County Donegal Grand Jury Assizes

Repository: Donegal County Archives

Identity Statement

TitleCounty Donegal Grand Jury Assizes
Archive ReferenceIE DON GJ/1
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1753-1899
Extent Medium45 items


Creator(s): Donegal Grand Jury

  • Administrative History ↴

    Grand Juries were active in Ireland from Medieval times. Landowners made up the Grand Jury itself, selected by the Sheriff of the County. Grand Juries had no corporate existence, they were discharged by the Judge of Assize. Before the assizes, presentment sessions were called in each of the six baronies of Donegal, where proposals for work to be done were considered and submitted to the Grand Jury for ratification. Services provided and paid for by Grand Jury Cess, a rate payable by occupiers, included the building and repair of roads, bridges and the construction of courthouses, levying for support of district hospitals, schools and prisons. Donegal Grand Jury's administrative functions were taken over by Donegal County Council and the Rural District and Urban District Councils in 1899.
  • Archival History ↴

    Official Transfer from Donegal County Council
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Official Transfer

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Donegal Grand Jury ↴

    Assizes of the Grand Jury, held in Lifford and sometimes in Ramelton, until the formation of the County Council. Records include detailed presentments of works to be done by contractors.
    The records include lists of salaries given to different officers in the country including those responsible for the Gaol in Lifford, the infirmary and courthouses. Also includes the sums given to the Treasurers of local Dispensaries and other public charities.

    The collection includes orders/contracts for repair and the keeping in repair of roads; building bridges and fences and repair of same, laying pipes and building arches – mason work; widening roads; creating new roads; erecting milestones; fixing drains; building footpaths; lowering hills and filling hollows; and malicious injury.

    Also contains information on the upkeep of deserted children. The expense of the upkeep of deserted children was to be levied off the parishes. The name of the child is not supplied in the records. Only the name of the person looking after the child (in some instances a clergyman), the parish and the number in each parish was given.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Accruals ↴

    No further accruals expected.
  • Arrangement ↴

    The Grand Jury collection is arranged in date order.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Full access.
Conditions Governing ReproductionBound volumes cannot be photocopied. Digitisation permitted under certain conditions.
Creation Dates1753-1899
Extent Medium45 items
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Characteristics Tech ReqThe Grand Jury collection was conserved in the year 2009. The collection is in good condition.
Finding Aids Descriptive list Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Originals InformationHeld at Donegal County Archives
Copies InformationThe entire Donegal Grand Jury collection has been microfilmed for reasons of preservation and security.


NoteThe Grand Jury collection is the oldest collection of public records held by Donegal County Archives.

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteNiamh Brennan
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions2000