Research & Resources

This page is a selection of links and resources to investigate if you are interested further researching Inch’s wealth of history and heritage.


Inch residents, Tina Porter and Georgina Robinson, both have a passion for Inch’s family histories and the genealogy of the island’s community. They have compiled an Excel Spreadsheet based on the 1901 census, available for download by clicking the census image below.

Both Tina and Georgina are happy to assist you if you wish to delve deeper into your Inch connections. Their biographies and contact details are below.

Tina Porter

Tina Porter is a Genealogy enthusiast with over 20 years researching experience in local family history with particular interest in the West Inishowen area. Her own family names include McDaid, McLaughlin, Doherty, Gill, Donaghey, Hegarty, Cassidy and Harrigan, Boyle and Nash from Derry. She is married to Porter from the Burt area so also is a very keen researcher of families in this locality such as Craig, McElwee and McGrory.

Tina is a member of the West Inishowen History and Heritage Society and volunteers with the Ireland Reaching Out Programme. She is passionate about connecting Donegal Diaspora with their families who live locally. She has built a network of contacts that extends to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, England and Nationwide in Ireland. She has built an extensive database of local family history and consistently builds in it.

Email contact:

Georgina Robinson

Hi my name is Georgina Robinson, I am from Inch Island and although I have always had an interest in history my interest in family history was probably kick started by the 1911 census going online. From there I decided that I really wanted to research my family tree and I started to search online and asking family members what they knew. My heritage connection to Inch is on my paternal side with links to the surnames Robinson, McGinley, Gallagher, McLaughlin, Hegarty, Deaney and McHugh to name a few.

Looking back on both the 1901 and 1911 census I was amazed to find how many of the surnames were still around today and the others too that I had heard mentioned growing up. For me just to be able to look at these records and pick out relations and see their writing and marks and details of their houses and jobs makes them invaluable resources. In doing this project with Tina Porter it was great to see all the connections in Inch.

Myself and Tina having found out about our mutual love of all things ancestry had met up occasionally to share information we had gathered, imagine our surprise to find that we are connected although not through my Inch connections but on my maternal side. My maternal side of the family includes the surnames Curran, Doherty, Ferry, McMonagle, Lynch, Gilfillan, Donaghey and McLucas.

I am always on the lookout for new family connections and enjoy meeting and being in contact with cousins across the globe. As well as finding out the family names and connections I love to see old photos hear different stories about the people in my family tree.

I would love to be able to help others that are interested in searching their family history whether its connections to Inch Island or if their family links to my own, I will help in whatever way I can.

Email contact:

Research resources and links

One of the issues we encountered while researching Inch’s history, is the island’s name. If you are searching for links and resources about an island called Inch, you will invariably find hundreds of links to documents and archive material which makes references to the old, Imperial system of inches, feet and yards. We have found that you have to be a little inventive in your search terms and include quotes to search for identical terms, such as “Inch Island Donegal”, “Inch Lough Swilly”, “Island of Inch”. It is also advisable to add negatives into the searches, as in: “inch Island” -inches.

Another issue we encountered is the legacy of British Rule. Inch’s historical records are spread across the archives in Dublin - records since 1922 – Belfast - records of Protestant landowners - and England - records prior to 1922... with some notable exceptions.

Searching Inch’s history online can be time-consuming and frustrating, but equally rewarding. What follows is a list of sites and archives we used during the project’s early research. It is not an exhaustive list and is offered in no-particular order.

Some of the sites contain digitised archives, available online, some require a visit to a physical building to view the documents, and many of them charge a fee for use.

Please be aware, the CINE Project team are not responsible for external links from this website.

Donegal County Council Archives

Inch Hall Facebook Page

The hub of the island’s community

National Museum of Ireland

Irish Census Online

The census details for Inch are online at the links below. The returns are transcribed but the original forms are also available as PDFs. In our research, we found the 1901 census to be far richer in detail and history than the later 1911 census.
Inch’s Census returns for 1901
Inch’s Census returns for 1911

Old Maps Online

This is a wonderful resource with hundreds of maps from many different sources, some of which are shown in lo-resolution on this page.

The David Rumsey Collection

Maps, images and all sorts of historic images

Irish National Archives

National Library Collections – Lawrence collection of photographs

National Library Flickr Account

Trinity College Dublin Library Archive

Trinity Access to Research Archive

University College Dublin Archive

UK National Archives Kew

Public Record Office Northern Ireland - PRONI

Imperial War Museum

Irish Newspaper Archive – subscription service

British Newspaper Archive – subscription service

Dáil Éireann archives

British Parliamentary Archives

DUCHAS Schools Project

Inch Girl

Templemore the good landlord

Inch Fort

Field and place names

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