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THE QUINNS OF DONEGAL
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My List of Quinns

How we all got here...

Please note: Because of the general destruction of early records in Ireland, there are some bits of information here that cannot be backed up with a hard copy source.  However, my family was and still is very good at keeping our history alive by handing it down verbally.  Our generations today are now writing it down once again to preserve it for our futures.
 
ALL sources within the United States, however, CAN be backed up with hard copy sources.  And because of extreme luck, quite a bit of the Ireland information can also be backed up with at least some written records still surviving in various archives - including Trinity College, Donegal Heritage Centre, PRONI, and various Catholic  and Presbyterian Churches located throughout Northern Ireland.
 
Here's a brief history of all that we have found so far concerning John Quinn (my great great grandfather.)
 
John Quinn rented 10 perches of land in Rafoarty from Alexander Hamilton, who in turn rented 54 acres from the Provost and Fellows, Trinity College.
 
In 1844, John moved the family into a house in Ballintra that was built by Mr. Hamilton.  At this time, several children left for America.  We have not yet been able to positively determine whether it was 4 sons, 3 sons and a daughter, or 3 children and their cousin.
 
Upon arrival, one of the boys left immediately for New Jersey to work in an uncle's bar.  We have not yet located this person's name.  Once we do this, we will be able to find this branch of the family!
 
At least two of the boys stayed in Boston for several years.  The 4th person very possibly left for the area of Philadelphia.
 
Recent information surfaced that determined some sisters of the boys came over sometime between 1845-1850 and settled in the Philadelphia area.  A new connection may soon shed light on these ladies.
 
JAMES QUINN, my great grandfather, stayed in the Boston area for several years.  He lived in the area of Charlestown, MA.
 
On the 10th of October 1851, James married CATHERINE ANN OVERN at St. Mary's Church in Charlestown.  They had three sons - John, George, and James M., all born in the Boston area.
 
Sometime between 1857-58, the family migrated west to Minnesota.  They were part of a settlement party headed by Gen. James Shields, himself a Donegal native.  James and his wife Catherine stayed in the Minneapolis region for the rest of their lives.
 
One other item that has been uncovered concerns James and his cousin, Patrick Quinn.  Patrick was a milkman in Boston, and apparently James helped him at times.  One day, while trying to untangle the reins of the horses, Patrick slipped and fell from the back of a horse, hitting his head.  It killed him instantly.
 
There's a quick overview of what we know so far.  For the actual statistical details of the family, please go to My Quinn Family.

New information sent to me!

A recently found cousin has provided the following information.  He is a descendant of Daniel Quinn of Ballintra.  Here is what he has told me:
 
There were four Quinn farms originally in the area of Ballintra - the Daniel Quinn farm, the Andrew Quinn farm, and two Patrick Quinn farms.  The Daniel Quinn farm was located at the top of the street in Ballintra, and the other farms bordered his.
 
In 1800, the Daniel Quinn family was removed from their farm and relocated to Lisnapaste.  Today the Church of Ireland stands upon that land.
 
The other information he sent me regards Andrew Quinn.  Apparently it is unclear whether Andrew was actually related or not.  Parts of the family claimed he was not, and other parts say he was.  However, there were many children in the family named after Andrew, and his farm was located with the rest of the family farms.  We currently believe he was connected.
 
A clue for all of us researching this particular Quinn family line:  In the Drumholm graveyard, there stands a large headstone.  It says "Erected in memory of Daniel Quinn, who died -- -- 1777.  Erected by Terrence Quinn" (We cannot find the paperwork that gives the actual full date of death)
 
Judging by date of death, the name, the area, and other factors, it is HIGHLY possible that this man could well have been the father of these several Quinns who were located in the area of Ballintra around 1775-1820.  We are currently trying to research this information to get more data.