Dúchas Thír Chonaill

Donegal Heritage


December 2015

Kitchen Midden



There is a midden located at the bottom right of the last remaining sand hill called in the townland of Molifinns on the Carrickfinn penninsula.


Carrickfinn kitchen midden
Carrickfinn kitchen midden

There have been various finds at this site over the years suggesting at least three phases of occupation.  It suggests that there were human habitation here in the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages and as late as the 19th Century when sand storms forced the inhabitants to move inland.  In prehistoric times this area was the edge of a forest, the roots of these trees are constantly been unearthed at Trá na Stacán on the westerly edge by the constant pounding of Atlantic waves. This forest sunk when sea level began to rise about five thousand years ago.


W.J.Knowles examined this midden in 1902 where he found in one pit limpet, periwinkle and cockle shells, another closely spread with specimens of broken dog whelk. Dog whelk which was inedible to the inhabitants of the Bronze Age people was used to make a purple dye used for colouring yarn etc.  Teeth and bones of cattle, sheep, goat and red deer were found along with pieces of flint.

In 1967 the following artifacts were by local farmers.

A decorated bronze pin was found in the black habitation layer stratified in the sand dunes. Its head was hemispherical and brambled. A domed blue glass stud had been inserted into the top. The upper half of the shaft of the pin is circular in cross section. It widens in the middle and becomes square in the section below, thinning gradually to sharp point. On the upper portion of the pin there are three elongated incised triangles pendent from the head, each filled with short, transverse grooves. Four equally spaced zig-zag lines extend longitudinally down the upper round portion of the shaft. Along each edge of the pointed part of the pin there is a finely incised line and, in the centre of each face there is a faint zig-zag line in rocked-tracker technique. Length. 7.05cm; depth of head. 6mm.

A bronze pin found in the sand dunes. Flattened, circular head with short grooves radiating from the centre on top. The upper half of the pin is round in cross-section, the lower half square. Immediately below the head there are two longitudinal rows of oblique scores, on opposite sides of the shaft. Length. 7.9cm; depth of head. 6mm.

Midden bronze pin
one of many bronze pins found at the midden

A bronze needle was found in the sand dunes. Short and round in section. Oval eye at the wider end. Length. 5.3cm; Depth at wider end. 2.4mm; Width of eye. 1.5mm.

A polished stone axehead was found in at the bottom of a black layer in the sand dunes. A small specimen. One side convex, the other side flat. The slope of the cutting edge from the flat side is steeper than from the convex side. The butt squared. A few chips have been removed in antiquity. The nature of the stone couldn’t be determined. Length. 6.5cm. Width of cutting edge. 1.7cm. Maximum thickness. 1.45cm.

In 1969 a larger bronze pin was again found by a local farmer possibly at the Ard Mhór sand dunes. Flattened knob head. The top of the knob is ornamented with short radical scores. The shaft of the pin is round in section. It swells below the head and then diminishes gradually. Length. Approx 8cm. Depth of head. 1cm.

In 1985 Barry Rafftery from the Department of Archaeology in University College Dublin examined this midden. He found that there were at least three phases of occupation here. Although the midden was at a advanced state of  destruction he found a small rectangular stone lined hearth with associated cobbling. Large quantities of bones and shells were collected for detailed analysis. Some of the finds included a harp peg of bone or horn, a bronze pin and a rim of handmade pottery. A date in the 13th century was suggested.

Miden Red Deer antler 2
Part of a red deer antler found in at the midden

This date ties in with Mac Suibhne na dTuath or the Sweeney Clan taking ownership of Ros Scaite/Carrickfin from Muntir O Baoghill or the Boyle Clan who ruled the Rosses including Ros Scaite from ©1200 A.D. These inhabitants would have practised Booleying or in Gaelic Buaileacht. This involved bringing cattle to the mountain pastures in the summer months. This practice of transhumance started each year at the beginning of summer.

