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No one knows the history of the Irish line of my family. Which makes the research difficult. Donegal comes up regularly when searching through various sites such as Ancestry, and others connected to it. However, I'm not finding a lot of solid evidence to back things up. My direct line is through a Hugh Dugan who was possibly born in 1825, and married a Letitia Gallagher in Mauch Chunk, PA, or possibly in Ireland. I've seen birth dates for her of 1834, and the 1850 census lists her as 19, while her death certificate from 1915 says she's 78. Letitia is the one I find the most on where Donegal comes up. Brief searches have me finding information in many different spots in Ireland, so I may not always be tracking the right one.

Hugh and Letitia had a son in the US named John, who married a Cecelia (Cicilia) Dugan, whose parents are listed as John Doogan and Honora Hannah Ferry, who may have come over from Ireland as well. What little I find on Honora mentions Donegal as well. Though for these two, I'm finding information on opposite ends of America and in Ireland and Scotland at the same time. So there's still a lot to sort out.

If anyone has any suggestions of where I might be able to find more information, I'd greatly appreciate it. I have one grandmother left, and she's always wanted to know where the Irish side comes from, so I'm hoping to be able to tell her at some point. Thank you for your time.


Saturday 12th January 2019, 12:12PM

Message Board Replies

  • Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    All of the surnames you mention are Co. Donegal surnames. Researching in Co. Donegal is very difficult because almost all parishes do not have records until 1850 or later. For example, you posted in Kilmacrenan parish and their records do not start until 1862. I did search on the subscription site Roots Ireland but did not find any records for Hug Dugan, Leitita Gallagher or Cecelia Dugan.

    I would consider posting Hugh's emigration story on our XO Chronicles site and possibly someone will see a connection.

    I would also consider DNA testing. You may get matches with other with Donegal connections and can get more info on the origins of your family in Donegal.

    Roger McDonnell 

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 12th January 2019, 02:54PM
  • Thank you. I'm in the process of doing an Ancestry DNA test right now, and I've got a little time off from work coming up where I will be traveling to the area in Pennsylvania where my ancestors spent several generations living and working. I appreciate the information on Donegal records, and am not surprised you did not find anything on Cecelia. I believe she was born in America, and it was her parents who were born in Ireland. At the moment, I just have their names as possibly being John Doogan and Honora Hannah Ferry. Right now that is all speculation. Thanks again.





    Saturday 12th January 2019, 08:36PM
  • Jay,

    Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project and can offer FTDNA testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 12th January 2019, 08:41PM