In Search of the Donnellys

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Trafford Publishing, 2006 - Reference - 312 pages
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This companion volume to The Donnelly Album, first published in 1977, which told how and why a vigilance committee of neighbors massacred several members of the Donnelly family in the early morning hours of February 4th, 1880, including the parents, James and Judy (or Johannah), their two sons and a niece. They died at the hands of their fellow church parishioners in their log house on a road known as the Roman Line near the village of Lucan in the County of Middlesex fifteen miles north of London, Ontario. Two other sons had died not long before, one in mysterious circumstances still argued about to this day and another in a bar-room brawl. The parish priest of St. Patrick's was implicated in the massacre to the extent that, when circumstances drove him to oppose the Donnellys, he founded a so-called property protective association which evolved into the vigilance committee. Its own members called it the Peace Society.
While research for that first book covered a period of fifteen years, its publication was merely an incident in the author's ongoing search for all details connected with the Donnellys and the community in which they lived and died. This new book, In Search of the Donnellys, does not retell the story but approaches it from a different angle: it recounts the author's own personal adventures in searching for the information from the beginning to the present. While he stands by the original telling, the new book fills in some chinks, expands some areas and further accounts for some of the controversy which continues to surround this fascinating bit of North American folk history with Irish roots.
This new revised edition fills in further gaps including thesubsequent lives and fates of characters in the story such as Maggie Thompson, Sam Everett, the Keefes and the O'Connors as well as members of the infamous Peace Society. There are some surprising discoveries made since publication of the first edition. The latter include the finding in Ireland of the brother of the niece Bridget, the discovery of a second Flanagan's Corners in Texas, the unexpected revelation that the Donnellys had a Protestant background after all and much more.
 

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Ray Fazakas

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