond blair

    Good to see a focus on this important Donegal historian – as even historians are quickly forgotten! – raymond blair

  149. John Mc Carron

    Is the book available to view online anywhere?
    I would very much like to see it.

  150. Josephine Lambkin

    Lovely review Seán, inspired me to buy the dvd.
    Think maybe iseanachai.com would be the link for UK?
    Thank you,

    Sent from my iPad

  151. Local Eye

    The house had now been demolished and most of the trees felled. It is believed the house was deliberately set on fire to ensure that heritage people would not put a protection order in it. It is a very sorry site indeed.

  152. raymond blair

    Very interesting – I wonder where you located the letters? Are they in the National Archives in Dublin perhaps?

  153. Suzanne Holroyd

    Wow, he was my great, great, great grandfather. Suzanne Holroyd nee Molloy

    • Suzanne
      Thanks for your reply. Can you give me any more info on him?
      Were his sons buried in Straid graveyard
      You may know the church is being renovated

  154. Josephine Lambkin

    Where will you be selling it please? I am still living in England..
    Thank you Seán, Jo

    Sent from my iPad

    • Josephine – it will be on sale in Amazon when printed by the end of the month.

  155. Hanneke Young Tammel

    Hi Sean

    Here are some Marchall’s

  156. Robert H S Hart

    Thank you for a very good piece on the family. I would like to point out that ” http://www.familyreemaker,com.users/h/a/r/Robert‑H‑Hart/FILE/0005page.html ” is no longer running but I have moved it to ” ancestry.co.uk ” under ” HART’S OF KILDERRY & BALLYNGARD (Muff) ” once more thank you.

  157. Robert
    Just seeing this post today due to book launches etc recently. Thanks for this information. I had a regular and delightful correspondence with the late Frank Hart.and you may be aware of an article I wrote on William Hart and his oyster growing business in Donegal Annual 1999. Sean

  158. Diane Marshall

    Very interesting read. Looking forward to the publication in July.

    • I am going to the printers on Friday weather permitting to have the Donegal Annual printed.
      There will be a guided walk to the Marshall monument in Carndonagh on 17-19 August 2018 during the Colgan Heritage weekend.
      Watch colganheritage.com

  159. Diane Marshall

    very interesting find. Great blog. Keep up the good work. I sincerely hope the Children’s Literary Festival becomes a reality.

    • Thanks Diane
      WE are now undertaking research on Honoria Galwey 1830-1925 a great song collector so watch this space.
      We hope to have a seminar in November based on her work adn you may be interested in joining us

  160. Gillian McIntosh

    Hi Sean, I wondered where Ludwig Schenkel’s archive of photographs is kept? Many thanks, Gillian

    • Gillian

      I think they were given to Derry City Library by David Bigger, a friend. I know David may still have some of them, some of which I published in ATLAS OF DONEGAL Cork University Press. As far as I know the full collection is still in private hands
      Sean Beattie

      • Gillian

        David Bigger has the collection. Some of David’s collection is in Foyle St library Derry so give them a call Sean

        • Gillian McIntosh

          Many thanks for the information Sean, that’s very helpful. Best wishes Gillian

  161. Ruairi Mac Leanachain

    My family are McBrearty and came from Corraine where they had a scotch mill according to the Griffiths Valuation. The mill is not there now but would you gave any information about that scutch mill.

    • Ruari

      There is a very good book on scutch mills which I think may be available through the library.
      Most scutch mills were fairly similar in operation

  162. Gina Farren

    Sean I spoke about the scutch mills and ture seaplane base on my guided tour a few weeks ago. I found your book The Atlas of Donegal a very useful resource and I am still enjoying it. We also visited st ultans well and called with Denis turas on the tour. Denis tells me that there is a connection with Elkins old house and Peter Robinson but I couldn’t verify it. Do you know of that connection? Hutchinsons own that farm now.

    • Thanks Gina

      Elkins are related to Peter Robinson

      See DONEGAL ANNUAL 2017 in library for more on the base. Also IRELAND OWN CENTENARY EDITION out last March for more on the base

  163. Diane Marshall


    what time is your Walk on 17 August and where is the meeting point?