F2_014, 6/10/03, 11:17 am, 8C, 5728x7456 (0+209), 100%, Max Maps & Cha, 1/50 s, R89.0, G57.2, B77.5

The family members would round up their livestock and travel to the mountain pasture with a few older members of the community staying behind in their homesteads. Here they would erect a summer hut called a Bóhóg which built by using turf pairings for the walls and thatched with rushes or reeds from a nearby lake. While sometimes they who fix their existing Bóhóg. The livestock would be let out to graze with one of the younger children herding. Each evening they were taken back to the Bóhóg to be milked, with which the older children made butter. To preserve the butter until they returned to their coastal homes in the autumn they buried it in the bog. It is common for present day turf cutters to unearth this butter.

The main reason for going to a different pasture was to cure their livestock of crupán, an ailment which caused lameness, infertility and ill thrift. It was caused by a deficiency of cobalt in the sandy soil. The people of Carrickfin had tenantcy of mountain pastures in Augiles, a townland some 10 miles away in the 1823 according to the Marquis of Conyngham’s estate records. This ancient practice died out in early 20th century when modern fertilisers enriched the grass with many minerals such as phosphorus and cobalt.

Some of last tenants to live on this site were the Boyle and Hanlon families. After a series of sand drifts which covered their farms in the 1820s, they moved inland. The Boyle went to Bunaman and Keadue while the Hanlons moved close to Glenties.

©Jimmy Duffy 2016


The Turf Drawing

Bringing home the turf to Carrickfinn c1920

‘Twas me an’ Dennis rose this morn or ever it was day,

For we had to take the boat up wi’ the tide to Annagrey,

The way we’d bring the winter’s turf across to Carrickfin-

Oh! Early in the mornin’ as the flood was comin’ in,

The grey an’ early mornin’, as the flood was comin’ in.


An’ all the island boats were out, for the spring tides would be high,

An’ that’s the only time they’d get to where the turf was dry

An’ waitin’ by the lough, for sure ‘tis shallow water there-

Oh! Sweet the Autumn mornin’ wi’ the first chill in the air,

Aye! Fair an’ sweet the morning’, though a chill was in the air.


We tacked the narrow water all across from shore to shore,

Till round the bend, where the lough is wide, ye could hear the breakers roar,

Where the sea broke through o’er the ridge o’ sand that mostly does be dry,

Oh! The white-topped, tumblin’ water, ‘neath a misty mornin’ sky-

The silver, shinin’ water wi’ its white crests ‘neath the sky.


Along the edge o’ the land we tied the white boats in a row,

Where the bank was piled wi’ turf down from the bog a week ago,

An’ all day long the girls an’ men were workin’ wi’ a will,

For the turf is aisy handled, yet a boat takes long to fill-

Oh! The turf, the brown, sweet-scented turf, each boat must have its fill.


An’ all the day the little waves were dancing’ in the sun,

An’ some boats made two journeys, an’ some could do wi’ one,

Oh! The lough was gay wi’ brown sails as they would come an’ go-

Grey herons were about the rocks an’ the seagulls circled low-

Och! The owld grey herons on the rocks while the gulls were sweeping low.


An’ if the work was hard, sure there was fun and laughin’ too,

For the day’d be long to an island man if his work was all he’d do;

An’ the ones that got their loadin’ done would help them that were last,

Oh! Quickly up at Annagrey the golden hours passed-

‘Twas sweet an’ fair Annagrey as the golden hours passed


turfboat 2
A turf laden yawl leaving Annagry with McCloskeys Pub and Forker’s Shop in the background c1934


An’ now the day is wearin’ through, an’ the tide is past the turn,

An’ the boats put out from the bank, wi’ turf piled high from bow to stern,

Till there’s hardly room to work the sails, but the breeze has dropped away,

An’ it’s driftin’, driftin’ wi’ the tide we come from Annagrey-

Oh! Driftin’ down wi’ the fallin’ tide we come from Annagrey.

by Elizabeth Shane



Séimidh Eoin na Bráid Duffy born 1839 in Braade to Mary McGinley and Eoin Mhicheál Phadaí, died in Carrickfinn in 10th February 1898, he married Nablá Phadraig Óig Duffy from Annagry East in St Mary’s Belcruit in 1864. They lived in Braade where their first two children died. Séimidh went to Pennsylvania USA and earned the price of a farm in Carrickfinn which he bought from a Hugh Duffy, possibly a relation in 1872.

