Robert Murphy (McMurray
Born: 1950 in
During my slow-season of winter 1997, it seemed like an interesting idea to search the globe for e-mail addresses of other families with the last name of Donnan. As of the end of February 1997, our list contained 30 addresses in four countries - Australia, Canada, England, and the USA - and with three different spellings of the last name. That's how this whole project began. With the assistance and encouragement of many individuals, we have created a home page. We must especially thank "Beaufort Bob" Donnan for his work in creating and maintaining this site. I would encourage other Donnans to contact me v.i.a. e-mail so we can include you in our group. You may find a long-lost cousin -- I did! The following information is provided to illustrate part of my family's Scotch-Irish heritage.
Bob was born, and continues to reside, in the same area of S.W. Pennsylvania his great, great, great grandfather Reverend Alexander Donnan settled in 1817; Washington County. Rev. Alexander Donnan was born in 1775 in Wigtownshire, Scotland, studied at the University of Glasgow, and was minister at Gilnahirk church near Belfast, Ireland from 1801 to 1817. His marriage to Helen Hannay of Sorbie, Scotland in 1801 led to the birth of Bob's great, great grandfather Dr. John Donnan in 1813. Alexander served as the first pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Presbyterian Church in Hickory, PA from 1819 to 1852.
Bob's first maternal ancestor to arrive in America was William Murphy of Derry, Ireland. Still a teenager, William emigrated to America and settled near Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA in 1780. He served in the Revolutionary War with Captain Edward Graham's 6th Company, 5th Battalion of the Pennsylvania Militia in 1781. William returned to Ireland in 1790 to marry his childhood sweetheart, Eve Dickey. They returned to America, bought a large tract of land, and settled near Ligonier, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Bob's wife Susan was born in Anchorage, Alaska during her father's U.S. Army career. Susan is involved locally with a nationwide program to assist homeless families - The Interfaith Hospitality Network. Bob's daughter Amanda will be a member of the graduating class of 2000 from Peters Township high school. Sunny, the family's buff Cocker Spaniel, would like to play quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Following graduation from Upper St. Clair high school, Bob studied computers, won the first draft lottery to Vietnam and graduated from Penn State's Ornamental Nursery Management program in 1979. He then started a landscape contracting business - Donnan Landscape Services - and later married his wife Susan in 1980. Both Bob and Susan have served as Elders in their church - the Presbyterian Church of Thomas near 84, PA.