Doran clan research

There are undoubtably many Doran clans originating in Ireland. We try to sort through as many of these as we can, however our primary research is our Doran ancestry (line #1) and a distant cousin’s Doran ancestry (line #2).

Verified DNA Matches to Jacob “James” Doran (ca. 1725-1793) are lines 1 and 2.

Jacob is the latinized version for James often used by Roman Catholic clerics for the baptismal name. This Jacob Doran was forced by the government to emigrate to Colonial America for some minor infraction. His name was included in the list of Irish Prisoners and that source indicates he was expelled from Belfast. So he might have been born in Belfast or perhaps he was born elsewhere and was just living in Belfast at the time of his arrest. His life in America and his descendants lives are well documented elsewhere, so we will not attempt to recreate that story here.

Some sources for more information are: The History of Monroe County, West Virginia. The Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution. His probate record was originally published in “Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County” by Lyman Chalkley. Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers Bounty Land Warrants. These can be found on

Line 1. Bernard Doran (ca. 1798-?). Married to Ann “Nancy” Smythe. This is our line. Birthplaces are unknown for both. However, we think Bernard and Ann were most likely born in either Belfast, or Shankill Armagh. DNA matches link Ann’s ancestry possibly back to Renfrewshire, Scotland. More research needs to be done on that line. Their first child was born in County Armagh and the rest born in Belfast. Children Maria, Ellen, Ann, John, Hannah, Catherine, Bernard. The fourth child, John Doran (1838-1889), is our line, confirmed by both primary source records and DNA matches to his children’s descendants.

Line 2. Patrick James Doran (1824-1904). Married to Isabella Shields. This is our distant cousin James Doran of Canada’s line. Patrick was born in County Down, He worked in Belfast City as a tailor, had or shared a farm in Ballysugah, Downpatrick, County Down. He died in Belfast at Nazareth House at the age of 80. We have identified 3 children of this couple, although they may have had additional children we have not yet identified. Their three known children include: first, Michael Doran was born about 1850, most likely at Ballysugah. Michael married Jane Walsh. We have DNA matches with this family as does our cousin James Doran of Canada. Second, Patrick Doran was born about 1856, also most likely in County Down. Patrick married Mary “Minnie” O’Hagan on 3 May 1880 in Belfast at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. The couple had 11 children, not all of whom lived to adulthood. The third child we have been able to identify was Isabella Doran, she was born about 1870 in County Down and died at the age of 7 on 23 January 1877 at Ballysugah, Downpatrick, County Down.

Line 3. Joseph Doran was born 18 Feb 1849. He was baptized at St Mathews’ RC Church in Ballymacarrett. His father’s name was Patrick Doran (noted on Joseph’s marriage record as deceased and formerly a laborer. Josephs mother’s name was not mentioned on the baptism record (which seems to have been the practice of that priest), however, the sponsors names were Patrick Doran and Alice Doran. Joseph married Susan Maginnis, the daughter of Charles Magennis, a ship’s carpenter. Joseph’s occupation was Hackler or Hackle Maker. Susan at the time of her marriage was a “machinist”. Given that Joseph’s occupation was hackler/hackle maker, we believe he is related to our family in that so many of our Doran men in Belfast were hacklers and that he was living in Ballymacarrett, where so many of our Doran family lived in that time period. The couple had six children, not all of whom lived to adulthood.

So these are the three lines of Dorans, from Belfast Ireland, that we are most focused on in our research. More about each line on other pages.