Saturday, June 19, 2010

Donegal. St Johnston. Mc and Mac. Family Roots

Donegal County

St. Johnstone
St. Johnstone, St Johnston, and Strabane, Donegal. Strabane straddles Donegal and Tyrone, Donegal in the Republic, Tyrone in Northern Ireland. These areas are the roots place of my grandparents, Robert McClure McConaghy, who married Louise (Louisa) Lucinda Hilliard (Brien) once they were both in the United States, and older than many newlyweds - she was 26, he was 28.
We found past folk among rainbows in Donegal.  There are McConaghy clergy, Protestant, going back to the 1800's there.  This vehicle stops for rainbows.

  St. Johnston, Ireland, County Donegal

If you have Irish roots, you are lucky in that Irish tax money was expended to hire people to digitize graveyard and church records.

 The towns have record books, and there are computerized records for getting information in advance: births, deaths, marriages, burials, even immigration; at least back to the beginning of the record books. See http://www.

Or, go into archives for obituaries.  Here the the obituary for the Rev. Joseph McConaghy, died 1875, at FN 1

All on the net. See
Mc and Mac.

We tried to find every residence name or place that is mentioned in old family papers. Mc or Mac - they apparently have the same roots. see  See also
The Mc or Mac does not necessarily differentiate between Scots and Irish, or Protestant or Catholic.
 The oldest Irish were known as "Scotties" - they went across the water and settled in Scotland, rather than the other way around.  They went back and forth for thousands of years. Find the Scotti among the oldest groups at  For details, see the Manageable Timeline here.

Robert McClure McConaghy, NJ, 1922 or so, with daughters, Dorothy and Marjorie

Midsummer Night's Dreamlike - with somebody's backyard brownie camera.


FN 1  Newspaper clipping, pasted into a Session Book at the Saint Johnston Presbyterian Church 1876

"Death of the Rev. Joseph McConaghy

On the last day of the past year the Rev. Joseph McConaghy died at his residence Dundee, St. Johnston and thus another able and zealous member of the olden band of ministers has passed away.  He was born at Greenhills near Raphoe in the year 1811 so that at his death he was in his 65th year.  His preliminary education was received at the Raphoe Royal School afterwards studying under Rev. Mr. Fullerton, Rector of Stranorlar.  Amongst his school fellows at Raphoe was Isaac Butt, Esq. M.P.  On entering the University of Glasgow the celebrated Sir Daniel Sandford became his instructor and in the list of his fellow students was the late Dr. Norman M'Leod, Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, also editor of "Good Words", and the present Primate of all England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Tait.  Another of his fellow students was the deceased Dr. Edward Dill, author of Ireland's "Curse and Cure", etc.

He entered the Divinity Hall under the famous Dr. Stevenson M'Gill and after completing his Divinity course was licenced by the Irish Presbyterian Church and ordained in the congregation of St Johnston on 16th day of December 1834.

Thus for the long period of 42 years he was a hard-working efficient minister highly beloved and esteemed, not only by the members of his own congregation, but by all classes and creeds who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.   Like his friend and brother minister, the late Dr. John Wray of Convoy, he had a wonderful knowledge of most diseases to which the human frame is subject and turning this knowledge to account, he was enabled to alleviate much pain and suffering throughout the entire neighborhood.

It is consequently no hyperbole to affirm that a character so distinguished, obliging and pious can be badly spared amongst us.  Nor is it by any means wonderful when as in his case, the golden bowl broke, and the silver cord  snapped, many, very many, real mourners were going about the streets."

Rainbow, St. Johnstone, Donegal, Ireland

Here is the same rainbow - just wouldn't fade away- right there in Donegal itself, it is. And pot of gold.

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