County Donegal


"Donegal, a county of Ireland, in Ulster, 68 m. long and 44 broad; bounded W and N by the ocean, E by Londonderry and Tyrone, and S by Roscommon and the bay of Donegal, in a champaign country; containing 42 parishes, and sends 2 members to parliament; has extensive linen manufactures, and abounds with harbours. Pop. 249,483." [From The New London Gazetteer (1826)]

"COUNTY DONEGAL, a maritime county of Ireland, in the province of Ulster. It is bounded on the N. and W. by the Atlantic Ocean, on the E. by Lough Foyle, Londonderry, and Tyrone, and on the S. by Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Leitrim. It lies between 54° 28' and 55° 20' N. lat., and 6° 48' and 8° 40' W. long., comprising a surface of 1,865 square miles, or 1,193,443 acres, of which 393,191 are under cultivation, 769,587 uncultivated, bog, mountain, &c., 7,079 in plantations, 23,107 water, &c., and the remaining 479 occupied by towns. The greatest length is from N.E. to S.W., 85 miles; the greatest breadth, S.E. to N. W., 41 miles. In the time of Ptolemy, Donegal was inhabited by the two tribes of Venicnii and Rhobogdii. It subsequently formed part of the district of Eircael, or Eargal, and was the seat of the sept of the O'Donells, who were descended from Conal Golban, son of Nial of the Nine Hostages. From him the county was named Tyr-Conall, until the plantation of Ulster by James I. in 1612......More   [The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

"DONEGAL, a county, of the province of ULSTER, bounded on the east and south-east by the counties of Londonderry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh, from the first-named of which it is separated by Lough Foyle; on the south, by the northern extremity of the county of Leitrim and by Donegal bay, and on the west and north by the Atlantic. It extends from 54° 28' to 55° 20' (N. Lat), arid from 6° 48' to 8° 40' (W. Lon.); comprising, according to the Ordnance survey, a surface of 1,165,107 statute acres, of which 520,736 are cultivated land, and 644,371 unimproved mountain and bog. The population, in 1821, was 248,270, and in 1831, 291,104.....More [Transcription from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - Samuel Lewis - 1837 Mel Lockie ©2013]..


Archives & Libraries



County Donegal Books & Authors - on  Donegal Genealogy Resources  This is a substantial list of Donegal related books

'My Wee Donegal Library' by Lindel Buckley - on Donegal Genealogy Resources   -- ditto ---



Co Donegal Memorial Records, locations - on fianna

Cemeteries in County Donegal - on Find a grave

County Donegal Cemetery Records  on Interment.net



Transcription of the 1630 Muster Roll can be found on Ancestry.

National census substitutes - on fianna

1911 census Co. Donegal  FHLC numbers  - on fianna

Online Census Extracts - Co Donegal - on Donegal Genealogy Resources


Church Records

Donegal Roman Catholic Records -  on Irish Ancestors

County Donegal; Church of Ireland Records; parish, dates, locations  -  on fianna

County Donegal; Methodist Records; parish, dates, locations   -  on fianna

County Donegal; Presbyterian Church Records;  parish, dates, locations - on fianna

County Donegal; Roman Catholic Parishes; parish, dates, locations   -  on fianna


Civil Registration

Birth, Marriages & Death Records for various parishes - on Donegal Genealogy Resources


Description & Travel

County Donegal on wikipedia

“Donegal is divided into 6 baronies: Bannagh, in the S.W. of the county; Boylagh, W.; Innishowen, East and West, N.E.; Kilmacrenan, N.; Raphoe, North and South, E.; and Tyrhugh, S. The parishes number 50, and parts of 2 others are also in the county. Of these Inniskeel is the largest, containing 100,068 acres. There are 12 market towns: Lifford, the county, assize, sessions, and election town; Donegal and Letterkenny, sessions towns; Ballyshannon, Stranorlar, Rathmelton, Carndonagh, Buncrana (a sessions town), Raphoe, Moville, St. Johnstown, and Killybegs. Donegal and the three following towns, with Dunfanaghy, Glenties, and Milford, are Poor-law Unions;”    [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]



Donegal Directories - on Donegal Genealogy Resources.  These are full transcriptions of names and addresses detailed in the original sources

  •       1824 Pigot's Directory
  •       1846 Slater's Directory
  •       1857 Slater's Directory
  •       1903 Derry Almanac
  •       Clergy (various parishes)

Emigration & Immigration

Passenger Lists - Donegal Emigrants  - on Donegal Genealogy Resources. 



