Young Papers

Estate and personal papers of the Young family of Culdaff, Co. Donegal, c.1600-1970. The Young Papers are a rich source containing a substantial amount of original and copy title deeds, leases and testamentary papers (including c.40 pre-1858 wills), 1658-1949, pertaining mainly to the Young family, but also the related families of Cary, Redcastle, Co. Donegal, of Nesbitt, Woodhill, Co. Donegal, of Knox, Rathmullan, Co. Donegal, of Cunningham, Londonderry, and of Hart, Kilderry, Co. Donegal. There are also photographs and portraits of various members of these families, c.1700-c.1920, and a vast quantity of letters of a genealogical nature, and genealogical notes and pedigrees mainly from the 17th century. Originals and copies of Young family correspondence, 1755, 1777-94 and 1834-1935, document the fortunes of the family and also include: emigrant letters from Brooke Young, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 1834, together with his diary describing his voyage to Quebec in 1833; correspondence of Robert Chichester Young about his role as agent for the Co. Antrim estates of Sir R. Shafto Adair and Lord O'Neill, 1928-35. Young family diaries, 1808-1918, also complement the archive such as those of Mrs Jane Folliott, 1808, of her mother, Maryanne Young, 1809-58, and of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert James Young, a member of General Devereaux's expedition to Margarita Island with the Irish Legion, Bolivar, Venezuela, 1819-20. Another military diary is that of Guy Owen Lawrence Young, an officer in the Royal Irish Rifles, which includes accounts of life in the trenches during World War I. The collection also contains interesting church material in the form of papers relating to Culdaff Parish Church, mainly 1736-1825, which consist mostly of cess applotments, but also include a list of parishioners, c.1800, and a statistical account of the parish of Culdaff by Rev. Edward Chichester, 1814. There are important original documents concerning the diocese of Connor, one of them a visitation report by Primate Newcome, 1796.


The main strength of the Young Papers lies in the wealth of estate-related material in the form of title deeds, leases, testamentary papers, accounts, etc., for a number of important Co. Donegal families and, in particular, the Youngs of Culdaff. This, in large part, is due to the dedicated collating and transcribing of historically-minded members of the Young family.

Physical characteristics

c. 1,100 items, c.1600-1970 comprising a range of documents, volumes, folders, photographs and portraits and occupying c.15 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/3045 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.



The Young family seat, Culdaff House, was burnt to the ground by Irish Republicans in May 1922 and consequently most of the archive was lost. Copies of material were made.

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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018