Do you have ancestors’ from Donegal who sat on a Grand Jury? Explore this collection of Grand Jury presentments and discover your Irish heritage today.
Each record is available in a PDF format. Use the previous and next buttons at the top of the page to browse through the publication. The PDF search experience can be different from searching transcribed records. Use our search tips below to get the most out of this collection.
To the left of the PDF, you will find the Transcription Box, which includes:
Title – the title of the publication
Image number and image count – this will tell you where you are in the publication and help you to explore the publication further.
Since Norman times, Grand Juries have existed, the Grand Jury was the forerunner of the modern County Council. The original records are held by the Donegal County Council. The Grand Jury was the most important local body in rural Ireland during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they were empowered to raise money by means of county rates.
Selected by the Sherriff of the county, the Grand Juries were selected and made up from landowners, Grand Juries had no corporate existence and the jury was discharged by the Judge of Assize. Presentment sessions were called in each of the six baronies of Donegal before the assizes, proposals for work to be carried out were considered and then submitted for the Grand Jury for ratification.
Services provided and paid for by Grand Jury Cess was a rate payable by occupiers, included making and the repairing of roads and bridges, construction of courthouses and the levying for support of district hospitals, schools and prisons. As an administrative body, the Donegal Grand Jury was replaced by Donegal County Council under the 1898 Local Government (Ireland) Act.
Searching through a PDF (Portable document format) is different from searching through fully transcribed record sets. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you search for your ancestors:
A name search will return results which have the search terms on the same page within the document. This means that searching for John Smith will return pages where the names 'John' and 'Smith' occur. For this reason your search may return the name William Smith or John Brown. By inserting quotations around the full name the search function will locate the terms together; for example, “John Smith.”
To search for your ancestor by their name, write it as it would appear on the document. For example, if your relative was known as ‘Will’ it is likely that the name used for official records was ‘William.’
If you are unable to find your relative on your first search you can try different name variations. A number of register books only use abbreviations for first names. For example, if your search is unsuccessful for William Smith, try W Smith or Wm Smith.
Perusing the PDF
If you wish to read through the whole document you are searching, then order the results by page number. You can start from the beginning of the document and read through to the end using the next button above the image.
Page numbers often correlate with the individual images of the documents rather than the page numbers used within the publication. Therefore page 1 starts with the cover page.