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Donegal and National Archives

Genealogy Index    Donegal Family Names    Church Records    17th & 18th Century Records    19th & 20th Century Records   


Townlands of Donegal

Baronies of Donegal

Townlands, Parishes, Baronies and Poor Law Unions

Ordnance Survey Office

MacBain's Dictionary If you know the Gaelic version of your surname it is always worth checking MacBain's Dictionary for the etymology of your name.

The Donegal Registrar's Office holds the Birth and Death registers and Catholic marriage registers from 1864. You can write to ask if they will check the registers for you and you will be advised of how much it costs. The address is:
Superintendent Registrar's Office
Tirconaill House
High Road
Letterkenny
County Donegal, Ireland*
*N.B. There are no zip codes in Donegal.

Civil Records
A Census has been taken every ten years in Ireland since 1821 with the exception of 1921 and 2001. During the Irish Civil War the vast majority of the census returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were destroyed when the Public Record Office was burned in Dublin in 1922. Those for 1861, 1871, 1881 & 1891 were previously destroyed by the administration. Census records which survive for Donegal are fragmentary and only the 1901 & 1911 Census Returns are available for Donegal and are held in the National Library, Dublin. Portions of the Donegal returns are available online. See below.
The Old Age Pension was introduced in 1908 for citizens over 70 years of age. The 1841 and 1851 census returns were used as proof of age and from September 1908 searches of the returns were carried out for people seeking a pension. These Census Search Forms include The Green Form which was an individual's application for a pension adn includes the applicant's name, address, age and, parents' names and address at the time of the census. After the search was completed, the child's name and age at the time of the census was given, and sometimes the name or age of the parents and siblings. All the Green Forms are currently indexed and held offline the National Archives
Bishop St, Dublin 8, Ireland. Pension Claims for 1911-1921 are also held.
Donegal County Library
The local history collection includes the 1901 & 1911 Census; Assisted Passenger Lists to Sydney; Passenger Lists to America 1811-1817 & 1847-1871; the immigrants arriving at the Port of New York 1846-1851; Local Presbyterian and Methodist history.

Donegal County Archive Centre Lifford, Donegal - Holds Poor Law (Workhouse) records; Estate and local authority papers; Workhouse Admission Register (Dec 1850-Oct 1866) for Glenties; Inishowen (Sep 1849-May 1859) and Letterkenny (1864-1877); Indoor Relief Register (1856-1915) for Dunfanaghy. Open only by appointment with Donegal County Archivist.

National Library of Ireland Kildare St, Dublin 2
Archive includes Catholic Parish Registers to 1880; Tithes; Primary Valuation; Irish books, newspapers, journals & Estate Papers.

Public Record Office, Republic of Ireland Bishop St, Dublin 8. Archive includes 1901 & 1911 Census; pre 1901 Census extracts; Tithes; Pension Claims (1911-1921) & Estate papers.

Irish National Archives: Census Records; Parish Registers; Estate Records.

Public Records Office, Northern Ireland 66 Balmoral Ave, Belfast, Co. Antrim. The PRO is open Monday to Wednesday and Friday at 9.00am and at 10.00am on Thursdays.

Valuation Office, Republic of Ireland
This archive holds the property occupiers list for the Republic of Ireland from 1846 and includes Occupier's Name, their Townland and Address, a Description of the Property, Acreage, Rateable value and Reference No. for a Valuation Map. The Valuation maps are archived back to 1850.
The archive contains Valuation Lists from 1857 to the 1950s and enable you to see the change in occupancy. Generally, the only times a name disappeared from the Valuation List was due to emigration or death so the Lists can help determine these dates. The archive is not searchable online and it is expensive to order copies of these records. For Further details email: The Valuation Office.
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