Doran Park was not named after us, but we’ll claim it anyway. Maryann Barnes took this photo while visiting Ireland in 2011. Our Doran ancestors were not so illustrious. Our Doran were your basic laborers, working in the cotton and linen mills in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Our Doran clan has lived in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland since at least the 1700s. 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.
From Y-DNA evidence, our line of Doran males match with another Doran line. Their Doran immigrant was forced to leave Belfast, Ireland in the mid-1700s, probably for some minor infraction. The progenitor of that family was James Doran (the church records use the Latin form of the name James, which is Jacob). Fortunately someone in the British government wanted to know what happened to this group of expunged-Irish and included this James Doran in an official government report.
Jacob “James” Doran first lived in Pennsylvania but soon moved to the province of Virginia, in what is now West Virginia. We know he served valiantly n the Virginia militia in the Revolutionary War. 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.
Our earliest known Doran ancestor was Bernard Doran (born circa 1800). He and his wife Ann “Nancy” Smyth were baptized their daughter Maria in Dromore Parish, Argmah in 1823. The first names of our Doran family are used over and over again in the typical Irish naming pattern. Therefore, based on the name of their first son, John Doran, we believe his father was probably named John too. Both of these names, Bernard and John, are still being used in our clan!
If you are interested in our family genealogy and have access to Ancestry.com (many libraries offer free access in a limited fashion) you can view our Doran Clan Tree. We encourage you to take a DNA test and if you match up with someone in our family please let us know!