Family 1. John Shéimidh Eoin 2. Grace Shéimidh Eoin, 3. Mary Shéimidh Eoin, 4. Jimmy Shéimidh Eoin, 5. Donnchadh Shéimidh Eoin, 6. Micí Sheimidh Eoin.

  1. John Shéimidh Eoin born 13th October 1866, died 1866 in Braade.
  2. John Shéimidh Eoin (2) born 1868, died 13th June 1893 from Tuberculosis .
  3. Grace Shéimidh Eoin born 18th February 1869, died 28th June 1870 in Braade.
  4. Mary Shéimidh Eoin born 4th May 1873, died 16th May 1959. She wasn’t married.
  5. Jimmy Shéimidh Eoin born 6th February 1876, died 21st March 1954 married Annie Mhicí Frainc Mc Ginley from Mullaghduff on 17th March 1918 in Letterkenny.Duffys
  6. Donnchadh Shéimidh Eoin born 14th May 1879, died tragically in Crucakeehan 11th January 1917. He wasn’t married.
  7. Micí Shéimidh Eoin born 1881, died 25 August 1971 married Mary Mhicí Eoghainín Rodgers from Mullaghduff on April 1918 in Letterkenny.

    Biography of Jimmy Shéimidh Eoin Duffy 1876-1954

    My grandfather Jimmy Duffy was born on the 6th of February 1876 to James and Nablá Duffy (née Duffy), in the townland of Carrickfin, which was then in the parish of Lower Templecrone, West Donegal. Jimmy was the second child to be born on the new three-acre holding bought by his father upon his return from America where he worked for the previous three years in the Pennsylvanian coal mines. His parents moved to Carrickfinn from the nearby townland of Braade after the deaths of their first two children in 1866 and 1870.

    Somewhat surprisingly for a Gaeltacht Catholic child, Jimmy attended the local Church of Ireland school where he received a sound grounding in the ʻthree Rsʼ and achieved a good command of English.

    After his father had returned to work in the USA the young Jimmy assisted his mother about the farm and supplemented the family income by acting as ferryman across the treacherous sea-channel which separates Gweedore from Carrickfin. Folk from Lower Rosses often used this ferry to reach Lord Hillʼs General Stores in Bunbeg, thus saving a dayʼs journey by road.

    A tragic incident will illustrate the dangers of this particular crossing. On Sunday afternoon May 2nd 1897 a sailing vessel overturned in the strait in full view of the twenty-one year Jimmy, his brothers and friends. The five young men aboard were thrown into the waters and were drowning. Without hesitation, Jimmy and his companions swam to the rescue and saved three of the crew. Their heroism was recorded in a lament composed at the time.

    Earlier in that same year Jimmyʼs father had returned from the USA, his health undermined by his years toiling at the coal-face. He died in the following February, 1898, aged only fifty-eight.

    Jimmy became a fisherman and together with his brothers Denis and Mickey and a cousin, Paddy Duffy, they operated a twenty-five foot yawl in the lucrative herring fishery of the time, sometimes having to row up to thirty miles to reach the shoals. When the herring season passed the four switched to fishing for lobster and white fish. Jimmy also fished for salmon in the Gweedore estuary from his currach. In 1910 the brothers and some neighbours formed the crew to operate a powerful forty-nine foot ʻZuluʼ fishing boat, the ʻSt Augustineʼ. This was a distinct improvement and lasted for three years until 1913 when as first mate, Jimmy joined the crew of an even larger vessel, the newly-launched sixty- nine foot motorised fishing boat, named the ʻSummer Starʼ. The range and capacity of this new boat was much greater than that of a sailing vessel and gave them a command of extensive fishing grounds and an ability to follow the shoals further than ever.  Unfortunately the good times were not to last.

