This photo is one of my favorites from a trip to Ireland that I took with my eldest daughter. Ever since that trip I have longed to go back. From many spots along the County Antrim coast we could see Scotland. Here I’m gazing out to sea – the same sea that my grandfather, Bernard Doran (1890-1947), left from to come to the United States in 1910. His ship, the S.S. Columbia, left from Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland, not far from this spot.
One of my New Year genealogy resolutions is to research in more depth my grandparents’ grandparents. I decided to start with Grandpa Barney Doran’s paternal grandparents from Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Most likely he never knew his grandfather, John Doran. John was born about 1825 and died before the 1901 Irish Census, in Belfast. Barney’s grandmother was Ellen Little Doran, and she died in Belfast when he was a young teenager. Ellen Little Doran was living with her daughter, Hannah Doran Murray in the 1901 Irish Census. She was listed as Roman Catholic, 60 years old, widow, born in Belfast, can read & write. Hannah Doran Murray was listed as 24 years old, married, born in Belfast, Housewife, Can’t read. Her husband was Daniel Murray, age 23, and their son, James, was one. By the 1911 Irish Census, Ellen Little Doran wasn’t listed, and Hannah and Daniel had three more children: John, Alice, and Annie. (Census of Ireland 1901/1911. The National Archives of Ireland. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/: accessed 31 May 2013).
Through years of research my sister and I have found out the names of some of John and Ellen Doran’s children. We have birth or baptism records for their children: Bernard, John, Anna, Joseph, Ellen, Catherine, Mary Anne, and Hannah. All of these children were born in either East Belfast, in County Down, or West Belfast, in County Antrim. My great-grandfather was their son, Bernard Doran, born in 1858. Confusing matters is the fact that it seems that if one of their children died in infancy, they sometimes named another child the same name. Here below the baptism record of John and Ellen’s daughter Anna Doran. You can click on the record to enlarge it.
While searching for records this week I came across a record of a Scottish birth of a child named Ann Dorran, born 24 November 1863, to John Dorran and Ellen Little! Quite often our family spelled Doran this way, and we still pronounce it this way, instead of the more common Irish way that sounds more like Doren. Since I have found nothing more about Anna Doran born in Belfast, I’m ready to broaden my search to Scottish records. For all I know my grandfather Barney’s grandmother, Ellen Little Doran, could have Scottish roots. My grandfather’s grandfather, John Doran, worked in the flax trade as a flax dresser, or hackler. From the Paisley website I have found out that the town was famous in the 19th Century for the textiles produced there. It is located seven miles west of Glasgow, Scotland.
Those Places Thursday is a blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers. Off to do more research! Good luck with your family history in 2015!
|Birth Date:||24 Nov 1863|
|Birthplace:||ABBEY PAISLEY, RENFREW, SCOTLAND|
|Father’s Name:||John Dorran|
|Mother’s Name:||Ellen Little|