Local and Family History

Local Studies Resources at Central Library 

Central Library in Letterkenny has an extensive collection of books, journals and other material relating to genealogy and family history.  While we do not have primary materials, such as records of births, deaths, marriages etc., our family history resources can help get you started on your search for that elusive ancestor.  It is recommended that you contact the library in advance to book an appointment as some items are available on microfilm format only, while some newspapers are in storage.

All other libraries in Donegal have smaller local history collections relevant to their area, and may be able to provide the information you are looking for. Microfilmed items are also available in Bundoran Community Library and Leabharlann Phobail na Rosann, Dungloe.  Please contact the relevant library before your visit.

 

For contact details and opening hours for Central Library and all local libraries, please click here.

 

To begin your search for that elusive ancestor click on the booklet below:

 

 


Local History
 

Local history research will complement and complete your family history project. Central Library in Letterkenny hosts the Donegal Studies Collection which is comprised of books relating to County Donegal, books written by Donegal authors and/or published in the county. This collection holds a huge range of subjects ranging from religion, to art, to literature and histories of the various areas of the county. Searching local history books will allow you a glimpse of life in Donegal in the past and give you a flavour of how your ancestors lived. You can even check historic maps that will give you an even greater sense of place.

 

Digitised Books

 

Books To Celebrate Colmcille 1500

     
Columba - A Drama by John Huntley Skrine Cuimhne Coluimcille or The Gartan Festival Life and Prophecies of St Columba of Columbkille by Rev. Mathew Kelly
     
Prophecies Miracles and Visions of St Columba (Columcille) by St. Adamnan‌   Songs and Tales of St Columba and his Age by Patrick Geddes & Colleagues The Amra Choluim Chilli of Dallan Forgaill by O Beirne Crowe

 ‌ 

Local History Content

Donegal County Council, Donegal County Library Service, Local Studies, Digitised books Donegal County Council, Donegal County Library Service, Local Studies, Digitised books Donegal County Council, Donegal County Library Service, Local Studies, Digitised books Donegal County Council, Donegal County Library Service, Local Studies, Digitised books
The Wrays of Donegal Londonderry and Antrim by Charlotte Violet Trench The Laggan and its Presbyterianism by Rev. Alexander G. Lecky A History of the Diocese of Raphoe: Part 1: Ecclesiastical; First Volume A History of the Diocese of Raphoe: Part 1: Ecclesiastical; Second Volume

 

 

Bibliographies

All newly purchased Donegal related items are included in a bibliography that is published in the Donegal Annual by the Donegal Historical Society on a yearly basis.

 

Click on the links below for a comprehensive list of newly published Donegal related texts:

 

Donegal Annual Bibliography (July 2014 - June 2015)

Donegal Annual Bibliography (July 2015 - June 2016)

Donegal Annual Bibliography (July 2016 - June 2017)

Donegal Annual Bibliography (July 2017 – June 2018)

Donegal Annual Bibliography (June 2018 – May 2019)

Donegal Annual Bibliography (May 2019 - May 2020)

Donegal Annual Bibliography - May 2020 - March 2021

Donegal Annual Bibliography - March 2021 - March 2022

 

Colmcille Bibliography

The Colmcille Bibliography was published to commemorate Colmcille 1500. Just click on the link below to find out more about Colmcille, and for a bibliography of books  on Colmcille/Columba available in the Donegal Studies Collection, Central Library, Letterkenny:

 

colmcille bibliography

Colmcille 1500 Bibliography

 

C‌olmcille 1500 Schools Folklore Project

The birthday event at the Colmcille Heritage Centre on December 7th 2021 attended by primary schoolchildren from Gartan National School, one of 20 schools who participated in the digital folklore animation project. The project was led by Donegal County Council Library Service, in partnership with library authorities in Sligo, Meath and Libraries NI. The children’s animations have been developed into an illustrated comic available at the link below. The comic takes a light-hearted look at the folklore and legends of the Donegal saint.

 

 

Download the Colmcille 1500 Digital Schools Folklore Comic

 

W‌atch the animated video here 


Colmcille 1500 website

 

Remembering Our Past Sharing Our Future

The Hands of History project was designed to provide an opportunity for Donegal and its surrounding counties to learn lessons from the past and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future. One of the outcomes of this project was an adult and children’s bibliography of books relevant to the commemoration of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2022; Remembering Our Past Sharing Our Future.  Just click on the relevant link to view the selection of books available through your local library.

 

Remembering our past - adult English Remembering our past - junior English
Remembering our past - adult English Remembering our past - junior English


1916 Bibliographies

The adult and junior bibliographies were published to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising and include a wide variety of titles spanning the intervening century. Just click on the relevant link to view the selection of books available through your local library.

 

Image link for pdf 

1916 Adult Bibliography

 

 

Image link to bibliography pdf

 1916 Junior Bibliography

 

 

 

Donegal Diaspora

The Donegal Diaspora project has been set up to reach out and engage with County Donegal’s global community, it’s “Pobal Domhanda”. This network is made up of people with a connection to Donegal, no matter where they may be living. It acts as a resource fro information, connections, partnerships and development.

 

For more information see www.donegaldiaspora.com.

 

 

Links to other Family History and Genealogy Sites

 

Church of Ireland                                         

Donegal County Archives                            

Donegal Genealogy Resources                   

Find My Past                                                 

Irish Genealogy                                             

Library of the Church of Later Day Saints  

National Library of Ireland                          

National Archives                                         

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

 

 

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