    The outbreak of war in 1914 effectively destroyed the industry. Many steam vessels were commandeered by the English navy and when minefields were laid around the coasts it was only certain parts of the west coast that were safe to fish in.  For those fortunate enough to escape government requisitioning the home market provided a very lucrative alternative to the pre-war export market and Jimmy and the ʻSummer Starʼ were lucky. Jimmy leased the boat from the Congested Districts Board in 1915 and was so successful that he then went on to buy the ʻSummer Starʼ outright in 1916. He paid the sum of £962 sterling for it. The good times continued until the end of the war. Competition and the inflated price of fishing gear after the war made it near impossible to keep his venture going.

    His mother Nablá had died from cancer in October 1914 and so Jimmy had no woman to look after him. So, with commendable determination, the forty-one year old set about acquiring a wife. He and his brother Mickey, armed with a bottle of whiskey approached Mickey McGinley in nearby Mullaghduff to ask for his daughter Annie’s hand in marriage. The proposal was successful and with a naggin of the cratúr left, he accompanied his brother to the neighbouring house where another successful arrangement was sealed. Jimmy married Annie McGinley in St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny on St Patrick’s Day 1918. The couple were married by the Bishop because they were second cousins. The new couple set up home on a four acre farm that Jimmy bought in 1907 adjacent to his homeplace.  On April Fool’s Day the following year they were blessed by the arrival of a child that they christened Annabella and sixteen months later twins Mary and Kitty were born. Over the next seventeen years Annie bore another eleven children, four of whom died in infancy. My father Joe born in 1932 was the only male in the family.

    Jimmy continued to fish the Summer Star throughout the War of Independence. In the final months of the troubles the British Army on the advice of the Unionist merchants in Derry refused to trade with West Donegal. The local shopkeepers pooled their money together and boarded the Summer Star and sailed for Derry. When the Derry merchants saw the colour of their money they had no hesitation to exchange their products thus saving the people from possible starvation. Fishing suffered greatly with the foundation of the Free State due mainly to the ending of the successful CDB and the absence of trade agreements.  In 1931 after several lean seasons the Summer Star seized fishing and Jimmy retired to inshore fishing with his small punt.

    While building a turf stack close to the shore in the autumn of 1928, Jimmy was again called upon to rescue someone from drowning. Fifteen year old Jack Boyd a ferryman from Bunbeg got into difficulties after falling overboard. Being a strong swimmer Jimmy plucked the teenager from certain death and resuscitated him.

    Jimmy eventually hung up his boots and his seafaring days continued only in the tales he had to share. He died at home on 21 November 1954 after a short illness.





The Ballindrait Disaster (1897)

Scene of the disaster

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Ballindrait Disaster

Sean Boyle and Maurice Ferry a 23 year old son of Owen Uí Fhearraigh of Meenaduff was drowned. Brothers Charlie, Hughie and Jimmy Sweeney from Ballindrait, near Bunbeg Bridge were saved.

The rescue party included teenager James Diver was from Coshclady, twenty four year old Edward Curran (Eoghan) from Dunmore,  twenty three year old Braidhnigh Hudaí Devenney from Ranafast also known as Devine, and my grandfather Jimmy Duffy (Seimí Eoin) from Carrickfin then aged 22 year and his brother. In the report in the Derry Journal on following Wednesday it stated It is reported in a contemporary that a boating accident off the coast near Gweedore recently, involving the loss of two lives. Maurice Ferry and Shan Boyle were drowned, and James Sweeney had a narrow escape. The bodies have been recovered. There was also a report of the tragedy recorded in the Parlimentary Papers which stated Bunbeg Fishermen Drowned from the Mary; The spritsail fishing boat, Mary, 1 ton, 7 crewmen; C. Sweeney; Master; M. Boyle, owner; out of Bunbeg; Wind west force 7; capsized and sank; subsequently recovered at Carrickfin Island on May 2nd 1897. Two men were drowned. According to local knowledge of the events, one of the boys standing on the Magheralosk shoreline seventeen year old Timlín Doherty (Hudie Eoghan) shouted to the ill fated crew to “Slack away your main sail” just seconds before the boat capsized.

Seo leagan eile de’n sceál ó Franc Sheain ‘ac Ghrianna as Rann na Feirste.

