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James Duggan (aft. 1860 - 1922)

James Duggan
Born after in Falcarragh, County Donegal, Irelandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 12 Nov 1887 in St. Patrick's Church, Murlog, County Donegal, Irelandmap
Father of and
Died before age 62 in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Irelandmap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 3,095 times.


James Stephen Duggan was from Falcarragh on the coast of Donegal. According the the 1901 Census he was born about 1860, but as yet there are no baptismal or birth records for him. In his marriage record he gives his father's name as James Duggan, labourer.

He spoke both Irish and English and unusually for a man of his background he could read and write. He completed the 1901 census form in a very competent manner. His handwriting was very good, according to Patrick Gallagher. James may have been employed as a farm baliff at one time because of his literacy skills. Patrick thought that he may have served some time in the army.

He was employed in the Laggan as many from West Donegal were. On 12 November 1887 he married Mary O'Donnell, daughter of Roger O'Donnell from Dungloe who was working as a servant at Argory near Murlog. According to the marriage certificate James was working at Drumfad near White Cross as a labourer. Drumfad is located between Lifford and Raphoe. The couple were married at Murlog Chapel, near Lifford, this is one of the first chapels built after penal times. They were married by Rev John McElhatton CC who later became PP of Melmount and was renowed for his interest in Politics. The witnesses were James Mitchell and Hannah McGee.

The couple must have continued to live in Drumfad for the next few years as three of their five children were born there.

  1. John on 1 November 1888
  2. James on 21 January 1890
  3. Annie 24 August 1891

John and Annie were baptised at St. Columba's Church, Drumoghill. John's godparents were Thomas Turish and Helen O'Donnell, and Annie's godparent were John Breslin and Annie O'Donnell. Annie and Helen were half sisters of Mary and she named her daughters after them. There is a discrepancy in the dates recorded for the births and baptisms. James was baptised at the Catholic Church in St. Johnston by Fr. Sweeney and his godparents were James McFadden and Cathering Gallagher.

At some stage the family must have had to move for employment, as was often the lot of landless labourers because their fourth child Ellen was born on the 11 June 1899 in Letterkenny.

When the census of Ireland was completed on the night of 31 March 1901 the Duggan family was living at 9 Chapel Lane, Letterkenny. [1] A street down the hill from the present Cathedral. The house was a 3rd class dwelling with stone walls and slate roof. It had 2 rooms for 6 people, and unusually it had no windows in front. It had no outhouses. In the census return James gives the occupation for himslf and his two sons as farm servants. John was then 12 and young James 11. When the term farm servant was used instead of agricultural labourer it meant that the employees had to sleep in the farm house.

Thomas the youngest child was born in Letterkenny 29 August 1901. Mary O'Donnell was a cousin Patrick O'Donnell who was Bishop of Raphoe at this time. He lived in Letterkenny and the Cathedral was being built there. Patrick Gallagher told a story that when young John and James were making their confirmation the Bishop sent new suits to the house for them.

Another story about the family's sudden departure from Donegal was that they were working on an estate and an English Lord was visiting. Mary was forced to defend herself from him and she lifted a kitchen chair and split his head open. They sent word to Bishop O'Donnell and he arranged their departure from Donegal that night and found them a place in Tryone. They came to Fyfin between Strabane and Castlederg and they worked for a family called Todds who were brethern. They were there by 1908 as Tom was enrolled in school.

The Doogans were found again in the 1911 census. [2] The name was spelt differently. They were living in the townland of Clady Johnston about 2 miles above Sion Mills. They were employed by a farmer David Aiken. John and James were working as labourers while Annie worked as a rover in Herdman's mill in Sion. They were still there in 1912 because Nellie was enrolled in Liscreevaghan National School.

By 1915 the family had split up. John had moved to Scotland where he married a girl from near Sion Lizzie McElhinney. James had joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and fought at places such as Gallipoli and after the War he joined his brother Jonny in Johnston. The Doogan parents had moved to Marshall's Row in Sion and it was from there in 1916 that Annie married Patrick Gallagher from Sion. Patrick Gallagher went off to fight in the War and served in the Inniskillings. He did not return until 1920. At some stage Mary Doogan had gone to work in Sion mill. Apparently she was involved in an accident and lost sight of both eyes . She was blind for the last 30 years of her life. After her husband's death in 1922 Mary and her daughter Nellie lived with Annie and Patrick Gallagher. Nellie had had an accident as a child and although she looked lovely she never matured. She and her Brother Tom died in the late 1980s. Annie Gallagher passed away in October 1973. They were buried in the churchyard at Melmount.

James Duggan died 16 Apr 1922 at County home, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, widower 59 yrs [3]

Burial : Melmount Graveyard Cause of Death : Gastritis Cordiac Syncope



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