Since the 1820s the Burke family has produced a series of world-renowned books dealing with British nobility, aristocracy, and landed gentry. One of these was the four-volume set of Burke's Commoners (later called Burke's Landed Gentry). With only a few exceptions, a typical Burke publication contains many hundreds of narrative pedigrees, each beginning with a biographical sketch of the principal subject, a description or illustration of his coat of arms, and a listing of marriages, children, and dates and places of birth and death in successive generations. Most pedigrees also contain details pertaining to education, occupation, honors, collateral families, and places of birth, residence, and death.
[Here's what Fianna has to say about Burke's in their Guide
to Irish Genealogy (I quote):]
"There are several points to note about Burke:
1. There are several editions, so it is always important to note the date of publication. Families came and went between different editions, and they were only published at lengthy intervals.
2. Burke's editorial powers were somewhere between nil and minimal, with a tendency to the bottom of that scale. They sent out a form, the family filled it in, no checking was done, and they published it. This means that while contemporary data is often reasonably accurate, many of the claims to early ancestors are in error and sometimes downright bogus.
3. The family described will be the blood relatives of the person who owned the land at the time that the book was published. The last edition of Burke's Irish Family Records was published some time around 1972. It's now quite a rare book and sells for upwards of 250 pounds/punts if you can find one. Barney Tyrwhitt-Drake.
[ On my last visit to Ireland, I abstracted from Burke's two
entries relating to the DVs. One was for "Donelan of Hillswood";
the other for "Donelan of Sylane and St. Peter's Well".
I reproduce them here for your consideration.
[ ] - contain my comments.
DONELAN OF HILLSWOOD
DONELAN, EDMOND-HYACINTH, Esq. Of Hillswood, Co. Galway, b. 14 Dec. 1804; m. 18Feb. 1841, Maria-Teresa, only dau. of Denis Clareke, Esq. Of Larch Hill, Co. Galway.
Lineage: -This family derives from Cahal (Charles), 2nd son of Morough Molathan, a celebrated prince of the house of Heremon, and King of Connaught [I never challenge the Milesian genealogies - they can not be proved or disproved]. The representative in modern times:
John O'Donelan, of Ballydonelan, was son of Col. Melaghlin O'Donelan wounded at the battle of Aughrim, the 5th in descent from Nehemias O'Donelan, styled Archbishop of Tuam, though never in Holy Orders [This "fact" has clearly been proved incorrect through other documentation presented on this web site. He was in Holy Orders but in the Anglican Church!] He [Melaghlin] m. Mary, d. of Charles Daly, Esq. of Calla, and niece of the Right Hon. Denis Daly, of Dunsandle, a judge in the reigns of James II. and William III., by whom he had a numerous family, of whom only four sons and four daus. survived him at his decease, 10 Dec. 1743. The eldest, Malachy, was ancestor of the Donelans of Ballydonelan, Co. Galway; and the 3rd,
Edmond Donelan, Esq., was of Hillswood, and m. Margaret, dau. of James Hozier, Esq. of Holliwell, Co. Galway. He was father of
Hyacinth-Edward Donelan, Esq. of Hillswood, who m. Sept. 1798, Honoria, dau. of James Meakle, Esq., J.P., of Currendo, and had a son, the present Edmond-Hyacinth Donelan, Esq.; and two daus., Margaret, m. Richard Golding, Esq. of Schrule, Co. Mayo, and d. leaving two sons, James (dec.) and Hyacinth; and Belinda, a nun of the Presentation Convent, Co. Galway.
Arms - Arg., a tree, thereto a slave tied, ppr.
Crest - A lion rampant.
Motto - Omni violentia major
Seat - Hillswood, Co. Galway.
DONELAN OF SYLANE AND ST. PETER"S WELL
DONELAN, THOMAS-O'CONOR, Esq. of Sylane, Co. Galway, J.P., b. 12 Dec. 1821; m. 27 Oct. 1851, Elizabeth-Mary, eldest dau. of Joseph Burke, Esq. of Ower, Co. Galway, and has issue,
---I. Dermot-O'Conor, b. 6 March 1853
---III. John O'Conor
Lineage:-Sir James Donelan, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, 2nd son of Nehemiah O'Donelan, of Ballydonelan, by his wife, Elizabeth O'Donel, grand-dau. of O'Donel, Earl of Tyrconnel, d. 1640, seized of St. Peter's Well. And several other denominations of the Donelan property, which had been given to him by his father. [I believe this to be incorrect. It is well documented the names of Sir James wives - Anne Barry and Sarah Wheeler - along with his children. His son, James was not even alive in this timeframe. I suggest that the correct James to inherit this property was more likely the son of John, Abp. Nehemiah's eldest - identified as such on Ms. 467. This interpretation would have had significant repercussions on the placement of later generations on this manuscript. To continue---]. He m. the dau. of Browne of Coolarn, and had a son, Loughlin Donelan, of St. Peter's Well, who m. Mary, dau. of Walter Browne, Esq. of Galway. To this gentleman the above lands were regranted by Charles II. He d. 1670 and was s. [succeeded] by his son, Nehemiah Donelan, of St. Peter's Well, M.P. for Galway 1692, and its recorder. He d. 1699. Leaving, by his wife, Margaret, dau of Arthur French, Esq. of Tyrone, a son. Nehemiah Donelan of St. Peter's Well, who m. Sarah, 2nd dau. of Walter Taylor, Esq. of Castletaylor, and left at his decease, 1731, one son, Nehemiah Donelan, of St. Peter's Well, who m. Marcia, dau of Robert Shawe, Esq. of Woodstock, Co. Galway, and left issue at his death, 1771. His3rd son, Thomas Donelan, Esq., m. 1771, Mabel, dau. and heiress of Dermot O'Conor, Esq. of Sylane, by Mabel his wife, 2nd dau. of Edward O'Flynn, Esq. of Turloygh, and d. 1816, leaving issue. The second son, Dermot Donelan, Esq. of Sylane, m. Maria, 2nd dau. of William Keary, Esq. of Clough, and d. 1852, leaving two sons and two daus., Thomas-O'Conor, now of Sylane. William-Edmond, M.D. Belinda m. to Charles-J. Lynch, Esq. of Carrabeg, Co. Galway, an officer in the army. Arms, Crest, and Motto - Same as Donelan of Ballydonelan.
Seat - Sylane More, near Tuam, Co. Galway.