Bád Mhuiris Bhraidhnigh

Tháinid Cit….Bháin anoir anseo an chead Domhnach i ndiaidh a bpósta, agus d’imigh scaifte síos ‘na Phoinnte. Bhí Braidhnigh Hughdie ann ar scor ar bith. D’fheistigh siad an bád thíos ar thaobh an Phoinnte agus d’imigh siad siar ach sheasaigh Braidhnigh ag caint le beirt chlann Shéimí Eóin. Seo aníos bád ag tarraingt orthu as an Bhun Bheag. “Bhfeiceann tú an fear aníos?” arsa Braidhnigh, ” muna n-athraíonn siad a gcúrsa cuirfidh sé thar a corp í.” Cupla bomaite ina dhiaidh sin chuaigh. Ansin amach le Braidhnigh, beirt mhac Shéimí Eóin agus fear a raibh Curran air. Shábháil siad tríúr ach baitheadh beirt.


In Ballindrait one evening, on the second day of May

With minds so free and easy, we carelessly did stray

We joined in conversation along you riverside

And we all walked on together, till we came to the silvery tide

It was there we stood conversing while the tides came rolling in

Beside a little fishing boat with sails and all within


Our youthful passion tempted us as the rage grew in

Our minds for to take this boat out for a sail while dreary blew the wind

By sweet Bunbeg we hoist our sails with hearts so light and gay

And steered our course by Rosses shore amid the dashing spray


The sea did roar tremendously with the wind from the southwest

At five o clock that evening our small boat was upset

A fateful dream we did complete it proved our sad downfall

It cast a gloom all through the place in the County Donegal


It left Fathers and poor Mothers in sorrow grief and woe

To morn for their beloved sons that were suddenly laid low

We were cast into the raging deep about one mile from shore

When two of our brave young boys went down to rise no more

Their names were Ferry and John Boyle their loss we do deplore

For they lost their lives that evening on the waters of Gweedore


Long live to Edward Curran to Duffy and Devine

Likewise to young James Diver their deeds we ever mind

They rowed to our assistance with speed beyond complete

And saved the lives of five brave boys from their deep and watery grave

So now to conclude and finish with grief I’ll say no more

Beware of Sunday sailing on the waters of Gweedore

Written by Eoin Liam Mc Garvey Magheralosk & Gola (born 1877) and Paddy Shemi Mc Bride Knockastoller

Cnoc a’ Diarraigh


Ó oíche is lá a smaoitim ar chuid sléibhte Dhún na nGall

An fraoch ag fás go líonmhar agus an t-éan ar bharr na mbeann,

Sé ar ball a bheidh mise ag seoladh tharr uisce gharbh dhomhain

Le feicéal arís an tírín atá mílte fada uaim.


Insím díbh radharc aoibhinn a ba mhaith lion scríobh le peann,

‘s é sin ó Chnoc a Diarraigh go hard os cionn an Ghleann,

Is iomaidh tráthnóna samhraidh a chaith mé ar a bharr,

Ba dheas a d’amharc an Mhucais i bhfad sior os cionn Ghaoth Dobhair.


Is deas an áit sa tsamhradh go h-ard ar bharr an tsliabh,

Ag breathnú amach ar Thoraigh, ar Gabhl

a ‘s Inis Fraoich,

Ó sin go hUaigh ‘s Arainn Mór ar bhadaí dul faoi sheol

Tá sin ar radharc go h-aoibhinn is chonaic mé go fóill.


Is cuimhneach lion na gleanntáin ‘s beidh siad liom go brath

Nuair a smaoitim ar mo óige ar an ard os cionn na trá,

Crónan caoin an bharra agus na héanacha ar gach crann

‘s mé mo shuí ar chnoc an Mhurlaigh ag amharc anonn ar Bhun na mBeann.


Ach insím díbh radharc eile agus briseann sé mo choí,

Sé sin ó Chnoc a’ Diarraigh ag amharc amach ar Inis Fraoich,

Ag coimhéad ar loing ag seoladh go tapaidh siar ó Uaigh

Tabhairt cailíní óga na héireann amach an Oileán úir.


