The O’Donnell family from Donegal.
We were contacted by Ron Currie from Stirling who is currently researching his family tree on his great, great grandfather side and his 2 x great grandfather was called James O’Donnell. Ron was curious as he never knew about his Hamilton Connections and he asked us where Leechlee Street was in Hamilton.
Hi Ron, so to answer your question about Leechlee Street. Leechlee Street was a street with roughly 21 tenements on it and it was constructed before 1855 and was still known as Leechlee Street after 1958. It was presumably demolished when the new Gateway shopping centre was under construction in the 1970s. As I don’t have the exact date, perhaps some of my readers can confirm this? After the tenements were demolished, the street was renamed Leechlee Road, so this should give you an indication of where the Street was.
Downie Street is situated in the Low Waters area of Hamilton. When your Great Grand Uncle lived there it was just a small street with around three tenements. It was constructed between 1895 & 1905 and named after its builder who was called Robert Downie. Robert Downie was a Stone Mason Contractor and he lived around the corner at number 8 Selkirk Street.
There are many branches of O’Donnell’s living in Hamilton I have O’Donnell’s in my family tree and most of them were coal miners and at the moment I can’t see a connection with our families. Ron, I see from your 2 x Great Grandfather’s death certificate which you sent me, that he was a shoemaker, and this was the family tradition, as your 3 x Great grandfather was also a shoemaker too.
I looked at the 1891 census of Hamilton and James was living at 226 Quarry Street with his family. The family immigrated from Ireland between 1882 & 1885, this information comes from the birth of your great-grandfather in Ireland and your great uncle James who was born at Hamilton in 1885.
I already had a copy of your great uncle James’s birth certificate and Interestingly, when your great uncle James was born, your 2 x great grandfathers occupation was recorded as a coal miner. Perhaps this was just a stop-gap until he set up his new business in Hamilton as a Shoe Maker?
Ron, the birth certificate of your great uncle James also tells us that your 2 x great grandparents were married at Donegal in Ireland! My own family connection to the O’Donnell’s also come from Donegal in Ireland, so it is a possibility that your 2 x Great grandfather is a relation to the ones in my family tree.
My family line are not direct descendants of the O’Donnell’s, but the people in my tree are descendants of Richard O’Donnell & Alice Muirhead. Do these names mean anything to you?
If any of our readers who have researched their family tree and are descendants of James O’Donnell and Mary Brogan, then please make yourself known and say hi to your cousin Ron Currie from Stirling.
Ron, I hope that this has shed a wee bit of light and given you some insight into where your family lived when they were in Hamilton. Thank you for contacting Historic Hamilton, we have now taken note of this family line and we have documented it and please let us know if you have any other connections to our Town.