The transcription for this county from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription for this county from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - Samuel Lewis - 1837 Mel Lockie ©2013].



Duffy, G.F., (Ed.). A Guide to Tracing your Donegal Ancestors, Glenageary, Co. Dublin, Ireland, Flyleaf Press - 96 p. - [ISBN: 0 9508466 6 X] - Ph.353 1 8370177 Fax 353 1 8370176

County Donegal; Miscellaneous Genealogical Records   - on fianna

The Ireland Genealogy Project's County Donegal page, and its listing of the Project's available Donegal Records.

The Irish Ancestors website (subscription) has the following types of records: State Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths, Census returns, Land records, Church records, Genealogical Office records, Gravestone inscriptions, Directories, Newspapers, Wills, Deeds, and Occupations.

Irish Ancestors' extensive County Donegal website.

The LDS FamilySearch Wiki's Ireland Online Genealogy Records.

The Fianna website's pages for County Donegal provide important addresses and extensive information about online and other genealogy resources.

Roots Ireland (subscription) "offers access to a unique database of more than 20 million Irish records". Its Donegal coverage includes Baptismal/Birth Records, Marriage Records, Burial/Death Records, Census Records, Gravestone Inscriptions, Griffith's Valuation (Free Access), and Census Substitutes.

Donegal Genealogy Resources - "this website consists of over 3000 pages and is a compilation of 18th to early 20th century resources." 
Just a few DGR pages have direct links from this page


Historical Geography

List of townlands in county Donegal - on wikipedia

See the county page on logainm.ie

  • "The Placenames Database of Ireland was created by Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge in collaboration with The Placenames Branch (Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht). This is a comprehensive management system for data, archival records and placenames research conducted by the State. It is a public resource for Irish people at home and abroad, and for all those who appreciate the rich heritage of Irish placenames."


“The county infirmary is at Lifford, and the district lunatic asylum at Londonderry, to which Donegal sends 85 patients. There are fever hospitals at Letterkenny, Rathmullen, and Dunfanaghy, and dispensaries at Raphoe, Taughboyne, Killybegs, Moville, Clonmany, Killygawan, Dunkaneely, Kilmacrenan, Kilcar, Letterkenny, Donegal, Muff, Culdaff, Stranorlar, Rutland, Donagh, Killygorden, Ramelton, Buncrana, Careygart, Ballyshannon, Dunfanaghy, and Mount Charles. They are maintained by voluntary subscriptions and grand jury presentments.” [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]


Land & Property

Griffiths Valuation 1847/64 on the Ask about Ireland site. Use the search box to bring up entries showing Barony/Parish/Townlands and lists of Occupants


The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1838 as a survey of land in each civil parish to determine the payment of tithes (a religious tax). Unlike Griffith's Valuation they do not cover cities or towns.  The Tithe Applotment Books for county Donegal and its  parishes are available online on the National Archives of Ireland website (free).



Monumental Inscriptions

Co Donegal Memorial Records, locations - on fianna


Names, Personal

DONEGAL Surnames found in Ireland 1100 thru 1600.   -  on IGP

Irish Name Resources for Donegal - on Donegal Genealogy Resources



“The population of Donegal is chiefly engaged in agriculture, but manufacture is much on the increase. The chief articles manufactured are linen cloth, worked muslin, and stockings. The neighbourhoods of Raphoe, Lifford, and Ballyshannon are much occupied with the growth of flax and its conversion into linen, for which the chief markets are at Strabane, Londonderry, and Letterkenny. The woollen stockings made in Beylagh find a ready sale in most parts of the island, and the demand for them is increasing. A large number of the female population are engaged in the worked muslin trade. Bleach-greens are numerous near Stranorlar. Innishowen is celebrated for the quality of its whisky. Some years ago private distillation was carried on to a large extent, but it has lately been checked by the vigilance of the Excise officers. On the coast the inhabitants are engaged in making kelp from seaweed, and in the fisheries. The kelp is sent principally to Glasgow. Since 1830 the herring fishery has revived, but before that time the shoals had quite deserted the coast. In addition to herring, cod, ling, haddocks, turbot, and other flat fish are caught. Salmon run up the Erne, and loughs Swilly and Foyle.” [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]



From Fianna:

Donegal Annual,
Mrs. K. Emerson, Co. Donegal Historical Society, Ballyshannon

Politics & Government

History of the Irish Parliament - County Donegal - on the Ulster Historical Foundation site



County Donegal School Records - on  Donegal Genealogy Resources