East Donegal emigration around America

An even greater number of individuals and families departed from Donegal after 1800. While the United States remained the most popular destination, emigrants were also moving to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the world.

St Louis

Alexander McNair, the son of an emigrant from Donaghmore parish, became the first governor of the state of Missouri in 1820.

In 1873, Rev. James Latimer, minister of Monreagh Presbyterian Church, resigned his charge and emigrated to America to become the pastor of Chouteau Avenue Presbyterian church in St Louis.

Alexander McNair


Francis Torrance, born near Letterkenny into a family that traced its ancestry to Kirkintilloch, Scotland, established the Standard Manufacturing Co. in Pittsburgh in 1875, which pioneered the development and manufacture of plumbing and sanitation goods.

Under his son, also named Francis, the business, renamed the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Co., became the world’s largest producer of sanitation products.

Standard Sanitary Manufacturing

New York City

Charles Knox (d. 1895) from Ramelton founded what became the largest hat manufacturing company in the world. Abraham Lincoln’s well-known ‘stovepipe’ hat was made by the firm.

Robert Bonner (d. 1899), also from Ramelton, amassed a significant fortune as a newspaper owner and was the founder and first President of the Scotch-Irish Society of America.

Robert Bonner