    Ps I love your wee nuggets of local history

    • Diane
      The walk is on Saturday 18 August from 9 30 starting at the Colgan hall in the town and then on to Glentogher by bus. Details about booking with the Colgan Hall will appear later. Bus fare 5 euro.

      I did not give details as I have to check the landowner agrees but I am 90% certain he has – so many things to check nowadays when organising things
      You will enjoy this walk and all about the rectory site and farm buildings which are intact, not to mention the view.


    • Diane

      The walk is on Saturday 18 August (event changed from July) starting at Colgan Hall Carndonagh at 9 30
      Booking details later


  164. Tom Agbrew

    You say Thomas Carey Blyton Snr was born in 1840 and he married Mary Ann Hanly, a descendant of the Carys of Tiernaleague House, Carndonagh. So are you suggesting Thomas Carey Blyton Snr’s parents (who were from Nottinghamshire, England) knew the Cary family or knew that their son would marry a Cary descendant?

  165. Peta Beattie

    Wondering if you may have information relating to Beatties who lived or worked near the bloody forelands. Two brother Robert and Alexander emigrated to Australia in 1885. I believe Robert was born in Manorcunningham. Any assistance greatly appreciated.

  166. Linda S

    My husband’s grandfather was Robert McLaughlin of Corvish whose brother was James and stepfather was Bernard McColgan. What a find!

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks for your reply

      Please share this information with all family members

      There is so much mass rock history in the Corvish area


  167. Fiona Dodd

    Good memories

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Fiona
      I hope you enjoyed it
      Time rolls past so quickly~

  168. paddy simpson

    great stuff it would great to see a copy of inis duinn

    There are a few copies around and I am sure you are in them

  169. John Mc Laughlin

    Thanks for putting up the info. Only know of you by reputation, all good !!! I was in, I believe, the second intake of pupils ( ie the second lot of Leaving Cert examinees) in the original College, in the Colgan Hall. I believe the first Class/es made the news as being unusual in completing the leaving cycle in 4 years. Rev “Big Art” O Reilly was principal at the outset.

    As an aside, while agreeing that Mr O’Leary did not generally use textbooks, he did occasionally have the odd one in his case— e.g. he was likely to, while elaborating on some aspect of literature say something along the lines “as xyz says, in his book on the subject, on page 154………I think” and then take out the book from his bag and say ” sorry it was page 156″ !! . He was the proverbial font of knowledge. Some of us smart alecs (excluding myself, of course) , occasionally used to deliberately raise an issue which necessitated him rush next door into the “library ” (Fr Campbells room) to check in Encyclopaeia Brittanica— to discover that the particular volume in question had been secreted in advance by one of us. We knew that he would invariably be proven right, as he always was.

    Father Lagan was generally the favourite, as apart from anything he used to take us on our “free classes” in the Wesleyan Hall on Bridge Street and treat us to the gangster stories of Damon Runyon. Fr Lagan appeared to us to be very “Normal”– for a teacher/ priest.

    John Mc Laughlin

  170. Dave

    Nendrum Monastery is located at Mahee Island, outside Comber, County Down. Not Islandmagee as stated.

  171. Padraic HARVEY

    I was on the staff from 1977 to 1998, so I can remember at least fifteen from these two photographs.Having been a school inspector from Nov 1998 to March 2003, I then spent the rest of my career with the State Exams Commission. I only just retired on March 31 this year, after 41.5 years in education and exams. PS: I love Anne Harris’s boots!

    • seanbeattie

      Congratulations on your long service. I managed 40 full time. Your career mobility was something I envy

  172. Padraic Harvey


    I recently tried to leave a comment on your Carndonagh teachers 1972 piece. It didn’t work for me, possibly because I hadn’t properly subscribed to your blog.

    Now that I have received email with your Brooklyn blog, I presume that I’m subscribed. I should be able to add comments now, shouldn’t I?



