Do you have Donegal ancestors? Here are some fun facts you might not have realized about the largest county in the northern province of Ulster:

County Donegal, the largest in the northern province of Ulster, has also been known as Tyrconnell throughout history in reference to the name of the territory up until 1601.

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1. The main industries your Donegal ancestors may have been involved in during the nineteenth century were fishing and lace-making. Fishing remains a prominent industry to this day.

2. With a lack of available jobs, many Donegal people would have made the arduous trip to Scotland, in small open sail and oar boats called currachs, in search of seasonal work.

3. If you’re looking for birth, marriage and death records in Donegal, you’ll need to know the civil registration districts that come within the county boundaries. They are Ballyshannon, Donegal, Dunfanaghy, Glenties, Inishowen Irvinestown, Letterkenny, Londonderry, Milford, Strabane and Stranorlar.

4. Surnames commonly associated with County Donegal include O'Donnell, O'Doherty, Gillespie and McDaid.

5. There are over 2.8 million family history records related to County Donegal on Findmypast for you to discover your ‘Forgotten County’ ancestors.

For more stories on tracing your Irish heritage from Findmypast click here.

The Findmypast story began in 1965, since there were no online records, employees spent many hours poring over microfiche machines until the first website was launched in 2003. Since then they have expanded to cover the UK, Ireland, Australia and North America.