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Donegal (Dún na nGall)

This research guide is designed to help you find your Irish ancestors in our genealogy print collection.  The McClelland Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System to make our print materials findable through the online catalog and while browsing our shelves in person.  Below you will find books to help you locate your ancestors in county Donegal.

929.1: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about how to get started with genealogy research and where to find certain sources.

Tracing your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 G865t        Publication Date: 1999

A comprehensive guidebook for Irish genealogy; includes tips for where to begin, what to expect, and brief exploration of internet source. Grenham provides major source lists of Civil, Census, Church, and Land Records, Wills, Genealogy office, Deed Registries, Newspaper and Directory listings, and a reference guide of Sources by County. 

Irish Towns, a Guide to Sources edited by William Nolan and Anngret Simms

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 Ir47    Publication Date: 1998

Provides brief overview of the history of towns and territorial divisions in Ireland, including several maps, drawings, and prints. Also includes source listing of records of Central and Local Government after 1700, Estate and Church records, Newspapers, Directories, and Gazetteers, and a select bibliography of publications on Irish Towns in the period from 1500-1980, printed between 1969 and 1993.

Tracing your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians by Ian Maxwell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 M4512t 2011

Publication Date: 2011

Provides information on locating information and records specifically for the counties in Northern Ireland, and Ulster Plantation. Contains general suggestions and tips for researching, guides to locating Census Records for years 1821-1911 (one for each decade), and Pension claims. Also includes locating Civil Registration, Birth-Marriage-Death Certificates, information on locating eighteenth century records (including Survey of Downpatrick 1708, Protestant Householders 1740, Householders Returns 1766, Armagh Census 1770, and Catholic Migrants from Ulster 1795-1796). Contains location information Muster Rolls for 1630-1640, Civil Survey of Ireland, Poll Tax Returns, 1659 Census of Ireland, Regiments of Infantry and Plantation of Ulster records.  Church records of various religious sects, school and education records, Valuation and Tithe Records, Land and Estates, as well as Wills (before 1858/1858-1900/ &from 1900). Provides Directories, Almanacs, and Newspapers.

Tracing your Donegal Ancestors by Helen Meehan & Godfrey Duffy

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 Y927i

Publication Date: 2008

Contains a listing of resources available for family history research for Donegal, where the records can be found, and tips for how to utilize each resource to “best effect”.  Source lists provided include Administrative Divisions, Civil Registration, Census and Census Substitutes, Church and Education Records, Gravestone Inscriptions, Land and Estate Records, Wills and Administrations, Commercial and Social Directories, and Newspapers (current and historical) specific to Donegal and the surrounding area.  Also provides Emigration Records, Surnames and family histories, and useful addresses for family searching in Donegal and surrounding towns.

929.3: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily Genealogy Sources or books of compiled resources put together by genealogists.

Bibliography of Genealogical Sources for the Counties of Northern Ireland compiled by Peggy Magee

Call Number: Geneal. 929.3416 M2717b

Publication Date: 1982

Contains listing of genealogical sources for Ulster Province in Northern Ireland broken up by county; listing include record title, publisher or author name, and publication or record date.


‘Men and Arms’: The Ulster Settlers, c.1630 edited by R.J. Hunter

Call Number: Geneal. 929.3416 M52

Publication Date: 2012

Contains Muster Roll of Ulster Province with entries from counties Cavan, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Antrim, Donegal, Down, and Monaghan.  Each entry provides the name of the Baronry, landowner’s name and title, amount of acreage/size of the baronry, men serving or holding arms listed with full name and types of arms held, and list of men not assigned arms.

Donegal: Stranorlar Parish Roots Book, Exploring Family Origins in Ballybofey/Stranorlar and Killygordon by Noel Farrell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.34169 F2476eb

Publication Date: 1996

Contents include Church Records, Stranorlar, Old Ballybofey, Old Stranorlar, and Old Killygordon Maps, listing of local newspapers spanning 1772-1974, returns from the 1901 and 1911 Census, 1951 Thoms Directory, listing of pubs in 1889 and 1944, 1936 Electors List, 1858 Griffiths Valuation, and Slater’s Directory of Ballybofey 1894, Slater’s Directory of Stranorlar 1894, and Slater’s Directory of Killygordon 1894.

Donegal: Ballyshannon Family Roots, Exploring Family Origins in Ballyshannon by Noel Farrell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.34169 F2476ebs

Publication Date: 1996

Includes Church Records, brief Ballyshannon History, listing of 1889 and 1944 Ballyshannon Pubs, returns of 1901 and 1911 Census, Slater’s Directory of 1894, 1938 Thoms Directory, 1941 Electors List, 1858 Griffiths Valuation, and Old Ballyshannon Map 1865.

Donegal Town Inver & Mountcharles Family Roots: Exploring Family Origins in Mount Charles, Inver, & Donegal Town by Noel Farrell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.34169 F2476em

Publication Date: 1997

Includes Church Records, Donegal Town History, listing of 1889 & 1944 Donegal Pubs, returns from the 1901 and 1911 Census, Slater’s Directory of 1894, 1934 Thoms Directory, 1940 Electors List, 1858 Griffiths Valuation, 1865 Old Mount Charles Map, and 1865 Old Donegal Town Map.

929.4: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about names.  Books in this section can contain information about surnames, forenames, and even baby names. While these books may have information in general about your surname, they do not contain lineage information.

The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght

Call Number: Geneal. 929.4094 M226s 1991       Publication Date: 1991

Date Range: 1848-1864

Contains location of ancient territories, population groups, relevant abbreviations and explanation of technical terms used in guide.  Pages 1-303 provide alphabetical listing of surnames, followed by an appendix of English and Scottish surnames in Ireland, and an appendix providing a simplification of Gaelic forms of surnames.

929.5: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about Cemeteries.

A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards by Brian Mitchell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.50941 G9415

Publication Date: 1990

Guide to the cemeteries and graveyards listed by county with civil parish, townland, Ordnance Survey sheet number, religious denomination of church, and indication of whether cemetery or graveyard remains attached to church.  There is a number preceding each listing that provides reference to map location in author’s atlas, A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland.  Especially helpful in locating approximate birthdates, person’s residence at time of death, possibly family information (if family plot).

929.6 – 929.8: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about family Heraldry.  Heraldry includes family crests and tartans.

The Poolbeg Book of Irish Heraldry by Micheal O` Comain

Call Number: Geneal. 929.6 012p Heraldry     Publication Date: 1991

An introduction to Irish heraldry this guide is a good starting point as it contains general guidelines for researching.  Included on pages 71-98 is a Heraldic Dictionary that provides the meanings of a variety of images, heraldic terminology, and variations in spelling of terms and phrases.

Fairbairn’s Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland by James Fairbairn

Call Number: Geneal. 929.6041 F1507f Heraldry      Publication Date: 1986

Contains survey of over 30,000 families, geographical associations, legends and mottos.  Index of family names are arranged alphabetically on pages 1-522, glossary of terms pages 523-530, and alphabetical index of mottoes on pages 531-599.  Also included is an index of plates of Crests, Orders and Regalia, Flags, Ornamental Lettering, Monograms, Heraldic Illustrations, Foreign Crowns, and Principal Cities, and Regalia of Scotland.