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Ralph Donnelly Papers, 1822-1979

(Manuscript Collection #852)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Ralph Donnelly Papers
Creator: Donnelly, Ralph
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: 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.
Extent: 1.0 Cubic feet.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

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.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Ralph Donnelly Papers (#852), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Joseph Carter Leary

Processing Information

  • Processed by Anna Hardee, 2006

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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).

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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Series 1:
Printed Materials
Series 2:
Index Cards
Box 2#0852.2
Deaths in South Carolina A-K, 1819-1852, undated
Box 3#0852.3
Deaths in South Carolina M-Z, 1819-1852, undated
Box 4#0852.4
Baptisms and Deaths in North Carolina, 1819-1852, undated
Box 5#0852.5
Marriages and Deaths in Georgia, 1819-1852, undated
Box 6#0852.6
Marriages (no location), 1819-1852, undated

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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