    • seanbeattie


      I have the comment and replied
      Some people had difficulty in the past
      I hope this is ok now

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Padraic
      I have ween the comments and replied

  173. Mary McCann Stone

    Our McFs started to leave Carrowmenagh in 1883 and settled in Harrison, NJ. Some of them married men from Brooklyn. Your article goes a long way in explaining why. Thank you so much!
    Mary McFeeley McCann Stone

  174. Thomas Cannon

    Just a note, Seán, to say how much I enjoyed your note, ‘From Ballyharry to Brooklyn 1882.’

    I hope you might consider expanding it to an article length.

    By the way, you might find some of your relatives’ headstones in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Brooklyn, where there are quite a few Donegal surnames to be found.

    All the best, Tom


    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Tom
      Yes I hope to have another look at this in a more professional way.
      I can see why America was so attractive

  175. Denise Olsen Clark

    Beautiful story thanks for sharing ❤️????❤️My grandparents were Davenport’s from Culdaff and settled in prospect park area of Brooklyn ???? nice to learn all about their journey to the USA! Cheers !

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Denise

      I know the Davenports well in Culdaff – not all went to Brooklyn


  176. Patsy Toland

    Nice piece of history but it leaves out the appalling violence that was part of the daily routine for students during the late 60s in the school. The scars left by priests in particular are still reverberating through the lives of former students. I survived the school – certainly didn’t enjoy or grow through the education there.

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Patsy

      Violence should have no place in the education system.

      I arrived there in 1971 and it was a different place.



    my name is llewellyn weeks, mary weeks was my mother and margaret Doherty my aunt I was surprised to find out about the three patriots of carndonagh. I was last there in the nineties, but still in contact with aunt Margaret and hearing how much it has changed over the years

    • seanbeattie

      Most people in the town were unaware of the heads but they are very clear to see
      Margaret was fine when I saw her a few months ago

  178. Denise Sarah

    Thank you for this fascinating post, Sean. It’s wonderful to read. I continue to miss you and all the wonderful people in Inishowen, and hope to be back in the near future. I’ll continue to check for your posts in the meantime. With fondest regards, Denise McColgan (denisesarah13@gmail.com)

    • seanbeattie

      Hi Denise

      It is great to hear from you again. We thought you might have joined us for our tenth anniversary but we look forward to seeing you in the future. Regards Sean (on behalf of Colgan Heritage Committee).

  179. Bridget Maguire

    Patrick could have been my great grandfather..Cassie Beatty’father who was in America and returned to Donegal. My mother was Bridget McDermott from Carrowbeg…a stones throw from Carrowmena…who must have been at the Crochet School. She was a wonderful seamstress and knitted and crocheted all her life. She talked of a lady who came to the area to teach them. She crocheted a wedding dress for someone when she was very young, I have fond memories of holidays spent in Carrowbeg and am greatly interested in the history of the area.

    • seanbeattie

      I knew both families well
      Cassie gave me a piece of crochet similar to what she worked on in
      the Lace School

  180. Lisa Roche

    Was McCann’s the post office once helmed by Leslie McCann? Did his family turn the property into some kind of hospitality business?

  181. Thomas Cannon

    Dear Seán,

    Loved your piece on St. Boden’s bell and boat. I’d like to encourage you to write it up the the DA. All the best, Tom


    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Tom

      |Sadly the site is badly degraded although the boat is intact.


  182. Eva Schenkel Arnott

    I am Ludwig Schenkel’s niece, the daughter of his brother, Paul. We left Derry in 1945 but visited both Derry and Clonmany several times in the 1950s. I was delighted to be contacted recently by Turlough McConnell and hope that my uncle’s photographs will be seen more widely. I live near New Haven, Connecticut but can, of course be reached by email

  183. Alison Cotter

    Hi there,

    Where can I get the book to m Ballyliffin by Rosemary Doherty? What is the name of it? I can’t seem to find it or any reference to it online and I’m very keen to purchase it.