Tá gleanntáin deas in éireann agus sléibhte tá go leor,

Agus coillte glasa fasta ag fás le taobh an ród,

Ach níl sé i dTír Chonaill níos aoibhinn nó níos fearr,

Ná an áit i lár an Ghleann sin bhfuil an cuileann glas ag fás.


Mar tógadh mé ar an ghleann seo – sé an áit is fearr liom ann,

Ach nuair a tháinig an Samhradh b’éigin damh a chaitheadh as mo cheann,

Mar bhí mé bocht i néirinn, d’fhág mise le na linn,

Gan súil le pilleadh arís go mbeadh an duilléir de na crainn.


D’fhág mise an baile i néirinn san bhlian naoí déag fíche trí,

Ba sin ag tús an tSamhraidh ar an seisiú lá den mhí,

Ach bhí  mé óg as éirinn agus níor éirigh le mo shiúl

D’fhág sin mé fada ón tírín ar chaith mé tús mo shaoil.


An lá sin a d’fhág mé an baile is orm a bhí an chuaigh,

Da mbeadh mo phocaí follamh, sé chaitheann  é a shiúl,

Ach bhí mé ar bord an oíche sin ag seoladh síos Moville,

Ba dheas a d’amharc Tír Chonaill isteach ó bharr na dtonn.


Ba dheas an tráthnóna samhraidh é ag fágáil dúinn an ché,

An ghrian ag soillsiú go glórmhar agus gan scamall ins an spéir,

Do chluinfeá an chuach ag scáirtí agus na héanacha ceol go binn

‘S mé ag fágail mo dhiaidh Tír Chonaill a raibh agam grá agus cionn.


Is anois ag críochnú an amhrán, tógam suas mo cheann,

Mo chroí lan den bhuaireadh agus mo shúile druid le cuaidh,

Ach beidh an lá ag geallú a mbeidh mise ar mo shaille,

Le cuairt a thabhairt ar an tírín ann ar chaith mé tús mo shaoil

le Johnny (Neddy) Ó Dubhthaigh (Annagry West)

The Way We Were

Mary Cannon
Máire Cannon’s public house in Annagry, now Caisleáin Óir Hotel. Máire’s daughter Mary is in the doorway.


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The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago

and talked the lamplit hours away across the firelight glow,

proud men, strong men, the stock of mountain soil,

they never priced a favour, or were sparing in their toil.

We shall not see their like again, wherever we may go.

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.


They never courted honours, their simple life was shared a

trust in god’s forgiveness, when sins were humbly heard,

and if, at times, the will was weak to bend the knee and pray,

they knew that god was patient for the things they had to say.

The fears that haunt the scholars, were not for them to know the men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.


They drove their cattle to the fair and haggled all the day

for prices that were double what a prudent man would pay.

and then, by stages, slowly, as the jobbers understand,

they’d take the best on offer, and slap the proffered hand.

the deal was sealed in whisky when the evening sun was low

by the men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.


They tilled their stony acres with a pride unknown today,

for they were ozone friendly ere the world had lost its way,

and life had simple blessings, like children growing tall;

a harvest in the haggard and a turf stack by the wall.

Ecology was not a word one needed then to know-

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.


Till, one by one, the children left to lands across the sea,

to follow life’s ambition, or.some fortune yet to be,

and soon the nights grew longer for those they left behind a

silence in the lamplight where a lonesome mother pined.

And men would watch the clock and leave the fire burning low,

and walk the miles to Máire’s, fifty years ago.


The postman’s welcome visit brought a letter now and then

to tell that life was bountyful- and pounds by five or ten,

and news to give the neighbours, of meeting Pat or Joe,

and things of no account at all, unless you want to know.

But best of all, the promise, that by Lammas they would go

and toast their friends in Máire’s, fifty years ago.


But man being merely mortal, the reaper comes in time,

to harvest all of humankind to·haggards more sublime.

And one by one they left us to their blessings and reward,

to fill their wonted places as the neighbours of the lord.

