Doran Park was not named after us, but we’ll claim it anyway. Maryann Barnes took this photo while visiting Ireland in 2011.
Our DNA results indicate that our family's origins were in the West of Ireland. This is consistent with the story we heard that the Dorans left County Clare to live in Belfast in the 1700s because there were jobs to be had in the linen and cotton industries. The Doran men in our line were linen hacklers when the work was mostly manual and hard, but it was a good skill to have then. The Doran women, once they lived in Belfast and surrounds, worked in the cotton thread mills. They all worked hard and played hard. The Doran men were described as rough, but affectionate. I think they all loved to sing and probably had good voices. The interest in music has certainly continued down through the latest generations.
Our Doran Story traces their journeys in and out of Ireland, Scotland and England to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We have found many other families in Belfast with the Doran surname. They might or might not be related, but we consider them part of our clan and when possible we try to research them.
From Y-DNA evidence, our male Doran line (which only came to the US in the early 1900s) is a match with a Doran line that arrived in America from Belfast in the 1700s. Their Doran immigrant, James (latin church records Jacob is used for James) was forced to leave Belfast, Ireland or go to jail (probably for some minor infraction as an excuse to rid Ulster of the Irish). Fortunately someone in the British government wanted to know what happened to this group of expunged-Irish and voilá James Doran was thankfully mentioned in the official government report.
This James Doran first lived in Pennsylvania but soon moved to the province of Virginia. The family settled in southwestern Virginia some of which is now West Virginia. He and his new family prospered in Virginia, which he would have been unable to do in Northern Ireland as an Irishman at that time. James Doran served valiantly in the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War. But now on to our less illustrious but loved ancestors. Despite the Y-DNA connection to James Doran, we have not yet found the proof to bridge the gap between him and our Belfast Doran ancestors. So we start with what we know.
Bernard Doran and his wife Ann “Nancy” Smyth are the earliest ancestors we can definitively point to as our own. The records show that our Doran clan used the typical Irish naming patterns, with some minor exceptions. As Bernard and Ann's first son was named John we believe Bernard's father was most likely John Doran. Both of these names, Bernard and John, are still being used in our clan!
Bernard Doran and Ann "Nancy" Smyth lived in Armagh and Belfast at various times. Their daughter Maria Doran was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Dromore Parish, Argmah in 1823 but the rest of their children were baptized in Belfast.
If you are interested in our family tree and have access to Ancestry.com (many libraries offer free access in a limited fashion) you can view ourDoran Clan Tree.by clicking the link.