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Here are several items of interest concerning "Old" Donegal. We will be posting anything we find that gives us insight to the culture and environment of that early settlement at the time the Doak families were there.

We have found on eBay, a Cookbook published by the Congregation of the original Donegal Presbyterian church. This cookbook is dated 1986 and was published on the occasion of the 265th anniversary of the founding of the church in 1721.  We are presenting here some images and some recipes from this book called "Taste of Donegal". 


Painting of Donegal Church

Donegal Church and Typical Home


  This painting shows the Church and the "Witness Tree". Joining hands around the tree and giving witness is a tradition going back to Revolutionary war marking the departure of the local militia to join Washington's forces at Valley Forge. In 1986 the Witness tree was judged to be 350 years old. The view shows the church and an adjoining building, maybe the manse.

Most pioneer churches were built near strong springs of good water. Donegal Church's spring is the source of a wonderful trout stream called Donegal Creek which eventually empties into the Susquehanna river (along with the two Chickies creeks). The spring yields, even today, a flow of two million gallons a day and it has never failed in its 280 year history. The churches then were strongly built, like a fort, to resist indian attack and a handy source of good water was essential. Of course the Scotch Irish brought with them a hearty appreciation of good scotch whiskey, the making of which was greatly enhanced by the fine water nearby. By 1800 there were more distilleries in Pennsylvania than grist mills. (The above taken from page 33 of the Cookbook).

There are many recipes in the cookbook, but only a few may have been typical of the mid 1700's.  Here is one that caught our eye from page 266.

Stuffed Pig's Stomach (6 servings)

1    pig's stomach

1    quart peeled, diced potatoes (1/2 inch cubes)

2    pounds fresh or smoked sausage removed from casing

1/2    cup finely chopped onion

1/2    cup finely chopped celery

1    cup chopped parsley   

1    teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Wash the pig's stomach well. Scrape off the white fatty membranes inside and out. Soak in cold salt water 4 hours before cooking., Sew all the weak spots together with white string. Combine vegetables, meat and seasoning, mixing well. Stuff the stomach with the mixture as full as you can without packing. Close the opening by sewing or using baking nails and string.

Place the stomach on a rack in a covered roaster and bake in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours. Remove cover, baste with drippings. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees and bake uncovered until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

To serve, put on a platter and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes. Slice into 2-inch-thick slices.

Donegal, Ireland

Here is a scan of a postcard showing a painting of the countryside at Donegal Ireland. Painting is by Maurice C. Wilke.


Donegal, Pa.  View from Chickies Rock.

This scan is from a Post Card circa 1900. Is is taken from the top of a large rock formation called Chickies Rock, near where the Chickies creeks come into the Susquehanna river. It shows the Donegal valley in the background. The Susquehanna is probably off to the left and the canal we see is unknown to us. It probably was a commercial canal dug during the canal period in America to transport ore and coal from the Pennsylvania interior.  If anyone can give us a history of the canal shown here, we would post the information.


 More Later