O'Donnell Family, Augullies, Dungloe, Co Donegal

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John and Fanny (Gallagher) O'Donnell were my great great grandparents


Above is a picture of what remains of three small stone cabins, which once bore thatched roofs and whitewashed walls. They stand on the brow of a hill, looking down into the valley that is Augullies, a small townland of 322 acres, located about 4 miles north east of Dungloe, in the Parish of Templecrone, County Donegal.

The first O'Donnell that I can positively say lived in Augullies, was James O'Donnell. In 1828, there were only three households in Augullies and they were headed by James O'Donnell, Nicholas Walsh, and Edward Boyle.

The next records are the 1857 Griffith's Valuations, which named the heads of the households throughout Ireland. From the Valuation for Augullies, it appears that James may have had two sons, John and Daniel, as the land that James held was now held by Anne O'Donnell (John's widow) and Daniel O'Donnell (Daniel's story is below).  The land occupied by John and Anne is shown in blue on the map of Augullies.

John O'Donnell and Anne Gallagher

There are no records for the birth, marriage or death of John, son of James.........at the time of his birth, the Penal Code was still in force - there were no parish registers for Catholics and there was no civil registration. From the New Zealand and other overseas records of his children, we know his name and we know that he was married to Anne Gallagher. As to any specifics of when any of those main events in his life occurred, there is no documentary proof. However, John did die before 1857 and his wife Anne died 19 Dec 1874 aged 80 years, a farmer's widow. Her death was reported by Peter Sweeney, Occupier, Dungloe.

Children of John and Anne :

(click on the links for photographs and more information on each child below)

James - the first to leave Donegal, emigrating to New Zealand in 1865 - see below and James O'Donnell

John - married Fanny Gallagher of Stramore, Glendowan, in 1866. They had two sons in Augullies, before leaving in 1869, to Join James in New Zealand - see below and John O'Donnell

Bridget - married Denis Sweeney before 1864. In 1873, after having six children together, Denis died. The following year Bridget emigrated to New Zealand to join James and John - see below and Bridget O'Donnell

Daniel - married Mary Gallagher of Crovehy and emigrated to Whatcom, Washington, USA

Hannah - married Peter Sweeney before 1864. They had three known children, two dying before 1868, leaving one son, James, born 1869. Peter died 1879 aged 39 years in Dungloe - unknown what became of Hannah or James

Three Children of John and Anne Emigrate to New Zealand

Thanks to three of their children immigrating to New Zealand, there is a wealth of documentation available from which the main events of their lives can be gleaned. These children were James, John and Bridget.

James was the eldest son, born about 1836 in Augullies and named for his grandfather, as was traditional. James married Bridget Gallagher, born about 1842, a daughter of Anthony and Ellen Gallagher of Croaghnamaddy. The marriage took place in the Roman Catholic Chapel in Dungloe on 31 May 1864, with Daniel Houston and John O'Donnell (my gr gr grandfather) as witnesses. They left Donegal at the beginning of 1865, Bridget pregnant with their first child, sailing first to Plymouth where, on the 3rd February 1865, they boarded the 'Empress' bound for Auckland, New Zealand. On the same voyage was a girl named Jane Murphy, born 1836 in Carntown, Drogheada, Co Louth, the eldest daughter of Nicholas Murphy and his wife Judith Berry. James's story can be found here

John was the third son, born about 1839 in Augullies and named for his father. John married Fanny Gallagher, who was born about 1850 in Stramore in the parish of Gartan. She was the daughter of Hugh Gallagher and Ann Doherty. Their marriage took place in Letterkenny at the Roman Catholic Chapel, on the 17th May 1866. Their first son, John Francis, was born in Augullies on the 1st June 1867, then another son, James Arthur, followed a few years later. John took over the tenant right for their portion of Augullies (about 44 acres) in 1868. It was also about that time that they fostered a child, a niece named Mary Sweeney. Fostering was quite common between family members, especially when there were too many children for the family to support. In 1869, the Valuation entry for John changed to 'the representatives of John O'Donnell', for he and his little family left for Gravesend in June 1869. They boarded the 'Hydaspes' there on the 3rd July 1869, bound for Lyttleton, New Zealand. James and Jane, who had taken up land in Suburban, Kaikoura (locally known as Donegal Flats), must have sent word to John and Fanny to join them. Also on board the 'Hydaspes' was James Gallagher (Fanny's brother), Mary McSwiggan (who would become James Gallagher's wife in 1873) and some other well-known early settlers in Kaikoura. Their story continues here

Bridget was born about 1843 in Augullies. She married Denis Sweeney, a labourer, probably in Dungloe, about 1860. Between 1861 and 1873, they had six children - Ann, Mary, James, John, Denis, and Joseph. Unfortunately, when Joseph was 2 months old, Denis died in Dungloe - it was the 23rd August 1873 and he was 34 years old. There must again have been correspondence between Kaikoura and Donegal, as John and James, now settled on their own land, sent for Bridget and her five children (her daughter Mary had immigrated with John and Fanny in 1869). Bridget made her way to Plymouth where, on the 17th August 1874, she boarded the 'Ocean Mail', bound for Nelson, New Zealand.

A Son Emigrates to America

Daniel - Whatcom, Washington.............more to come

A Daughter Lost?

Hannah - married Peter Sweeney..............more to come

Extended Family

Daniel, to his son John, to descendants still living in Crohyboyle............more to come

Back to Augullies

BACK to Templecrone

Lindel Buckley

1998 Donegal Genealogy Resources