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Search for James and Margaret Campbell

Hi,                                                                                                                                      Feb 26, 2016

My great-great-great-grandparents were James and Margaret Campbell.  They were born, lived and died in Donegal between 1775 and 1850.  My hope is to find when and where they were born, married, died and were buried.  James and Margaret had six children.  The attached PDF document, James Campbell Sr. Family, describes all the information I have on the group. 

I found the James Campbell name in the Griffith Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Book often, pointing to many parishes in Donegal, which is not much help, I know.  However, I know they were Catholic and the surnames of the children's spouses, i.e., O'Donnell, Boyle, Coll, Gallagher, and McNelis.  All these family names are found in the Parish of Templecron.  Perhaps that is the place to start the search.  Many thanks, looking forward to hearing back.

Bill McCafferty

Bill McCafferty

Friday 26th February 2016, 08:21PM

Attached Files

Message Board Replies

  • Bill,

    Campbell is a pretty common name in Co. Donegal. There’s 1180 people of that name in the county in the 1901 census. I think the original Campbells there were Scots from the western islands of Scotland who were invited to come to Ireland as mercenaries (in the 1300s or 1400s) and were given land by local chiefs in return for their fighting skills. Such mercenaries were known as Gallowglass.

    The problem you face is that the births, deaths and marriages are all before the start of statutory registration in Ireland (1864). Normally you would be able to rely on church records to get back a bit further but in Donegal none of the parishes have any records much before 1850. RC parishes generally don’t keep burial records either so that won’t help with tracing the graves.

    Your best bet might possibly by DNA comparison, because I think you’ll struggle to find any paper records.


    Friday 26th February 2016, 08:37PM
  • Bill:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    Unfortunately, Co. Donegal is very difficult to research because the RC parish records for the most part start very late. Generally they start around 1860s, some a little earlier and some a little later. I would agree with your choice of starting with Templecrone because of the high number of Campbells in that parish. I would also point to Glencolumbkille parish which has a great number of McNelis records although no Corneilus. and four Campbell records. I did a number of searches on Roots Ireland trying to find some baptismal records for the couples shown on your file but no success.

    You may want to consider autosomal DNA testing. Possibly you might match someone who has more information on your Campbell family.

    Let me know if you have questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon

    Friday 26th February 2016, 08:51PM
  • Elwyn & Roger,

       Many thanks for checking for me regarding James and Margaret Campbell.  It is what it is, can't be helped. God Bless,

    Bill McCafferty

    Bill McCafferty

    Saturday 27th February 2016, 02:38PM