Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, Vol 38: County Donegal I, 1833-35

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The Ordnance Survey Memoirs are a uniquely detailed source for the history of the northern half of Ireland immediately before the Great Famine. They were written in the 1830s to accompany the 6" Ordnance Survey maps, but with one exception were not published at the time. In this new edition they act as a nineteenth-century Domesday book and are essential to the understanding of the cultural heritage of our communities. The Memoirs document the landscape and situation, buildings and antiquities, land-holdings and population, employment and livelihood of the parishes.

This volume contains the Memoirs for 14 parishes in north-east Donegal, including an impressive account of Lough Swilly, an extensive area from the coastline of Lough Foyle as far west as Downings and encompassing the peninsulas of Inishowen and Fanad, as well as Tory Island. Main areas covered in Inishowen include Buncrana, Carndonagh, Clonmany, Moville, Muff and Inch Island, while further west are the towns of Carigart, Kilmacrenan, Milford, Ramelton, Rathmullan, Rosnakill, Tamney. There are good accounts of the natural history of this mainly rural area dotted with remains of antiquity, which varied from those of landed estates to the smal farmers, where rundale and other traditional farming techniques still held sway. There is clear evidence of the importance of the linen industry to the local economy, which was also greatly influenced by its proximity to the sea. Social life is equally well recorded, with good descriptions of mills, houses, trades and occupations, and education.

Altogether these Memoirs provide a unique insight into life and society in this area over 150 years ago.

Parishes in Donegal: Clondavaddog, Clonmany, Culdaff, Desertegney, Donagh, Killygarvan, Kilmacrenan, Mevagh, Mintiaghs (Bar of Inch), Moville, Muff, Tullyaughnish, Lough Swilly (with Burt and Inch).

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