But oh, to have them back again to tell us all they know-

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

By Dinny Duffy (Annagry West & Letterkenny)

The Bonnie Braes of Loughanure

I lately took a trip across the ocean

To the land where all my kith and kin do dwell

Back to the north of that land called Erin

And what beauty I saw there no words can tell

Back there, there’s one fair place so sweet and charming

Which nestles in the bosom of the moor

It was there I spent the carefree days of childhood

And that fair place is dear old Loughanure

How charming to stroll out there in twilight

Where the bonnie purple heather is in bloom

When the violets and bluebells adorn the valleys

And the small birds sweetly sing amid the broom

And there to view the hills so tall and stately

And the silvery lakes that nestle far below

And watch the river gently flowing seaward

Till over the falls they rush like driven snow

And then to meet the old folk in the evenings

When at their neat built cabins you may call

They’ll greet you in the rich brogue of the Irish

To the hills and glens of dear old Donegal

And its there you’ll find the faith of our forefathers

So virile strong, so old and yet so new

Its there you’ll meet with love and truest friendship

To charm and cheer the very heart of you

Now if I were asked where’in I’d spend the evening of my life

And find there peace and feel secure

I’d surely say I’d spend it in old Ireland

On the bonnie braes of dear old Loughanure

Composed by Denis Boyle Loughanure

(Dinny Chondy)


Tadgh Gallagher born ©1770, died 1844 and is buried in Cruit Island. His wife may have been Susan McGarvey from Ranafast. They lived in Carrickfinn.


Family: 1. Hughie Gallagher, 2. Tadghín Gallagher. 3. Sean Gallagher 4. Female (Teague Boyle Dunmore’s mother

  1. Hughie Gallagher born 1799, died 1869. He wasn’t married.
  2. Tadghín Gallagher born 1804, died married Mary ?

Family: (i) Nancy Thadghín, (ii) Hudie Thadghín, (iii) Jack Thadghín, (iv) Susan Thadghín, (v) Nuala (Fanny) Thadghín, (vi) Mary Thadghín.

(i) Nancy Thadghín born 1844, died 1895.

(ii) Hudie Thadghín born 1846, died 1897.

(iii) Jack Thadghín born 1857, died 1908.

(iv) Susan Thadghín born 1842, died winter of 1922.

(v) Nuala (Fanny) Thadghín born 1850 died on November 24th 1932.

(vi) Mary Thadghín born 1848

Nuala or Fanny Thadghín emigrated to the US but retired home to Carrickfin. Nuala left her home and Carrickfin by horse and cart and traveled to Leabha Naomh Dubhthach in Calhame where she slept for the night in the search for a cure for her T.B.  Nuala was then about eighty years old. She died in the 1932. She was the last of the family.

  1. Sean Gallagher born 1821, died 1887 married Peggy Forker from Cruit Island.

Family: (a) Paddy, (b) Maggie, (c) Dan (1), (d) Mick, (e) Daniel (2).

(a) Paddy married Anne Bonner

Family: Dan, Dinny and John.

(b) Maggie born 1870

(c) Dan (1) born 25th November 1868

(d) Mick born ©1877

(e) Dan (2) born ©1875


William Alcorn born 1772 died in Carrickfin on the 14th November 1868. John Alcorn registered his death.

A James Alcoran was recorded in Carrickfin in 1804 Sea Fencibles List 

John Alcorn born ©1809 in Carrickfinn, died about 1884 married Jane Dudgeon (see Dudgeon Carrickfinn) born in Carrickfinn in 1820.

Family: 1. James Alcorn, 2. Thomas (Tammy) Alcorn, 3 Katie Ruadh Alcorn, 4. Maggie Alcorn, 5. Mary Ann Alcorn, 6. Elizabeth Alcorn, 7. John Alcorn, 8. Jane, 9. William, 10. Margaret.

  1. James Alcorn born in Carrickfinn in 1843, died March 27th 1912 married Elizabeth (Bessie) John Dickie Boyd born in Carnbuí in 1855, died March 14th 1942.

They lived beside the Church.

Family: (i) John Alcorn, (ii) Bella, (iii) Willie Alcorn, (iv) Catherine Alcorn, (v) Jane Alcorn, (vi) James Alcorn, (vii) Maggie Alcorn, (viii) Lizzie Ann Alcorn, (ix) Richard Alcorn, (x)  Cassie Alcorn, (xi)  Tommy Alcorn, (xii) Mary Ann Alcorn, (xiii) Fanny Alcorn.

