Ralph Donnelly Papers

Manuscript Collection #852
Donnelly, Ralph W.
Physical description
1 Cubic Feet
Preferred Citation
Ralph Donnelly Papers (#852), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Genealogical note cards and correspondence (undated) including records of births, confirmations, marriages, and deaths in the Catholic churches of the Southeast United States, especially Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, ca. 1822-1854, 1932-1979.

Biographical/historical information

Ralph W. Donnelly was born on November 20, 1913 in Washington, D.C. He married Gertrude Warfield Shipley on April 17, 1937. The couple had two children, Joseph R. and Kathleen Ann. Donnelly received a BS degree in Education (History and Geography) from J.O. Wilson Teacher's College, Washington, D.C. in June 1935. He also received a MA degree in American Political Science from Catholic University of America in 1940, and also took some continuing education courses after this.

Mr. Donnelly taught in various junior high schools in Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, D.C., for a combined total of twelve years. He also worked at various life insurance companies in many capacities for about twenty years. Donnelly retired from the Federal Government at the end of 1975 and moved to Washington, NC. He then became a part time instructor in local history and genealogy at several community colleges for about five years.

Donnelly has authored and co-authored several books and more than 50 magazine and newspaper articles on military history and Catholic family history. Some of his publications include, "Blacks in the Marine Corps" (co-authored with Henry I. Shaw Jr., 1975), "Biographical Sketches of the Commissioned Officers of the Confederate States Marine Corp" (1973), "The History of the Confederate States Marine Corp" (1976) and "Service Records of Confederate Enlisted Marines" (1979). Donnelly also edited and published "The Parish Register of St. John the Evangelist, Washington, NC, Beaufort County, 1808-1911" (1984).

Scope and arrangement

The collection contains printed materials and several small boxes of index cards. In the printed materials, a small amount of correspondence can be found. The bulk of these letters are from Donnelly to various Catholic institutions concerning genealogical information on members of the Price Family. Donnelly particularly focuses on Sister Catherine Price in his discussions. The rest of the correspondence is between Donnelly and editors of various genealogical publications. These letters concern the submission for publication of articles by Donnelly to the journals.

Other printed material includes a copy of an article entitled "Catholicity in the Carolina's and Georgia: Leaves of its History" by Rev. Dr. J. J. O'Connell, O.S.B. (1964) and an undated draft copy of "The Parish Registers of St. John the Evangelist, Washington, NC, 1808-1911" (by Donnelly). Also included is a typescript copy of "Marriages and Deaths from the U. S. Catholic Miscellany", as well as a draft copy of "Georgia Catholic Deaths and Marriages from the United States Catholic Miscellany, June 1822-January 1852". There are also genealogical charts documenting the families of Samuel Cooper Leroy, John Stewart Gallagher, Clarissa Bond and Alfred Lanier Price. In addition, there are some baptismal records for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

The bulk of the collection consists of five small boxes of index cards containing typed and hand written notes. These notes pertain to deaths, marriages, births, baptisms and other related genealogy records for a number of families in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. One such family of interest is the Gallagher Family of Washington, NC. John Gallagher, a member of this family, was involved with the founding of the first Catholic Church in North Carolina.

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 26, 2002, 1 container, 1.0 cubic feet; Genealogical note cards and correspondence (undated) including records of births, confirmations, marriages, and deaths in the Catholic churches of the Southeast United States, especially Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, c. 1822-1854, 1932-1979. Donor: Joseph Carter Leary.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Joseph Carter Leary

Processing information

Processed by Anna Hardee, 2006

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Donnelly, Ralph W.--Correspondence
Price, Catherine
Family Names
Gallagher family
Price family
Corporate Names
St. John the Evangelist Church (Washington, N.C.)
Catholic Church--Georgia--History
Catholic Church--North Carolina--History
Catholic Church--South Carolina--History
Church records and registers--North Carolina--Washington
North Carolina--Genealogy
South Carolina--Genealogy
Washington (N.C.)--Genealogy.

Container list
Box 2 Deaths in South Carolina A-K, 1819-1852
Box 3 Deaths in South Carolina M-Z, 1819-1852
Box 4 Baptisms and Deaths in North Carolina, 1819-1852
Box 5 Marriages and Deaths in Georgia, 1819-1852
Box 6 Marriages (no location), 1819-1852