Old photographs Old photos of Moville and the surrounding areas.

Maps Old maps of the two parishes in Moville.

Books Read a history of Moville, and see other references to the area.

Lewis' Topographical Dictionary Extracts from the Topographical Dictionary published in 1837

FHC Records Family History Centre (LDS) film references for Moville records


Welcome to Moville
A hundred thousand welcomes from Moville

Welcome to.Moville

This website is a collection of genealogical records for the parishes of Moville Upper and Moville Lower in County Donegal, Ireland. It is not yet a complete collection, and any user contibutions are welcome. Any such records will be suitably noted and the source acknowledged.

The Moville Family page contains details of names being researched in and around Moville. You are welcome to add your reseach interests by e-mailing your details to us.

Moville is situated in County Donegal, Ireland, on the north-western shore of Lough Foyle about 17 miles from Derry. The town grew to prominance as a bathing place for people from Derry. By 1865, as the Foyle silted up and Derry became inaccessible to the large ocean liners plying their trade across the Atlantic, Moville became the point of departure for hundreds of thousands of people seeking a better life away from Ireland.

Origin of the name.Moville

The present name comes from the gaelic Magh Bhile ("the place of the sacred tree" or "the plain of the ancient tree"). The original gaelic name was pronounced "bunafobble" and is generally considered to derive from Bun an Phobail ("the foot, or end, of the parish").

However, this may be a corruption of Bunafebhall ("the bottom or mouth of the Foyle"), the explanation preferred by Irish scholar, Dr John O'Donovan, who wrote in 1835, whilst working for the Ordnance Survey:

" ... A neat village has sprung up of late years at the mouth of this little river (Breda), called by the natives Bunaphobble, but by the inhabitants of Derry, and by strangers, Moville. By Bonaphobble is understood in the country, the foot of the parish, but I am of the opinion that this is a modern name, and that the correct one is Bunafebhail, from its being near the mouth of the Foyle.

Moville has, however, become the general name of it these three or four years, and I think that we should adopt that name, as the village lies so very close to the old church called Meghbile (sic) or Movilla ... " (Placenames Database of Ireland © Government of Ireland 2009).


We would like to acknowledge and appreciate the help that we have received in developing these pages from Mary McCole and Kate Ramsey (who are both from Philadelphia USA), from John Crumlish (who lives in Moville) and from many other contributors. Without their support, and especially the efforts of Mary McCole, these web pages would not exist.

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