Tommy, Mary Ann, Fanny and Willie Alcorn taking home their turf before 1921.

(i) John Alcorn born 26th March 1876, died in 1953 He emigrated to USA before the others and married Tommy Christie Boyd’s (Carrickfinn)sister Maggie in USA..

(ii) Bella married Andrew Hamilton in Longfield Ardara on March 18th 1909 and lived there. When her husband died her brother Richard lived with her.

(iii) Willie Alcorn born 11th October 1877, He lived at home. He wasn’t married.

(iv) Catherine Alcorn born 11th January 1878 .

(v) Jane Alcorn born 12th August 1879 emigrated to the USA and married William Campbell. Family: Sarah, Elizabeth, Robert and others.

James, Maggie, Lizzie and Richard emigrated to the USA together.

(vi) James Alcorn born October 1st 1882, died July 19th 1944 emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913 and married Louise Ziegler. Family: Lillian, Ruth and James.

(vii) Maggie Alcorn born ©1881, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913, died 1962. She married James Wilson and returned for summer holidays. Family: James, Harold and another.

(viii) Lizzie Ann Alcorn born ©1883, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913, died in 1926married David Reid. Family: Raymond.

(ix) Richard Alcorn born 1892, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913. He retired home on September 9th 1939, the week WWII was declared and died on November 1969 aged 77. He was unmarried.

(x) Cassie Alcorn born ©1888, died in 1971, emigrated to USA and married Thomas Irvine. Family: Male and Female.

(xi) Tommy Alcorn born in 1894, died April 1982, lived at home and wasn’t married.

(xii) Mary Ann Alcorn born in 1896, died October 25th 1982 lived at home and wasn’t married.

(xiii) Fanny Alcorn born © 1899, died in March 1975 lived at home and wasn’t married.


  1. Thomas (Tammy) Alcorn born © 1856, died in 1919 lived in Carrickfin. He wasn’t married.

3. Katie Rua Alcorn born ©1855, died in 1928 lived in Carrickfin.

April 2012 ...A Carrickfin Farm with Gola Island in the background

Family: (a) Cassie Rua Alcorn (b) Annie Tammy Alcorn

(a) Cassie Rua Alcorn born 11th January 1878, died 6th September 1939 married Johnny Jimmy Hughie Boyd from Carrickfinn.

They lived in Bunbeg.

Family: (a1) James Johnny, (a2) Hugh Johnny, (a3) Jack Johnny.

(a1) James Johnny married in Co.Down.

(a2) Hugh Johnny married Florrie and lived in Bunbeg.

Family: Alan, Richard 

(a3) Jack Johnny married Nan and lived in Bunbeg.

Family: John, Mardi

(ii) Annie Tammy Alcorn born ©1884, died late 40’s early 50’s. She was a monitor at Given’s School and wasn’t married.

  1. Maggie Alcorn married John Patterson from Dunfanaghy on November 6th 1883. They emigrated to Iowa, USA with their one year old child in 1885. Family: John, William, John J, Maggie Jane, Mary Ann, Robert and Emily.
  1. Mary Ann Alcorn born abt 1853, died 1909 married Andrew Smullen from Drumatinny, Falcarragh on April 15th 1873 and lived there. Family: James, Bessie, Jane, John, Mary and Fanny.
  2. Elizabeth Alcorn born March 14th 1837


  1. died in Wawayanda Township, New York on April 21st 1916 married William Dudgeon (son of Thomas and Elizabeth Mahon) Mullaghderg on the 8/2/1855. They emigrated to New York State USA in 1882.

Family: (i) Elizabeth Dudgeon

(i) Elizabeth Dudgeon born in Mullaghderg on 11th February 1877 and may have emigrated to the US.

Family: Catherine, Thomas, Jane, John, Fanny Ann 1, James 1, James 2, Fanny Ann 2 and Elizabeth.


  1. John Alcorn
  2. Jane married Thomas Patterson
  3. William born in 1835 died in Australia in 1910.
  4. Margaret



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