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Hi everyone,

I will be visiting Co. Donegal in August 2024 and have been researching my 3rd G. Grandfather Michael McDevitt. Year of his birth is approximately 1825 and his father was James McDevitt .

I have hit a wall with where in Co. Donegal he was from and can't find any record of siblings, parish etc. He arrived in Boston, USA around 1844 and married Ellen Farran also from Co. Donegal(father Henry Farran).

This is not much information to go on but I'm hopeful someone might have information.

Thank you!

Jennifer McDevitt Ranghiasci


Saturday 6th Jan 2024, 05:46AM

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  • Jennifer:

    McDevitt/Devitt was/is a very common surname in Co. Donegal. The 1857 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing shows over 400 households were headed by a McDevitt/Devitt. The surname was found in many parishes but Inishkeel and Convoy appear to have the most McDevitts.

    The main problem researching ancestors in Donegal is the lack of pre-1850 RC parish records. For whatever reason, the parish register books were not retained before 1850 in almost all the RC parishes in Donegal.

    Have you taken a DNA test?

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 6th Jan 2024, 03:12PM
  • Hi Roger,

    Thank you for your response and yes, it seems that there is no record of a Michael McDevitt or any other variation of our last name. There is a James born 1775 that I'm looking into as possibly Michael's father in the 2 parishes you suggested.

    I have taken a DNA test thru Ancestry and there are 2 distant cousins that have the same problem finding any more information with this branch.



    Monday 8th Jan 2024, 10:40PM

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