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Old Donegal Catholic Cemetery


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DONEGAL TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


This is a transcription of an article published May 1972, in the 'Keyhole', quarterly publication of the
Genealogy Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania (GSSP). It was submitted by Joseph F. Florian.

[Ed Note: My Third Great Grand Parents James and Jane Claffey are buried here.]

Go Southwest on Route 40 from Claysville, PA for 2.9 miles. Cemetery is situated
on the right side of the road enclosed with a cyclone fence.

In 1794, a Catholic pioneer named Henry Montague settled near West Alexander,
PA. His home became a center for other Catholic pioneers and missionaries passing
through. Mass was offered up in this primitive chapel about the year 1811 by Father
O'Brian, the first stationary priest of Pittsburgh. This is the first authentic account we
can obtain of the celebration of devine service in the county.
The old wagon Road from Washington D. C., to Wheeling, W. Va. and the West,
which occupied nearly the same bed as the present National Pike, was a route
sometimes taken by the early Catholic missionaries to the West. This road passed
near the house of Mr. Montague. The saintly and illustrious Fenwick, afterwards the
first Bishop of Cincinnati, OH, passed over this route on his first missionary journey
into the then wilderness of OH in the summer of 1814.
He came alone and unattended, stopped at the house of Henry Montague, held
devine service, ministered to the few Caholic families around, and consecrated or
blessed a small plot of ground on the farm of his host as burial place for the Catholics
scattered around. This is the oldest landmark of Catholicty in the county (Washington
Co, PA) Mr. Montague, his wife and son, and a number of old Catholic settlers are
buried here.

1. Charles Coner Died Sept. 1839 Age 6 Years
2. George Coner Died Sept. 1839 Age 4 Years
3. James Conway Died Mar. 28, 1831 Age 21 Yrs. 9 Mo 6 Days
4. Tully Conway Died Aug. 25, 1836 Age 70 Yrs.
5. Ann consort of Tulley Conway
Died Sept. 25, 1838, Age 58 Yrs.
6. Thomas Cain Died Dec. A. D. 1837 Age 53 Yrs.
7. Robert Robison Died Sept 19, 1837 Age 72 Yrs.
8. Arthur Higgins Died Sept. 6, 1828 Age 65 Yrs.
9. William Higgins Died A. D. 1828 Age 13 Yrs. & 9 Mos.
10. Henry Montague Died Sept. 11, 1826 Age 66 Yrs.
11. Rosanah Montague wife of Henry Moutague
Died May 20, 1836, Age 80 Yrs.
12. Simon Montague Died June 9, 1824, Age 40 Years
13. Jane Cavannah A native of Longford County, Ireland
Died July 10, 1824, age 63 Yrs.
14. Margaret Egan Died Aug, 1825 Age 1 Yr & 8 Mos.

[13 and 14 are in same grave with an inscription across bottom of stone
near ground which says 'Stone erected by Laughlin Egan' ---Suggesting
that he was father of baby and son-in-law of Jane] Laughlin Egan was
married to Jane's daughter Mary Cavannah.

15. Jane wife of James Claffey Died Nov. 15, 1844 No age
16 James Claffey Died Mar 22, 1837 age 65 Yrs.
17. John Coner Died Sept. 1839 Age 2 Yrs.
18. Martha NO LAST NAME Died Sept. 1839 Age 6 Months

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