Lifford Gaol, County Donegal

So from the Outrage Papers of County Donegal in 1847 I have found out the following:

  • William Jackson Senior is the father of William Jackson Junior and Rebecca Jackson.
  • Jane Steele is a member of the Jackson family somehow – maybe William’s sister?
  • Ann Jackson gave evidence against members of her family which led to their conviction and transportation – is Ann William the elder’s wife and Rebecca and William’s mother?
  • They were tried on 1 January 1847 at Lifford Quarter sessions by the Magistrates of Newton Cunningham Petty Sessions.
  • They were being held at Lifford Gaol.
  • Ann Jackson has had a passage to Quebec paid for her and her two young children aged 10 and 6.

As part of my trip I headed to Lifford Gaol to find out a bit more about it. I was lucky enough to have a guided tour once one of the archivists found I had had a convict relative staying there. The only part of the old gaol remaining is down in the basement and what is now the Lifford Courthouse and Museum. If ever you visit, I recommend the meal at the old Courthouse.

In surfing the web today, I found a report of what the gaol was like on 6 January 1847 when it was visited by the inspector generals of prisons in Ireland. There is a three page report and my Jackson family will be in the number of convicted felons mentioned.

The archivists sent me some images to use when writing about the gaol. Here is one of them:

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I took this while touring the basement area:

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I enjoyed the humour when entering the archivists room.

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But unfortunately, they had nothing more about my Rebecca Jackson, so where was I to go now? I still had not seen any court records explaining what was stolen by this group of thieves. The archivists suggested the heading to Donegal County Archives about 100 metres around the corner. I might find the court records there.

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