Bernard Doran and his wife Ann "Nancy" Smythe were probably born between 1790 and 1800 based on the baptism of their daughter Maria. The couple may have been born in County Armagh, in Belfast City, or any one of the neighboring towns. We believe he and his wife Ann "Nancy" were still alive in 1854 as a couple with this name and a son John were mentioned in a Belfast newspaper article called "The Blanket Case" and we don't find any other Doran family in Belfast at that time with the same three names.
Maria was christened in the R. C. Church in Dromore Parish, Shankill, County Armagh on February 23, 1823. The sponsors for Maria's baptism were Andrew McDonnell and Maria Magee. Along with Maria, the couple had a total of at least six children, including Ellen, Ann, John, Catherine, and Bernard.
We believe their daughter Ellen was also born in Shankill, Co. Armagh in 1829. Six years is a long gap between children, leading us to believe the family moved elsewhere, most likely for work, and other children may have been born between those years. Or perhaps Bernard was in military service and stationed too far away. Just guessing. We continue to search those years but did not find any baptisms in that parish then for children born to Bernard Doran and Ann "Nancy" Smythe. (Nancy is an Irish nickname for Ann and she appears to have used both variations in the parish records).
After Ellen came Ann, most likely named after her mother. Ann was christened in Newry, Down and Armagh, Ireland, RC Church on October 4, 1831. The sponsors were John O'Brien and Jane Burke.
John Doran was born March 10, 1838 in the Union Workhouse, Belfast. He was baptized in St. Patrick's R. C., Church, County Antrim. The sponsor was Mary Ann Montgomery. John is our family's direct male Doran ancestor. So he will get his own page in this family history. We'll just mention here his death date, which was January 2, 1889, in Belfast City.
Catherine was born next in 1840 in County Down. She died in 1880 in Belfast and is buried in Milltown Cemetery.
Finally, Bernard was born in 1843 and baptized on December 11 of that year at St. Patrick's R. C. Church. We haven't found anything else definitive on him, but continue to search and hope that a future DNA test will point our way to finding out more about him and his siblings.