    Many thanks in advance

    • seanbeattie

      Sorry for dealy
      Contact Rosemary at Greencastle Maritime Museum, Greencastle, Co Donegal where she is curator. She has copies. See website for museum

  184. seanbeattie

    Hello Eva – sorry for the delay as I have just seen the post. I have written an article on Ludwig which I hope to publish soon – not sure where. David Bigger has the photos and I will let him know you contacted me. I have second cousins in West Hartford in Connecticut called Fishers but it may be far from you. I have used 15 of Ludwigs photos in ATLAS OF DONEGAL which I edited and DONEGAL ANNUAL which I currently edit. See http://www.donegalhistory.com. I may need some more information on Ludwig’s life in Germany before he left. My email is seanbeattie@hotmail.com and I would like to hear from you. Sean

  185. Diane Marshall

    Thanks Sean. Another wee gem of local history

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks for your comments Diane
      All the best for 2020


    As a child my sister and I walked passed THE TIERNALEAGUE HOUSE on our visit to our
    grandmother….Brigid Kearney and aunt Mary. Maura Harkin lived next to the police station–
    we lived in the post office house where Mamma was the postmistress. Grandpa William O’Connor
    was the blacksmith on the New Road . HAPPY MEMORIES. mary gemma hearney HUBBELL.

    • seanbeattie

      Mary Gemma – thanks for your memories. Please keep in touch Sean

  187. Kate Gill

    I can remember the murmers going around Inishowen over the Christmas period, at first they frightened the life out of me, but enjoyed their performance so much, looked forward to their return each year such a shame this wonderful tradition has died out. Please start it up again!

    • seanbeattie

      Kate – yes it would be great change from so much tv Sean

  188. Mary Bernadette McFeeley McCann Stone

    I really enjoyed this!

  189. Thomas Cannon

    Many thanks, Seán, for this wonder article. It’s a treasure! Tom


  190. Roddie MacLennan

    The article is interesting but is perhaps a little inaccurate. The sword is not the two handed claidheamh mhôr, favoured by Scottish Gaels, but a single hand pattern apparently in common use throughout the Scottish Gaidhealtachd until the adoption of the later basket hilt broadsword. Before Leinster Hurling was adopted as the national ball and stick game for Ireland, in the 19th century, a line could be drawn from Dublin to Galway, north of which the game of Camanachd was played. It survives in Scotland as Shinty or Camanachd. I suppose it’s debatable whether the Mcorriston stick is actually a hurley at all; certainly not in its modern sense. The Scottish links are certainly strong, with the man himself being a Scottish gallowglass and his caman being identical with those being made and used in Scotland today. (I am a caman maker and Highlander whose maternal family came from the Glenties.).

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Roddie. You are a keen student of the hurley and its history. Looking at the stone, I doubt if it was easy to use as a single hander, certainly not by battle-weary fighters.

  191. Roddie MacLennan

    Hi Seàn, I think it’s just the sculptors proportions which are a bit off! That type of sword appears on a lot of West Highland style grave slabs. The pommel appears to be derived from a mixture of earlier viking and European single hand swords. The claidheamh mòr can be identified by quillons which were always a quatrefoil pattern. I make replicas of the Cloncha caman, together with the wooden balls which were commonly used in Camanachd until quite recently…if anyone is interested! ????????

    • seanbeattie

      Roddy -very interesting that you make these. VIking influence is also of interest as they dominated this area from 900 to about 1250 approx. Further Viking influences appear on some stone crosses in Inishowen.

  192. Where can I view his maps?

  193. Where can the maps be viewed?

  194. Thomas Cannon

    Many thanks, Seán, for this very interesting note on Early Christian Donegal. Tom


  195. Thomas Cannon

    Thanks, Seán, for this fascinating piece of detective work!


  196. raymond blair

    Very interesting Sean – thank you raymond

    • seanbeattie

      Thanks Raymond
      PS The DA 2020 is designed and ready to print but Brownes are closing on Monday

  197. Very dramatic picture of Temple of Deen. It almost looks as it it was re-set in its original form. You have done a great job in capturing the concept of the original structure. Other landscape pictures are equally superb. Sean

  198. Thanks for the fine poems of John Harvey
    There are some excellent writers in the Harvey family and my co-author Ros Harvey is one of them.John was a contemporary of Honoria Galwey who is now the subject of our research here in Inishowen.
    I will check her work to see any links to Robert