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 I'm looking for my 3rd great grandfather who came from Ireland to Philadelphia. I only discovered him through Ancestry records, from census and his death certificate listed as Enos McDonald. In a Phila baptism record for a child, his residence in Ireland had been Galway. In the US census and his 5 children's baptism records the spelling of his first name has been: Enos, Aeneas, Eneas, Ennis. The family name since the 1900's in the US has been McDonald but older family members said it could have been McDonnell or MacDonald or another version. 

 Since most of my DNA shows all of Galway especially the Connemara area, I located a Aeneas M'Donald in theGriffith's Valuation in Ballynahinch, Moyrus and the Townland Inishlachan Island which maybe could be his father. There are not many with this name in Galway so I thourght I would try this first.

 Can anyone suggest where I could locate birth records from this area to see if I could find a birth from about 1844 for my relative. He also had a brother William born about 1839 and Edward born in 1857. I have checked the NLI records with no luck.

 I would appreciate any help in suggesting where I could search for birth records. He was in Philadelphia in 1860 but I can't even find a passenger list for him.

Thank you!

Maureen Calderaro


Sunday 26th September 2021, 05:36PM

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  • Maureen:

    The RC baptismal records for Carna/Moyrus RC parish start in 1853 I searched on the subscription site Roots Ireland for Galway records and did not find any Aeneas McDonald (and variants) baptismal records nor did I find any McDonald baptismal records with a father Aeneas. I also looked for Edward McDonald with no success. Civil registration of births did not start until 1864.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 26th September 2021, 09:19PM
  • There were several Eneas McDonnell's in my family, but they were from Mayo (Killasser parish), about 40 miles north of where you're looking.  However, I can tell you something about the names and the family.

    Eneas/Aeneas/etc. are all anglicized forms of the Irish name Aonghus, which was also anglicized as Angus (both in Ireland and Scotland).

    In Ireland, the surname McDonald is a variant form of the name McDonnell.  According to MacLysaght’s “Surnames of Ireland”, the McDonnell surname is of three separate origins, two of them related to one another.  There was a gallowglass (in Irish, gallóglach, or “foreign fighter” = mercenary) family living in the Glens of Antrim (many people in Ireland have ancestry in such gallowglass families), and a western Connacht sept (or tribe), living principally in what is now Mayo, which is related to the first group.  The third family lived further south in Ireland, and was unrelated to the first two.  A Galway McDonnell would  likely be from the Mayo branch, so I suppose we are at least distant cousins.

    In his “Lore of Ireland”, Ó hÓgáin explains that the McDonnell's in Antrim were related to the Scottish MacDonald clan (Clan Donald).  The McDonnell’s came from Scotland to settle in the Glens of Antrim in the 13th century, from where, by the 15th century, they controlled all of North Antrim.  If you've been to Ireland, the ruined Dunluce Castle which is a popular tourist site near the Giants Causeway on the North Coast was the main McDonnell family castle.  A large number of those McDonnell's were brought from Antrim to what is now Mayo in the late 14th century, to assist the ruling family of that area, the Anglo-Norman Burke family.  Some also live across the border in neighboring counties, such as Galway (the county boundaries were a later creation).

    The surname in Irish is Mac Domhnaill, which means “son/descendant of Donal”, but it is spelled MacDhòmhnaill in Scottish Gaelic (with the same meaning).  The “d” at the end of MacDonald is a later addition to the anglicized version of the name.  MacDonald is more common in Scotland (and among Scots settlers in Ireland, especially in Ulster), but McDonnell and McDonald were both used in Ireland as anglicized forms of the surname, sometimes within the same family in various records.



    Sunday 26th September 2021, 09:56PM
  • Hi Maureen,

    To add to the interesting Post by Kevin45, I attach a copy of the Order of Transplantation made in Dublin in 1655, known as Cromwell's.

    Historians do not agree on the actual number that were transplanted, but the surnames that are found today in various counties in the West give somwe credence to the Order.



    Monday 27th September 2021, 09:54AM

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